What are you doing in Kolasib? Ka zin mai mai (Just traveling). Ok. What exactly are you doing in Kolasib? Well I quit my job to travel all over Mizoram and I am starting here. This question and answer combo repeated a handful of times during the trip both with people I met physically and with my friends on Whatsapp.
Yes the good news is I kickstarted my Pan-Mizoram tour earlier this week. I spent two nights at Kolasib, a district capital in Mizoram. As of writing this I am back at home. My next destination is Saiha in South Mizoram.
I boarded a Guwahati bound sumo(shared cab) from Bawngkawn. In the sumo, apart from me were a group of 4 on their way to Guwahati. They were sumdawng – Mizo term for people in business, apparently to fetch bungrua(goods, most likely garments for Christmas season). Though they kept to themselves they were very cordial and friendly.
We reached Kolasib at early noon. I alighted at Diakkawn which is the main hub in town for shopping, hotels and transportation. My cousin U Mapuia aka Lalhmaa came to Diakkawn on his motorbike to pick me up. He was a newly married man the last time I saw him more than a decade ago. He is now a busy father of four pretty girls.
We dropped off my luggage at his house. We had tea and took off to Government College, Kolasib where he works. His official assignment is that of a Lab Assistant but practically he is the cashier and a lot of things non-teaching. I guess due to lack of staff.
The next morning he took me on a tour of Kolasib. We rode from his house to the North end of the town where we refueled his bike. We returned home on a different route via Vengthar. We went walking through his locality Project Veng which houses most of the district level government offices. We walked as far as the Civil Supplies warehouse.
By this time I had made up my mind and knew I was going to like Kolasib. It is a spacious town with good facilities by Mizoram standard and far more quiet and peaceful than Aizawl.
I was invited to lunch at Tawia’s place where I met friends I have known only virtually for a long time at misual.com. Lots of thanks to Pu Tawia for the lunch and arranging the meeting. Thanks to Pu Zaia, Pu Xaia and Pu Thaiboy for coming over.
We chatted on misual.com and photography. Pu Thaiboy took me on a tour of his newly opened 30 seater 3D theatre “Remtluang Movies”, the first in Kolasib. There are two shows daily at 2pm and 7pm. Opposite to this theatre is Hotel Cloud 9. A splurge hotel by Mizoram standard from what I heard.
I spent the afternoon exploring the market and nearby areas on foot. The market is pretty similar and seems like a subset of the market in Aizawl. I ran into interesting scenes in particular the street down the market which houses the poorer residents of Kolasib. The other side of Kolasib perhaps.
In the evening I met Tea(not the one you drink) at his cafe in the Shopping Centre. I met Tea then Hotel Management student when I lived in Chennai back in the day. He happens to live opposite to U Mapuia’s. He is now married and runs a cafe called Exotic Restaurant at the Shopping Centre in Diakkawn.
Tea took me to meet two other friends from Chennai days. First Manghaktea who was unfortunately out of town and then Chama who was at work. We went as far as Hmar veng and Tuitha Veng. On his invitation I had dinner at his place that evening.
My second day in Kolasib started at 0600am. U Mapuia took me to see Tuilut, a sort of underground tunnel or tank where drainage water completely drains into. It is not explored how deep or wide the tank or tunnel is. There’s a pillar marking the site as a protected site of the Mizoram Govt. Art and Culture Department.
But much to our disappointment, what should have been the marvel of Kolasib is no more than this
It’s hard to tell what became of the Tuilut besides the fact that we saw some fresh earth dug. Of course there’s a still constant flow of water from upstream which means the drainage water does leak somewhere since the flow stopped right there. Perhaps somebody from Kolasib can shed some light.
We returned in the other direction all the way to Tumpui, the helipad in Kolasib. On the way are St Maria school and St Johns school.
By 11am, it was time to go home. I boarded a sumo at Diakkawn and bid goodbye to Kolasib.
Expenses: I spent 150 rupees while going and 180 on return.
Accommodation for tourists: The government run Tourist Lodge and a couple of hotels at Diakkawn including Cloud 9.