The Bum La Pass is located about 37 km away from Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, at the Indo-China border above 15,200 ft above sea level.
An old traders road went from Tawang via Milakatong La Pass (La in Tibetan is to Bum La Pass and finally to Tsona Dzong in Tibet province of China.
The road to Bum La is also a historical route, the People's Liberation Army of China invaded India during the 1962 Sino-Indian War. Here in Bum La Pass one of the fiercest battle took place in the 1962 Sino-Indian War.
In 2006, Bumla pass was re-opened to traders for the first time in 44 years. Traders from both sides of the pass were permitted to enter each other’s territories, in addition to postal workers from each country.
It is often covered with heavy snow throughout the year. It is one of the most off-beat passes in the world and is also referred to as the pass from where Dalai Lama entered India escaping from Tibet.
This is a really beautiful place. This location is off the beaten track for those who love roaming in the wilderness. It is a fantastic place for a picnic of a lifetime if you move out of Tawang by around 7am and carry in everything yourself.
Visit by civilian tourist of India is permissible with permission from the Indian Army. The track is very treacherous, only SUVs advisable, and that too only on clear weather day with no snowfall or rainfall.
Try to identify the route taken by the Dalai Lama when he escaped China and came over to India to take refuge.
Created by falling rocks, boulders and trees in an earthquake, There is a Sangestar Tso lake (lake is called Tso in Tibetan) that featured Madhuri Dixit (Bollywood actress) in the movie Koyla, as a result this lake is sometimes also called Madhuri lake. The lake is about 20 km from Tawang town, about 7 km beyond the bifurcation of road leading to Bum La Pass.
There is a Heap of Stones where tourists and visitors place to place a pebble on the Heap of Stones as a reminder that Mighty Himalayas as our Guardian of Northern Frontier and as a tribute to the Indian Army guardians of the border.
It is one of the four officially agreed BPM (Border Personnel Meeting) point between Indian Army and People's Liberation Army of China for regular consultations and interactions between the two armies, which helps in defusing face-offs. The four BPM are: Chushul in Ladakh, Nathu La in Sikkim, Bum La Pass in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh and Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand close to Changla.
Here, there is a hut on the India side where border meetings are held by the rival armies.
A special permit is required to visit Bum La Pass. The Permits can be requested at the Office of the Deputy Commissioner in Tawang District, and the same has to be stamped in the Indian army cantonment of Tawang. It is also to be noted that without the army stamp, you will not be allowed through the numerous check posts on the way.