Origins of Tawang/ Monyul.

In the 8th Century Tantric Saint from India, Guru Padma Sambhava or Lopon Rinpoche, as he was called in Tibet came to visit Tawang in the coursIMG_5096 e of vanquishing the powers of bon and establishing Buddhism the vision of Tawang/ Monyul as the Lopon Rinpoche saw it then has been described in the Buddhist texts.

The 5th Dalai Lama issued an edict in 1656 which formally proclaimed Tibetan suzerainty over Monyul. After the completion of Tawang Monastery the Dalai Lama appointed the Dzongpon ‘Governor’ of Tsona as secular authority over the Tawang area. The Tawang region was under the Tibetan authority since long and continued till 1950s. Gupta (1974: 30) has rightly observed, “Tawang was a part of Tsona district in Tibet and hundreds of monks in its great monastery were closely connected to Drepung monastery in Lhasa, which was a major force in Tibetan politics”. The Tibetans collected Khrei (tax) from the Monpas regularly, yet they failed to look after the health and welfare of their subject. The Monpas were leading a precarious life. From 1914, the British exerted a policy of ‘loose political control’ in Eastern Mon. Attempts were made in 1914 and 1937 to bring the region under direct control.

Tawang post-independence

AftIMG_5507er India’s independence in 1947, the new republic made more serious attempts to include the area under their political control. In 1950, India declared the Mc Mohan line as the official border between India and Tibet, and forced the Tibetan administration out of Tawang by 1951. At the instance of the Government of India the Naga Officer of the Indian Frontier Administration service and then Assistant Political Officer at Charduar, Major Bob Khating marched out for Tawang with a party in the first week of February, 1951 and subjugated it. In 1954 the North Eastern Frontier Agency (NEFA) was established with its headquarters in Bomdila. In 1962 China invaded the northeast, capturing the complete Tawang and Kameng. They moved back after the declaration of cease fire at United Nation Organization. In 1972 Eastern Monyul became part of the Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh. In 1980 Kameng was bifurcated in the districts of East Kameng and West Kameng, and in 1984 Tawang was split off and was formally inaugurated by the then Hon’ble Minister, Shri Tsering Tashi.