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

  1. #16
    Mechuka/Menchukha --> Yarlung/Yorlung, end of road near India-China McMahon Line --> Mechuka -- 15 km

    Yarlung or Yorlung is the last post till where one can travel and has an Army base camp for forward posts on Indo-China border. Yorlung is located at an altitude of more than 8,900 feet above the sea level.

    Morning Mechuka - it rained all through the night and morning was overcast and sometimes a slight drizzle
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    Early morning passed the quaint houses of this beautiful valley as we climbed again through the forests road/track towards Yarlung
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    From Samye Monastery the Guru proceeded southwards towards India. Crossing through La-Khanya, he reached Menchukha a place where Lord Shiva, one of the Hindu Trinity is said to have meditated. Guru Nanak was enchanted by the place and stayed for sometime at Menchukha and meditated. He went back to Tibet and brought his followers of Memba sect from Dakbo-Kongba area and got them settled in Menchukha valley. There from through Tibet he proceeded towards Gelling-Tuting valley in March 1916.

    Near Pemoshubu, there is a hill at Segong Dorgilling on the top of which there is one Gompha (Lama Temple). Along with Lord Buddha’s idol it has life sized idol of Guru Nanak, which the Membas (local tribe) worship. A regular fair is held in the month of January at this place. A Lama told the author, “The monastery had a book of Guru’s Shabds in their language which was destroyed in a fire about fifty years ago”. The head Lama of this monastery had been visiting Gaya as well as Amritsar.

    Guru Nanak is said to have visited Shekhar-Bhumja and Dojeeling in Menchukha valley as well. Regular fairs are held in February at these places. Fairs coincide with the dates of Guru Nanak’s visit to these places. Calculation of the days and dates is as per Tibetan Calendar.

    Close to Mechukha, there is a snow white cave. Guru Nanak is said to have meditated in this cave also. It is said that Guru Nanak stayed in this area for about 3 months. According to the local Membas, Guru Nanak brought them from Southern Tibet and got them settled in the valley and became far better off from their previous place. In their songs they give out the legend of their settlements. Source : http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-g...ru-nanaks.html



    Historical Gurudwara and Hanuman camp falls on the way to Yorlung.
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    With overcast clouds and rains, we thought of touching the Yarlung base first and then halt over here on the return back to Mechuka
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    A dip and a skid en route we moved on towards the end of road at Yarlung
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    Finally after a slow yet most enchanting drive, we reach Yorlung, where the road ends and ITBP soldiers trek towards the Indo-China border. Being a very sensitive military base, this is the only long shot image of the place
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    Asmita and Bambi, thewanderers, and Safari VTT-TMT at Yarlung, West Siang, Arunachal
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    contd...
    The Wanderers.in

  2. #17
    After some time spent there and some interesting interaction with an officer at Yorlung, it is time for the return journey to Mechuka
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    And that mud pack part of track was less dramatic as it was a downhill journey
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    On return we stopped at Hanuman camp and Gurudwara
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    It was a relaxed day today though weather was a bit of dampener. Some time spent with the locals who were working over here, including that rifleman huntsman. Interesting interactions and talk again of their lives and times.

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    Now back towards Mechuka and the beautiful valley
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    The rains stopped and we just walked or drove around the town and outskirts. Mechuka is one of the most enchanting places we have seen till now. It has that old town of "Ladakh feeling" yet with greenery and lush vegetation.

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    Safari VTT-TMT at Mechuka
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    Mechuka has an ancient Buddhist Monastery called “Samten Yangcha Gompa” located on a towering hill
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    and some random images...
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    So as another eventful day ends and dusk falls, we retire early. Tomorrow we move on to Upper Siang district of Arunachal, to Yingkiong, for a further travel towards Tuting and end of road, again near India-China border at Gelling.

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    contd...
    The Wanderers.in

  3. #18
    Mechuka, West Siang, to Yingkiong, Upper Siang


    So after some well spent time in Mechuka [again as I emphasize a must visit place in Arunachal], we move now to the adjoining district of Upper Siang. The district headquarters is Yingkiong and we are headed now to that town to base ourselves for the next day journey towards Tuting and further northwards to the LAC border of Gelling.


    Early morning start for Mechuka as it is a 12-hour journey via Along again and then to Yingkiong.
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    Fully overcast day with looming black clouds as we headed towards our first stop at Along.
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    And breakfast at roadside shack as overcast clouds loomed large
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    And a temporary halt...
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    And another favorite pic of VTT against the pristine tropical forest background
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    Reached Along for our afternoon lunch break at the same Hotel Toshi Palace
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    And soon again the journey continued towards Yingkiong, another 4 hrs around from here
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    There are some major slidezones just before entering the town and we were lucky in that this was cleared just in the morning after a gap of 2 days.
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    Finally a hurried shot as we entered the town of Yingkiong late evening. We had to fix up a place to stay
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    Yingkiong is a small town. Late evening with falling light and overcast clouds, we again went in search of circuit house - which has only a few rooms and was it full. The caretaker told me that the only other option is another budget hotel, where luckily we got accommodation just in time as night came around. A quick dinner of what the hotel could arrange and we were off to bed, tomorrow we make another journey northwards - towards lesser known places of Tuting and Gelling. And torrential rain fell all through the night....


    contd...
    The Wanderers.in

  4. #19
    Yingkiong to Tuting, Upper Siang, Arunachal Pradesh


    We are now in Yingkiong, the district headquarters of the remote district of Upper Siang.

    As would readers recall we have come here direct from Mechuka with a lunch break at Along, having driven for around 12 hours. We will now proceed more northwards towards the Tuting and then later on towards the India-China LAC at Gelling.


    Upper Siang - a district in the State of Arunachal Pradesh in India with geographical area of 6188 Sq Km, a veritable treasure house of nature in its full splendour, has 11 Administrative Circles with a total population of 33, 146 persons (2001 Census). It is inhabited by Adi, Memba, Khamba and Idu Mishmi tribes who have been harmoniously living in the cradle of nature since time immemorial with colourful festivals / rituals like Solung, Aran, Reh, Lossar, Dihang, etc.

    It is a mountainous region endowed with rich natural resources and biodiversity, deep gorges and fast flowing streams and rivulets, which form the tributaries of the mighty Siang River. It flows through the district running into Indian Territory at a point near Gelling in the Indo-China border.
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    However, for going to Tuting either from Along or Pasighat, one need NOT need enter Yingkiong or go towards the other side of Pangin bridge. As said, we had a night halt at Y'kiong not Along on our drive straight from Mechuka. The red arrow shows the boat taken to cross from Y'kiong, took a chance though with overnight rain it was dicey as otherwise would have go quite a roundabout way from Y'kiong to Jengging and then to Tuting.
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    Overnight torrential rain fell. Early morning after taking directions from the hotel owner, went ahead in search of the boat that will help us cross. It was a treacherous drive to the river bank with packed sand washed, dont know how i crossed that slide but remember the rear tyre almost went in.
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    Done that Safari VTT and us all up on the boat for crossing the mighty Siang [Bhramaputra].
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    The boat operator along with us and VTT with a local with a scooter set out to the other side on a early overcast foggy yet enchanting morning at Y'kiong
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    We were headed towards the opposite bank and all that sand made me think how to go up to the road other side
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    Excited were all of us and son particularly checked out the engine and surroundings to his satisfaction.

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    Fantastic wilderness surroundings early morning as we crossed River Siang, on an overcast morning, April 2012
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    The other side too the torrential rains have washed away the packed sand and had definite worries about getting stuck here, but somehow it was just okay - that's all I remember!
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    After much sliding along the uphill river bed jungle track we connect to the main road from Jengging.
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    contd...
    The Wanderers.in

  5. #20
    Caught up with the road to Tuting that come through Jengging, and pass . Mouling National Park entrance
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    And soon cross a few tea gardens - from N Bengal to Assam and now in Arunachal.
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    However soon the few settlements pass by as we move towards Tuting through narrow rainforest road/track
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    Siang River which originates from Tibet and forms the main flow of the mighty Brahmaputra
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    and that bend as seen on wikimapia.
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    And our journey continued through most lonely rainforest roads and tracks...
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    and we stopped where we liked - absolute wilderness yet enchanting as we continued towards Tuting.
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    contd...
    The Wanderers.in

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