23rd May 2013
After two nights stay in Guwahati at a friend's place and a quick visit to Pobitora, I set out for my long journey to the east. Almost equal number of 22 days which I had done in the year 2002 while travelling across Arunachal Pradesh with a group of senior citizens. Boarded the night train to Tinsukia. Arrived around 8ish and freshened up at another friend's place. Prashanta of Help Tourism had arranged a Bolero for my entire trip. Mulla the driver, an expert who knows most of the Arunachal roads arrived by noon.
I had to purchase 100 books to be gifted to the Wakro Library which we purchased in Tinsukia .Happy with the deal I got for the books as it made sense for not having carried the books all the way from Bangalore..Picked up our guides Bidyut and Poksham for both of whom it was an exciting exploration to be in too.
Stopped at Drak for the mandatory tea break and quick entry formalities a little ahead to enter Arunachal Pradesh.
We took the road to Namsai. Had our lunch at this daabha owned by two ever smiling friends at a place known as Duo mile.
A little ahead spotted this vulture which looked like white rumped. Could not venture out of the vehicle as it started pouring heavily around that time.
The entire route looked as if it was soaked in water.
I decided to take a look at the Golden Pagoda and stopped the vehicle just around the road where the road takes a turn to take you to the Pagoda. The place is good for early morning birding But again rain did not allow much scope for us to stay back there though this Greater Racket-tailed Drongo ( Note the crest which differentiates the Himalayan Race from the Andamans) posed happily at a distance.
The hoary bellied squirrel made a quick dash down a tree trunk
It was getting darker soon
The spot undoubtedly has lot of potential for birding so I marked the place for future bird-watching .
We reached the gate of the Golden Pagoda post 4.00 pm and were not sure if it was still open . In Arunachal Pradesh time winds up by 4.30 pm. Checked with few monks around and they gave a green signal to enter the gate
Monks and to be monks were playing together at a corner
Poksham was eager to click the photos of the kids and they were more curious to know how they looked in his camera.
Kids were all over Poksham
Godlen Pagoda has a welcoming well laid and manicured path to lead
Constructed with contributions by Chowna Mein, the then Minister PHED and his wife MLA Namsai, Nang Sati Mein ,Golden Pagoda or 'Poi Lu Kongmu Kham’ as known in the Tai-Khampti dialect is a marvelous architecture and craftsmanship in this side of the country.Situated in Thengapani ,it is also one of the largest Pagodas of North East India. It took six years for an architect from Mynamar and 300 masons to build this Pagoda and was inauguared in the year 2010. The pagoda is also a Centre for Buddhist Study and Research which was engineered to keep together the Institute of Cultural Research and Work on folklore and folk song of the Tai Khampti-Singpho tribes, which are vanishing rapidly. Eastern Arunachalis follow the Theravada sect of Buddhism hence you wont find the inner walls painted with mural of divinities and saints like those of Gelugpa Sect.Built on a three hectare of elevated land,the whole outer structure is painted with golden color which giives it a majestic look even from a distance
For the memories sake with a tired look:-)
All of us spent some time clicking the beautiful surroundings of the Pagoda
Inside the main pagoda is the beautiful five feet tall gilded statue of Buddha facing north, modeled on the Kala Buddha of Nalanda archive.
It was pleasant to see many happy young faces in the compound. Everyone seem to be busy doing something or the other
After a quick round over we decided to continue our journey to Wakro
I wanted to to enjoy and soak in the sunset in the land of the rising Sun and felt time stood still on this bridge on the River Kamlang
When you pass through such scenery , you know you are in a beautiful land
We arrived at Wakro late evening . Our stay was booked at the well maintained simple Wakro Circuit House thanks to "Uncle Moosa " of Apne Library. The caretaker was instructed to make dinner for us .Had good simple meal and retired for the day