Friday, January 21, 2011


According to the earlier schedule, we were supposed to visit Miao first and then Tezu but we had to change it as the secretary of the Home Department was in Miao till the 21st. So we had to go to Tezu first and then Miao.

While planning the trip to Miao and Tezu, it was a bit of a hassle as everyone we asked had a different opinion on how long it will take to drive from Dibrugarh to Miao and Tezu. We originally thought that it would be about 4 hours but while contacting the local Tibetans, some said 7 hours, so it was very hard to get a definite travel time.

We reached Dibrugarh around 2 in the afternoon and after lunch we left for Tezu. Since we didn’t have a cell phone connection, the driver loaned us his phone for the journey and even though we now had a cell phone, but the cellular reception in Arunachal Pradesh is probably the worst in India and when we reached Tezu around 9pm in the night, trying to find the Tibetan Settlement was a nightmare as the phone just wouldn’t work and we couldn’t contact the local representatives.
As we all know, never ask for directions in India and no one will ever say that they don’t know but rather just point you to a direction. After a couple of events and knocking on some random doors, we finally reached the settlement office and were greeted by the local representatives.

We then found out why there are a lot of different views on the travel time. It seems that we can cross the river a traditional ferry which takes the car across the river and it saves about 2 hours of the total journey time. Since we had left Dibrugarh only around 3 and when we reached the banks of the river, the ferry had already closed for the day, so we had to go through the longer route which took us through the mountains.

The meeting with the Tibetans in the settlement was scheduled for the next day at 9 am in the morning. In the Tibetan Settlement in Tezu, a lot of questions were regarding the local CST School and the deteriorating standard of education. TNT la spoke about the fact that he believes that the Education is not something that doesn’t have a solution but something that we would need to work at and the responsibility to be shared between the parents and the CTA.

(TNT la at Tezu)

(TNT la and Kelsang la with Karikho Kri(MLA) for the district of Tezu)

After a quick lunch, we had to leave Tezu as we planned to try to reach Miao as early as possible in the evening. While on the way to Miao, the driver took us through the shorter route which allowed us to have a firsthand experience of a ferry ride.

Watching a full busload of passengers being taken across the river in a traditional ferry was a huge surprise.

(A busload of people taken across the river)

Along the way, Kelsang saw a temple on the top of a hill and to our surprise it was a Buddhist temple and we found out that the local inhabitants of the Lohit region in Arunachal Pradesh are Buddhists and their roots can be traced to Thailand.

                   (TNT la and myself at the Site of the Temple)

It took us about 7 hours to get to Miao. Thankfully the cell phone connection was much better in Miao and we were able to find the settlement easier and didn’t really have to ask around for the route.