Bomdila is the headquarters of West Kameng district and an obligatory stop on the way to Tawang, 165 km from Tezpur. We checked-in at Hotel La ( Opp.Buddha Stadium, Bomdila Tel 03782 223344, L.M.Hazarika: 94028 04714, email: email@example.com, s/d 250/350 with shared bathroom) an ideal accommodation for a backpacker next to the transport hub. Newly built deluxe rooms have heater, TV and geyser d/tr 1200/1400 and the best value is the semi deluxe double room (600, squat toilet, bucket shower). The restaurant at the basement provide good food and there is ample car parking space. The owner Tashi Tsering and his friendly staff are really helpful and make you feel at home.
Gontse Gaden Rabgye-ling Monastery better known as Bomdila Monastery houses 250 students and is 15 min by foot. The old monastery building is next to SDV school and mostly closed. There is an annual festival at this monastery just before Deepavali (Diwali) and a highly choreographed sacred dance (Chham) lasting for 3 days accompanied by beating drums and cymbals, blowing huge telescopic horns and clarinets. This year it happens from Nov 6th.
The two room district museum outlines various artifacts of Arunachal and gives an insight about the different tribes. For an evening stroll walk to the garden opposite to Hotel La rotating the prayer wheels. The next door Xerox shop is handled by Nima, who spent 12 years of monastic studies in Karnataka. Did you know? there is a monastery in Hubli where 2000 students study to be monks.
Next morning Tashi and wife invited us to have breakfast with them, dishing up local delicacies and spicy chutney 'Gokpa' and butter-tea suja were the highlights. After a long conversation they took us for a tour to the nearby village and government owned Helipad, a few kilometers away overlooking Bomdila township and Rupa village. Tashi is very active with community development programs and we shared the popular concept of homestay. He decided to give it a try at Bomdila, to boost the local economy. In a few years, the bypass road will be completed and you may not go through Bomdila town to go to Tawang. Tashi mentioned that the civic sense is at all times low, proven by the shattered liquor bottles at the Helipad.
There are many tiny hamlets and gompas around Bomdila for day hikes. For multi day hikes, contact Mr. Tsering Wange, Himalayan Holiday at New Bazar Line, Bomdila (Tel 03782 222017, 9436045063/9436888905 firstname.lastname@example.org). Cabbage is one of the major agriculture produce apart from khe potatoes, chillies, bitter brinjals and corn. High mountain and dense forest have prevented intercommunication between tribes, isolation has led to over 26 major tribes with several dialects. Hindi has been the major language spoken all over Arunachal and medium of education. Bomdila is cold throughout the year,winter with snowfall; carry thermal wear.