How to reach Mechuka
The valley of Mechuka is located at an altitude of 6000 meters in the West Siang District of Arunachal Pradesh near the Indo-China border. The border is at a distance of 30 kms away from the town of Mechuka.
There is no direct flight or train transport service to Mechuka. Tourists will first need to reach eitherGuwahati by bus/train/flight or direct fly to Dibrugarh.
Along serves as the closest main town at a distance of 180 kilometers from Mechuka however Pasighat(d. 300 kms) serves another important town as it is nearest to the Murkongselek Railway station.
Flights to Mechuka: There is no direct flights to Mechuka. You can fly to Guwahati, Dibrugarh orPasighat and travel from Pasighat to Mechuka on Sumo.
- Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (Guwahati) : For both domestic and international tourists this airport serves a major purpose. The international tourists can travel from various countries and the domestic tourists can travel from any part of the state to Guwahati Airport and begin their journey to Mechuka. After flying in there are options of traveling by train or road to Mechuka.
- Lilabari Airport in Dibrugarh: This airport is considered the nearest and important airport which is located in Assam (neighboring state) and you can fly in from different places. However, you have to cross the Bhramaputra River by ferry and take a bus to Silapathar and then Sumo to Pasighat.
- Pasighat Airport: The first commercial airport in Arunachal Pradesh has been opened recently in May, 2018. Tourists can book a direct flight to Pasighat on the Kolkata-Guwahati-Pasighat route. Now you can directly reach Pasighat from Kolkata and Guwahati. The Alliance Air will fly thrice a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
This has made the journey to Mechuka more bearable and soon will take over the road and train services to Pasighat which were the only way to reach Pasighat.
Travel by Train: As Mechuka doesn’t have a railway station of itself there are a few trains that enters Arunachal Pradesh. There are mainly two railway services you can embark to reach as close as possible to Mechuka.
- Naharlagun-New Delhi AC Express: If you are an international tourist, you can book a flight to Delhi, and catch the Naharlagun-New Delhi AC Express train and reach Naharlagun. This super fast express train will make your journey super comfortable with fully air conditioned service. The journey starts from Delhi touching Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam and reaching Naharlagun after an average journey time of 39 hours. This direct train service is available once a week, so make sure to book your seats in advance.
After reaching Naharlagun, you can take a Private Sumo or Shared Sumo to Pasighat. From Pasighat, you can catch a Sumo and travel to Along first, then take another Sumo to Mechuka.
- Lachit Express: If you are traveling from Guwahati, Intercity Guwahati train plies on daily basis from Kamakhya Junction Railway Station to Murkongselek Railway Station which serves as the closest railway station to Pasighat which is at a distance of 36 kilometers.
After reaching Pasighat, you can catch a Sumo and travel to Along first, then take another Sumo to Mechuka.
Roads to Mechuka:
As there is no direct train or flights to Mechuka, a one way road is only available from Pasighat to Mechuka.
There are two roads that can be taken to reach Mechuka:
- The most reliable and safe road is to first reach Pasighat through Ruskin Gate by any means train/flight/road and then travel to Along, from there you will be get direct Sumos to Mechuka.
- This road is less undertaken and you have to pass through Likabali Gate first and pass Silabari and Daporijo reaching Along. From Along you can catch a direct Sumo to Mechuka.
The first route is preferred to the second route due to good road conditions and transport services are very easily available.
Why Pasighat is a major destination while traveling to Mechuka?
After reaching Arunachal Pradesh via train/flight/road Pasighat serves as the first major stoppage in order to reach Mechuka. No matter how you have reached Arunachal Pradesh, there is no other way.
If you are coming from Naharlagun or just reached the Murkongselek Railway station, your next stop is Pasighat.
- Several shared Sumos and Private Sumos are available in Pasighat. Though shared Sumos doesn’t directly travel to Mechuka everyday, you can always catch the morning Sumo from Along which travels directly to Mechuka.
- Both Private and Shared Sumos are available from Along.
- It takes 8-10 hours to reach Mechuka from Along.
- Shared Sumos in Along leaves daily from the Sumo Stand at 5.30 in the morning. As few Sumos leave for Mechuka every morning, it’s better not to miss it.
- The cost of ticket to travel to Mechuka in Shared Sumos is 500 rupees per person.
Returning from Mechuka
The only option available are Shared Sumo or a Private Sumo that leaves everyday in the morning.