The Arunachal Pradesh tourism department is promoting the picturesque Mechuka Valley, about29 km from MacMahon Line which separates India from China, in West Siang district as the new tourist spot in the state.
The department will start it first commercial chartered flight service from Guwahati to Mechuka on Sunday to exploit the tourism potential of the valley, which lies close to the snow-capped eastern Himalaya. Northeast’s flight service provider, NE Shuttle, will start its first “probing flight” for Mechuka on Sunday.
So far, Bum La, at about 14,000 feet above sea level, also close to the Mac Mohan line in Tawang district, has been the only frontier tourist destination in Arunachal Pradesh. People will be able to experience the beauty of another frontier spot in the state with the opening of Mechuka as a tourist destination, officials said. Mechuka too has a heavy military presence due to its proximity to China.
Mechuka, also known as Menchuka, is located 6,000 feet above sea level and is one of the most picturesque destinations in the state. It is home to the Buddhist Memba tribe and the 400-year old Samten Yongcha monastery of Mahayana Buddhist sect is a contemporary of the much-revered Tawang monastery. Mechuka is also dotted with many Buddhist remains. The Siom River, which flows through Mechuka also provides a breathtaking view in the valley.
“We are now attempting to promote Mechuka as a tourism destination in a big way. The place has so much tourism potential. It can easily become one of the most sought-after destinations in the state,” a tourism official said.
According to statistics, Arunachal Pradesh has registered a 16.8 per cent growth in tourist flow in recent years, followed by Meghalaya with 10.4 per cent tourist growth rate.
With its pristine surroundings, salubrious environment and rich repository traditional medicines, tourism officials said that Arunachal Pradesh also has the potentiality to become a wellness tourism destination in the country.
The tourism development plan for Arunachal Pradesh, prepared by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach) in 2010, has also emphasized on the wellness tourism potentiality of the state along with other tourism products in the state. Intach has said the state has the potential to emerge as the global destination for indigenous healthcare.
Arunachal Pradesh can also offer niche eco and adventure tourism products because 68 per cent of the state’s geographical area is covered by forests, lofty hills and falls.