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Lodging
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Lodging

North West

Ladakh

  1. In Leh the happiest and most comfortable experience can be had at ORIENTAL GUEST HOUSE, Changspa. It is a pleasant suburb to the north of Leh and just a kilometre or so from the Moravian Mission School and past the Army's Alpha Mess. The Moravian Mission School had been established in the late 19th Century. The Alpha Mess used to house the British Joint Commissioners of the 19th C and was built in the 1850s.

    The Oriental Guest House is run by the Tsering family. The young Dawa and his sisters Deschen, Stanzen and Phunchok inspired by their parents Nawang and Chandal make even the shortest stay the most memorable and charming one. Their ever ready to help attitude accompanied by large smiles no matter how difficult the situation may be makes strangers confident that they need not worry about anything.

    This fast expanding Guest House has just added a new wing to the south of the spacious compound. It has an unbelievable view that sweeps a large part of the Leh Valley and Stok peak. Though built in the attractive and colourful traditional Ladakhi style most of the rooms have attached toilets with running hot and cold water. This is amongst the half a dozen establishments open in winter too.

    Their phone numbers are 00-91-1982-253153 & 250156. Dawa who is the manager and looks after reservations and helps with planning treks can be contacted on his emails : orientalleh@hotmail.com & Ladhakhorient@yahoo.co.in. They help you plan treks with as much concern and consideration as if it was their own family outing.

    Kargil, Kashmir, Zanskar, & Himachal Pradesh.

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Central

Uttaranchal

North East

Darjeeling, Sikkim, Arunachal, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram & Tripura.


Assam

MAJULI-

Despite being cut up by the rampaging Brahmaputra Majuli could still be the largest river island in the world. Even if this status is in doubt it is worth a visit for these reasons:

For the Vaishnavite Satras (or monasteries ) at Auniati, Dakhinpat, Garmur and Kamalabari.

For the still largely traditional villages of Mising and Deori tribes.

For the migratory birds that come here in winter &

For wild elephants.

Accommodation: Some Satras have their own very simple, clean and basic Guest Houses. Enquiries to stay can be made at 00-91-3775-273304 from the Kamalabari Satra. Then there is the State Government Circuit House at Garmur (Ph: 03775-273304). Rooms can be reserved by contacting the SDO (Civil) at 00-91-3775-274439.

There are no hotels or guest houses.

Access: From Jorhat take a taxi or a bus to Nimatighat, from where take a ferry over the Brahmaputra for a 90 minutes or so ride to Kamalabari ghat.

Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary-

A sanctuary famous for its one horned rhinos. Wild elephants, deer and tigers etc et al can also be seen.

Accommodation: There are many Government and non Government places to stay, but the cleanest, attractive and most efficiently run shelter is called Wild Grass. Its outside the Sanctuary and about a Km off the main road near the village of Kohra. The owner Achintu Barua has taken pains to recreate an 18th Century Ahom hall. Good food. Achintu Barua is also an ardent conservationist and zoologist. Rooms are spacious and have large windows overlooking leafy views. Bookings can be confirmed at Wild Grassís phone 00-91-3776-262085 or at their Guwahati office- 00-91-361-2546827. They have a website too: www.oldassam.com . Their e mail is: man_barua@satyam.net.in and website www.oldassam.com

Access: From Guwahati and Jorhat. Both have airports. Its closer from Jorhat (90 kms) but Jorhat has fewer flights.

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ARUNACHAL

BOMDI LA in West Arunachal

Bomdi la is a fast expanding district head quarters town on the road to the Buddhist monastery town of Tawang.

There are few clean non Government places to stay in.

One of them is HOTEL SIPHIYANG PHONG. However, if you are lucky to stay in the State Government run Circuit House visit this Hotel for its food.

Bomdi La has a well run Carpet Weaving Centre near the entrance of the town. It weaves Tibetan woollen carpets.One can watche ladies patiently weaving caprets. Picturesque.

It has several rather well maintained rooms with attached toilets and TV. The best thing about them is that the heating works. Bomdi La is 2800 m a.s.l.. It also has car parking in its own grounds, hot water, and a dependable electricity back up system.

Tel: 00-91-3782-222286 & FAX- 222250

Situated in the centre of the town. Its 350 kms from Guwahati,64 kms from Bhalukpong on the Assam-Arunachal border and 160 kms from Tezpur in Assam.

DIRANG in West Arunachal

HOTEL PEMALING is a clean and neat private lodge in the monastery village of Dirang situated above the Kameng river. Again, if one can not stay in the State Government rest House get a room here. There are other guest houses too but this one has the most facilities.

Enough comfortable rooms to accommodate the rush during the tourist season from mid October till early April. Friendly woodden exterior. TV in each room. Attached toilets. Try to get a room with a balcony as that has a better view.

Tel: 00-91-3780-242615 & 3782-207036. e mail: rinchinpemaling@yahoo.com

Dirang (1530 m) is quite close to Bhutan, which is half a days walk from here. The road to Se La (90 kms from here) and thence to Tawang (80 kms further on) passes through here. It is at the bottom of the valley around the bridged Kameng river. The 600 years old Dirang village is above the present settlement. A yak breeding centre, Sangti Valley and a some nearby forests and hill tops are worth visiting- if you have the time. in case bomdi La has no rooms one can easily try here as it is just 40 kms down the road.

NAMDAPHA NATIONAL PARK in East Arunachal

Getting there: This has to be planned and timed properly. Airport to get to is Mohanbari in Dibrugarh. daily flights from Delhi and Kolkatta. Drive 160 kms approx to get to Miao for the night, unless you want to spend the night in the historic town of Dibrugarh. Inner Line Permits can be got easily from the Arunachal Liason Office near the airport. Cheap lodgings available in Miao (mini zoo here in the forest Colony) but stay in the spacious and well appointed State Government Guest House if possible. Deban in the heart of the Namdapha National Park (and a part of Project Tiger) is only 25 kms away but it takes more than 2 hours to get there in winter, when the rough road is largely usable. Otherwise it has 36 land slip sites and they can cause a lot of trouble. Deban overlooks a widish plain where the three rivers Noah Dihing, Lankarai and Deban meet. Excellent view. Elephant rides available. The two government Forest Rest Houses are here. Set amidst an oasis of spacious and bright lawns surounded by dark forests of handsome trees brimming with birds.The two best rooms in the attractive and clean kind-of-hexagonal shaped lodge are unfortunately and unreasonably reserved for would be visiting Government officials. Maybe this stipulation will change soon. It hasn't for 20 years!

For reservations at Miao and Deban (Namdapha) contact Additional Principal chief Conservator of Forests {Wildlife}, Deptt. of Environment & Forests, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagr - 791111. Tel: Off- 00-91-360-2212501 & Home- 2212653. Fax- 2212006 OR Conservator of Forests & Field Director [Project Tiger], Namdapha National Park, Miao-792 122, Dist. Changlang, Arunachal Pradesh. Tel: Off- 00-91-3807-222249 & Home- 222253. Fax-222249. The officers are very courteous, knowledgeable, helpful and patient.

The Park's area is 1985.245 sq. kms. It rises from 200 m at Deban to 4500 m, which is the height of the highest peak on the Daphabum ridge, which was once witness to hundreds of supply flights during WW II to Kunming, China. Tiger, Leopard, Slow Lorris (the fold out given here says Slow Lorries!), Clouded Leopard, Hoolock gibbon, elephant, Black & Brown bears, Deer including Leaf deer and Black barking Deer, White Winged Wood Duck, many kinds of Pheasants, & Great Indian Hornbill to mention just a few.More than 150 timber species are here. And then there are more than 200 varities of ORCHIDS. But very few of them bloom in winter, which is the most convenient time to visit.

These impressions and comments of mine are impartial. In no way am I drumming for any of these establishments