Salman Khan, Kiren Rijiju, and CM Pema Khandu inaugurate Mechuka festival in Arunachal Pradesh

By Elton Gomes

Bollywood star Salman Khan, Union minister Kiren Rijiju, and Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu cycled around Arunachal’s hilly terrains on Thursday to inaugurate the second edition of the MTB Arunachal Mountain Bicycle Race. Khan also inaugurated the sixth edition of the Mechuka Adventure Festival, of which the race is an event.

An ambassador of Arunachal Pradesh tourism, Khan participated in a 10 km ride alongside the two politicians and several other dignitaries. The Tubelight actor was on a day-long visit to the state to promote tourism.

Rijiju shared some pictures on Twitter, and praised Khan for promoting Arunachal Pradesh as a destination for adventure tourism.

In the images shared by Rijiju, Khan can be seen wearing the state’s traditional Monpa jacket. In his speech, the Bollywood actor promised that he would shoot for his upcoming film in Arunachal Pradesh in order to give a big boost to film tourism.

CM Khandu also took to Twitter to express his thanks to the Bollywood superstar.

 What is the Mechuka Adventure festival?

Mechuka is a scenic valley nestled at the foot of the northeastern Himalayan range in Arunachal Pradesh. It is one of the lesser known tourist destinations. The Mechuka Adventure festival is a three-day festival that showcases local sports, food, and wine.

The festival is jointly organised by the union tourism ministry and state tourism department along with the event partner Centre for Cultural Research and Documentation (CCRD), Naharlagun. The festival’s main objective is to brand Mechuka as a preferred adventure tourism destination.

What happens at the festival?

This year marks the sixth edition of the Mechuka Adventure festival. The three-day adventure festival will have various activities like propelled glider and micro-light glider rides, aero-modelling, trap shooting, paragliding, mountain biking, rappelling, river crossing, rafting and trekking, rock climbing, and zorbing.

In addition to this, the festival promises to feature local food and music. Local food will be on display, while several cultural and musical events will be held at the festival. The five communities from Mechuka – Memba, Adi Bokar, Adi Ramo, Adi Pai Libo, and Tagin – are likely to perform their traditional dances at the festival.

Salman Khan arrives at the festival

Khan, who was shooting in Punjab for his upcoming film Bharat, arrived at Dibrugarh airport by a chartered flight to attend the festival, and was received by Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju.

On his love for Arunachal Pradesh, Khan had earlier said: “I have never been there, but I don’t know why I like Arunachal Pradesh so much that I just wanted to go there for the longest time to see the place and to be there.

“I did a film called Tubelight with child actor Matin Rey Tangu who hails from Arunachal Pradesh. So, whenever he used to meet me, he used to tell me to visit Itanagar which is in Arunachal Pradesh,” as per a report in the Indian Express.

Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius

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