Miao to Vijoynagar, Arunachal Pradesh

Vijoynagar or Vijaynagar

Vijoynagar is one of the remotest village in Arunachal Pradesh bordering with Myanmar in the Patkai hills range. For last 2 years, I was desperately wishing to trek up to Vijoynagar, the little known human habitat of Lisu tribe.
 
It was mid February 2019, when we set with full plan to reach Vijoynagar by Helicopter from Miao and then to trek down up to Deban in Miao through the Namdapha National Park. Worth to mention that helicopter service is the only transportation facility provided by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh from Miao to Vijoynagar and vice versa, but the service is totally uncertain. You can never rely, instead rely on your feet if you can and dare to trek for 10-12 days through the Namdapha National Park along the Nao-dihing river.  Else follow the MG Road (?) .  
 
The Chopper service is dependent on many factors  to fly, like the weather, sociopolitical conditions of the region, availability of the Chopper etc. We relied on the service without knowing all these factors and it was our destiny that we witnessed all, that caused the chopper to stand on the helipad only. And we lost many days from our itinerary expecting the Helicopter to fly.
 
 

 

Miao

It was 17th February, the winter is still here in  Northeast India and there was no sign of raining in the following days. We (Me, Madhumita, Zaved and Debojit) reached Miao from Tinsukia in the evening, the small township in Changlang District.  It  was raining heavily and continuously. Immediately on reaching Miao, I phoned the concerned person to inquiry about the Chopper service. And the reply was that the service had been cancelled until the  weather get cleared. Bad luck. We booked accommodation in a lodge few kilometres away from the town.

Nao-dihing River

Next day morning also it was raining. After breakfast we three  (except Zaved) decided to go to the Nao-dihing river. We spent few hours enjoying the cold breeze and its sound on the river side. Due to winter the river water was narrowed down to 40-50 meters  in breadth, whereas the entire river bed is nearly a kilometre wide, I guessed.  The water was clean and could bring the sky in to its lap; flowing with that ancient heavenly sound. There were many plum trees, the plums tasted good. We took few with us.       

 

Meeting a Buddhist Priest

2nd day morning, Zaved told us that he going to the other side of the Nao-dihing river to spent the day with a Buddist priest whom he met the day before. We thought why not to join him as we had nothing to do. So all of us went to the market to get few ration, chicken and vegetables to cook at the priest’s place. We crossed the river with a hand rowing boat. The boat carries everything- motorcycles, cycles, passengers, luggage etc; as that was the only transportation connecting the  people on both the sides.

After crossing we walked nearly half kilometre and there was another part of the river to be crossed by same kind of boat. The water level was low and hence the river get bifurcated into two parts.  From there we walked nearly 2 kilometre to reach the place of the buddhist priest.

The priest lived alone in the campus of the temple. He was a funny person and in his daily life he had nothing to do but to eat and then sleep, with morning and evening rituals. Everything he needed, was taken care of by the villagers.  Each meal was prepared by the villagers and brought that to him. In fact he was spending a lazy life. Anyways talking to him was just chill, we cooked meal for us. He did not accept our meal obeying his rituals, but we left the remaining of the ration for him and came back. 

Tibetian settlement, Miao

In the  evening our only to do thing was just to look at the sky and pray…. the night passed on. Again the morning was cloudy and started to rain. We had nothing left but to roam here and there and praying for a clear sky, so that the chopper service could get resumed.

3rd day, we visited Choephelling Tibetan Settlement, Miao, met Mr. Tenzin Rabjor, the Secetary of choephelling tibetan service cooperative society Ltd, Miao, who has been my Facebook friend since a year. Their hand-looms and handicrafts skill was so brilliant, everything they made could appeal a person to own. Specially the carpets were highly appreciable and so costly too. We did not buy anything thinking of the trek, though we wished to.

By afternoon, the sky was getting cleared and we saw a ray of hopes. But the hope lasted only for few minutes, someone said to us that the Arunchal Pradesh Student Union has declared indefinite state lockdown. There was a socio-political issue that was burning the entire state, particularly the state capital Itanagar, where many violent activities were carried on. There was nothing that could hide our frustration.

Reversing the Plan

Till now we had already lost 4 nights and 3 days. So, we decided to reverse our trek plan; we would trek from Deban to Vjoyanagar and on return we would opt the Chopper service, assuming that, by the time 10 days past the weather as well as  the situation would be clear and normal. We hired a vehicle that would pick up us as early as by 4 AM the next day, to avoid any unwanted problem that might arise due to the declared statewise lockdown and drop us at Namdapha Jungle Camp owned by the authority of namdapha-national-park

Deban- Chakma Basti

On day 4th we  reached Namdapha Jungle Camp early morning. We plan to reach the Chakma Basti on the other side of the Nao-dihing to hire porters for the trek. After having roti-sabji, omelette and a cup of strong tea, we crossed the river with the help of guy from the camp.
 
I had come to this Chakma village twice in 2014, when I organised a Corporate Event (adventure) for SBI life Insuarnce company on the river bank. It was an amazing experience to conduct the event and was equally successful. And probably, was the first kind of adventure oriented outdoor event for any corporate in North east States, ever conducted. I have written about that event in detail in this blog here. Since then the village had been changed a lot. Electricity made available, people were seen richer and wealthier this time. 
 
 
Photo from the Event
 

Porters

Finding boys to join us a porters was not easy, it was difficult to convince the young to come with us. Yet we found 3 (three) guys who would join us @INR 1000/- per person per day. We bought ration from their local shop, picked rice bag from one of the boy’s stock.  Dry fish, rice, dal, musturd oil, sugar, tea, sabi masala, ciggrette, bidi and few packs of salt, were the items we packed for our coming days menu.
 
In Vijoynagar, salt costs nearly INR 200/- per kg, whereas it is actually INR 15-20 per kg, and we had heard that Salt and Bidi are the two things that made the people in Vijoynagar happy, if they get it as a gift. So we bought these two items more than we needed.
 
 

Heading for Vijoynagar

Day 5th morning we started the journey by few hours late than decided, as our porters took longer time to reach our camp crossing the Nao-dihing. We did not opt to trek through the National Park as the water level of the Nao-dihing river was continuously rising and the river was not safe to be crossed over the temporarily made bamboo bridges. It was the MG Road, we followed from the camp.
 
Decade ago 2-3 vehicles ran over it up to Gandhigram or Vijoynagar, and MG road was the project of constructing a motor able road since decade! The condition of the road is not at all motor able, only cranes, dumper  trucks, earth cutters and such heavy machinery vehicles used for construction can  be drive over for it. 
 

Began with a mini truck

At MG Road we boarded on a mini truck loading with few road workers, villagers and bags of cements. tins, gallons of diesels etc. Madhumita was offered a seat with the driver line and we jumped to the back of the truck with the others already there. Plan was like we would go as far as the truck could cover, as the driver also not sure due to road and weather condition whether he could wheel his truck to his destination or not.
 
After almost half an hour drive we found the road blocked, as the ignition of one earth cutter vehicle was not working. Somehow nearly 20 minutes or so the engine roared and we started again. Another half an hour traveled, from there the truck could not be driven as the road became to treacherous.  We unloaded ourselves and our bags, began to walk.
 
During the drive our porters suggested us to hire another guy, who was already there in the truck; now our team comprised of  4 trekkers and 4 porters.
 
 

Trek Begins 

Today, it was not raining. The sky was bit clear and we were happy to kick off our most waited trek. We hiked for rest of the day till dusk, road appeared to be more dilapidated and stopped to camp  at  21 miles (Location). The road took a complete 90º turn towards up. We pitched our tents on the both side of the roads exactly on the turn. I pitched on the ridge side and Debojit pitched on the shoulder side of the hill. Our boys spread their own tarpaulin sheet few meters below us on bamboo posts pre-used by some others to spent the night there.
 
Two of our porters went inside the jungle to collect vegetables for our dinner. They came back with larger in size ratten canes (Calamus rotang), that were generally found in abundance in this mountain range.  These canes are used in different household activities, and one such use is most notably the whip used by our police departments. The taste is bitter, but they made it delicious when cooked with the dry fish.
 
 
 
Our porters
 

Next Morning

As we wake up few bicycles without any brakes where coming down very speedily, hardly saving a hit with us. Those bicyclists were returning from Vijoynagar after delivering the cargo.
 
In fact bicycles are the only mechanical transport system used to cargo the essential goods right from food items to construction items fro Miao to Vijoynagar. Otherwise their backs and shoulders  are used as the carriers irrespective of  men and women. The men were coming down from the upper side of the roads and had never thought of meeting few non tribal people camping on the road side. They were allowing their bicycles with a free fall on the slide and we barely escaped. 
 
We had our tea and repeated the same meal as brunch. The weather was unpredictable, whether it would be raining or not. But soon it started to rain and we too started to trek ahead. The rain became very dense at some places but we kept on moving. Whole day it was raining. 
 
The road happened to be one of the most dangerous and shocking for us. The entire road was filled with the sticky mud mixed with pebbles sliding down from the hills up to 3-4 feet. Though it was wide enough to ply big trucks but the mud left only few parts of the road to keep our feet safely. And if somehow we kept our step on the mud then leg went dip inside  the mud it was difficult to take by self. It was sticky and risky of getting serious leg injury.
 
Madhumita stepped her one leg in the mud and was  buried till the thigh. One tribal man came from the opposite direction and helped us to take her leg out of the mud.   
 
 
 
 

 

An unbelievable Livelihood

To our mere surprise there were still many people coming from Vijoyanagar, loading their back with 30-35 kg of cardamom filled bags to sale those at Miao and many others going back, with loads of ration, diesel, building materials like Tin etc. either on their back or on bicycles that had only the wheels and frames. And what not a joke was that the distance 160 km between Vijoynagar and Miao. Just imagine the no. of days they carry those heavy loads on their backs and cycles through that sticky muddy MG Road.

At some place they needed to get help from other 3-4 fellow men to move one single cargo cycle. We witnessed for nearly 20 minutes when a cargo cycle could cover a distance of nearly 200 meters with the collective effort of 3 men. How far could they move like that?? But they had to move ahead, and that was their kind of livelihood. 

I wished, I could show you a video how they were transporting their most needed goods and materials, but I lost it somewhere. They use to sleep anywhere at night by merely making a temporary roof by using bamboo and woods.

 

 

Camp at 42 miles

2nd trek day was a difficult day with continuous rain and thick mud. Our porters said to us that we would be camping in a abandoned dilapidated  forest house at  ’42 miles’ (location). That house remained unused for nearly 20 years and only the people who carry cargo use to camp there overnight. It was still safe to spent the night at least to get protect from heavy rain and wind as it had the strong roof, though the windows and doors were broken. We spent 2 nights in that house as the weather was not clear to move ahead.
 

Trek Halt

After two (2) nights in that abandoned house and we decided to cancel our trek to Vijoyanagar as we had only few days left in our hands and we thought with that weather we would be taking nearly 10 days to reach our destination. Zaved and Debojit had few days left of go back and join  their services. Also 2 of our porters said no to go ahead as they lost their self confidence. Although Madhumita and I had a thought of going ahead with 2 other porters, it did not seem to work, as we had limited ration and utensils to cook. So we packed and moved back.
 
 

Nagudi; a village inside Namdapha National Park

Since it would not be possible to reach Namdapha Camp in the same day from the 42 mile camp, our porters suggested a beautiful tribal village ‘Nagudi’ of Lisu tribe at ’12 mile’ (Location) inside the National Park for a night stay. As we entered  the village, it was felt relaxed and touched. It was one of the most clean and green village I have ever seen.
 
The village was beautiful and so as its people. They looked so young, energetic and fresh, because they live far away from the modern life and its chaos. Fresh air, herbs and their lifestyle with the nature built them with all vigor. The villagers nurture the entire village with cultivation of papita, banana, maize, ilaachi, sugarcane pineapple, cabbage etc and even tea; poultry like chicken and pig too.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Meeting the Village Head

We asked the villagers for accommodation to spend the night. They suggested to meet their village head. The village head was a lady and she looked young and beautiful, although she had 2-3 grand children. In fact everyone in the village were young, healthy and beautiful.  2 men and 2 women built a home right in front of our eyes during the day, and  you won’t believe the 2 ladies although looked very young, had grand children. 
 
The people in the village migrated from the Vijoynagar in search of a comfortable and accessible life and made this beautiful Nagudi Village. 
 
 
The Village Head
 
 
Who Built a house in a day
 
 
 

Our accommodation

They took good care of us and offered us two bamboo houses to camp for the night. One for us and the other for our porters. We gave few medicines, electrolyte powder and first aid items to them, they were so happy, because for them  medicines are very rare. We felt blessed to spent the night in such a beautiful village. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Back to Deban

Next morning we clicked few photos with the village people and conveyed our thanks and wishes. Few of them were coming to Miao that morning and we followed them, though we could not keep the trace with them, but they guided us the short cut to reach to Deban.
 

 

 
 
It was our one of the most desired trek which remains unaccomplished and we still wish to make it happened. May be by the October 2020 we will again plan to trek  Vijoyanagar. If you wish you to can join next, comment in the box. 
 
 
Dear friends, thanks for reading. Your suggestions and views for improvement are highly appreciated. Do comment in the below box and share among other readers if you found it eligible to share.

Regards
Dipmoina Dowarah 

 

Corporate Adventure Event: SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

SBI Life Corporate Meet/Conference


This was the year 2014 and month October, I carried out an Adventure Event in Namdapa National Park, Arunachal Pradesh, for SBI Life Insurance Co Ltd.

Not for too long but at least for a considerable time I lived in the corporate world. I better understand what a meet/conference or an event does mean for the corporate. During my tenure in the corporate I always felt a kind of repulsion whenever we got the call for a meet or conference. That meet or conference could never be able to attract or persuade me whatever might be the stars tagged with it. 

My Thought

I always thought that there were number of other ways to convey the corporate messages to its employees, to make them achievers and to get the best out of them. Before realizing your employees’ potentialities whether they can make it or not, first make themselves realize about their own potentialities and capabilities.

How can someone realize his/her own capabilities? When he/she is exposed to hardship at both mental and physical level, not by compulsion of duties but by thrills and excitements of something new and unusual, when the mind challenges its own physical strength. That is what I feel and believe.

Activity cum campsite area

The Meet- as I Planned


My plan was exactly the same for SBI life Ins. Co.; throw and put them in a complete unknown, unseen and unexpected beauty of nature, where they would be exposed to both mental and physical tests. And let them experience the thrill and excitement of the unknown, unseen and unexpected.

Make them breath the air not of the conditioner of star hotel or resort but the air coming down from the high hills and blowing over  the blue river with the wild fragrance. Let them speak with not the microphones in their grip, but allow them to shout from the hearts with widely open hands. Allow them to  be a child even for a day out of all business, let them sleep not within the sophisticated walls and decorated roofs, but in the open space and with breezing music of the wind.  Let them see the sunrise over the corner of the hills, allow them realize their stamina that they can still swim, climb, run and throw…

They had to walk up for lunch and dinner


 

View of nao-dihing river

Finding the Location- Namdapha


Before putting my plan in front of my client I made an extensive survey in Nampong, Arunachal Pradesh and upto the “Lake of No Return” in Myanmar and Deban in Namdapha National Park (Changlang District). Finally I choose Deban, not inside the Namdapha National Park, but on the bank of the Nao-dihing River on the other side of the Namdapha Jungle Camp

After everything finalized, I detailed to the SBI Life Insurance authority about the location and also the basic preparation they need to consider; like to be in sporty get up and sporty mind. As per the program they needed to reach Deban (Miao)) on 25th October by the noon or afternoon, overnight in Deban and next day morning trekking, elephant safari,   boating, swimming etc.

Rowing the raft in Namdapha

with Tine Mena

Namsai-Dirak Gate


Since we needed to make a lot of arrangements at the location, we moved one day ahead of the program.  I had already collected the entry permits for everyone from the Field Director of Namdapha National Park, Mio office and informed the official that we would enter not via Mio but via Dirak entry gate, Lohit District and through Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary.

ILP and Trouble

ILP (inner line permit) to Lohit District is instantly issued at Dirak Gate, and that what I knew and experienced till date.  But this time at Dirak Gate, we were told that ILP would be issued from Dibrugarh, which is some 118 km away from there and there is no more issuance of instant ILP at the gate. An unfriendly atmosphere was waving at the Dirak Gate as a lot people were caught in trouble for the sudden change of the rule. The security person allowed me to go and meet the Deputy Commissioner of Lohit district with the promise that I would come back to the gate and let them know what I got.

Office of DC

Reaching the DC office in Namsai  I sought an appointment. I explained our purpose to DC (Deputy Commissioner) and told that we were 30 people who would be coming the next day from different parts of Assam and if they  were  not allowed to enter there would  be no other way but to go back. And also showed him the entry passes for everyone issued from Mia Forest office. The DC told me that the passes were to enter Namdapha National Park, Changlang District and he was responsible only for his own Lohit District; how could he allow us. 

But he called his PA thinking for a while and asked him to prepare entry pass for every one of us listed. Thanked him, got much relief with a little effort. After almost 3 hours we got the prepared permits. Now I had one more task- that was to come back again the later day from Deban to Dirak Gate (100km) to receive my clients as ILP was with me. 

25th October 2014:

Receiving the Team

After breakfast I reached Dirak gate by around 10 AM and waited for the SBI Life Insurance team.  At around 12 noon I got the call from my client that the national highway was blocked by a mob in Kakopather area, Assam and the situation was unrest. Almost 2 hours late they could reach Dirak Gate.

We were already late, we should move soon, but there was something unseen that perhaps planned to make the entire episode more thrilling than I planned. We needed to wait for almost 1  hour for one of their car for no  major reason  at zero point from where the  Kamlang forest begins.  From there the  forest is nearly 47  km in length that we needed to cover and in 2 and a  half hours.  

Precautionary Notes


Before heading our drive inside the Kamlang Sanctuary  I put few points to everyone that-

1. Everyone needs to be very careful in driving as the roads was broken in many places, potholes, sharp rocks always ready to puncture the tyre. 

2. There was a bridge swiped away by the hilly flood last summer and we were supposed to drive by the side of it.

3. At two places there were huge uprooted trees fell from the top of the hill over the road like the inclined arm of a triangle and the road there had no shoulder on the other side and is steep down, there were little space to cross the vehicle.

4. At few places there were landslides.

5. We would be driving our cars over water stream or river at Kampai, where there was an iron hanging bridge.

6.  And most importantly there was a RCC Bridge at a sharp descending turn whose half of the entrance was no more as if someone had eaten up the 25% of a slice bread from one corner. For the slightest distraction that bridge might lead any car to the depth of the hills straight down.  

Driving in Kamlang Forest 


We switched on the ignitions. The road was a narrow one and suitable for one way. By the time darkness already gulped the Kamlang forest. My car was on the lead and wherever I felt the need of an extra caution I stopped and signaled them to safely cross. In the darkness the swiped away bridge was looked ghostly as we passed by it over the boulders. We could only see the lonely thin broken and torn road as if the jungle was squeezing it from the both sides. Small branches were lashing at the body of the cars from the sides.

 

Driving over Stream

After about 40-45 minutes we reached Kampai, where we needed to cross the river. Yes, for the people from the city to drive over a river (how small might be it) amidst a hilly jungle and that too in darkness, is definitely a great NO. I asked everyone to come out of the cars to lessen the load of the vehicles, so that any damage by the underwater rocks could be avoided.
 
They get off the car and felt amazed to feel the cold whistling sound of wind; the touch of the crystal clear river water and its flowing noises with the rocks that made everyone shout the ‘WOO….’ All the troubles that had happened to us so far were the conspiracy of the unknown only to make our drive more thrilled.
 

Unexpected

From there on wards I was requested to drive one of their cars. Now I am on the wheel and they were three. Throughout the drive I detailed about the road and about the people of the place as much as I knew. They expressed their feelings the way they experience the drive in darkness through the lengthy jungle distance which they never ever thought of. Yeah obviously they had the Goosebumps.  

 

Camp Deban


It generally takes two and half hours to reach our destination, but this time we took one extra hour and after passing through nearly 2 km long wild banana forest we reached our destination ‘Camp Deban’ where dinner was arranged for them. 

Everything was kept ready for them, it was their time how they wish to enjoy. Even having a long tiresome drive they sang, danced, shouted, enjoyed to the fullest with their own ways they could.
 

Walk to Sleep

After the dinner we guided them to their sleeping places. They had no ideas about it. With torches we guided them through small bushes and grassland, a descending slope, 15 minutes walk over boulders and sand to the tents; although that was a very little walk at night, after going through the last hours experiences they felt too tired. 

The night was awesome, the moon was playing hide and seek through clouds, and air was blowing with whistling sound from the top of the hills. Nao-dihing river was creating the symphony, when the cicadas were busy in making their never ending long pitch of sound. 

Campsite
 

Good Night

We kept our tents pitched for them from small to big ones and alloted them properly since there were ladies too. On good night wish and I asked them to sleep tight and relax and just gave a brief geography about their bed rooms’ surroundings. Yes, their tents were on the bed of the Nao- Dihing, and it was the sub Himalayan Patkai range hills around them. They were tired and we too, but there were four who did not even wish to sleep and enjoyed the night till around 2 am sitting under the sky in the lap of the river making gossips.

 

Next Morning


Our staff made them awake with black tea and biscuits in the early morning. Coming out of the tents, stretching the body they could not stop the child inside them witnessing the heavenly surrounding. I could see their eyes, glow of the faces and smiles on their lips. 

good morning

 

 
serving morning black tea

 Activities

At breakfast I spoke what next; a short trekking, elephant safari, boating and swimming. Trekking was no longer viable for them as they already had it walking over the rocks and boulders, sand, ascending and descending the slope, to and fro their so called bedrooms. Staff of the forest dept informed us about the unavailability of elephant. We started enjoying the boating on the crystal green river. 

 
fun in rowing

 

 
the team with Tine Mena Everester

Swimming

The color  of the water was so appealing that the first one could not resist to jump into the river to swim, then after few minutes the second, then the third, and  within a few minutes everyone (except three) get wet on the river to swim or to play. Some of them even did not know how to swim, but it was the call of the beautiful nature, so lets try…and they were there, trying to learn swimming. Even, the ladies were not the silent spectators. They choose a preferred distance and yes they too drenched themselves with the river. 

A short life spent cheerfully by everyone with all the routines forgotten and now the time for lunch. We had to request them again and again for the lunch, because they were lost in the beauty of the nature. 

 
Swimming in Nao-dihing

 

SBI team with me(in red t-shirt) 

 

My Learning

After having a complete “khamti traditional” cuisine, time to pack the luggages and back to business. 

I planned an unusual “offsite meet” but the obstacles on the previous day made it ‘extraordinary’. Every difficulty gave us something new to enjoy. Truly, difficulty is the beginning of a beautiful end. And that was my learning from this Event.
 
 
Courtesy- Mr. Khyanjeet Gogoi, Miss Tine Mena, Miss Ena Menjo, Mrs Antina Maunglang and the staff.

Dear Friends, thanks for reading. Your suggestions and views for improvement are highly appreciated. Do comment in the below box and share among other readers if you found it eligible to share.


Regards

Dipmoina Dowarah 

GLOW LAKE: Arunachal Pradesh

GLOW LAKE

Glow Lake is the mysterious lake in Kamlang Wildlife Sactuary at 1200 MSL (approx.) and can be reached by a single day trek from Wakro, Arunachal Pradesh

GOD HAD A DIFFERENT PLAN FOR US

Adventure is always full of uncertainty, you plan one and execute the other, you destine for one and land on the other, sometimes you prepare for something and face the opposite. We hardly found what we presume. The most frustrating cause becomes the very cause of rejoice.

Initially our plan was to trek the Desali Range for a period of maximum 10 days. This range is one of the most virgin inhabitants in Lower Debang Valley District, Arunachal Pradesh. We declared the scheduled dates for the trek. As we were nearing our dates, changing and rescheduling of dates became a daily affair for one or other reasons. And for the last cause, but not the least, we finally dropped this trek as our main guide fell seriously ill all of a sudden.

Now, I had only 2 days to find out and decide a new trek and also to convince the participants for one more change.

 

A sleepless night and the last moment plan

I spent sleepless night surfing the internet to find out a new trek route and guide as well; sent friend request on Facebook at midnight to gather information.  One of our participants would be joining us for an International Scientific TV Channel project, and it had a particular core subject that properly suited with the Desali Range trek. So, I needed to be very particular in finding and fixing the new trek, considering least deviation with the subject of his project.

Namdapha National Park and Chakma Village: Plan A 

Finally I decided a ‘2 days 1 night trek’ in the hill range of Namdapha National Park, plus the Chakma village tour in Deban as the subject for the project. This was my Plan A.

Glow Lake in Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary: Plan B

And as Plan B, I kept Glow Lake (27⁰ N, 96⁰ E; elevation 1200 Meter) trek, in Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary.

No doubt our number of participants got down to 2 (two); Shankar, the one for the project and Haren, the promising landscape photographer.

 

Night Camping in Kamlang Sanctuary

On 22nd February’2015, we the 3 people drove to Deban via Namsai from Tinsukia, Assam. Everything was okay till we reach “Kampai” (in Arunachal Pradesh). “Kampai” a place in the Kamlang Sanctuary at a distance nearly 20- 25 KM from Wakro. As we reach there, suddenly my Maruti Dzire stopped with a vehement violating sound while taking an ascending move on the hill. I tried best with my limited knowledge about the machine to get it into work, but it showed no sign of getting fit to move up.

We finally decided to camp for the night on that spot. There, where we stopped, was a small water stream coming out from the shoulder of the hills. The same small stream get transformed to a bigger one with speedy and destroying waves during summer. Over the stream there was a old wired hanging bridge to cross from one side to another. A concrete bridge was under going construction to replace the years old hanging bridge for better and safer transportation at that time.

Dinner

As the dusk arrived we pitched our tents and collected enough fire woods to keep the fire on for the whole night, so that the wild animals can not reach us. For our dinner, we had only 1.5 kg of chicken meat. We collected some rice, potato, mustard oil, chili, turmeric powder, salt and a frying pan to cook from the construction site. Eventually we enjoyed a tasty dinner in the wild.

 
 
 
 
 

Driving back

Next morning Shankar and Haren, both went out for photography and I after packing up our stuff switched on the ignition of the car. The engine got started with a big jerk and emitted thick black smoke with the clear message to us that it would not move up. We decided to move back and again got blanked with our plan. After few kilometres of drive the engine showed the rise in temperature. We stopped in a village named “Khare”. 

I suggested my colleagues to try to find their subjects in the village, at least ‘let’s try’.  After roaming for few hours in the village in search of their subjects we drove out to find a mechanic. We got information about a mechanic in Medo, some 20 km from “Khare”. By that time the car gradually showed some improvement in its performance by itself. We met the mechanic; he checked the engine and found no fault.

Plan- B

So we again moved up. This time to execute my Plan B- ‘the Glow Lake Trek, in Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary’. After negotiating with a local guy to be our porter we spent that night in the Wakro circuit house.

Glow Lake Trek

At around 10AM, 24th February 2015, we started our trek from Zero at an altitude nearly 400 MSL. After trekking for half of the day we noticed that our porter cum guide was not feeling fit to move up. His whole body was trembling and exhibited dizziness. He was experiencing pain on his calf muscles and could not step forward. I transferred some 5kg of weight from his load to my backpack and administered some mild pain killer. I asked him to take rest for few minutes. After nearly half an hour he was fit to move.

We resumed our trek and climbed up; my load was nearly 15 kg that time.

 

Mysterious Rain Drops

By afternoon almost 3 PM, the sky became cloudy and there were few rain drops. Soon the weather became clear. Dusk arrived, we moved fast with our head torches finding the way in the dense forest.

Glow Lake: Through the Woods

At some points our porter asked us to switch off our torches and directed our views towards our left through that dense woods. Amazed to see some big to medium bluish silver pearl like spots in the woods. Could not guess instantly, what those spots actually were. Oh that was the Lake seen through the woods with the moon light reflection. I cannot explain it properly at this time how mysterious the Lake looked.

Hills and the Heart Beat

My heart rate increased for the second time that day. The first time when I viewed the gorgeous Hills (probably on the other side of the Lake), from a height nearly 1700 meters MLS and from where we needed to move down towards the Lake. It was already dusk. I felt like the Hills were gazing at us and keeping every step of us on count. Oh my God, what a mysterious attitude of those almighty Hills. That too I cannot explain with my limited vocabulary.

Seeing the bluish white spots we realized that we were walking by the side of the Holy Glow Lake. As we reached the camping site of the Lake, we met 4 (four) tribal persons who were camping for fishing. We spent the night after the dinner in their camps. 

View of Glow Lake

In the next morning,  the rising sun and the gorgeous Hills had the plan to make the Lake more beautiful and divine. As of now, as I flash back that morning I felt like yes that was a different kind of world and beauty. Only those few could experience, who would climb up the hills and reach there. We are lucky enough, because genuinely a few and a very few only have touched and experienced the beauty of the Holy Glow Lake with the gorgeous Hills, the rising sun and the chirping tunes of birds.  


The Folktales

To our mere surprise, in the morning one person who was camping there told us that they got the message of our arrival much earlier. They revealed that whenever a new person comes to the Lake, it welcomes with cloudy sky and few rain drops, oh surely that we had already the previous day as we were nearing the Lake. Another mystery of the Lake. 

In another tale, it was said that the Mehao Lake in Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary and Glow Lake, both are siblings. Both the Lakes are almost at the same height from MSL and of almost equal in circumference about 4-5 km.

They made us noticed one more fact of the Lake that it was clean, even though the Lake was surrounded by the dense woods, not a single leaf or a small branch of wood was seen floating on the water. There are 4 girls and 4 boys, who are goddesses of the Lake, never allow the Lake to get dirty, as the tribals believe.

Another story they added, “if any new person have bath in the Lake, it rains.”  We did not wish to try it. I feel every belief has a root. 

Our hearts were filled with beauty and grace, we felt happy and I also knew that every one of us had got our own subject by that time, even though Glow Lake was not a subject at the beginning. So I would say GOD HAD A DIFFERENT PLAN FOR US.

 
Photo Courtesy: Haren and Shankar
 

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Regards

Dipmoina Dowarah

 

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Photo Courtesy – Haren Gogoi, Shankar Kashyap