Mechuka, West Siang district, Arunachal Pradesh

Mechuka is the city placed in a charming valley close to the border of India and Tibet.  Etymologically, the term Men-chu-kha literally means medicinal water of snow. In the winter season the tourist get wonderful opportunity to see snow fall and the mountains in white shade. The Mechuka Lake is yet another attraction located at great height of 6000 feet offering beautiful sceneries. Samtem Yongcha is an old Buddhist monastery in the State of Arunachal Pradesh and it is situated at the top part of a hill from where the entire valley can be viewed. The place is also called as Menchukha and located in the District of West Siang. The valley is encircled completely with pine trees as well as thorn bushes. The valley becomes more beautiful due to the presence of River Yargyapchu flowing through it. From along, one has to travel a distance of 180 kilometers to reach Mechuka and Itanagar is only 500 kilometers from this place. But it is only 29 kilometers away from the Indo-Tibet border. The road that passes through Menchukha reaches Along which is placed at a distance of 200 kilometers.

Before the creation of the new road, the people could reach the valley only by airstrip that was employed by the Air Force to transport the people living there. At the time of Sino-Indian War in 1962, nearly two battalions of military personnel were poorly attacked in Mechuka. That people were not moved away as the mountains were encircled with snow. The majority of the population constitutes tribal people like the Bokar, Memba, Libo and Ramo. The Memba is the Tibeto-mongloid Ethnic Group effectively represented in the city. The religion followed by the people are Christianity, Buddhism and Donyi-Poloism and the languages used are English, Hindi, Memba and Adi. Due to these features the place is famous for its rich heritage, culture and tradition. The airstrip under the control of the Indian Air Force is the Advanced Landing Ground (ALG).  It is usually used to supply commodities from Assam through helicopters and Antonov 32 aircraft. The airstrip was reconstructed in 2010. Since the Army persons are always positioned in the place, there are much employment opportunities for the people living here.

The fundamental reason for the development of tourism in the place are the beautiful sights, interesting tribes, gentle mountains, hills surrounded by snow and the gorgeous River Siyom. This river is known among the local people as Yargyap Chu. The tourists often visit the place to see the Buddhist monastery where various ancient monuments can be seen. The Inspection Bungalow, lodges and private hotels give accommodation to the visitors. The Ramo tribes have inhabited the place from ancient times and they have unique custom and traditions. They reside in the villages like Rego, Hiri, Gapo, Rapum, Karte, Pauk, Charung, Padusa and Lipusi Purying.

In addition to all these features, there are some places in Machuka that are untouched by humans. The forest authorities give permission for camping in the forests. The main products that are made by the tribal people are baskets, cane tray, chairs, racks, shelves, caps, cradle, lamp shades etc that are created from bamboos and canes. Further, they make toys, decorating articles, statues of animals and humans by carving on wooden pieces. The tribes are experts for making Tibetan items like their paintings, shawls etc. The articles can be purchased by the tourists at cheap rates from the tribes. Due to the presence of beautiful Himalayan ranges, the climate in Mechuka is lovely and good for the viewers.

The Mohanbari located in Dibrugarh in the State of Assam is the closest airport which is at a distance of 385 kilometers from Mechuka. Another airport situated at 420 kilometers is Lilabari airport. Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati is nearly 800 kilometers from this place. Simen Chapari and Silapathar are the nearest railway station. The road that passes through Menchukha reaches Along which is placed at a distance of 200 kilometers.