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Thread: Central Arunachal Self-drive Exploratory Expedition, end March 2012

  1. #11
    Daporijo - Taliha - Siyum - Nacho - Daporijo [250 km approx round trip] contd....

    Approaching Nacho
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    There is a PWD rest house over there. We did not realize that as such was making the round trip from Daporijo. Rooms are available anytime as few goes over there! The caretaker and a few locals gathered around seeing the Safari and the family.
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    As I was taking pictures, got also acquainted with an elderly local in full attire. The caretaker of the PWD is the person in coat and jeans and said we could easily stay over here and food he can arrange.
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    Further 38 km from Nacho is Limeking and end of road close to China border. At Limeking is Shere-e-Chadai, a 1962 war memorial of Sher-e-Thapa. During my discussion over there at Nacho, the locals were very much peeved that no better memorial has been erected over there as like Jaswantgarh in Tawang sector. Shere-e-Thapa single handedly took on the Chinese and had shown exemplary courage during the 1962 war.

    The old trekking pilgrimage to Takpa Shri goes through Limeking.

    We would have stayed over at Nacho and gone till Limeking and end of road over at the memorial, but all our luggage was at the PWD at Daporijo. So a return journey of another 4 hours back to Daporijo was done.
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    Now this was what I wanted to do for long, cross the river along these rope bridges. They are a good 40-80 feet above the ground and river. Went half of these and then returned back. A fear of heights of course will not help and also panicking will result in swaying of this rope bridge! Have part video but then all camera antics had to stop soon to concentrate on footsteps and grip.
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  2. #12
    And the mountains and lands of Nacho that we leave behind as we return back to Daporijo
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    Menga's Natural Cave is situated at Menga in Upper Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh. Tourists must crawl through a narrow crevice to approach the cave. This place draws a large number of visitors and pilgrims, specially during the Makar Sankranti and Mahashivaratri. The cave is believed to be sacred to Lord Shiva.

    Menga's Natural Cave is located 19 km away from Daporijo. Tezpur Airport and North Lakhimpur Railway Station are the nearest airport and railway station.

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    Near Menga Caves, we stop at this wayside shack for a great late lunch of Maggi and vegetables and fantastic tea. And soon noticed this local kid, a bandana and a bike. Cheerful and full of energy.
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    Finally reached back to the Daporijo Circuit Hous, it has been a great ride for us and and VTT
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    The terrain travelled surely made the Safari more appealing!
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    So hereby ends another day of fantastic travel of rough and desolate roads to a very less know place. Tomorrow we take the known route and enter West Siang district, the well known town of Along.


  3. #13
    Daporijo, Upper Subansiri, to Along [Aalo], West Siang - 170 km

    The next day journey was the most relatively straightforward of all the travel in Arunachal. A 6-hour leisurely drive along the main tourist and local highway. Everyday since our start, everyday had been a long drives and then the tension of reaching in time to see if we can manage a room in the circuit houses. Today there was no compulsion of getting up at 5 and drive, so things started slow.

    Along or Aalo is the District HQ of West Siang, a beautiful modern town and well connected to Dibrugarh, Assam, through the Lilabali border. The two rivers flowing through it are Sipu and Siyom. Among the tribes of West Siang are like Galo, Minyong, Bori, Bokar, Pailibo, Ramos, Memba and others.

    Daporijo to Along or Aalo, 170 km
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    As said, today was the first leisurely day in this travel and of course a much needed clean up done in the morning at Daporijo
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    Spic and span now, but for a day only as we its gets much more muddier as we moved from Along into interior parts.
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    And the drive continues
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    Along is also well connected to Assam via Lilabali. Night buses from Assam entering Along in themorning
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    Approaching Along
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    The drill was the same for us, entering Along, went in search of circuit house. And for a surprise easily got a room over there.
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    Safari VTT at Along Circuit House
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    Done that went in search of a good restaurant, it has been 8 days of long drives, remote locations and erratic food times. and nearby got the perfect one - a hotel with a rooftop restaurant -great service and a good filling lunch.
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    As in other trips, hardly any pics of mine, so told son to take a good pic!
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    But as Safari VTT-TMT watched the Army truck convey return from Yarlung, close to India-China border - the lone relax day is today itself, tomorrow we move again towards north, towards the lesser known and unknown.
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  4. #14
    Along to Mechuka, West Siang, 220 km approx

    Next day early morning, on a slightly overcast day, we are exited. We again travel more northerly to a new land and lesser known place called Mechuka, just around 30 km from the Indo-China border.

    Mechuka is a small town nestled 6,000 feet (1,829 m) above sea level in the Mechuka Valley in West Siang District of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Mechuka Valley is home to the people of the Memba tribe. They are mostly the believers of the Buddhism and speak Memba, Adi, Hindi and English. This place of Arunachal Pradesh is known for both its religious and historical significance. The major tourist attraction here is a 400-year-old Buddhist Monastery, which is located at a hilltop in the western most part of Mechuka

    Mechuka is gradually becoming a popular tourist destination in Arunachal Pradesh due to its Scenic beauty and exotic tribes. High hills, snow-capped mountains and River Siyom are the major attractions..

    Mechuka a Sub-divisional headquarter, is a quaint town with a picturesque valley near the Indo-Tibet border. One can get a great view of snow covered mountain peaks and snow fall during the winter. Mechuka Lake is a high altitude natural lake with pristine natural beauty. One can see the Buddhist Monastery (Samtem Yongcha of Mahayana sect) one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Arunachal situated on a hill top overlooking the valley.

    Nestled in the Eastern Himalayas, Mechuka, the forbidden valley of Arunachal Pradesh is blessed with stunning beauty of blue hills, rivers and lush green forests.Among all the alluring places of Arunachal Pradesh , Mechuka valley is one such place where you can behold the exotic charm of the mother nature that can mesmerize you at the very first glance. Mechuka valley is the home to the people of the Memba tribe who are mostly believers of Buddhism.

    The prime attraction of Mechuka is an ancient Buddhist Monastery called Samten Yongcha of Mehayana sect. This 400 year old monastery is perched at a hilltop in the western part of Mechuka valley. This gompa or monastery is contemporary to the great Tawang monastery in the state. Mechuka is also embellished with numerous ancient statues. It is said that around five sanctuary ago, the teacher of the Sikh religion Guru Nanak once visited Mechuka and has done meditation at the origin of the river Siom.

    It is just 29 km away from the Indo-China international boundary and had played a pivotal role during the Indo-China war of 1962 and is one of those places which can be visited throughout the year. The weather of this place always remain pleasant due to its proximity to great Himalayan mountain ranges. Source: Wikipedia and link

    Early morning, on an overcast day, we leave from Along towards Mechuka, a 220 km journey
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    And soon again we enter virgin jungle roads and lands, as move ahead
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    River Siyom takes a turn at West Siang, Arunachal Pradesh - brilliant yet menacing. River Siyom is formed by join of two rivers Yom and Go
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    Mechuka and Manigong are located on either side of each other
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    And the jungle road and land continues...
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  5. #15
    We enter into Mechuka circle, the actual town and valley is still some distance away
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    Then a stop at this roadside shack for afternoon food and tea
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    A road is being constructed that would connect Mechuka and Tato with Nacho via Tahila, but that may still take time
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    And our journey continued as we stopped as and when we liked!
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    Finally after an exhilarating drive, entering the valley of Mechuka. From a distance, itself it was beautiful. Almost a "Ladakh but with greenery" like place suddenly emerges as the jungle road descends into this valley
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    Again the drill was the same - with no bookings went in search for the circuit house/inspection bungalow, and got a room. Relieved, but there is also a private hotel in Mechuka. In fact Mechuka you can camp even, a beautiful valley it is
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    Mechuka town as seen from the IB, it was an overcast day today with looming black clouds on the horizon
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    We arrived around evening time, so went to the town and surroundings as long as daylight was there. And saw a very confident young man pumping out a tyre by a cycle pump.
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    Mechuka is by River Siyom. Just before entering Mechuka, a natural river bank is located and we went back to that place again.
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    Mehcuka - High hills, snow-capped mountains and River Siyom are the major attractions. Home to the people of the Memba tribe, mostly believers of Buddhism
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    As dusk fell, we returned back to the Inspection Bungalow. The fire that is seen on the hillside has been lighted purposely so that the old grass is burnt away and new grass with rains grow more vigorously for cattle-stock pasture land. So nothing to be alarmed!
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    And as we huddled around in that small yet cozy room as another day of fantastic travel ended. Tomorrow again is another exciting day as we explore more of this beautiful town of Mechuka and we further north, almost to the MacMahon line of India-China border - towards Yarlung and end of road.
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