Lunglei, Mizoram’s second largest town and the headquarters of Lunglei District in southern Mizoram, is an excellent place to visit if you want to see the picturesque interiors of this far-flung state. The landscape here looks right out of a fairytale.

At an elevation of 1,222m and higher than Aizawl, Lunglei is an ideal base for nature lovers who want to explore the surrounding areas that are rich in flora and fauna, hamlets and landmarks linked with myths and local legends. It is said that an engraved image of Buddha found near Mualcheng village, about 50km from the town, remains an enigma till date since no other Buddhist relic has been found elsewhere in the state.

AROUND LUNGLEI

Some of the places to visit in Lunglei are Serkawn, Theiriat Tlang, Nghasih stream, Lunglei – the stone bridge after which the city is named – and Kawmzawl. To Lunglei’s west, at Demmagiri, awaits the ethereal valley of the River Karbafuli.

Then there’s the town of Saiha – a day’s journey from Lunglei, which culminates in a ferry-crossing at the Chhimptuipuri river.

About 45km further is Palak Dil or Palak lake, one of the largest natural lakes in the state. Covering an area of 1sq km, the lake is famed for its large number of wild duck and crab.

Courtesy Mizoram Tourism
The town of Lunglei spread across a hill
The town of Lunglei spread across a hill

Oval in shape, it is home to most of the common wetland birds and hill birds, and is believed to be a winter stop-over for migrating pintail ducks. The lake is said to be the home of a serpent that wears a ruby crown. But even if you never get to see this mythical creature, there is always the tiger, bear, deer and wild pig in the surrounding forests.

Though a road connects Palak Lake from Phura, care has been taken to maintain and preserve the area in its pristine state.

For those who would like to travel into the interiors, Youth Hostels Association of India, Mizoram conducts trekking and caving expe-ditions every year in the month of November. Details are posted on the YHAI website ( W yhaindia.org) a few months before the event.

Saikuti Hall is another interesting place. This is where most of the concerts and celebrations of this town are held.

A unique museum has also been established in the hall where local painters demonstrate their skill and exhibit their works.

WHERE TO STAY AND EAT

You can stay and eat at the scenic Tourist Lodge (Cell: 08974891288; Tariff: ₹600–1,500) at Lunglei. It offers 18 rooms and meals are arranged on prior notice.

You can also opt to stay at the Tourist Lodge in Saiha (Tel: 03835- 222591, Cell: 9436149031). Tariff will be provided on request.

There is also Hotel Alabasta (Tel: 0372-2322063; Tariff: ₹700). It offers 10 rooms and a restaurant.

THE INFORMATION

When to go September to May

Tourist/ Permit Offices

Director, Directorate of Tourism, Aizawl, Mizoram, Tel: 0389-2335690, 2335677

GETTING THERE (To Aizawl)

State Mizoram

Location In the southern part of Mizoram, at an elevation of 722m

Distance 165km S of Aizawl

Route from Aizawl Aizawl-Lunglei Road

Air Aizawl’s Lengpui Airport (45km/ 1hr) is connected to Kolkata. A cab to town from here will charge about ₹1,300

Rail Nearest railhead: Silchar (140km/ 6hrs). Independent Sumo taxi costs about ₹4,000; sharing ₹300–400 per head, to Aizawl

Road NH37 and NH40 from Guwahati to Shillong; from Shillong take NH44 to Silchar via Jowai. From Silchar drive straight down NH54 (ends near Myan­mar) to Aizawl via Sonaimukh, Kola­sib and Mualvum Bus Private buses (along with Sumo taxis; cost: ₹11,000; sharing ₹1,100 per head) also serve the Guwahati-Aizawl route regularly