BACKPACKER
Starts At
₹37,950
Fixed Departure
Oct 9th - 17th

Mechuka Valley, Arunachal Pradesh (9N/10D)

Overview

If you fall asleep through your journey, long enough, to wake up in Mechuka, missing the road signs that give you a reality check, you may have to pinch yourself, and yet the valley may seem unreal. Come get giddy in Mechuka. From a complete shift in architectural pattern, with wood replacing brick and mortar and herds of stray horses interrupting your path or seen grazing at a distance, replacing the usual cow herds seen on Indian roads, you slowly tend to relate to the deep-rooted Tibetan influence that you have read online about.

It is not every day that you get to visit a geographic location that remains cut off from the rest of civilisation for half the year due to the lack of a motorable land. In November nature allows you enter Dambuk and use the dry river bed as a road. So, are you going to decline nature's invitation?

  • Itinerary
  • Inclusion/Exclusion
  • Cancellation & Refund Policy
DAY 1

A train ride where we break the ice Land in Guwahati and start your train journey to the last station in Assam before you cross over into the gargantuan forest-covered region of Arunachal Pradesh. The time will be spent in getting to know your travel mates as we break bread and play different games. The train departs from Kamakhya station at 8:30 pm and reaches Murkongselek at 8 am.


DAY 2

A cottage overlooking the river and the first tryst with Arunachal From now on, our friend on bumpy roads will be the ever reliable Tata Sumo. This is the lifeline of Arunachal Pradesh, and it isn't like we can't hire a fancy vehicle but the fun of experiencing and travelling the local way is something else. Rooftop travels, uncomfortable seats are all a part of this journey of a lifetime. A Sumo awaits to take you to Pasighat, a small town in Arunachal Pradesh. The mountains of Arunachal the bumpy roads don't greet us yet. In Pasighat we head to our cottages overlooking the Siang river, where you freshen up. We head out for your first trek of the journey as the hanging bridge of Panging awaits you. In the evening we drive down a beautiful road and sip some tea next to river Siang. The total drive time from the station to the cottage will be 2 hours. Overnight in hilltop cottages.


DAY 3

The stopover town of Along Another Sumo, another driver, awaits to take us to Along, the district headquarter of the West Siang district. People of the Galo (tribe) inhabit the town of Aalo or Along. The drive may be long and tiring but worth the journey when you check into their beautiful stay perched amidst orange and mousambi orchards. Walk around the gardens and paddy fields or choose to go explore the local market. In the evening, get to know your hosts better as you try some of the traditional Galo brew(Watch your step here! It’s stronger than you would imagine.) along with some traditional food to go with it. The total drive time from Pasighat to the homestay will be 5 hours. Overnight in the homestay in Along.

DAY 4

Welcome to Menchukha valley After breakfast brace for your road trip to Mechuka. As you drive up a few thousand feet, you will observe how both the air and landscape change dramatically with height. After a good eight hours of travel, you will reach this magical valley in the West Siang district which promises to make you forget the journey as soon as you drive into it. Mechuka or Menchukha, as is traditionally called, translates to medicinal water from snow as the locals believed that the water from the stream which passes through the valley could cure any illness in the world due to its medicinal properties. The beautiful town of Mechuka is home to primarily the Memba tribe, a Tibeto-mongloid ethnic group which follows Buddhism. Other inhabitants, in smaller numbers, would include the Ramo, Bokar Libo and Tagin tribes(some of which are sub tribes of the Adi community). On reaching, let life slow down to the pace of the mountains as you walk around the small town taking in the grandeur of the snow-capped mountains around you. You will be staying in a Memba homestay where you may rest if you choose to leave the walking to the next day. Sit by the fire with your hosts in the evening before retiring to your room for a well deserved sleep The total drive time from Along to Mechuka will be 8 hours.

DAY 5

Village walks, folk music and Gurudwara After breakfast, set out to get to know this paradise of a place a little better. There are many stories and folklore that have been passed down generations among the people here. Hear them out as our local team takes you around to tell you a little more about the region. Visit the Yarlung Camp at a height of 7934 feet and meet those protecting the boundaries of the country. The gate of the camp is the last point where civilians are allowed without any special permission. Certain rocks and sticks have been marked from where one can talk on a mobile phone as even moving an inch results in no network on the devices. Thereafter, drive to the Gurudwara to pay your regards and know more about the significance of the Gurudwara and Sikhism in Mechuka. The Gurudwara is beautifully located with a hanging bridge just behind it. Walk around and explore the area as Langar is prepared. After lunch, walk around and see the places nearby as you hear the stories associated with the spots you will visit. Go back to the Homestay and retire there for the night. This is the day we use the car at our disposal.

DAY 6

Monasteries and Momos Hike up to the top of a hill to visit a 400 year old Buddhist monastery where you can see many carvings, structures and other ancient artifacts which though passed down so many hands and generations are still very well maintained. The view from the Gompa is truly exquisite and if you are lucky, you may even see one of the IAF planes making a U-turn just around the Gompa before landing on what the Air Force calls the ‘Advance Landing Ground’, which is the name of the airstrip in Mechuka. After you walk back down to your homestay, bond with your hosts over some traditional brew, while you learn how to make some of their traditional food(read Momos and paa). There will be plenty of spare time for you to take long nature walks which is the ideal way to explore Mechuka. *Camping can be done on any of the three days depending on the weather.

DAY 7

Hike to a shepherd’s home Early next morning, we trek up to a shepherd’s house hidden high up in the mountains of Mechuka. The first time we trekked up there, we didn’t believe someone lived so remotely in an already remote place. “ He tends to his cows there till winter comes” said our guide, a 7 year old boy. Since he was talking about his grandfather Thinley knew what he was saying. To meet Thinley’s grandfather we drive to Dorjeeling village, an absolutely breathtakingly beautiful place in an already surreal land. Park the vehicle in front of their house in the village and then hike for 2 hours to finally reach the incognito land. It is beyond us to explain in words how beautiful the valley looks as we continue our ascent. Upon finally crossing over to the other side you will see two houses perched on two different hills and huge cows grazing the meadows. One side of this pastureland looks like the famous Dzukou valley in Nagaland. The next few hours will be spent talking to Doge Phalle, the shepherd who used to trade his wares in Tibet before 1962 when the path between Mechuka and Tibet was open. Different varieties churpi or Tibetan cheese, ghee chai, local eggs were served to us. You can expect something similar. His house seems to be preserved in time and takes you back to the time when Mechuka was a part of Tibet which is as recent as 1959.

DAY 8

Resting at Along Early next morning, make your way back towards Aalo (Along) where you will spend the night at the same homestay you had stayed in earlier Overnight in the homestay in Along.

DAY 9

Driving back to the plains and taking the Train to Guwahati At around noon, make your way from Along to Murkongselek to catch your train that leaves at night. Total drive from Along to Murkongselek will be 5 hours and the train journey will be 12 hours long. Train departs from Murkongselek at 7 pm and reaches Guwahati at 7 am.

DAY 10

Bye- Bye Northeast India In case you want to visit the Kamakhya temple, then flight tickets can be booked in the evening, so that you get enough time for the visit. You will reach Guwahati at 7 am if the train reaches on time.

Experiences

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Hanging bridge of Panging

Made of ropes, and bamboos, a walk over the Along's hanging bridge promises to enthrall and mesmerize at the same time.

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Try traditional Galo brew

Watch your step here! It’s stronger than you would imagine.

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Monastries & Momos

Learn how to make some of their traditional food

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Village walk

Set out to get to know this paradise of a place a little better

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