When I arrived with my huge backpack at Sangau, the basecamp for Mizoram’s highest peak Phawngpui, the kids shouted “Scientist!” They have seen the regular local travelers, government officials, researchers , nature photographers mostly from outside the state and a few foreigners bold enough to stray into very remote Mizoram. They have not seen my kind, the independent traveler touring his home state solo. Benjamin, formerly sitting in the cubicle at HP who is on his way to everywhere in Mizoram is way above their imagination. Who can blame them?
Pu Malsawma and Pi Lalparmawii at Vawmkbuk, for the comfortable bed, hospitality and courtesy. When I woke up early morning, Pu Malsawma was already at work. They seem very hard working and successful as well. They have a gigantic building under construction and their kids are attending college in Shillong.
After trekking to the peak of Phawngpui, we climbed down to Vawmbuk village. My guide suggested (and I am very glad he did) to stay at their house, they being related, instead of the tourist lodge.
When you can’t explain, you blame the forces of nature.
Welcome to Saphaw, the Castle of Beino. Beino, Bieno Boinu, Tuipui, Kolodyne, Kaladan, Chhimtuipui- Lasi Lalnu, The River Queen of Spirits. And Saphaw is her Castle.
It’s a geological marvel. A Nat Geo Material. A mind blowing experience. The craftsmanship of nature. My heart will go on. (more…)
After landing in Mizo land & taking the ILP (Inner line permit), we started looking for a tourism kiosk or information center. No one even understood what information center or a tourism kiosk was.
Wrote Anand Chandak who landed in Lengpui Airport without a plan in hand.
The Tourism Department, GoM has done a commendable job in building basic infrastructure for tourists in terms of lodges all over the state. There are now tourist lodges at places you wouldn’t expect. I have been to three lodges and the stay is well worth the money.
If there is one thing that puts us Mizoram in the league of countries like US and Australia, it is forest fire. Forest fire is rampant in Mizoram during this time of the year.
Forest fire broke out at the uphill outskirt of our locality on Sunday night. When I arrived at the scene there were already a handful of volunteers. The task was to contain the fire and keep it from coming inwards into us.
There was no immediate danger to human settlement but it looks like some crops might be ravaged as the fire receded down the cliff and into the valley of farms.
I knew this was a great photo opportunity. I was very tempted to take my tripod but that’s far from the right way to fight fire. I managed some shots of the blazing fire. I also took some shots of the aftermath yesterday. The fire was still on going but far away.
The ferry crossing over the Chhimtuipui river at Darzo Kai aka Tuipui D is magnificent because… it is magnificent. I have no words. Look at the pictures. The photographs don’t lie.
It is one of the few ferry crossings left in Mizoram. Phawngpui visitors, this is on your way if you are traveling to Sangau from Aizawl.
The ferry is operated by Border Roads Organisation. It functions between 9am to 4am, Monday to Saturday. It is closed for about three months in monsoon during which the only other crossing is at Kawlchaw where a bridge was opened in 2000.
The ferry can take four Tata Sumos at a time. The engine of the ferry is rather strange looking. I just see one lever.
“The biggest lake in Mizoram is Rih Dil but it is in Burma” is a funny claim. The legendary lake of the Mizos unfortunately is 3km into Burma beyond the boundary. So it’s just the biggest lake of Mizoram in exile
On the other hand, Palak lake well within the geographical space of Mizoram is the real and uncontested biggest lake of the state. It is 400m x 600m wide and 13m deep.
It lies in the southern end of Mizoram midway between Phura and the famous village of Tongkolong (Tokalo). It’s a natural lake surrounded by very thick forest. I know it because I hiked around the lake and I could almost never see the lake thanks to the thick cover of vegetation. With great imagination, the morning mists at the lake makes it feel like a magical land in a fairy tale with fairy tale creatures emerging through the mists.
Lets take a break from travel today.
It was the year 1999. Bill Gates was the world’s richest man. I was a young man with big ambition. I had just got the hang of computer programming. I really loved it but I had no means to buy a PC. I came up with a great idea.
Write to Bill Gates. Perhaps he will understand my plight, be charitable and send me one. I never got to write to Bill. I had not learned to use the internet and I didn’t know the postal address of Gates. I wrote to NIIT center in Tab Complex, Trichy. They never replied.
I felt really embarrassed when I learned my friend Harris Ahamed told his father of my awesome plan.
I never got to own a PC until I started working. Do you have a similar experience to share?
In the past city folk had an issue traveling rural areas. The problem was the basic style of pit latrine without a commode. Many simply can’t do it.
Imagine hearing the sound of every drop into the pool of shit and the aroma arising from below. It’s even worse when tank is nearing full, a high tide of shit. Thankfully there were no cellphones in those days. It would be the last place you want to drop your phone.
But today the situation has improved.