Welcome to Mechuka, Arunachal Pradesh’s hidden gem! We will take you on an unforgettable journey through the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture of this enchanting region in this ultimate 5-day itinerary.
This guide will cover everything you need to know before visiting Mechuka, including travel permits, the best time to visit, a recommended itinerary, places to stay, and things to see and do. So, pack your bags, and let’s embark on this remarkable adventure!
Best time to visit Mechuka:
The best time to visit Mechuka is from October to May. The weather conditions are charming during these months, making your trip very restful.
During October and November, the weather is pleasant with clear skies, providing excellent visibility of the surrounding landscapes. If you visit during these months, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the beauty of Mechuka’s landscapes without extreme weather conditions.
From December to February, you can experience the winter charm of Mechuka, with a possibility of snowfall. The entire region transforms into a winter wonderland, offering breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains and picturesque landscapes.
As March approaches, the weather starts to warm up, and Mechuka showcases vibrant colours with blooming flowers and lush vegetation. The landscapes become more vibrant, making it a perfect time for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
It’s important to note that the monsoon season (June to September) may have challenging road conditions due to heavy rainfall. Plan your visit accordingly and check the weather before travelling to Mechuka.
Permits required to enter Arunachal Pradesh:
It could be noticed that Arunachal Pradesh imparts its boundaries to China which is the essential justification for why entry to the state is not kept unmonitored for tourists.
To enter Arunachal Pradesh, there are two permits required: Inner Line Permit (ILP) for Indian residents and Protected Area Permit (PAP) for Foreign Nationals.
1. Inner Line Permit (ILP) for Indian residents:
Indian residents require an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter Arunachal Pradesh, here’s how to obtain an ILP:
- Online Application: The most convenient way to obtain an ILP is through the Arunachal Pradesh EILP website. Fill out the application form with the necessary details, such as personal information, purpose of visit, duration of stay, etc. Pay the required fees online and submit the application.
- Offline Application: If you prefer a manual application, visit the Deputy Resident Commissioner’s Office in major cities like Guwahati, Kolkata, New Delhi, or Itanagar. You can also go to ILP facilitation centres at Naharlagun Railway Station, Gumto Railway Station, and Guwahati airport. Another option is visiting Asom Paryatan Bhawan in Guwahati. Provide the necessary documents and pay the fees at the office.
After the submission of your application, the ILP will be issued, usually on the same day if applied online or within a few working days if applied manually. Make sure to carry a printed copy of the ILP while travelling in Arunachal Pradesh, as you may be asked to present it at various checkpoints.
2. Protected Area Permit (PAP) for Foreign Nationals:
Foreign nationals are required to get a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to enter Arunachal Pradesh. Here’s how to obtain a PAP:
- Indian Missions Abroad: Foreign nationals can apply for a PAP at Indian missions abroad, such as the Indian Embassy or Consulate in their home country. Submit the required documents, including a copy of the passport, visa, and other relevant details. The mission will process the application and issue the PAP.
- Home Ministry: Alternatively, foreign nationals can apply for a PAP through the Ministry of Home Affairs in India. This can be done by visiting the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in major cities or applying online on e-FRRO online Portal. Submit the necessary documents, pay the fees, and await the processing of the application.
It’s important to note that the process for obtaining a PAP may take longer than an ILP. Therefore, it is advisable to apply well in advance of your planned visit to Arunachal Pradesh. Once the PAP is issued, carry a printed copy of the permit along with your passport while travelling in the state, as it may be checked at various checkpoints.
Remember to check the official government websites or contact the relevant authorities for the most up-to-date information regarding permits, as the requirements and procedures may change over time.
How to get into Arunachal Pradesh?
To begin our itinerary, the first step is to reach Aalo in Arunachal Pradesh. It is the closest main town to Mechuka, located about 180 kilometres away. Here are the ways to reach Aalo:
Book a flight to Dibrugarh Airport in Mohanbari, Assam. This airport is the nearest and most convenient option, with flights available from different places.
Upon landing in Dibrugarh, you can take public transport, shared sumo or hire a private cab to reach Aalo. The journey from Dibrugarh to Aalo takes approximately 4-5 hours.
As a plus, you’ll be able to drive across the Bhramaputra on the Bogibeel Bridge, which is a spectacle.
Since there is no direct train to Aalo, there are three main railway services you can take to get as close as possible to Aalo.
Silapathar is the closest railway station to Aalo (about 140 km away), but there are no direct trains to it. You can take a train to Guwahati from different parts of the country and then catch the Lachit Express to Silapathar. Then upon reaching Silapathar, you can hire a shared or private cab to travel to Aalo.
- New Delhi-Dibrugarh-Aalo:
You can board the Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express from New Delhi, which will take you to Dibrugarh in 38 hours. From Dibrugarh, you can hire a cab or take a bus that will drop you to Aalo in about 5 hours.
- New Delhi-Naharlagun-Aalo:
The Arunachal AC SF Express service is available once a week, taking you from Delhi to Naharlagun in 37 hours. After reaching Naharlagun, you can hire a cab, shared Sumo or take a bus to reach Aalo, which takes approximately 7 hours.
After the long and tiring journey to Aalo, you will need to find accommodation for a night. On the following day, we will head towards Mechuka.
Where to stay in Aalo?
- Reyi homestay
- Hotel Toshi Palace
- Capital O 69945 P&p Resort
Arunachal Pradesh Itinerary for visiting Mechuka:
- Day 1: Arrive in Mechuka from Aalo
- Day 2: Explore Mechuka
- Day 3: Yarlung Camp, Gurudwara & Taposthan
- Day 4: Dorjeeling Village
- Day 5: The Journey Ends
Day 1: Start your journey from Aalo
The journey to discover Arunachal Pradesh’s hidden gem begins with a road trip from Aalo for approximately 6-8 hours.
From this point onward, our entire travel will be by car on the road. You can use a Sumo transport service to travel, as it is effectively accessible in every part of Arunachal Pradesh, or you can choose to hire a private cab for the next five days.
As you leave Aalo and travel up two or three thousand feet towards Mechuka, you may witness how the air and landscape change decisively with elevation.
After a pleasant six-hour journey, you will reach Mechuka, a breathtaking valley located in the West Siang district.
Once you arrive, find a place to stay and wait for the night to pass. The following day, we will begin exploring this beautiful town.
Where to stay in Mechuka?
- Gayboo’s Traditional Homestay
- Potala Homestay
- Yargyap Chhu Homestay
- The Myst Hotel
Day 2: Explore Mechuka
On our first day in Majestic Mechuka, we will climb the epic mountain Mechuka La.
It will take a few hours to get to the top of the cliff. You can take some food with you and enjoy it on the top by watching the gorgeous view of Mechuka and the surroundings of snow-capped peaks. The total hike duration may lie between 4 to 6 hours, depending on how quickly you complete it.
Spend the rest of the day interacting with the local people of Mechuka and learning new things about the area. You will find that the majority of the individuals belong to the Memba tribe and a Tibeto-monoid ethnic group that follows Buddhism.
Day 3: Yarlung Camp, Gurudwara & Taposthan
On the next day in Mechuka, we will brace towards the Yarlung Army Camp. It is the final point before the Indo-china border where civilians are permitted to enter without any special permission. Here you can meet the Indian army and hear brave stories about them.
Note: Taking photos and shooting videos are restricted in the area.
On the way back from Yarlung camp, we can stop at a small Hanuman temple. Here you can find the naturally carved face of Lord Hanuman on a rugged mountain cliff.
Thenceforth, drive to the Gurudwara to pay your regards. This Gurudwara has a prayer hall, Langar, and a museum. It was established and managed by an Indian army to commemorate the visit of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji on his journey to Tibet between 1516-1517.
Across the Gurudwara, there is a Guru Nanak Taposthan known to have impressions of Guru Nanak Ji. To enter Taposthan, you need to pass through a narrow passage in the mountain that opens into an enchanting forest by the riverside. And there is a myth that if you are a sinner, you will fail to pass the passage. After spending some time at the riverside hearing the peaceful stem of the river, head back to your stay in Mechuka.
Day 4: Dorjeeling Village
Located crossing the Yargepchu River is the Dorjeeling Village, which has scenic mountain views. It will roughly take 20 to 25 minutes to reach Dorjeeling from Mechuka.
This village has various picturesque scenes with hanging bridges and a small Monastery. After exploring the village end back to our stay in Mechuka
Day 5: The Journey Ends
It is time to bid farewell to Mechuka. Get up early and travel back to Guwahati/ Dibrugarh by following the same route we took to get here.
From Guwahati/ Dibrugarh, you can get a train/ flight back to your home.
WEB SERIES: Off to Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh Itinerary for visiting Mechuka: Wrap-up
As our incredible journey through Mechuka and Arunachal Pradesh comes to an end, we hope you have cherished every moment and created lifelong memories. From the stunning Mechuka La mountain to the sacred sites of Taposthan, and Gurudwara, you have experienced the very best this region has to offer.
We have covered all you need to know from travel permits to the best time to visit, and places to stay and explore in Arunachal Pradesh. Now it is your time to plan a fantasy trip to Mechuka right away!