Currently, visiting the Old Gompa ( monastery ) is not possible because the bridge connecting it to main Menchukha has collapsed into the river. The river is called Yargapchu by the way – strange I haven’t mentioned it in any of the earlier blog entries.
Today was an interesting day. I’ll have to do a bit of Googling once I’m back in Delhi before I can provide facts but while driving around, we stumbled upon a bunch of hunters returning from the forest with a deer slung over their shoulders. A deer with sharp fangs no less. I have photos on the DSLR.
Arunachal seems to have been a foraging society and some of still continues. After allowing us to photograph the hunting party and their kill, they refued to accept any money from us. Most of North India would have first asked for money and then allowed us to make pictures. It was a lovely experience. The deer was shot using a 21 Bore rifle and the hunters also carried catapults with them. They use it to hunt birds.
They were accompanied by a dog and I asked them if they ate dogs as well – as most of Morth-East India is believed to eat anything that moves. The gentlemean answering my questions seemed a tad offended but smiled politely and said, “No. We don’t eat dogs. They are our friends. We eat with them. They help us hunt. Without the dog, in summers, we cannot catch a single deer.” In winters it is easier to hunt deer because they don’t have green foliage to hide behind. I’m intrigued by the fangs on this deer – I’ve heard about carnivorous deer that eat birds and this could be one of those species.
Apart from the above encounter, we drove around to Yorlung and were told that another 18-20 kilometers by foot would bring us to lakes. During the summer months, these lakes melt and provide beautiful scenery. International tourists visit Yorlung to start on treks that further lead them onto virgin territory. Most of these trails are unmarked and even Indian Citizens needs permits from the Central and State Governments.
We also visited the “taposthal” and Gurudwara where Guru Nanak is supposed to have spent some time in meditation and there’s a story of a bear-attack as well I got to eat “prasada” and I couldn’t believe my luck. I absolutely LOVE that halwa and getting a taste of a fistful of that wonder, all the way near Menchukha was most unexpected.
The “taposthal” and Gurudwara are infested with tiny insects that will crawl into any hole they find, which in my case meant both ears, both nostrils and both eyes. Yikes. It was quite the battle. The joke doing the rounds is that a horde of these should be release on the Chinese Army if they ever attack and they will probably all slap themselves and go home. I say that’s a great strategy, not a joke.
Stopping over at the “Hanuman” point and immediately spotting the face of the monkey God on the cliff opposite was the easiest, most pleasing thing to do. It basically meant we didn’t have to spend any extra time in another “temple”.
Today’s wardrobe and jewellery was ourtesy House of Tuhina and the day ended with a beautiful break in the clouds and colorful sunset. More blue sky and a bit of warm sun throughout the day. Most pleasantly unexpected.
Tomorrow we visit a village. Fingers ad toes crossed expecting another day of blue skies and sun please! Pretty please!