Amazing Arunachal – Journey to Tuting and Gelling

Day 17:

We started by 6.30 with our packed breakfast of roti and sabji and first look at Siang made us spellbound. As I mentioned Jengging is higher up and it looked like as if there was a layer of fog and mist someone carefully put just through out the Siang river basin. It was absolutely crystal clear with all snow peaks visible around but there was no trace of Siang river. It was completely covered in fog and mist. After a drive of 15km, the road suddenly turned into a no road condition. It looked like a sliding zone with proudly named as ‘Pagal Nala’ (not sure how many Pagal Nalas exist in India). The road condition in driest time of the year with no rain in last week suggested it was almost impassable during the heavy rains of Arunachal in monsoon. We crossed the section carefully and reached a big town called Moying. We had our breakfast in Moying, met a nice person from Ludhiana who spent almost his whole life there and married a local tribal woman and settled there. He told us this is the place where if we go down another 2km by side road we would get ferry to cross over Siang on boat with our car to Yingkiong. So that means Yingkiong is located just opposite to Moying but due to heavy fog and mist it was not at all visible. We also came to know that famous Gandhi bridge to cross over Siang by foot had to be approached from Moying only. We kept all these during our return leg as we had a long way to go before we could reach Tuting, another remote place where there was no available accommodation except the Inspection Bungalow. I booked this IB as well by speaking to ADC and CO of Tuting but somehow I thought of calling the number of the caretaker (Mr. Kombo) last afternoon from Jengging and that really made the difference. Anyway we kept going by the side of Siang and further 100km of drive from Moying took us to Migging which was again a small stopover with few tea stalls. We took a tea break and then started the worst part of the journey in terms of road. Road slowly got vanished after Migging as the scenery started getting better and better and further 65km of tiring drive took us finally to Tuting Inspection Bungalow. Now again a surprise, a local girl married to someone from Nagaland committed suicide and lot of her relatives came from villages around to Tuting and it was a mess. The IB was almost fully taken by them and CO / ADC was available there in Christmas Vacation. My yesterday’s call to Kombo finally did the trick, he managed us one room but again we had no room for Ashim to stay, though Mr. Kombo shared his own room for Ashim, Ashim preferred to sleep in lobby rather than sleeping in sharing room. This was a tough place for visitors with no electricity, no mobile network (Mobile networks work only for couple of hours during sunny days through solar energy), no hotels, no accommodation. We somehow managed to have a dinner made by cook in IB and retired for the day as next day we were about to touch McMahan line again in last village of India, called Gelling.

The driving distances for the day:

404 – Jengging
413 – Karko
428 – Gosang
439 – Moying
494 – Jumbo
519 – Mosing
540 – Migging
561 – Palsi
576 – Nigging
594 – Tuting IB

Clear Morning at Jengging:


Fog and Mist over Siang Over – an awesome sight:

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Yingkiong on other side of Siang rising from Fog Cover: DSC_0744

Scenic Moying: DSC_0746

Friendly Locals:


Siang at its best:

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Sunset at Tuting: DSC_0767

Day 18:

Our objective was to mainly explore Gelling, the last administrative circle and last village of Indian side across Line of Actual Control. We had a good breakfast and start our day around 9.00 in morning. It was a bright and sunny day and that way we were lucky, getting a bright day in this part of India is not that common. Gelling is around 30km from Tuting out of which first 15 km is pathetic and road was so uneven it was not even sufficient for the ground clearance of Bolero. Actually the road construction started from Gelling end and first 15km from that end was good. The scenery and landscape was dramatic with blue Siang flowing with all might and the lush green forests around that in the backdrop of snow covered peaks were making a fabulous frame. We found Indian Army was doing a practice of rock climbing in that area and just beside that we found another precariously hanging footbridge which was looking so scary but we still tried on it and gone almost till half way before it started swaying heavily and we returned from there. Finally after many stops to enjoy the vista, we reached Gelling around 10.30 in morning, what a calm and quiet the village was, it was very difficult to realize that this could be the head quarter of the whole administrative circle. Gelling looked so charming just on a ridge and the top of the same ridge was the border between India and Tibet which would be at max 3km and an uphill walk on the ridge would take an hour for locals, so it would be 2 hours for us for sure. In the mid way just a km inside border, we could spot our last ITBP Camp. There was a very nice Monastery on the top of Gelling and we walked up there, the lama was an old person and he narrated the old stories of the region. Before the English people divided it with McMahan line there were ten villages in the area. Once McMahan line was drawn, villages named Sirang, Mirging, Didung, Pongmo and Podum fell in Tibet side where as rest 5 villages, named as Kapu, Mayung, Mona, Bishing and Gelling were came to Indian side, still they could freely visit all the villages until China attacked India in 1962 and the border was completely sealed since then. They still have their older relatives in other side of the line which is again as close as 2/3km from the border but unfortunately they don’t have any communication now. In whole Tibet border across Arunachal starting from Zemithang to Kibithu, this is the place where probably you would find village closest to McMahan line in the both sides of border. The people in the village belong to Memba tribes who are Buddhist and they were very warm and welcoming. We were offered local foods and oranges along with tea in almost every house we came across in the village. Again like Mechuka and Zemithang, this is a place which is simply out of the world and probably my second closest visit to Tibet after 2011 trip to Demchok, Ladakh. Gelling was the last village in right bank of Siang, similarly Bishing was the last village in left bank which is connected from Gelling through a suspension foot bridge on Siang and locals take 3 hours to trek one side. Bishing is famous for its cascade waterfall which was even visible so far away from Gelling. From Bishing we heard this falls look awesome but unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to explore that. Also one could have a look at Kapangla Pass from there, the ancient trade route between India and Tibet which was operational till 1962. It was so nice, next time I would surely keep one or two full days in Gelling to explore these places more thoroughly. Gelling also has an Inspection Bungalow where one can stay but staying so close to border is always little tricky as you would find most of the times the GH was occupied by some or other army / ITBP officers. We started our return journey towards Tuting and visited Tuting new Monastery which was administered from Tibetan center of Bylakupe in Karnataka and also the Tuting Town. If you love trekking, Tuting is a place you would love to stay for long. There are few treks which originated from Tuting, one goes towards Tsitapuri via Singha, I had seen some photographs of this region and it could give valley of flowers a run for its money, so wonderful the glacial lakes and flowers you would see in right season. Also this region is named as Pemako region, one of the most sacred places for Adi, Memba, Mishmi tribes who are Buddhist by religion. They believe these places are still full of treasures / scripts by Lord Rinpoche and Guru Padma Sambhaba. Upper Siang district website might give you a better snapshot of what all treks are available in this region and in which season. We came back to IB and today we had more chaotic ambience with more locals in the IB, we somehow managed to stay the night and cook was really kind enough to arrange for our dinners and served it in right time in the middle of such a huge chaos.

For more details of treks start from Tuting visit:

Upper Siang » Places of Interest

Nicely located Tuting IB:

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Picturesque Tuting:


Siang Again:


Indian Army crossing a suspension foot bridge on Siang:


Closing to the Border:


Gelling where the road ends:


Gelling Village, Top of the ridge is McMahan line, other side is Tibet:


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