This day I decided to visit the Samten Yongcha Monastery, Tapasthan,the Mechuka Sahib Gurdwara and the Yarlung Army Camp.
The Samten Yongcha Monastery is located high up on a mountain and during rainy season the only way to travel to it is by trekking up the mountain. In dry season you can take a vehicle up hill.
What's unique about this monastery?
This monastery is 1000 years old. You will find religious books, relics, scripts which date back for hundreds of years. For travellers who love ancient history would we amazed on this visit. The view from the monastery is extremely beautiful. You can witness the river, a small town and a suspension bridge from the monastery.
Next we travelled to the Tapasthan.
What is Tapasthan?
For years, Tapasthan has been a holy place of visit for the locals of Mechuka. There is a holy waterfall, a holy river and a holy cave at Tapasthan. It is also said that this is a place where Guru Nanak stayed during his religious visit from India to Tibet.
There is a story amongst the locals about the Tapasthan. Legends say that in order to visit the holy river one must pass through a narrow cave. Only those with a clean heart and good intentions can pass through it and those who don't would not be able to. The cave towards the river was indeed very tiny and I had to crawl through it. But I made it on the other side. Yay!! I had no idea I had a clean heart 💓. The view of the river was just gorgeous. The flowing river, the trees, the flags and all you could hear was the sound of insects and birds. Just amazing!!
Also you can play a small fortune prediction game at the river. There is a small puddle of muddy water with stones in it. You pick a stone and the kind of stone you pick will interpret your future.
So there are two kinds of stones:
White: Wherein you future will be all happy with no major hurdles.
White with a black spot: Which means your future won't be that perfect, it would have some hurdles but at the end all will be fine.
Well I picked up the White stone with the black spot and was very happy about it. I don't want a perfect life. A life with some hurdles, a little imperfection, a yin-yan life is what I want.
The visit at the Tapasthan was very peaceful and calming.
Next we visited the Gurudwara. The Gurudwara was situated right next to a river bank. As Mechuka town is located at the border of Arunachal, army soldiers are deployed at most of the places. The Mechuka Gurudwara for instance is entirely serviced by the Army Soldiers. There is also a museum explaining the history of the Sikh religion and their warriors.
We had lunch at the Gurudwara. And the food was just like my mom cooks. Extremely delicious. Made me miss my home. The army soldiers we very friendly, they served us food, tea and even sweets (Sweet bondi my favourite). A small conversation helped us know about the life of our soldiers, where they came from, places they visited.
After a delicious lunch and a heart touching experience with the army soldiers at the Gurudwara we travelled further ahead to the Yarlung Camp, at the Indo-Tibet border, where you get a chance to meet the army soldiers and also have tea made by them.
How many of us have ever got a chance to have tea and food cooked by our army soldiers?
At Yarlung Camp, we got a chance to interact with few of our army officers. Photography is strictly prohibited so you can just explore around the LOC and interact with the soldiers while sipping onto some tea. As I am from the state of Maharashtra, I happened to meet an army officer from the same state and we spoke in Marathi. Speaking in Marathi in Mechuka with someone who understands Marathi, definitely something I'd check off from my to do list. After a warm conversation with our army officers we headed back to our homestay.
One the way back we even saw a hanuman face naturally carved on a mountain. That is also one of the attractions of Mechuka.
One thing I couldn't help but notice, the way towards to Yarlung Camp is a zero pollution zone. The trees are dense, you will find a lot of fungus on trees (like the ones they show in movies about the Amazon forest). It's said that this kinda fungus grows and survives only in no pollution areas. And the trees were super creepy and scary. The vegetation here is so dense, it reminded me of every possible cannibal movie, where tourists are attacked by man eating zombies. (Such places bring out my imaginative side.) I had never seen a forest like that. Maybe this is how a real forest looks, very rarely visited and you can find some wild lotus and wild mushrooms here. Like really big in size.
The meadows around the forest had orange grass. I am used to green meadows. For me experiencing orange meadows was like watching something right out of a movie. I never knew a view like this really existed.