Our journey in the ‘Land of Rising Sun’, Arunachal Pradesh, started early in the morning of 25th December 2015 from Tinsukia in Assam. We were travelling to the eastern most east of India, the land which is most beautiful yet less travelled! The places in western and central Arunachal namely Tawang and Mechuka are more popular among the travelers than the eastern parts – Walong, Kibithu and Kaho. But our urges to travel along the river Lohit, a major tributary to the river Brahmaputra and catch the first rays of sun in India landed us in the town of Tinsukia.
To enter Arunachal Pradesh one is required to obtain Inner Line Permits (ILP) as the state falls under restricted area. However, permits are granted to the tourists as a routine manner and these can be obtained from the offices of Resident/Dy. Resident Commissioner at New Delhi, Kolkata in West Bengal, Shillong in Meghalaya and Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Tezpur, North Lakhimpur and Jorhat in Assam. ILPs are verified in the entry check gates of Arunachal.
After travelling about 58 Kms from Tinsukia town we reached Dirak Check gate of Arunachal Pradesh where our vehicle number was recorded and we were allowed to enter the land of rising sun. We travelled another 13Kms and reached a small town of ‘Namsai’ which is the Headquarter of District Namsai in Arunachal. We had hot Roti Tarka in our breakfast here.
Next, about 30 Kms from Dirak check gate, we saw a signage welcoming to Golden Pagoda. The place is Tengapani of Namsai District.
We drove to the top of a small hill upto the entry gate. Entering through the gate, which is beautifully carved and designed, we awed by the structure of Buddha Vihar, the Golden Pagoda. Built in Burmese architectural style and design on a plateau overlooking the plains, the Pagoda is a distinguished monument and one of the largest Buddhist Shrines in North-East India.
The complex is spread over vast lands and the Pagoda stands also on huge plinth area. Covered with gold paint, the Pagoda is designed with one main large dome and twelve sub domes.
We entered in the Pagoda. The wooden doors of it are beautifully hand carved. Yet from being a crowded tourist spot, the Pagoda has a beautiful gilded statue of Lord Buddha which is said to be modeled on the Kala Buddha (Black Buddha) of Nalanda archive.
We wandered around the massive temple complex unhurried to our onward journey to the mountains. After spending divine moments in the Golden Pagoda we hit again the road to the Eastern Most East of India.
Fact – The Golden Pagoda of Tengapani, Namsai was inaugurated on 22nd February, 2010.
By Road: Tinsukia- Dirak Check Gate – Namsai – Tengapani Golden Pagoda – Total distance 88KM
Nearest Railhead: Tinsukia Junction is the nearest railhead
Nearest Airport: Dibrugarh Airport is the nearest airport.