Tawang, the serene town nestled in the heights of west Arunachal Pradesh near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at 11,000 feet, is abuzz with excitement as it hosts two remarkable events this weekend – the Tawang Marathon and the National Tug of War Championship. Drawing in more than 4,000 visitors, this initiative by the Indian Army and state administration not only aims to boost tourism in the border region but also sends a resolute message to Beijing.
Hotels and government accommodations are at full capacity, with enthusiastic tourists flooding Tawang’s Old and Nehru markets. Visitors are indulging in local delicacies, purchasing souvenirs, and expressing keen interest in observing the Chinese side of the border at Bum La, a location kept open for tourists.
As of Friday evening, nearly 2,400 participants, including 500 women, from 24 states and foreign countries, have registered for the Tawang Marathon. This marathon, a first-of-its-kind in the northeast region and at such a challenging altitude, has garnered immense support. The event has brought together participants from various branches of the armed forces, including the army, air force, navy, as well as paramilitary forces like the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) that guards the border in this region, and Sashastra Seema Bal. The marathon offers routes of 5 km, 10 km, 21 km (half marathon), and 42 km (full marathon), showcasing the breathtaking landscapes of valleys, mountains, rivers, and waterfalls.