ABOUT ANINI AND MISHMI HILLS :
It was my dream to visit three furthest towns of Arunachal Pradesh in Lohit Valley, Dibang Valley and Siang Valley. These three furthest towns are Walong in Lohit Valley (Anjaw District), Anini in Dibang Valley (Dibang Valley District), Tuting & Mechuka Village in Siang Valley (Upper Siang District and Shi Yomi District respectively). All these three valleys are named after three important rivers namely Lohit, Dibang and Siang, the three main tributaries of Mighty Brahmaputra, originating from China.
I full-filled my dream of visitng Walong in 2015. Then, in 2016 my dream of visiting Anini came true. Then, in 2019, I, full-filled my dream of visiting Mechuka Village.
For some reason I could not write a trip report for my Anini trip. After six years in 2021 July, I am writing a trip report.
The range of Hills mainly in Lower Dibang Valley district and Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh are known as Mishmi Hills. Mishmi Hills are known all over world for its extremely rich biodiversity. The hills here are lush green and experiences very high rainfall. Mishmi Hills are hot spot for Bird lover throughout the world. Every year in addition to Birders from India, Birders from many parts of world visit Mishmi Hills. Birding activities generally remains restricted in the range from Roing to Mayudia. Mayudia with a height of 2655 M above msl is the highest point of Mishmi Hills by the side of road from Roing to Anini. Roing is the head-quarter of Lower Dibang Valley situated in plains bordering Assam. Distance from Roing to Mayudia is abour 52 KM. Every year in Dec - Feb, Mayudia experiences heavy snowfall and taking advantage of short distance people from nearby places of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh throngs Mayudia during this period for a day long visit.
ABOUT OUR TRIP :
It was a road trip and as always, my nephew Bhargav was my main Companion. Bhargav is an young man who loves driving long distance and more particularly in hills. He would never allow me to drive even for a short distance. Without him, my dream of visiting distant places of Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling district of West Bengal, Sikkim would not have come true.
In 2016 Bhargav was a young man of about thirty yrs and I was 59 years old at that time. So, I advised Bhargav to include one of his friends in the Trip. Accordingly, this time Bhargav's friend from Guwahati, Dadul, was the third member of our trip.
SOME IMPORTANT POINTS TO BE REMEMBERED :
1. To visit any place in Arunachal Pradesh Inner Line Permit (ILP) is necessary. Now a days one can have ILP online.
2. Till 2017 there was no electricity at Mayudia Coffee House. The coffee house used to run Generator for two three hours in the evening for charging of phone, camera, batteries etc.
3. It is better to carry one portable emergency light, one torch light and one powerful battery bank.
4. Better to carry some dry food for emergency use.
5. Better to buy essential goods, if any, at Roing town.
Guwahati to Tinsukia :
We left Guwahti in Bhargav's Ford Figgo car at about 7-00 am and could reach Tinsukia town of Assam at about 4-30 pm. Boarding a hotel at Tinsukia, I contacted famous Birder cum Birding Guide of Arunachal Pradesh Mr. over his phone and he arranged one Mr. Palash Phukan from Tinsukia as Birding Guide for my two days Birding activities in Mishmi Hills.
Palash Phukan arrived at our hotel early morning and after taking our breakfast in a roadside stall near the hotel, we began our journey to Mayuodia via Rupai Siding (Assam)-Dirak Gate (Check Gate at Inter-state border)-Mahadevpur (Arunachal Pradesh)-Namsai-Chongkham- Alubari-Roing-Mayudia at about 7-00 am. Reaching Rupai Siding we had a cup of tea with some refreshment. We also loaded one more cartoon of 1 L packaged Drinking water in our car.
Instead of a long route through Alubari Ghat, we, could have followed Dhola-Sadia-Roing route. Reason behind avoiding Dhola route was that approach to Dhola ferry Ghat was not suitable for car like ours. Further, now a days one need not have to cross Lohit over ferry. One can cross Lohit both at Dhola and Alubari by road bridges.
At Dirak Check Gate our Inner Line Permits were checked and entry of our car too was recorded. Doing some birding on our way, we, reached Alubari Ghat at about 11-00 am. By the time ferry arrives from other Bank of Lohit River, we, enjoyed beautiful landscape presented to us by Lovely Lohit with its crystal clear blue-green water, banks filled with white river boulder and line of blue Arunachal Hills standing behind at distance. Crossing Lohit in a Ferry with our car, first thing we did on other bank of Lohit was to have a cup of tea in a makeshift stall. Palash Phukan is a young man full of energy. Leaving Bhargav and Dadul to have some relaxed time, Palash guided me through the grassland full of tall grasses on the riverbank to watch birds. Finishing my brief period birding, we headed to Roing town crossing two intermittent stretch of road full of large boulders and wreck wooden bridges. We reached Roing town at about 2-00 pm. Quickly taking lunch and finishing our last shopping of essential goods until we come back to Roing after five days, we headed to Myudia. We reached Mayudia at about 5-00 pm. It was almost dark. From few kilo meters ahead of Mayudia we started filling chill and were forced to wear warm clothes. Getting down from our car in front of Mayudia Coffee House, I, started shivering and was forced to wear hand gloves. Checking in to a room of Mayudia Coffee House, first we made ourselves warm with warm cup of teas.
Before dinner, wearing sufficient warm clothes and hand gloves with powerful torch light in my hand, I ventured out in the darkness of Mayudia filled with pinching chill mild wind, with my guide Palash Phukan to have some night Birding.
Above, Lohit River at Alubari Ghat from Chowkham Side. Under construction bridge is also seen.
Above,Lohit River at Alubari Ghat.
Above one makeshift wreck wooden bridge we crossed.
Above, Dadul with people we met on our way.
I woke up early in the morning and taking our morning tea went out with Palash Phukan at about 5-00 am for early morning birding around Coffee House. After about one hour we came back to Coffee House and saw Bhargav and Dadul ready. Quickly me and Palash Phukan, too, make ourselves fresh and then all four of us reached the common balcony for our breakfast. Enjoying the warmth of early morning Sun, we had our breakfast in open balcony of Coffee House.
After breakfast, we, headed for our 3rd day first half birding cum sight-seeing program in the stretch from Coffee House to some point beyond Mayudia Pass. It was a Sunny day and we enjoyed birding together with sightseeing under a clear sky and warmth of the Sun very much. In between we had a cup of tea with light refreshment in a Dhaba near Mayudia Pass. Food in this Dhaba is good and cheap as well in comparison to Coffee House. Lodging facility of ordinary nature is also available in this Dhaba.
Finishing our First half tour, we had our lunch at Coffee House. Taking few minutes rest, we, again went out for our 2nd half tour in the stretch from Coffee House-Tiwarigaon-Sixmile point in downside. Tiwarigaon is the only place, where, few roadside hotels are available in the entire stretch from Roing to Coffee.
For good accommodation one can choose three options. First option is to stay in Roing town. After completing day long birding/tour in the stretch from Roing to Mayudia Pass, one can come back again to Roing town for night stay. Best place to stay at Roing is Mishmi Hills Camp. This camp is situated by the side of Deopani River. Surrounded by nature one will enjoy staying here.
Second option is to stay at Sixmile point on Roaing – Mayudia road. At sixth mile point there is one Dibang Valley Jungle Camp. This camp is well known. One will have a memorable stay here.
Third option is to stay at Mayudia Coffee House, as we did.
Continuing our Birding we went down up to sixmile point. On our return from six mile point we stopped at Tiwari camp for Birding. Tiwarigaon is a good location for birding. Finishing our birding we had a cup of tea with light refreshment in a Roadside Dhaba at Tiwarigaon. By the time we reached back coffee House it was almost dark.
Above, Eurasian Sparrowhawk I saw with Palash Phukan at Mayudia.
Above, Mayudia Coffee House (Rear building roof). Roing – Anini Road is also seen in the front.
Above, Mayudia Coffee House.
Above, Mithun the most adored domestic animal of Arunachal Pradesh
Above, view from Mayudia Pass
Above, the hotel near Mayudia Pass.
Above, Me with Palash Phukan at Mayudia.
Above, Bhargav, Dadul & Palash in front of roadside hotel at Tiwarigaon.
We woke up early morning on 05/11. Make ourselves fresh after morning cup of tea, we three left Mayudia Coffee House for our next destination ‘ANINI’ saying goodbye to Palash Phukan. On the way we had our breakfast at the Dhaba near Mayudia Pass. It was Roti, Alu-bhaji and egg omlet. We filled our stomach full to the extend possible, as we were not sure whether we would be able to find any roadside hotel on our way to take lunch in time.
Reaching Hunli outskirt, we tried to find a place to have at-least a cup of tea. Failing to find any such place, we continued our journey. After crossing Hunli, we were moving parallel to a River. Some time we saw the river in deep George and sometime the river was almost in parallel to our eyes. We could also see many waterfalls. Added to these, there were sweet bird calls all along. Weather too was sunny. Constrain of time could not resist us from getting down from car in many locations.
After some time, we started feeling hungry. But, we, were disappointed not to find any eating place even after crossing a long distance. Then at about 2-00 pm we could see a Hotel like building at a distance ahead of us. Reaching that building and making sure that it was a hotel, we enquired if food was available. The answer was that they can arrange food, but it would take at-least one hour time. Instead, they informed us that after few minutes of travel, we would find two-three roadside hotels to have our lunch.
We reached that place at about 2-00 pm. There were two-three hotels in that place. This is a place where all passenger vehicles in this route stops for food. With Rice, dal, vegetable curry and fish curry we had our lunch. From the hotel owner we could come to know that from there it would take 4-5 hours to reach Anini. He instead advised us to spend the night at Italin village circuit house, which, we would reach after about two more hours of journey. Heeding to his advice instantly we decided to end our journey for the day at Italin village. After lunch, noticing some bird activities I did birding here for few minutes.
By the time we reached Italin village circuit house it was almost dark. Fortunately, rooms were available, and two rooms were provided to us. Caretaker of the circuit house arranged homely dinner for us.
Above, a view on our way from Mayudia to Italin Village.
Above, Bhargav posing for a photograph sitting on a rock on the bank of a roadside river on our way from Mayudia to Italin village.
Above, Dadul posing for a photograph near a Waterfalls on our way from Mayudia to Italin village.
Above, a waterfalls we saw on our way from Mayudia to Italin village.
Above, A Waterfalls we saw on our way from Mayudia to Italin village.
Above, a hanging bridge on our way from Mayudia to Italin village.
Above, a Waterfalls on our way from Mayudia to Italin village.
Above, the hotel like building on our way from Mayudia to Italin village.
Above, a forktail bird on our way from Mayudia to Italin village.
Chirping and sweet calls of birds woke me up from my bed at dawn. There was faint light outside. So, spending few more minutes inside the room I came out with camera in my hand. The circuit house was standing by the side of a small River surrounded by lush green hills. By the time Bhargav and Dadul wake up from bed and get fresh I did birding, for about one hour. Then getting myself fresh all three of us took a good breakfast prepared by the caretaker. Saying goodbye to the caretaker we left circuit house at about 7-00 am. Slowly the sky was turning cloudy. Like previous day we could see some waterfalls on our way. At two locations we stopped our car to take photographs of the falls. There was intermittent rain. After travelling nonstop for about an hour, Bhargav discovered his mobile phone missing. Thorough searching of the car too did not yield any positive result. It appeared to us that the phone most possibly got dropped from his pocket near any of the two locations where we stopped to take photographs of Waterfalls. This incident dampened our mind. But returning back to the locations meant losing two precious hours. Moreover, it was raining at that point of time. So, instead of going back, we preferred to move ahead.
At about 11-00 am we reached Anini. It was still raining lightly. We roamed around Anini town in our car for about two hours seeing various sights. Then concluding our sightseeing, we headed to a hotel near Anini market to have our lunch. It was a hotel run by a man from Tinsukia town of Assam. Lodging facility of lower budget category was also available in that Hotel. By the time we were taking our lunch it started raining heavily. Seeing the weather condition, we decided to shelve our plan to spend one night at Anini to visit two beautiful places near Anini. These two places were Mipi (Mathun Valley) and Dri valley. Both these two places are within 30-40 KM distance from Anini.
After rain had subsided a little, we, left Anini at about 1-30 am. The rain continued in spells of heavy and light. When we reached the waterfalls spot of our last stop in our onward journey, we, stopped our car. Immediately all three of us started searching the missing phone amidst light rain. It was great surprised to all of us, when Bhargav found his lost mobile phone unharmed in roadside. Only concern was that the phone got completely wetted. Immediately Bhargav opened phone back cover and battery and then kept them lying on back seat of the car for drying. It was a moment to cheer for all of us.
Gradually it started raining heavily. Due to heavy cloud, there was poor light. Bhargav had to drive slowly switching on car headlights and remaining fully concentrated in driving. Slight mistake in such situation in a narrow winding road in mountain may take us down to the river in deep George.
At one point in faint light we could see two animals coming down to the road from the hills on our left side. The animals immediately took shelter under cover of Bush on our right side. We stopped our car immediately keeping the headlights on. Now, the animals were on our right side and we could see one of them. Under poor light it appeared to be Deer. Without losing time I took three snaps with my camera through our car window. The animals did not allow me to take more snaps and it disappeared immediately making a long jump. After recovering Bhargav’s missing phone it was one more bonus to us. By the time we reached circuit house it was fully dark. We were again fortunate to get two rooms in the circuit house.
Above, a view from the yard of Italin village circuit house.
Above, a view on our way from Italin village to Anini
Above, a view on our way from Italin village to Anini.
Above, one Waterfalls we saw on our way from Italin village to Anini.
Above, Dadul and Bhargav at Anini on a rainy day.
Above, Me with Dadul at Anini.
Above, Anini on a rainy day.
Above, Anini on a rainy day.
Above, the Barking Deer we saw on our way back from Anini to Italin village on a rainy day.
Like previous day I woke up at dawn and had little birding before Bhargav and Dadul were ready. Then getting fresh, taking breakfast, and saying goodbye to caretaker we left Italin Village Circuit House at about 7-00 am to our destiny ‘Roing’. We stopped at the roadside hotel, where we stopped earlier, and had a cup of tea with light refreshment. Here, we met two Strangers coming in a bike from Anini side. The pillion rider carried a gun on his shoulder. We made friendship with them and had little chat. Bhargav and Dadul took photographs with the pillion rider. The bike rider, one young man, shared photographs of some rare birds taken by him. Seeing the photographs, I got stunned. Those were pictures of some rare birds (Some Monals and Pheasants). Birders, not only from India, all over the world, comes to Mayudia to take some good photographs of them. Sometime they succeed and sometime they go back without sucess.
From here, we moved almost nom stop, save two-three brief stoppings, up to the hotel at Mayodia Pass. By the time we reached the dhaba it was late afternoon. We were very hungry and filled our stomach with some good food.
We reached Roing town at about 7-00 pm and stepped into a hotel for spending the night.
Above, Italin village circuit house before we left for Roing.
Above, Bhargav and Dadul with a friend from Arunachal in front of the roadside hotel on our return journey from Italin village to Roing.
Above, a view during our return journey from Italin village to Roing.
A big surprise was waiting for us on 08/11/16 morning. In the morning when came down to hotel reception counter to check out, the manger refused to accept notes of Rs. 500/- denomination. We came to know that government has announced demonetisation banning notes of Rs. 500/- and 1000/- denomination. In last six days, after we left Mayudia, we were completely unaware of the happenings in outside world in the absence of TV and any internet connectivity. Only bsnl network was working at some places with poor quality. We paid our hotel bill through credit card.
Filling our car tank full in a Petrol Pump at Roing outskirt, we headed to our end destination for day-7 ‘Jorhat town of Assam’. We decided to follow the longer route of Tezu-Parsuram Kund-Wakro-Namsai-Dirak Gate-Tinsukia-Jorhat. Reason behind choosing the longer route was that Dadul had not visited places like Tezu, Parsuram Kund etc. earlier. Tezu is a town of Arunachal Pradesh in plains. After travelling few kilometres from Tezu, we started ascending a hill of significant height crossing some sharp hairpin bends. Reaching the junction, from where a road bifurcates to Walong, we stopped our car to eat something in a road side hotel. Then descending the hill, we reached the long bridge of Parsuram Kund over Lohit River. Stopping our car on the bridge, we, enjoyed the beauty of natue. Then passing through the beautiful valleys and deep forests in and around Wakro, Namsai area, we stopped at a village marketplace seeing one small road side hotel. It was a hotel run by a Bihari man. We took our lunch here. Bhargav and Dadul took roti-mutton curry. I took roti-vegetable curry-Omlet. Finishing our lunch, we headed to Golden Pagoda near Namsai. Golden Pagoda is a famous destination for tourist.
Golden Pagoda, Wakro and Parsuram Kund are three important tourist destinations in this part of Arunachal Pradesh. In Wakro there is one Eco resort where one can stay comfortably. Again, in Golden Pagoda too there is one Eco Resort. Both these two Eco Resorts are good place to stay. Staying in any one of these two Eco Resorts one can visit places like Golden Pagoda, Parsuram Kund, Wakro, Kamlang Reserve Forest etc.
Spending about an hour time at Golden Pagoda, we, headed to Jorhat town of Assam. At about 8 pm we reached Jorhat and straightway stepped into a Hotel.
Above, a makeshift, wreck wooden bridge on our journey from Roing to Tezu.
Above, downstream side of Lohit River from the bridge over Lohit River at Parsuram Kund.
Above, upstream side of Lohit Rive with the ‘Kund’ at Parsuram Kund.
Above, temple at Parsuram Kund.
Above, main gate of Golden Pagoda.
Above, Golden Pagoda.
Above, Golden Pagoda.
We left Jorhat early in the morning and reached Guwahati at about 2-00 pm ending our eight days long tour.