Nyukmadung – Finding Wonderland
Amid sweeping views of pine-clad mountains and glacier-blue skies, the road from Dirang to Tawang climbed steadily upward away from civilization. After several switchbacks, a small grey milestone pointed to a steep and bumpy track which we followed at foot speed for several minutes until Nyukmadung village came into sight.
The rough road ended, lest cars break the magical atmosphere of backwoods simplicity, swaying grain fields strewn with flowers and picturesque stone houses.
We approached the adorable hamlet of around 400 inhabitants via a set of stone stairs. Tidy rows of potted geraniums stood in welcome. Bushels of yellow corncobs hung from bamboo fences woven like checkerboards. And patches of soil dotted with bobbing heads of cabbage and cauliflower lined cobbled lanes.
Tiny and remote, few places can match the cosy fairytale atmosphere of Nyukmadung. For the moment, one of the most beautiful spots on Earth is virtually unknown to tourists. There are neither guesthouses nor gift shops nor wifi here, and despite or because of that a far deeper connection prevails. Whether and when the veil hiding this secret paradise is lifted is up to time and serendipity.