Menchukha : An untouched valley for the adventurous and nature-lover

Tripoto
Day 4
Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro

Menchuka valley in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh is gradually becoming a popular tourist attraction of Arunachal Pradesh.

Day 1

My long-awaited dream to explore the Menchuka valley came true in the month of October 2016.

Day1. Guwahati to Naharlagun

My overnight train journey from Guwahati to Naharlagun took me there early morning next day.

Day 2

Day 2. Naharlagun to Along

I met my friend at Naharlagun, and our journey to Along-Menchukha begin in a Scorpio. It's a 7-8 hours, 291kms road journey through a difficult terrain. Along is a small town surrounded by beautiful barren and cloud-clad mountains. We stayed at Hotel Along there.

On the way to Along

Photo of Naharlagun by Neeva Boro

Relaxing on River-side

Photo of Naharlagun by Neeva Boro
Photo of Naharlagun by Neeva Boro
Day 3

Day 3. Along to Menchuka

It's a 7-8 hours/180 kms journey. We left Along at 12 pm. On the way to Menchukha we saw heavy military movements because of its close proximity to Indo-China border. We had to stop a lot of times to give way to army trucks. Local children en route were greeting the passing by army trucks with salutes, waiving hands and wide smiles; I also did like those children as I was so excited to go to my dream destination.

On the way to Menchukha - With simple and sweet people

Photo of Menchukha : An untouched valley for the adventurous and nature-lover by Neeva Boro
Photo of Menchukha : An untouched valley for the adventurous and nature-lover by Neeva Boro
Photo of Along by Neeva Boro

We took a break at Tato village for tea and refreshments. It was around 5.30 pm then. We met some enthusiast bikers from different parts of India who happily shared some of their experiences with us. They were also going to Menchukha.

Photo of Menchukha : An untouched valley for the adventurous and nature-lover by Neeva Boro

We reached Menchuka at around 8:30 pm. We stayed in a home-stay which was booked in advance by my friend. Our rooms were quite cozy. It was so chilling and windy so that I had to put on my jacket. The people at home-stay were friendly enough to allow us to go in to the kitchen to warm ourselves near the traditional chulhas.

Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro
Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro

In local dialect 'men' means medicine, 'chu' means 'water' and 'kha' means snow, and by combining these three words, Mechukha is formed; and that stands so true to this clean and green valley.

Our plan was to visit the McMahon line the next morning, which was about 29kms from our home-stay. I had heard so much about McMahon line that I desperately wanted to visit the place but disappointed. Due to some security reasons, we are unable to get the permit, so decided to explore the valley.

Day 4

Day 4. Visit to old Gumpa

The major tourist attraction here is a 400-year-old Gumpa, a Buddhist monastery, which is located at a hilltop in the westernmost part of Menchukha. Numerous ancient statues are also found here. On the way to the monastery we crossed a long hanging bridge over the beautiful Siom River, and from there, we trek 7 kms to the hill-top. After reaching there, mesmerised with the vast, scenic landscape, I became speechless, don't have appropriate words to describe the serene beauty of this place and around. The weather was pleasant and wind was cool-soothing. I felt like achieving a great accomplishment.

Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro
Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro
Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro

The Siom/Siyom river, locally known as Yargyap Chu, provides a breathtaking view in the valley, flowing in radom zig-zags and branching in/out eye-pleasingly. The mountains were very beautiful, though not snow-capped. They created a fabulous view with pine trees and thorny bushes all over. Locals told us later that these mountains look even more beautiful when wear snow caps in the months of December and January.

In the Gumpa, I had a glance at ancient clay idols and Holy books kept there. We started our return trail after noon and reached foothill village 'Singbir' to have traditional Memba lunch with a Memba family. We came back to Menchukha by evening.

Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro
Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro
Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro
Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro
Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro
Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro
Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro
Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro
Day 5

Day 5 : Exploring the countryside around

Next day, we went to a nearby village Galling. I enjoyed walking through a hanging-bridge en route. We explored people's way of living, culture, habitat there. People are all tribals, mostly from Memba tribe. Then we went atop of a nearby hill. I enjoyed the panoramic view of the Menchukha valley seen from there. After sitting there for one hour and feeling rejunivenated, we returned to the village. I was lucky enough to coincide with a feast being celebrated in the village. I joined villagers in their enjoyments and festivities. We reached our home-stay at about 09:00 PM.

Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro

Mithoon - The common cow/cattle at Menchukha

Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro
Photo of Mechuka Village by Neeva Boro
Day 6

Day 6 : Returning back

We started our journey to Naharlagun, through Basar, in the morning. We took a night-halt at Basar.

Day 7

Day 7 :

We left Basar in the morning and reached Naharlagun at night. Then, I saw off my friend and alone came back to Guwahati by the same overnight train, and reached Guwahati on Saturday morning.

The roads are not good, but of late, government has started working on this. People there speak understand Hindi, though there are several other tribal languages used simultaneously.

ILP is necessary to enter into Arunachal Pradesh. ILP (Inner Line Permit) is issued by the Deputy Commissioners and Additional Deputy Commissioner of the Districts, and can be obtained from Resident Commissioners Liaison Offices located at New Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati.

Menchukha is a must visit for the adventure enthusiasts (paragliding, river rafting, etc), bikers and all the travelers who love nature, camping in mountains and those who want to explore the unexplored beauty of nature.

Day 8

I returned home with a blissful once-in-a-life-time-experience.

What a great week, full of learning n experiencing and exploring the beauty of mother nature in awesome Menchukha.

2 Comment(s)
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neeva... thanks for the sharing. 1 thing wants to know. can we enjoy activities like river rafting in that river
Thu 02 01 18, 02:05 · Reply (1) · Report
Hi Arun!! I'm doubtful about rafting...but every year on nov/dec this place celebrate Mechuka Festival where parasailing is available...n at that time you can enjoy snowfall too..
Thu 02 01 18, 08:26 · Report
Nice story, Neeva. Thanks for sharing.
Sun 01 01 17, 07:28 · Reply · Report