A turn from Dirang leads to the Sangti Valley, 7 kms in. But those 7 kms transport you to a world far removed from the chaos of city life.
Most travellers seek experiences beyond the usual, an offbeat path sparsely trodden on. These hidden gems along the way then serve to enrich our experience manifold. The Sangti Valley is one such stop along the way to Tawang where words almost fail to describe the beauty.
Home to Mahayana Buddhist Monpas, similar to the people of Bhutan, Sangti delights visitors with its views of the Eastern Himalayas, the idyllic village life and elements of Buddhism. Culture and nature combine in its most heart-warming form here as the locals invite you into their homes and the sound of chants fills the air.
Everywhere you look there is lush greenery coupled with fluttering prayer flags, a meandering river and a heady sense of divinity.
Consisting mainly of an agrarian populace, the people cultivate maize as well as apples and kiwis. One can walk through these heavenly orchards and pick the fruits right off the trees. The people are warm and welcoming and staying at a homestay is the best and possibly only accommodation available. It is the perfect way to be immersed in conversations over rice beer, laughter and awe, for Sangti rarely receives visitors.
Sangti’s loss is a traveller’s gain as the valley remains untouched and pristine. Crossing the bridge over the curving Dirang river leads one to the bucolic way of life with small houses, orchards and green meadows. Spending the day on the knolling greens, watching the villagers angling on the river is a splendid way to unwind. Sangti Valley is also a ground for the rare black-necked cranes that migrate here during the winter months. Considered auspicious in Buddhism, this bird heralds a lot of glee and positivity into the winter months.
7 kms uphill from Sangti also lies the Kalibog village, another pristine settlement. The houses here are worth seeing as they are built in traditional Monpa architecture entirely out of wooden planks, without using a single nail or rope. The villagers will invite you inside and offer cups of tea and you will be left yearning for the simplicity of their lives.
A day’s stop in Sangti is the perfect way to wear off the fatigue of travel and look forward to the similar terrain of Tawang. Saying hello to the Brokpa shepherds who head home with their flock after a hard day’s work is an experience in itself.
Sometimes it is only a stop along the way that becomes the most memorable experience of a trip and Sangti sure promises to be that.
Thank you very much to you and your team for arranging this fantastic tour. One of the best pick from this tour was your meticulous planning and promptness of service. All arrangements were fantastic, be it a delivery of vehicle at Chandigarh airport, hotels particularly at Chandigarh, Leh, Nubra, Pangong. However the best was at Jispa, Kargil and Srinagar for different reasons. Jispa was simple but authentic with very tasty food.
Rajesh & Gauri Natu
Graphic Designer, Apple
Sunil, after I ran 21k Marathon I bragged about it for years. The same is being repeated again, with my ambition to drive across the Himalayas, which was almost faded with Srinagar under curfew. You and Chetan were the spark to our fire that we could do this drive and without a single trouble. Driving is a passion but driving thru places where there are no roads is trouble, but your breakup of program and awesome car condition helped us actually sail thru. Three cheers and five stars.
Absolute Networks, Mumbai
Wow. wow, wow. What a experience! We took the route of Delhi - Jammu - Srinagar - Leh - Sarchu - Manali - Delhi. Sunil Kapoor gave us excellent service which includes his next to new 4WD in immaculate condition and all hotels were top class. Coming from Australia, we were bit nervous in start but when we met Sunil, we had full trust and all went very positive. Sunil gave us perfect instructions and everything was according to plan. Thank you Sunil and your team for our one of the best experience in life you have provided us.
Director, Webential, Australia
Eight of us from Sri Lanka got Sunil to arrange a self driven tour to Leh and we are very happy with our decision. He was punctual, trustworthy and met our expectations. The service provided was very professional. As foreigners it’s hard to arrange such a tour by ourselves and Unwind outdoor filled in the gap perfectly. All places we stayed were nice and decent. Should specifically mention about the two Scorpios which we instantly fell in love with. They were very well maintained ...
Friends from SriLanka
After days of research, we finally came across a facebook page called ‘Unwind Outdoors’. It seemed like our dream was going to be finally true. Very reasonably priced and Sunil from Unwind was like a know-it-all person.
The itinerary was so crisp and so very well laid out that there was no reason for us to worry other than coping up with nature’s fury.
Clifford Chance, Delhi
We did a SUV self drive trip from Chandigarh to Ladakh and back organized by Unwind Outdoor.
Highly recommend Unwind Outdoor as Sunil and Manpreet took care of everything we needed (car, hotel bookings, sightseeing and food recommendations, permits) and everything was organized seamlessly. Sunil was very patient with all our queries, giving suggestions and options to suit our preferences.
Ashish & Neha Thadani
Great to see the know-how of the Unwind Outdoor team regarding every aspect of the Srinagar - Leh - Chandigarh self drive trip. From weather conditions, to road conditions, to health/clothing requirements, and also driving instructions - Sunil and Manpreet are warm, meticulous and knowledgable. Villa Himalaya in Sonamarg surpassed all our expectations and ensured that our expected standards for the rest of the trip were extremely high.
Symbiosis Law School, Mumbai
Thanks Sunil for arranging a wonderful trip. Everything went well and we were in good hands with friendly and competent drivers. Accommodation was good and tents were comfortable beyond our expectations. We didn't have problem with food choices. It was a totally rejuvenating vacation and experience for us. Thanks from us in Singapore!
We had an amazing 9-day from Manali to Leh. Serene, breathless and picturesque. High altitude sickness was a big issue for us but we were in good hands.
Unwind Outdoor was superb in arranging and coordinating the trip. Taking care of all arrangements and checking-in on us. Kudos to Sunil and his team.
Assistant Director, Jurong Town Corporation, Singapore
We travelled as a couple & completed a self drive trip from Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar-Kargil-Leh-Nubra-Pangong-Tso Moriri-Sarchu-Manali-Delhi. Itinerary was meticulously designed to be a mix of adventure and comfort. Hotel choices were best. Support was available at all points in case of emergency.Vehicle provided was top notch. Thanks to Mr. Sunil Kapoor for personally putting in efforts to maintain such high standards.
Nikhil & Neha Mazumdar
Manager L&T, Mumbai
Six of us (two families) travelled to Leh in Jul / Aug 2015 and we had an excellent experience with Unwind Outdoor. From the very beginning of our excited planning phase, Sunil has been willingly suggesting us options, number of days, places to visit etc. He has all the knowledge of the terrain, passionate about trekking and traveling himself, so he understands travel-crazy people such as me and my quirks.
We landed in Leh in time for cloudbursts and flashfloods and landslides (along with mud and rocks sliding too). Despite Nature's fury, Sunil and Skarma made sure we were utmost safe and comfortable. These guys are just not into travel business, they help people fulfil their travel dreams. Truly! Go guys!!
Barclays Bank, Bangalore