(Last Updated on : 18/09/2018)
Standing at an elevation of 3,727 feet, the Pangsau Pass lies on the crest of the Patkai Hills
and provides one of the easiest routes into Burma from the Assam plains. The pass is named after the nearest Burmese village of the same name, which lies 2 km beyond the pass to the east. The residents of this place are a mix of ethic Bamars, who are mainly considered as Burmese, some eastern Naga tribes and the ethnic Tangsa
Nagas, who also inhabit parts of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh
At the Pangsau Pass, every Friday the villagers can cross to India and visit the market in Nampong to buy essential items for the week. This day is designated as the Burma Day. While, on the other hand, the Indian citizens are allowed to visit the Pangsau village on the 10th, 20th and 30th day of every month and these days are known to be called the India Days.
History of Pangsau Pass
The Pangsau Pass is the reputed route of the 13th century invasion of Assam
in India by a Shan tribe called the Ahoms
. Prospected by the British in the late 19th century as a possible railway route from India to Myitkyina in north Burma through the Hukwang Valley, the pass became famous during World War II for being the initial obstacle encountered by American General Vinegar Joe Stilwell's forces in their effort to build a land route to isolated China after the fall of Burma to the Japanese.
The Stilwell Road began at Ledo, in Assam, passed through the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary before switch-backing steeply upwards through the densely forested hills to the pass. The approximate distance from Ledo to the Pangsau Pass is about 61 km and was difficult to climb because of the fierce gradients and the mud. Thus, during the Second World War, the Pangsau Pass was nicknamed as the Hell Fire.
Festivals of Pangsau Pass
The Pangsau Pass celebrates the International Winter Festival, which is a global village event organised every year in the picturesque village of Nampong. It is the last town in the state of Arunachal Pradesh connecting Burma. The festival was started back in 2007, and is a three day extravaganza of music, dance, and is basically being a part of the ethnic culture, cuisines and the environmental surroundings. The festival also brings together artisans, who showcase handloom and handicraft from both Arunachal Pradesh and Burma. The purpose of this festival is to bring forth the unique customs and culture of the native tribes and form a sense of community among the people from national and international borders.
In 2017, the festival was celebrated after a gap of 3 years and now in the year, 2018 the festival has been renamed from Pangsau Pass Winter Festival to Pangsau Pass International Festival. This has been done to attract the international travellers.
Visiting Information on Pangsau Pass
The nearest airport
is at Dibrugarh
at a distance of about 140 km and the village of Nampong is well connected via roadways and can be easily accessible. The Tinsukia railway
station is at a close distance of 97 km while there are also trains available from Ledo which about 34 km away.