Tawang got its name from its renowned Tawang Monastery which was founded by Merag Lama Lodre Gyatso in 1861. Literally Ta means horse and Wang means chosen. According to the popular legend the site where this monastery is located is said to be chosen by a horse. One day Gyatso along with his horse was searching for a right place to establish monasterybut could not find anything. Thus he relaxed at a cave and started praying to seek guidance. As soon as he finished, he found his horse missing and began searching for it. Soon he located the horse on a hill top known as Tana Mandekhang. Taking it as a good omen, he decided to establish the monastery at the spot.
Twang is basically a land inhabited by Monpa tribe and it was under the rule of Mon Kingdom. After the decline of this kingdom, the entire territory got divided into Tibet and Bhutan. In the 8th century, Buddhism began to flourish in Tawang when Guru Padmasambhava visited the city. British took hold the town in the 18th century in 1914, it was declared as a part of India.