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#TravelTales: Exploring Mechuka, Where Horses Run Wild and Friendly Tribes Reside

Located about 29 km from MacMahon Line (that separates India from China), the breathtakingly beautiful Mechuka Valley lies in the West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. With a name that literally means the medicinal water of snow, this surreal valley has picture-postcard views of snow-capped peaks, vast meadows and evergreen pine forests. Until recently, the bowl-shaped valley was known only for its airfield – it was one of the crucial strategic locations during the 1962 war with China – and became accessible by road only a decade ago

Perched at a height of 6,000 feet above sea level, Mechuka is also known as the Forbidden Valley of Arunachal.

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Mechuka Valley
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This year, the Mechuka Adventure Festival is being held from 7th to 9th November 2016. From adrenaline pumping activites like paragliding and mountain biking to cultural experiences like the five tribe mega dance, the festival promises to be a unique experience.

Untouched, unexplored and seriously scenic, this Himalyaan getaway is like none other. Feast your eyes on these gorgeous images of the Mechuka Valley – they will make you want to pack your bags and leave right away !

1. The Mighty Siang

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The mighty Siang river originates from the icy cold glacial springs of the Mansarovar lake near Mount Kailash in Tibet. Brahmaputra’s main tributary and sole link with the Yarlung Tsangpo (Tibet’s largest river), the majestic Siang flows through some of the least traversed areas in the world.

2. Picturesque Bamboo Bridges

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Tiny hamlets on the Siang’s eastern bank are connected to a road on the river’s west by structures that typically make it to photo collages of the state — narrow bamboo bridges that sway precariously over raging rivers. With every step, the bridge sways over the clear green waters that foam as they crash on the rocks on either bank. The more adventurous can also try river rafting under these hanging bridges!

3. An Old World Monastery

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Built in the 14th century, the Samsen Yongcha monastery is older than the revered Tawang Monastery. Located on a hilltop at the village’s western edge, this ancient monastery has beautiful statues of Guru Padmasambhava and fascinating masks of mythological figures that are used during the Chaam dances (a lively masked and costumed dance associated with some Tibetan Buddhist festivals).

4. Nature’s Bounty

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Mechuka’s lush landscape
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A mesmerising canvas of verdant woods, wildflower-sprinkled meadows and endearing little wooden houses, Mechuka Valley’s scenic camaraderie with nature is sure to leave you yearning for more. Take long nature walks through the peaceful countryside, wander off in the woods by yourself and get lost in the charm of this surreal valley.


You May Like: #TravelTales: 7 Epic Road Trips in North East India That Will Satisfy Your Wanderlust


5. A World of Waterfalls

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Siko Dido Waterfall
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The Mechuka Valley is dotted with numerous pretty waterfalls, some cascading from great heights and some gurgling gently over moss green rocks. An uphill hike from the Tado Gitu village will reward you with a jewel of a waterfall hidden in the forested valley, Siko Dido. Sit by the plunge pool of the towering waterfall and breathe in the ethereal ambience of the surroundings.

6. Pristine Riverside Retreats

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The hardworking residents of the Mechuka Valley harvest rice from their riverside terraced farms, the gurgling Siang keeping them company as they work. Surrounded by fragrant orange orchards, these peaceful farms are the perfect place to bask in some glorious mountain sunshine. Remember to get a traditional lunch packed at a local eatery for a perfect riverside picnic.

7. The Friendly Tribes of Mechuka

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Mechuka Valley is home to the people of the Memba, Ramo (Adi), Bokar and Libo tribes. The Memba tribe, that makes up the majority of the local population, are a warm, friendly Tibeto-Mongoloid community that resides in quaint wooden houses besides their millet and buckwheat fields. The next big tribe, thee once-nomadic Ramos are also believed to have migrated from Tibet long ago, but unlike the Buddhist Membas , practice Donyi-Polo or worship of nature.


Also Read: Laitlum Canyons: Take a Trip into the Heart of Meghalaya’s Natural Wonder


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Written by Sanchari Pal

A lover of all things creative and happy, Sanchari is a biotech engineer who fell in love with writing and decided to make it her profession. She is also a die-hard foodie, a pet-crazy human, a passionate history buff and an ardent lover of books. When she is not busy at The Better India, she can usually be found reading, laughing at silly cat videos and binge-watching TV seasons.