…one of my favourite pieces of Border Roads advice from today’s long drive from Assam to Arunachal Pradesh.
Much of the drive today was indeed hilly, but we were definitely not silly about the driving 🙂
The ease of the drive was definitely helped by the fact that there was very little traffic, since today is Vishwakarma, a big holiday here.
This festival honours Lord Vishwakarma who is the lord of machines, weapons and abodes meaning that the few cars that we passed today were all decorated in honour of Lord Vishwakarma – trucks, cars, motorbikes, taxis all festooned with garlands and balloons. Many shops in the villages we drove though and here in Bomdila were closed, but there were loads of temporary shrines all along the drive today, set up for people to pray.
Just now, out for an evening stretch-legs walk, many of these little makeshift shrines were belting out loud Bollywood music and youngsters were dancing and generally having a good time.
Here, I took photos of just a few of the many decorated vehicles we saw today:
And, charmingly, there was even a garlanded ATM:
We drove almost up to the Bhutan border, which was fun – I DO love land border crossings!
I give you Sanjay & I posing just a few metres away from Bhutan.
On arrival in Bombdila, where we are spending the night before driving on to Tawang tomorrow, we visited the Lower Gompa, and I got the shock of my life as we entered the temple…sadly it was not His Holiness, just a cardboard cutout.
Oh yes, we drove past an elephant, a sight that never gets old.
We also met Nepalese mushroom vendors, with quite a crowd buying their delicious looking mushrooms. I asked whether they would keep long enough for me to take them back to Delhi, but sadly not…
We have left the steamy heat and humidity of the plains behind, and I am now happily wearing my warmies in Bomdila’s cool climes.
A super fun day.
Excellent roads – that’s the Border Roads Organisation for you.
And, in a final flourish, I might well have been the first holder of an OCI card to cross the border from Assam to Arunachal in quite a while 😛 (The OCI card is my Indian visa).
The cop on duty looked a tad anxious with my documents, so phoned his boss, who was probably on his day off, poor fellow, or having his lunch at home, since he arrived in mufti.
Anyway, they let me in, so all’s well etc etc.