Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary: A trek like no other

The North-eastern region of India has always attracted nature lovers owing to its pristine and unsullied natural beauty. Apart from snow-capped mountains and roaring waterfalls, it is also home to exquisite flora and fauna. And Mehao wildlife sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh is arguably one the best places to experience the virgin natural beauty of Northeast.

DIbang valley
Dibang Valley
Image: Rohit Naniwadekar

Although there are 10 different conserved wildlife habitats spread across North-east India but Mehao wildlife sanctuary is unique because of its geographical positioning and vegetation. Situated at the Lower Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh which is the last major township of the Northeast frontier, this sanctuary encircles the Mehao Lake, which was formed naturally after the earthquake on August 15th, 1950.

Mehao Lake
Mehao Lake
Image: Rohit Naniwadekar

17 kms from Roing, the headquarters of Lower Dibang Valley district, the sanctuary is everything a nature and wildlife lover dreams of experiencing. Also, it is at an elevation of 3000 ft. and nurtures a plethora of wildlife inside its premises. Boating along the crystal clear water of Mehao Lake, amid sprawling forests and cacophony of different wild creatures combined with the pleasant weather will make coming back home look like an invalid option. The rare joy of watching wild animals in their natural habitat can only be accomplished by undertaking a trek into the wilderness.

Mishmi tribe
Mishmi Tribe
Image: Wikimedia Commons

As you take the 12-km long trek along the dense forest  you will not only be introduced to whopping varieties of flora and fauna but also the Idu Mishmi and Adi tribe that live around this region. They have a very different lifestyle from us, modernizers but are accustomed and thereby friendly with tourists. Experts in textile and cultural art forms like tribal dance, the Mishmi and Adi tribes are found in the Chinese and Northeast Indian region. Treading further to the heart of the forest one discovers flowers rarely seen before. Wild hues mixed with unruly patterns; different shapes and sizes of petals blooming over dark-coloured stems; some huge, some tiny; some fragrant, some pungent. These complex and uniquely synthesized flowers look nothing like the ones we are used to seeing. Not only are these natural masterpieces but also constitute a richer surrounding for the wild animals around. The 232 species of butterflies that are present here thrive in their presence.

Hoolock Gibbon
Hoolock Gibbon
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Bengal Tigers, Clouded Leopards, Himalayan Black Bear, Wild Dogs, Red Panda, Snow Leopards are the few rare species of animals that could be spotted here, including the Hoolock Gibbons, which are the only ape species in India and one of the few Gibbon species in all of South Asia. Furry, black and brown in colour, these Gibbons are only found across the seven sister states of Northeast. Like other apes, they dwell, sleep and arm swing through trees but unlike their ape cousins, the Gorillas and Chimpanzees of Africa, they are the only variety that exists in monogamous pairs and thrives with family. They feed on insects, fruits, leaves. The interesting and diverse vegetation of Mehao sanctuary facilitates convenient survival of rare animals like these. Not only them but the unique tribes living here also depend on the resources of the region.

Mehao Wildlife sanctuary
A bird in Mehao wildlife sanctuary
Image: Anish Andheria

How to reach?

Roing district is adequately connected with the all major cities. The nearest airport is the Dibrugarh airport and the nearest railway station is Dibrugrah Town Railway Station. Public transports like buses, taxis till Roing are readily available from the railway station and airport.

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