TRAVELLING TO LONE ASSAM HILL STATION, HAFLONG
Interior Assam is tagged as one of the most dangerous places in India according to top 10 and top 5 lists flooded over the internet. But, also is considered to be flawlessly beautiful untouched by massive tourism. My eagerness to step into my own backyard and explore it closely dragged my foot to the only hill station of Assam, Haflong. If you have walked and touched the Himalayan terrains and explored their hill stations, Haflong is nothing like them but it has its own charm and is sure to embezzle your soul. Haflong is located in Dima Hasao district of Assam and is resident Dimasa Tribe in majority.
Haflong is all about quaint villages hidden from general commotion, lush evergreen forests and abundance of pretty waterfalls. The place reminded me of lot of things that I saw or heard as a child like evening news buzzing across the streets on speaker and gladly met some of the sweetest people on the planet. My three day stay in Haflong gave me so many beautiful memories, I am going to relish them forever.
HOW TO REACH HAFLONG?
Nearest airport station to Haflong is Guwahati or Dimapur but as a tourist most of them prefer Guwahati.
From Guwahati – There is direct connectivity from Guwahati via train or bus. The bus leaves every morning from Guwahati to Haflong. There is train connectivity from Guwahati to New Haflong Station as well.
From Dimapur – The connectivity from Dimapur to Haflong is via Lumding through trains. You can board Dibrugarh – Rangiya Express at 12.30 pm or Nagaland Express at 6.00 am from Dimapur and get down at Lumding. Board an auto to Haflong Sumo Stand at Rs 40 to 50 and you will get direct cabs to Haflong at Rs 250/- per person on sharing basis. Alternatively you also have buses at 8.30 am from Lumding. (I followed this way). The time taken to reach from Lumding to Haflong is approximately 3 hours.
Accommodation is limited in Haflong but there are few good and decent places to stay which are affordable. I choose to stay in a quaint and peaceful little resort with lush green surrounding “NOTHAO’S”. The little homestay gives you a very homely feeling amidst the surreal nature and is planted with trees and flowers around the entire campus. The price range starts from Rs 700 to Rs 2500 for rooms. Book in advance because it usually crowded with tourists. Let me tell that don’t expect lip smacking food because the food is just okay, simple and plain.
For booking you can call at – 09435077659
PLACES TO VISIT IN HAFLONG
Jatinga – The mystery of bird suicide is an unknown phenomenon and Jatinga Valley is known as bird suicide valley. In moonless foggy nights, the valley witness mass bird suicide and the birds fly from against wind when it flows from South to East Direction. The phenomenon is still a mystery but some people say the birds are unable to cross the Borail Range at night due to excess fog and are attracted towards the halogen light due to which they fly and settle down there but their death is still unknown. The place has seen many varieties of bird and bird tower is built for tourist. Jatinga Valley is located at around 9km from Haflong town and you can hire auto or car for exploring the place.
Ethnic Village – It is a village located few kilometres from Haflong town towards the Silchar road and is built by tourism of Dima Hasao. Ethnic Village is built amidst natural abundance and has little huts representing different ethnic tribes of Dima Hasao District. It has an artificial stone hout built as replica of one present in Maibang – Once Dimasa Kingdom Capital and the ruins of the original stone hut is still there in Maibang.
Haflong Lake – It is one of the largest water body and is present right in centre of Haflong town. Take a tour of the city on foot in the evening and walk around the road along the Haflong lake, it is peaceful. There is a hanging bridge, boat house and boating facility on the Haflong Lake. Walk on foot so that you can explore the beautiful Circuit house area, Botanical garden and enjoy the lone hill station better.
Fiangpui – Athough because of time constraint I could not visit this place but definitely take out some time to visit the area. It has a beautiful church and the baroque outlook of the church makes it drool worthy.
These places can be covered in one day if you start your day early, so make sure you move out at around 8am on the exploration spree.
Hire an auto for the day who agrees to tour you all the above places, especially Jatinga, Ethnic Village and Fiangpui Church. I was lucky to have met a very genuine autodriver who helped me visit these places.
CONTACT DEEPON at 8133056519, who is a very humble and honest auto-driver. You can contact him to help you visit the above places.
In and around Haflong
Waterfalls and Villages – There are many waterfalls around Haflong but not within the city. There are villages few kilometres away where you can enjoy cascading fall of water. Well I had less time and so had the privilege to visit just one village, Samparidisa near Hadingma Area in Haflong away from the town. I was lucky enough to be a part of one day trekking expedition organised by Spectrum NGO and Samparidisa Village Committee and the trek started from the village to Bendao Baiglai Waterfalls in the village located at 1901 ft. It was a short trek that took total of 5 hours to climb and ascend down and I loved every bit of it. (I will come up with a complete blog on the trekking that took me to this beautiful). There are many villages but you can try exploring them if you have time.
Contact Bangkim Haflongbar from Spectrum NGO who is actively involved in promoting eco-tourism in Haflong through village association and expedition. Contact Number – 09957251410, contact him for village trips.
This is a trip of lifetime because I realised travelling solo helps you explore your better self, make friends and know a place through its depth. Haflong is a truly mesmerising place with natural beauty flooding at every corner. The road from Lumding to Haflong is gorgeous with lush green forests, smooth highways and breeze kissing your face. Haflong is a simple and quaint hill station unspoilt and still virgin in its beauty. The land of blue hills with tremendous flora and fauna makes it very appealing and unconditionally picturesque.
- If you want to cover Haflong town completely and take one or two village trip, plan your trip accordingly. Village trips consumes one complete day.
- ATMs are like rare scene and most of them are out of service or out of cash. Keep cash handy because you will not find ATMs at every corner. The hotels usually don’t have card swiping facility, so withdraw cash accordingly.
- Contact auto-driver or cabs a day before and finalise your plan. Book them for the day so that you can enjoy the city. You may contact people I suggested, I assure you there will be no regrets.
- Be prepared for situations like landslide and road block because it is common out there. I myself came taking a detour while travelling back to Dimapur as the usual road was closed.