Guwahati: Mayodia, described as the Switzerland of the Northeast, has turned into a sheer wonderland with snow-capped majestic-looking mountains. Even though it’s not yet popular as the picture-perfect winter getaways of Tawang or Sikkim, it is attracting hundreds of snow lovers in January this year, after a dull December.
Mayodia Pass, nestled at an altitude of 2,655 metres above sea level, is around 56 km from Roing in Arunachal Pradesh’s Lower Dibang Valley, and around 157 km from Tinsukia and 647 km from Guwahati in Assam.
“It witnesses heavy snowfall in December and January, which is the period when adventure-seekers from Upper Assam throng the place,” said Radi Mekola, the owner of Mayodia Coffee House, adding, “The exciting faces and happiness on the face of the tourists, who landed here amid white blanket, were worth watching.”
However, the tourist inflow has been less this year compared to last year. “The anti-CAA protests going on in Assam could a reason for the drop in tourist numbers,” he added.
Last year, the district adminsitration had to clamp a restriction on the number of vehicles going to Mayodia per day due to heavy rush of tourists.
“Snow all around. What a moment it was to be there,” said Progya Das from Dibrugarh in Assam. It is just like a dream come true to get snowfall so close to my hometown, she added.
Das visited Mayodia on January 11 and 12.
A five-fold jump has been recorded in the number of tourists after snowfall at Mayodia. Speaking with EastMojo, Saurabh Jha, officer-in-charge of Shantipur check gate on Assam-Arunachal border, said, “This weekend, it was around 149 tourist vehicles, barring the motorcycles, as compared to 32 vehicles on the weekend before snowfall was recorded.”
Although Mayodia’s popularity has been growing, the lack of proper facilities for tourists can dampen most people’s enthusiasm in sub-zero temperatures. Tourists are required to carry whatever they might need, including food for emergencies,” said Piyush Jain, a resident of Tinsukia, adding, “Scarcity of good hotels, resorts and guest house is a major disappointment, and at times the reason to drop Mayodia from the list while planning holiday.”
The Arunachal Pradesh government, however, had expressed their intent to develop the place as a proper tourist spot after Bhupen Hazarika setu, giving direct road connectivity to Roing and Mayodia via Sadiya, was inaugurated over 3 years ago.
However, not much tourism development has happened so far.