Zemithang (Zimithang) valley is close to the international border with Bhutan and China (Tibet). It is at 90 kms from the main town of Tawang at an elevation of 10,000 ft.

The road from Tawang is in good condition and passes through Bomdir and Lumla (ADC post); it has around 60 hairpin bends. There is one more way to reach Zemithang via the Y-junction (where a road branches off to the Bhutanese border) and passing by Sangetsar Tso (or Madhuri Lake); this route offers a mind-blowing view of the canyon but is very rough and frequently closed in winter due to snowfall.

From Tawang, you can take a shared cab (sumo) or bus. The earliest sumo leaves at 5.30am and you’ll reach Zemithang in 2 hours and Pangchen Valley in 4 hours. The last public vehicle is at 2.00pm.

Hairpins en route Zemithang
Bhutan / Zemithang Y-junction

Taktsang Gompa*) is approximately 40 kilometers from Tawang (2 hours drive), or 15 kilometers from Sangetsar Lake. It is one of the holiest Buddhist shrines of Arunachal Pradesh. Standing amidst high mountains, its sanctity is credited to Padmasambhava, the missionary who brought Buddhism to Tibet and who is believed to have lived here during the 8th century. Traces of his stay are supposedly still seen in the form of footsteps and hoof prints on the rocky floor of the adjacent cave, where he meditated. The Gompa is surrounded by thick coniferous forest.

*) one of the 13 Taktsangs in the Indo-Tibetan region (tak = tiger, tsang = place or abode, i.e. Tiger’s Nest or Tiger’s Den)

Taktsang Gompa in Tawang
Not to be confused with Taktsang Gompa in Bhutan (Paro Taktsang, སྤ་གྲོ་སྟག་ཚང་)

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A local medical practitioner has started a traditional medicinal garden near Sangetsar Lake.


Zemithang village is a Monpa settlement with large stone houses. It is located at the head of a picturesque valley, created by the river Namjang Chu river flowing in from Tibet. Many houses in Zemithang remain closed as people migrate to towns temporarily. There is only BSNL network in the village and that too might not work all the time.

The river Namjang Chu flows below the village and it is crystal clear.

Traditional style bridge on Namjang Chu

There is an Inspection Bungalow which overlooks the meandering river and offers accomodation to visitors in the lap of nature.

Inspection Bungalow
View from Inspection Bungalow

The disputed McMahon line passes just few kms north of Zemithang and special permission and SUV is needed to visit there.

Gorsam Monastery
Located 3 kms before Zemithang. It opens once in 7 years.(?)

Gorsam Chorten (Stupa)

This majestic stupa with 183 feet base and 93 feet height was built in the 13th century by Lama Prathar from Kharman village in Zemithang.

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