Mechuka is a small town in the Shi-Yomi district of Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India. A place of pristine beauty, it sits in the Himalayan foothills. We learnt about Mechuka from Abhirup Paul, founder of Eka Experiences, a travel company that takes you to uncommon places in India, Nepal and beyond.
Abhirup Paul is the founder of Eka Experiences, a boutique experiential travel company that offers personalised leisure tours and tailor-made trekking adventures in some of the most unique Himalayan destinations like Mechuka.
Born in the North-East and raised in Calcutta, Abhirup worked as a Data Analyst before becoming a Trek Leader and an Outdoor Learning Facilitator in India, Nepal, Hong Kong and Australia. He started Eka with an aim to provide carefully curated journeys and immersive local experiences in places beyond the common and popular ones and help showcase the beauty of the lesser-known India.
What makes Mechuka a must-visit?
In Mechuka, The Yargyap Chu River flows through the whole town. It is a tributary of the Siyom River. The views from the banks are nothing short of breathtaking. Mechuka can be considered a big village. As you travel along the river, you see the valley open up and all the settlements here. You also get great views of the mountains shadowing the entire valley. The highlight of visiting here is most definitely the landscapes.
Walking around the town and exploring what it has to offer is easily one of the best activities to do when here. It has one of the oldest monasteries in Arunachal Pradesh, the Samten Yongcha monastery that is about 400 years old and on a hilltop. Enjoying the serenity of the local homestays is an experience that you can find no where else.
How do I reach Mechuka?
The nearest city is Dibrugarh in Assam. You can get here by flight. Once you reach, Eka Experiences offers a scenic 3 day journey to Mechuka, with stops in many towns and villages, so as to give you an immersive and relaxing holiday. The first stop is Pasighat , which is Arunachal’s oldest town, and about 150 kilometers away from Dibrugarh. The second stop we offer is Aalo, a picturesque valley where the main inhabitants are the Adi and Galo tribes. On the third day, we arrive at the Shi-Yomi district in Mechuka. It is best known for the beautiful Siyom river that flows through it.
What’s the best time of year to visit Mechuka?
Mechuka is located in the upper highlands of Arunachal Pradesh. The best time to visit is during the months of March to May and October to December. It gets quite cold here during the other months. Mechuka is beautiful during the winter and should definitely be on your list of must visit places in India.
What is the local cuisine like in Mechuka?
Mechuka is a lot smaller than Shimla or Manali, so there are very few markets here. Some of the best food you can get is available in your homestay. The experience is authentic and you are properly immersed in their culture by eating like a native. The Memba tribe, who are the dominant tribe in this area eat a primary diet of meat and rice ,which are staples here. There is a lot of Tibetan influence on their food because of its geographical location.
Fun Fact : The Ramo tribe in this region follows the Donyi – Polo Religion where they worship the Sun and Moon.
What should I pack for a trip to Mechuka?
There are different kinds of treks you can do here based on your interests. You can either do a day trek, preferably to the nearing village of Dorjeeling ( not to be confused with Darjeeling) or you can do a multi day trek. We suggest packing light for the latter. Some essentials you need to bring are :
- A water bottle
- Rain gear
- any personal medication required
- A thick jacket
- A light sweater
- Full sleeved shirts
Thermal wear is a good option as it is lightweight. Make sure to wear comfortable high ankle shoes and avoid wearing jeans.
What are some scenic viewpoints or hiking trails in Mechuka ?
The entire town has beautiful paddy fields, views of the river from every angle and is surrounded by snow capped mountains. Arunachal Pradesh is also well known for its hanging bridges suspended above the river. The neighboring towns too have stunning forest views with waterfalls , so really, every inch of this place is picture worthy. A hidden gem here is the Guru Nanak Tapasthan that is very well maintained by the Indian Army.
What’s the best way to get around within Mechuka?
Mechuka is a relatively newer town and before the roads were laid, people trekked for days to get in and out of the town. As of today, We at Eka experiences provide car services through out the course of your vacation. For solo travellers, there are shared cab options available here.
Finally, any specific guidelines or permits required for travelling to Mechuka?
Yes , you require an Inner line permit to visit some of the destinations here. It is quite easily accessible and a lot of local agencies offer it as well. As for guidelines, being respectful of the locals and their traditions is very important. Asking permission before photos is essential so as to not invade their privacy.
Abhirup Paul spoke to Abigail Sylvester from Travel Secrets
To book you next amazing holiday, head over to Eka Experiences