Mechuka, colloquially known as Menchukha, is a small town in Arunachal Pradesh that lies 6,000 ft above sea level, surrounded by pine trees and bushes. It is one of the lesser explored valleys in this Himalayan region and thus unspoilt. The main attraction is the 400-year-old Samten Yongcha Monastery of Mahayana Buddhist sect. It houses numerous ancient statues, including that of Guru Padmasambhava, considered to be founder of the Nyingma sect. Colourful costumes and masks created for folklore figures found in Tibetan mythology can also be seen. These masks are often worn during a traditional dance called cham, which is an energetic and lively event that teaches people to shun all that is dark within them and embrace the good tenets of life according to Buddhism, like compassion and love. Many Tibetan festivals, especially Losar, are celebrated with reverence. The Losar festival, celebrated to mark the auspicious start of a new year, sees a lot of visitors who come to offer prayers.


Mechuka is also known for its pristine beauty, cultural tribes and gushing rivers that allow for sports like kayaking and rafting. The Siang river, which originates from the glaciers around the Mansarovar Lake in Tibet, flows through Mechuka and provides a breathtaking view of the valley. There are many bamboo walking bridges that connect the banks of this river. Walking on these gently swaying bridges, while the water gushes below, can be quite thrilling. Terraced rice fields, dotted with small farms, can be seen on the slopes of the valleys in this agrarian belt. Mechuka Valley is home to the people of the Memba, Ramo, Bokar and Libo tribes.

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