17 July, Wed 2024
support@thecriticalscript.com
Blog image

Hidden in the heart of Arunachal: MECHUKA

27 Jan,2022 08:14 PM, by: Manna Mili
3 minute read Total views: 818
4 Likes 5.0

More often than not, you’ll find two kinds of people packing their bags for a travel escapade – the one with a planned itinerary (breakfast included), and the one following the winds (or google maps) for directions to their next destination. 

Irrespective of the kind of traveler you consider yourself to be, if you wish to set foot on the less explored valley of Mechuka, chances are, you’ll be chasing winds and still not be full of it! Such is the charm of the forgotten valley. 

The name (Men-chu-ka) translates to medicinal water of snow, adding on to its surrealism, and further amplified by the surrounding velvety green hills, evergreen pine trees, and snow-capped mountains. Located in the Shi Yomi district of Arunachal Pradesh, Mechuka is nestled 6000 feet above sea level. The vast meadows, gorgeous hills, and the windy surroundings of the region lull in every visitor for a dreamy stay. However, the valley is among the land-locked regions of Arunachal Pradesh, making it hard to reach. That being said, things are improving here (more on it at the end).

It is interesting to note that, Mechuka may have only recently gained popularity as a tourist attraction, but the valley has been long recognized for its airfield which served as one of the crucial locations during the 1962 Indo-China war.

Life in the Mechuka Valley

The valley is home to the friendly tribes of Memba, Ramo (Adi), Bokar, and Libo. As many travelers have experienced first-hand, there is no rush in Mechuka. The people here lead a peaceful life and aren’t bothered about making big money. However, the younger locals are slowly moving out of the valley in pursuit of higher education and career. 

Due to growing tourism in the region, many home-stays have emerged in the last decade. Staying at one of them is one of the best ways to interact with the locals here, and get a deeper look into the local lifestyle and culture of the region.

Attractions 

Older than the revered Tawang Monastery, Mechuka is known for housing the 400-year-old Samsen Yongcha monastery which is adorned with the beautiful statue of Guru Padmasambhava, along with exotic masks representing mythological figures. 

The pristine Siyom river originating from the glacial springs of the Mansarovar Lake near Mount Kailash in Tibet enhances the mesmerizing landscape of Mechuka. There’s a narrow bamboo bridge in the middle of the town that sways precariously over the raging river, making it an adventurous trip on foot to cross over. One can also try river rafting under the bridge for an adventure-filled trip. Of the many natural attractions, beautifully cascading waterfalls are plenty in the valley.

These upcoming projects are set to transform the forgotten valley of Mechuka -

Improving Connectivity

To improve access to the land-locked region of Mechuka, fixed-wing flight services will soon be rolled out here, along with five other remote towns in Arunachal. Infrastructure development is in the process to support the vision. In addition to it, a permanent bridge is currently under construction on the crucial Tato-Menchuka Road, which will help in resolving the issues pertaining to poor road connectivity in the region.

Boosting tourism

Northeast India's first-of-its-kind Adventure Park is coming up in Mechuka; managed by locals from the region under the aegis of Far East Tourism Development Pvt. Ltd. 

Apart from other exclusive attractions that is anticipated to stand out at the park, a zipline between Singbir village and Menchukha Adventure Camp has been set up, measuring around 800 meters long. This makes it the longest zipline in Northeast India.

Aiding Healthcare Access

A 40-bedded hospital at Mechuka is being built in the valley, to facilitate healthcare access to the locals. At the moment, for any proper healthcare service, locals need to visit the town of  Aalo in West Siang district, situated 180 km away. State Assembly Speaker, P D Sona has already laid the foundation stone for the hospital, along with flagging off 108 ambulance and portable ultrasound vans and mobile labs to simplify the facilitation of healthcare services to the locals.

Best time to visit 

November is an ideal time to visit Mechuka. It is also the time when the Annual Mechuka Adventure festival takes place. Several adventure sports pop up during the festival, in addition to the entertainment lineup, reflecting upon the culture of the exotic locals. 

How to get there: Until better connectivity becomes operational in the valley, the most preferred route to reach Mechuka is via Aalo in West Siang district, which is the entry access to Mechuka. You can reach Aalo by private sumo taxi services, bus or private car hires. If you’re traveling from Guwahati, the road distance is roughly 817 km and you’d find bus services both from Guwahati and Itanagar for Aalo. From Aalo you would find it easier to hire a Sumo Cab to Mechuka.

Note – Given the current COVID scenario, please check with authorities regarding ILPs and other necessary travel protocols currently in place. International tourists may have different travel advisories and are requested to pre-check all mandates before arrival.


 


 



Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Critical Script or its editor.

1 review
Ad

Related Comments

Newsletter!!!

Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter and stay tuned.