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Mechuka Valley in Arunachal Pradesh!

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Is it just me or did J Balvin’s club hit “Machika” start playing in your mind as well? Hah, well the loud thumping song is the exact opposite of this Arunachali valley named Mechuka. It’s a serene hamlet surrounded by a family of pine forests.

How to reach: Fly in Guwahati and from there travel by a local taxi to Mechuka. Suggested to book a taxi in advance. Alternatively, you can fly in to Dibrugarh and take a ferry followed by a cab but this can be a more tedious process. You can also board a train from Guwahati to Silapathar and thereafter take a shared taxi.

Best time to visit: Between October to March

Mechuka valley
Source: https://www.thebetterindia.com/73866/mechuka-valley-arunachal-pradesh/

Speaking of reaching Mechuka, you might find it interesting to learn that the valley was actually referred to as the “Forbidden Valley” or the “Forgotten Valley” for the longest time. If you’re picturing an eerie array of ghosts or creatures, I’ll have to stop your wild imagination! Essentially, for the longest time this destination was not accessible from the mainland. It lay in its grasslands cut off from the rest of the world which was thus unaware of its existence. However, this was the case only with the general public because the forces had an airstrip nearby which was one of the main points during the India China war in 1962. This comes as no surprise on account of its proximity to the McMahon Line which was laid in the British era to demarcate the borders of the two nations. It was only in 2003 when the Dalai Lama himself sought to visit the 400 years old Samtem Yongcham monastery that the accessibility improved relatively.

In fact, the valley started hosting the Mechuka Adventure Festival! Over a span of 3 days, the Arunachal Pradesh destination festival is meant for all adventure junkies. Aeromodelling, paragliding and even glider flights await!

mechuka adventure festival
Source: https://arunachalobserver.org/2018/09/27/mechuka-gears-adventure-festival/

The festival has been held since the year 2012, generally in the month of November. In the valley of mountains, green stretches and a meandering river, how about trying some trap shooting, rappelling, river crossing, rock climbing and even trekking?! You can even eat the folk food prepared by the tribes of Memba, Adi Bokar, Adi Ramo, Adi Pai Libo and Tagin. A key feature of the festival is the Arunachal Mountain Bicycle Race.
Get, set, go! In 2018, Salman Khan also rode a bike in this race as the tourism ambassador of the state. As the sun settles and the evening air comes out to play, these communities even showcase in traditional dances and music. This festival is where adventurers and nature lovers unite in the land of tribes and wild horses.

things to do in mechuka
Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/travel/5-interesting-things-you-can-do-at-the-mechuka-festival-held-

Other championships that are part of the festival include Mechuka Bike Downhill Championship, Paragliding Accuracy Championship, Kayak Challenge, Competitive Angling, etc. Probably, the most demanding of these is the strenuous endurance ride from Itanagar to Mechuka, i.e., 730kms in 7 days!

If you are headed to this valley make sure to head to the mighty Siang River which has the trademark bamboo bridges of the state hanging over it. It’s a typical scenery from your childhood paintings and your adulthood dreams! Nature trail hikes and a string of waterfalls also await in the valley too. Further, there are riverside retreats and cosy homestays for the true blue local experience.

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