Longmasu the last village

Longmasu is the last village in Mizoram on the bank of the Chhimtuipui river. Beyond this, Burma border is 5km down the river. There are about 70 houses. The locals told me they moved to the current location around 1994 to be close to the then upcoming road.

longmasu, lomasu

The only source of water since leaving Tongkolong comes after Bymari and it doesn’t even look palatable. I was dutifully warned at Tongkolong.

tuikhur

About half way into Longmasu, I was greeted by this gate made of bamboos. The gate is to prevent cattle from Bymari from straying into Longmasu area.

gate, half way into longmasu

The last village sighted but no sign of the mighty Chhimtuipui river.

longmasu

Welcome to Lomasu, it’s original name in Mara. Lomasu means lungthu- three stones used to support a pot over the fire.

longmasu

In fact there are three such big rocks which resemble lungthu on the bank of the river just outside the village. One of the rocks had fallen though. The locals told me the naming of the village after the three stones was influenced by Pu Laldenga (founder of MNF) who said whoever used three stones as lungthu to cook is a Mizo during the insurgency days.

longmasu forest

The village playground which gets flooded in rainy season, infested by frogs and snakes which also becomes food for some of the villagers.

longmasu playground

The village is inhabited by Mara, Bru and two tribes I have never known before- Matu and Zakhai.

Most houses in the village are bamboo huts.

bamboo hut

I was lucky to be hosted in one of the best houses in the village, the house of Pu C. Lyhmo, a school teacher who was away.

longmasu-c-lyhmo-house

The inside is even more impressive. Simple but very neat and tidy.

c lyhmo, school teacher in

Needless to say there is no electricity, no phone and no healthcare. The only healthcare available is in the form of a Drug Distribution Center.

drug-distribution-center-longmasu

For emergencies there is a WLL phone at the house of the village head. I paid 5 rupees to call my relatives in Saiha to update them of my where about.

After a good night rest I woke to a misty morning.

longmasu-misty-morning

After zing chaw (breakfast) I was on my way by boat to Saphaw, the caste of Beino.

leaving-longmasu

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Tongkolong, Tokalo

Tongkolong, famous for its unique name and remoteness is a village beyond Palak Dil in Saiha district of South Mizoram. A government posting to Tongkolong meant punishment. Thought it is connected by road, the only way to reach the village in monsoon is to walk. The is no mobile phone signal and no electricity.

From Palak lake I trekked for 2 and half hours to reach Tongkolong. As I walk into the middle of the village, I ran into Pu Jimmy, Forest Range Officer (FRO) who made me an offer I could not refuse- a cup of tea and drinking water.

tongkolong-11
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Photos of church bells across Mizoram

We are a Christian dominated state in North East India. Most of us are Christians but heavily fragmented by denominations. Which means in any given locality or village there are of multiple churches. It’s interesting to see the varied kinds of church bells used as I traveled through rural Mizoram, from truck wheel rim to gas cylinder and other motor parts.

Lets see

UPCI, Tuipang L, church bell

UPCI, Tuipang L


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What not to do at Phawngpui National Park

Let us not burn it down. Phawngpui is under threat from forest fire every year. Here is a photo of Farpak after it caught fire a few years ago.

farpak,phawngpui

We may rappel down or jumar up Thlazuang kham but lets not pain our club names all over Farpak. In my honest humble opinion we do no good by having our club names on the trees, on the grass.
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Traveling rural Mizoram

Tuidang, Lawngtlai District

Tuidang, Lawngtlai District

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?
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