Great Himalayan Drive Day 32: Driving over river beds, and ferry crossing rivers, between Pasighat and Hayuliang in Arunachal Pradesh

Crossing a stream on a shaky bamboo bridge on the way from Pasighat to Hayuliang in Arunachal Pradesh
Crossing a stream on a shaky bamboo bridge on the way from Pasighat to Hayuliang in Arunachal Pradesh

Day 32 of the Great Himalayan Drive marked what would be many days of adventurous, and sometimes dangerous driving, into the lesser known after I left Pasighat.

After an hour of driving, I came across a broken bridge with little choice but to drive over a dry river bed. It took another hour to negotiate a rock strewn path, going over a shaky bamboo bridge over a stream and then losing my way before a boy out hunting guided me back to the highway. Incidentally, there are ‘Hunting not allowed’ signs all over but that does not deter locals from using slingshots and air guns to bring home dinner.

Click on any image for a larger view

And then came the Debang river, with a raft waiting to take vehicles across. An enterprising family had even set up a kiosk selling aloo puri and other food – much needed after an early start from Pasighat. Amazingly the raft, rowed by four, took my SUV and a tractor with a trailer all at one go. And everyone was so patient: When I said I was eating, everyone including the tractor driver agreed to wait and even catch a wink. Life moves at such an easy pace here.

More river beds and forests followed before I reached Hayuliang for a night halt. The Inspection Bungalow had no rooms available, and the only hotel / lodge was not exactly the place where one could stay. Fortunately, I managed a room at the Government run Circuit House, at Khupa, 8 km away. Only a year old, it was still in near mint condition and the best place I stayed at in Arunachal Pradesh. It started raining at night – I was later told this marked the onset of the eight month long monsoons in the region – but no one told what challenges this would throw up later as I set out on the final leg to Kibithu the next day.

Waiting for the ferry to cross the Debang River on the way from Pasighat to Hayuliang in Arunachal Pradesh
Waiting for the ferry to cross the Debang River on the way from Pasighat to Hayuliang in Arunachal Pradesh
Getting off the ferry on the Debang River on the way from Pasighat to Hayuliang in Arunachal Pradesh
Getting off the ferry on the Debang River on the way from Pasighat to Hayuliang in Arunachal Pradesh
Yes, the ferry could carry my SUV and a tractor with a trailer on the Debang River on the way from Pasighat to Hayuliang in Arunachal Pradesh
Yes, the ferry could carry my SUV and a tractor with a trailer on the Debang River on the way from Pasighat to Hayuliang in Arunachal Pradesh

This trip was sponsored by TripAdvisor.in and Yatra.com.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Dear ajay,rnAre you sure pasighat hayuliang and kibitho are in the same way.Or is it bit messed up! did you visit the place Tezu on the way?I read your writeup and the saw the photos .Very interesting.rnwhen did you make this journey?

  2. Dear Ajay, I was in Hayuliang on 17.12.11. And your information about Khupa helped me a lot, to get the accommodation. Initially the watchman refused to give me a room, but when I told about your story, he obliged and gave the room. Thanks a lot for the good info. Keep it up.

    You may read my North East travel stories at http://www.ghoomindiaghoom.com

    Regards

  3. Sir am in the plan of east indian ride i have planed all the route expect one (pasighat to roing) NH 52,a huge river is cmg between those two places is tat possible cross that river through those boat man,its just 85 km from pasighat to roing but if we cant cross tat river we have make a round of 850km.as u have seen those places u know the people out there whats ur idea sir

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