At the very outset, let me take this opportunity to welcome you all to this unparallel and unmatchable picturesque valley of MECHUKA -also known as Men-chu-kha-the land of medicinal ice water.
I am delighted to be a part of this maiden Tourism Extravaganza called - "Adventure at Mechuka" showcasing state's rich adventure tourism potential.
Dear friends, Arunachal Pradesh which has been aptly referred to as 'the Paradise Unexplored', is indeed the most sought after destination of the world.
With such diversity not only in its geography but also in our way of life- it has a lot to offer to any tourist visiting this part of the country.
While the breath-taking beauty makes you feel perfectly harmonious with nature, the religious sites provide you with the spiritual respite of a lifetime. It is undoubtedly a treasure house for adventure seekers-mountaineering, trekking, white water rafting, angling. You name it, we have it all here.
When global warming threatens our very existence, Arunachal Pradesh with 82% forest cover lies as nature's last frontier, nurturing thousands of years of flora & fauna and rich human traditions. We have preserved, in its pristine form, unbound nature and life that grew around it with careful additional of the benefits of modern science. The rich cultural mosaic of indigenous tribes inhabiting this angel's land adds grandeur of nature’s best. If one is interested in Culture- We have at least 26 major tribes and more than hundred sub-tribes, each unique in its own way. The mixture of nature’s bounty and the tribes -distinctly different from each other living in close proximity is a rarity that beckons the world for an experience out of the world.
We have some inherent qualities such as our hospitality, festivities and the love for music and culture which has the potential to satisfy tourists of any age group and interest.
With 11 approved tourist circuit in place, we offer travel destination routes to our esteemed visitors. Each circuit is complete within itself. Chose from the five distinct fields of interest viz. Culture, Adventure, Nature, Heritage and Art & Craft, you would find all here.
Arunachal finds mention in the literature of Kalika Purana and Mahabharata. This place is supposed to be the Prabhu Mountains of the Puranas. It was here that sage Parashuram washed away his sin, sage Vyasa meditated, King Bhishmaka founded his kingdom and Lord Krishna married his consort Rukmini.
The widely scattered archeological remains at different places in Arunachal bears testimony to its rich cultural heritage. Arunachal Pradesh, a serene land tucked into the North Eastern tip of India, invites you to relax in its picturesque hills and valleys, enjoy its salubrious climate and meet its simple and hospitable people, with their glorious heritage of arts and crafts and colourful festivals that reflect their ancient faith in the inexorable power of nature.
The visitor has a wide variety of options to pick from. There are places of worship and piligrimage such as Parasuramkund and 400 years old Tawang Monastery, or the sites of archeological excavations like Malinithan and Itanagar, the serene beauty of lakes such as Ganga lake or Sela lake or the numerous variations of scenic beauty of the snowclad silver mountain peaks and lush green meadows where thousands of species of flora and fauna prosper. Besides, there are a number of wild life sanctuaries and national parks where rare animals, birds and plants will fascinate the visitor.
Nature has provided the people with a deep sense of beauty which finds delightful expression in their songs, dances and crafts. The climate varies from hot and humid to heavy rainfall in the Shivalik range. It becomes progressively cold as one moves northwards to higher altitudes. Trees of great size, plentiful climbers and abundance of cane and bamboo make Arunachal evergreen. We have plenty of medicinal herbs which cure most of the diseases even the dreaded disease like cancer.
Arunachal Pradesh is considered to be the "nature's treasure trove" and home to orchids, known for their exquisitely beautiful blooms, from one of the dominant taxa with more than six hundred species, occurring in varying elevations and climatic conditions throughout the state.
The diverse topography with dramatic changes in altitude, make Arunachal Pradesh one of the most unique geographical zones in India. The climatic conditions dependent on the altitude provide for a very diverse ecological environment. This shift in climatic conditions across the state has given rise to a rich and diverse wildlife population.
My government has attached top most priority to promotion of the tourism sector, the only sector which could generate massive self employment avenues while enriching the state exchequer. A three-day Job Mela at my initiative was conducted at Itanagar recently to skill the local youths including tourism sector besides providing subsidized tourist cabs to engage local youths to boost the tourism sector.
Beside, having unmatchable tourism potential, Arunachal Pradesh lacks adequate infrastructures, like good roads and hotels and telecommunication facility for which I have been pursuing the central government sincerely besides taking up state projects despite limited resources. In next few years, the ambitious Trans-Arunachal Highway connecting almost all district HQs, four-lane highway, four-lane East West Corridor connecting Assam and Arunachal Pradesh would bring a sea change by removing all communication bottlenecks.
We have already provided the facilitating support in the form of Tourism Policy 2003 and Master Plan for Tourism Sector 2011-13 which envisages PPP as an essential ingredient for investment in this Sector. Investments in resorts, star hotels, budget hotels and guest houses where the State Government can provide land on long term lease basis allowing private sector to come up with Design-Build-Own-Operate models on a revenue sharing basis with the State Government are envisaged. Participation in transportation, sight-seeing, food and beverages sectors is also welcome
We successfully conducted the 2nd edition of International Tourism Mart at Tawang recently where around 400 delegates including 68 foreign delegates from 23 different countries participated. The event helped us forge a mutually beneficial business relationship with the world-wide tourism and travel industry. It is also worth mentioning that the 1st International tourism Mart held at Guwahati in 2012 had witnessed 74 Business to Business Meeting while the 2nd edition of ITM at Tawang saw 204 Business to Business Meeting of 13 Arunachal Tour Operators with 66 international delegates from 20 countries recording 274% growth. This development will surely augment the tourist inflow in the state making the Arunachal Pradesh the face of North East tourism.
Tawang Festival, Siang River Festival, Namdapha Eco-Cultural Festival, Pangsau Pass Festival, Music Festival and Arunachal Festival are signature campaigns for promotion of Tourism in my state.
Let me reiterate that I have been pursuing New Delhi for implementing the proposed tri-national highway linking Arunachal with Bhutan via Bleting and Myanmar via Pangsau Pass through the historic Stillwell road to link the rich South East Asian countries. This would herald a new chapter for growth of international trade, tourism and would be a harbinger of bilateral relations among the nations of South East Asia and North East India. This would in turn serve as a panacea to end insurgency menace, mushrooming of youth organizations, avoidable crimes etc. confronting the region for lack of socio-economic development.
Air services in this land-locked state would improve drastically with the operationalisation of seven airfields being upgraded by the Indian Air Force at Ziro, Tezu, Pasighat, Mechuka, Anini, Wallong and Tuting while the one at Vijoynagar has been made operational in November 2011. While the Harmuti-Itanagar railway line is nearing completion, the Green Fields airports at Itanagar would be started soon which would improve connectivity to this land-locked state.
I appreciate the hospitable people of Mechuka whose positive attitude has resulted in flow of tourists to this far off land against all odds. I am glad that visitors and tourists are now showing keen interest in visiting this unexplored heaven on earth. Effort of the locals for promotion of religious tourism besides the unmatched scenic beauty deserves applause. I appeal to the people of Mechuka to maintain the spirit to make it a model for the country.
You have come here as strangers but must leave as friends. While you go back home, please tell about us – become our ambassadors and project our serene beauty to the outer world. The role of media in projecting and educating the readers/viewers about the places of tourist interest in the region needs no emphasis. I am sanguine we are all geared towards this goal. I extend my fervent appeal to my media friends to play proactive role as ambassadors to promote tourism of the state.
Lastly, with our limited resources we tried our best to provide all possible assistance, support and hospitality to our visiting guests but in any ways if we have failed in doing so due to linguistic problems, accommodation and communication gap, I on behalf of the state government of Arunachal Pradesh would like to apologize to you all.
As I conclude, I once again wish all success of “Adventure at Mechuka”