Aalo-Mechuka circuit of Arunachal Pradesh

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vishnu.kumar7's picture
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                                    Nature's Allure

 

Aalo is clubbed in this circuit to promote Mechuka as a tourist destination. Mechuka is one of few sites closer to Indo-China border and open for tourists. This circuit takes you to West Siang district which is breathtakingly beautiful. This is a green district as long and as far as your eyes can see. Its hills and dales will leave a long lasting impression on you. It is watered by the Sirit and the Siyom Rivers. Aalo which was earlier known as Along, is the headquarters of the district.
 

How to Reach: Lilabari is the nearest airport. Simen Chapari railway station is about 134 km from Mechuka.
Prime attraction: Home to the Buddhist Memba tribe and the 400 year old Samten Yongcha Monastery of Mahayana Buddhist Sect

 

 

AAlo (Earlier Along, 297 km from Itanagar): Readhing Aalo from Itanagar is easy, There is an airport at aalo serving remote areas of Arunachal Pradesh. There are also bus services from Itanagar and also from Guwahati. Surrounded by mountains, situated in the picturesque valley at the confluence of the Sipu and Siyom Rivers, Aalo is headquarter of West Siang district.  Tourist attractions include the Ramakrishna Mission Campus, Patum bridge, Bagra village, Darka village, Donyi Polo dere temple, The Kamki (25 km from aalo) hydropower dam, or the Mithun and Jersey Cross breeding farm, and orange orchards, you can also go rafting down the Siyom River. The hanging bridge on the Siang River is another thing to see. The bridge is local made, of cane and bamboo. The bridge is around 60-70 m long.

Mechuka (180 km from Aalo): Mechuka also came up as an administrative township. It is additional deputy commissioner headquarter, a quaint town near the Indo-China border. When you arrive in this town, you will be greeted with the extraordinary view of snow-capped mountains around. The small town of Mechuka is at 6000 feet (1829 m) above sea level in the Mechuka valley. That is the start of your association with the town. As you get to know it more, you will visit Mechula lake, a high altitude natural lake whose beauty is beyond words. But Mechuka is also about people. Mechuka valley is home to people of the memba tribe. they are mostly Buddhist and speak Memba, Adi, Hindi and English. As you go around this lovely town, meeting its lovely and friendly people, you will find that Mechuka is known for both its religious and historical significance. You can see the 400 year old Samten Yongcha monastery on a hilltop, overlooking the valley in the western edge of Mechuka. This was built by the Mahayana Buddhist. It is a contemporary of the famous amd much revered Tawang Monastery. Numerous ancient statues can also be found here, most well preseved despite their age.

Mechuka, also known ans Menchuka, is made of three words: "Men" or "Medicine"; "Chu" or 'Water" and "Kha" or "Ice" in the local language. The melted water here from the ice capped mountain is believed to have medicinal values. In the ancient times, the sick in the Memba tribe were said to have been healed by bathing in these waters.

Mechuka is only 29 km from Indo-China border. One can visit the border in the guided tour. The nearest airport is Lilabari Airport in Assam. Mechuka is fast becoming a popular tourist destination, the draw being its breath-taking beauty, its exotic tribes, the gentle hills and snow peaks around.

The Siyom, which runs through the valleys, adds to the serenity of the place. Comfortable accommodation is available at tourist lodges

Festivals: Losar Festival- The Memba tribe celebrates this in the month of February, a month ahead of other tribes. This is five-day New year celebration of the tribe. The festival includes prayers, hoisting of religious flags on the top of houses. Reading the Buddhist scriptures, and lighting butter lamps in the houses. Mopin Festival- This festival is also celebrated for 5 days from April 5. The run rice powder on each other's face.

Activites: Trekking and hiking on the high mountains at various difficulty levels, rafting and angling in the Siyom. You will get local assistance with equipment from tour operators. There are number of unexplored trails that one can venture into. Camping in the forests is an exciting alternative.

Prafulla123 (not verified)
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Can U give The details of Homestays,circuit House, Guest House, Lodge details of this region.Also, suggest  the details of tourist car drivers/owners with cell nos.

Prafulla,Mumbai.

 

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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I do not have number of drivers etc. I have traveled in Public transport.

Varun (not verified)
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You said you you travelled to Menchukha by public transport. Please can you tell briefly the details on reaching there by public trnasport. And was there accomodation available?

 

 

 

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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From Along, you can get shared taxis to Mechuka but frequency is very thin and all depends on number of passenger. In most of these places, you can get PWD rest houses but now there are also some homestays sort of accommodation available. Accommodation is not a main problem but transport is. If lucky, you can hitchhike.

Prafulla123 (not verified)
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Oh! Thank U!

Bornav (not verified)
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Thanks for sharing the informative article!

Can you please tell about the frequency of public transport to Mechuka from Along/Dibrugarh? Does one require a fully reserved taxi to explore Mechuka?

What are the accommodation options at Mechuka?

Is one day sufficient to explore the nearby Memba villages?

Thanks!

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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In my knowledge, there are shared taxis to Mechuka from Along. You can reach Along from Dibrugarh. Frequency is thin. I do not have any idea about Memba villages. I will check and let you know.

+- Vishnu

Guest (not verified)
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i want to get down at tezpur airport. cover tawang on route other sites, apart frm this want to cover along travel circuit on a family vaccation if possible a tailor made itenary to cover all the places on route with accomodation and vehicle charges. whether any other circuit is advisable to be seen thanks

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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From Tezpur, Tawang circuit is easy to do. its better to spend 3-4 nights in Tawang and 1 night enroute. You can also visit Itanagar and then further east to visit other places in Arunachal.

sadish (not verified)
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can it be done thru road trip. how about the frequency of petrol pumps and mechanic shops enroute mechuka... please advice..

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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Hi Sadish,

Yes, this can be done as road trip. There are petrol pumps/villages etc enroute. its not densely inhabited but still you can get assistance if needed.

+- Vishnu

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