Some 180km northwest of Bomdila, the great Buddhist monastery of Tawang, the largest in India, dominates the land of the Monpas. Perched at around 3500m and looking out onto a semicircle of peaks that are snow-capped for much of the year, the monastery teeters on the edge of Tibet and peers down to Bhutan. This feels like the end of the road, with long cold nights and plenty of snow in winter.

A bone of contention between India and China, Tawang has always been of special significance to Tibetans and the Dalai Lama who fled Tibet in 1959 and travelled surreptitiously through here on his way into exile. His pre-incarnation, the Sixth Dalai Lama, was born on the outskirts of the town.

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