Amazing Arunachal – Way to Along and Mechuka

Day 12:

As I mentioned neither the town Daporijo was welcoming nor we had a pleasant stay in circuit house, we decided to leave early even without taking the breakfast. That was a cloudy day with constant drizzle, in whole trip first time we were encountering real Arunachal weather. Initially once you leave Daporijo, after 7 km you would find an iron bridge, taking right on the bridge would take you towards Along where as taking straight the road without crossing the bridge (Subansiri river) would take you to Nacho and further towards Limeking which is close to Tibet Border. We somehow missed the bridge and traveled extra 8km before we understood we didn’t take the correct turn for Along. There is a famous temple called Meghna Cave Temple some further 20km from this junction but we decided to skip that considering the poor visibility and weather and the long 180km of travel we had to do to reach Along on that day. Also this time we wanted to reach as early as possible to sort out any issue we encounter in getting the Circuit House. In Along also we booked the Circuit house but Along is one of the biggest and friendliest town in whole of Central Arunachal where you would easily get comfortable private accommodation too. Barring last 50km road stretch from Bame to Along, rest of the road between Daporijo and Along are in quite good shape. There is no Shared Sumo service between Daporijo and Along and as a result the road is almost traffic less and for quite sometime Subansiri river would accompany you. It’s the point Bame from where you would get a Y junction, the left fork of Y would take you to Along where as right fork would take you to Assam via Likabali Check gate. If someone wants to access Along directly, Likabali is the best way to enter Arunachal as that becomes the shortest route to approach Along. The whole route is very scenic and ideal for a driving trip. We found a nice restaurant some 15km beyond Daporijo, developed by Arunachal Tourism which was located in an awesome place just beside the Subansiri River. We tried to have breakfast there but people working there were still sleeping in that idle rainy day. They said it would take almost 45 minutes to prepare breakfast and we decided not to spend that much time there and proceeded further. But this is a place where you could enjoy the greeneries of Arunachal at its best. We reached Along after taking couple of tea breaks, photo breaks were not that much required due to poor weather but still it was almost 3.00 in afternoon we reached Along. Every Arunachal towns are so nicely located, like Daporijo, Along is located just by the side of Siyom River, which we would follow during our next journey towards Mechuka. That was a Sunday, we reached Along Circuit House but it was lot more organized with much better people than what we faced in Daporijo. They easily found our names in Guest List, already allocated the room and room was specious and warm, attached toilets were clean, what more you could expect by paying Rs. 200/-. All Arunachal’s Circuit Houses are definitely value for money. Once we settled, we gone to take our late lunch in roof top restaurant of Hotel Toshi Palace, owned by Mr. Pakge Ete and his wife Mrs. Hinya Ete, very nice hosts they both were. We had some good lunch and most importantly Mr. Ete gave us lot of important information on road conditions, distances and most importantly few key contacts in various places like Mechuka, Tuting, Monigong etc.

The Driving Distances for the day:

663 – Daporijo
669 – The Bridge over Subansiri to take right towards Along
714 – Mare
757 – Tirbin
787 – Bame (Y Junction to Along / Daporijo / Shilapathar via Likabali)
835 – Along

Today’s Journey Map – Daporijo to Along:


Subansiri River:


Crossing the Bridge:


Subansiri River:


Way side Restaurant:


Towards Along:

DSC_0436 DSC_0441

Along Circuit House:


Bridge on River Siyom:


Day 13:

Once again we had to wake up early and without having the breakfast we left by 7.30 in morning for our next destination Mechuka. The weather was initially little foggy and misty but slowly it started clearing out as we proceeded from Along. While you are coming from Daporijo to Along, just before entering the town, the main road turned right towards Along and straight road goes towards Mechuka via Tato. Initially the road was little bad for first 10 km but then it would changed to one of the best North / South road I have ever found in Arunachal. The road connectivity established some 7/8 years back as I heard from locals and before that it was simply almost a week of walking for almost 200km to reach Along for buying their daily needs. Historically the people of Mechuka, Monigong and other border areas were actually doing their business with Tibet through Lola pass and Dumla pass, both were sealed completely since Indo-China war of 1962. The terrain is located in such a way, it’s much easier to travel to Tibet highlands than to travel to Indian Planes. As we proceeded, Siyom river with its beautiful blue water was following us constantly at right. We had our breakfast at Kaying which is the most developed place in whole Mechuka Valley. The road was excellent in Arunachal’s standard and you would find a lot of shared Sumo traveling between Along to Tato and then Tato to Mechuka and also between Tato and Monigong. The proposed Trans-Arunachal highway connecting from West to East through much higher up in mountains touching this road twice and in future would improve the importance section of this road. We have found work was going on in two different sides, Eastern side was being connected to Daporijo via Daporijo – Nacho road and Western side was connected to Tuting by crossing Siyom River. Once the road would be built, both Daporijo and Tuting could be reached by a day’s drive from Mechuka bypassing Along. We had our lunch at Tato and from Tato it was almost a 4 hours drive to Mechuka and 6 hours drive to Monigong. Road to Mechuka has made tarred but Monigong road is still not tarred and as I understood from locals even Bolero’s ground clearance was not sufficient, only possible way to drive through the road to Monigong is during dry period of Nov/Dec and that too only in a high clearance car like Sumo, mainly because the road which actually doesn’t exist in monsoon is only navigable by Tractors. We didn’t have much time as well this time to explore Monigong and only possible accommodation option there was a Govt. Inspection Bungalow which might be full as there was not even any phone connectivity there to confirm the accommodation status. Just after leaving Tato we found a very nice waterfall on road side, spent some time there, took a few snaps before we proceeded further to Mechuka. I called up Mr. Poyom, ADC of Mechuka last night from Along and confirmed our 3 nights stay in Mechuka Inspection Bungalow. It’s location is beautiful near old monastery and higher up on the hill, you could get a good view of Mechuka from top. We found the IB chowkidar quite nice and friendly and he called up the cook to come for preparing our dinner. Mechuka has no electricity, power is supplied by running generator between 6.00pm to 11.00pm.

The IB was nice and clean and it had the primitive heating system with firewood, it was very chilly but clear night outside where as inside we had a nice time chatting with Asim in nice warmth of fire place and had a nice dinner prepared by cooked before we retired for the day.

The Driving Distances for the day:

835 – Along
860 – Kampa
880 – Kaying
969 – Tato
019 – Mechuka IB

Today’s Journey Map : Along to Mechuka


Kaying – Road towards Mechuka:


Siyom flowing through the gorge:


The waterfalls beyond Tato:


Adi Tribes:

DSC_0495 DSC_0496

Lush green landscape: DSC_0506

Just entering Mechuka:




Mechuka IB – Ashim in our room:


Mechuka IB – Inside


Previous: Amazing Arunachal – Ziro and Daporijo

Next: Amazing Arunachal – Mechuka