There were two reasons for taking this route on our return to Aizawl from Kawrthah. I had not traveled it before. Bairabi Kai, Crossing still uses a ferry. I like ferries since childhood. As someone who is always curious to know where the road goes, the former itself was compelling enough. It was the better route in Dec 2014 and till today for the people of Hachhek hill range in Mizoram west.
Mamit road has always been “the route” to Aizawl from Kawrthah. But in recent years, the construction of NH 44A progressing at a snail’s pace has made Mamit road extremely bad and less preferable. We took Mamit road while going to Kawrthah. From Rawipuichhip to Dapchhuah (Tut), it’s downhill all the way. All I had to do was put the gear in neutral and hold the steering wheel. There was no need to apply brake as the road was so broken up and rough giving us enough friction. We rolled down like a cart.
In the early 90’s, Tuilut road was completed giving Kawrthah and neighboring villages an alternate road to Aizawl via West Phaileng. During the construction, a Junior Engineer (JE) from Mizoram PWD lost his life. The dynamite set to blast rocks didn’t go off as expected. When he went close by to inspect it, the dynamite did ignite and the explosion with along with debris of rocks took him down into the ravine. But in a few years, we switched back to Mamit road as it was shorter. As I was quite young, I can only guess poor maintenance or no maintenance must be why Tuilut road felt out of favour. Now that Tuilut road is less traveled and hardly spoken about, to me it sounds like a classic route to explore.
Bairabi road was never considered an option in the past. First, there’s no bridge and the ferry service is available during the dry weather only. It is stopped in monsoon due to the rising water level and strong currents. Secondly, the road between Bairabi and Zamuang was never in a condition to be desired. I had no idea what the road was like between Bairabi and Kolasib. From Kolasib to Aizawl, we have NH54, the only National Highway in Mizoram. That is if you exclude World Bank Road from Aizawl to Lunglei, which is not an NH but on par or better than most NH’s and NH44A which is still under construction.
In recent years, the road between Zamuang-Bairabi-Kolasib improved a lot and thus winning favours from travelers in this route. Between Zamuang and Bairabi the road is tarred. There were many big craters caused by the trucks transporting teak logs. From Bairabi, the road was broad but not tarred. But from Meidum, it was tarred and one of the best roads in Mizoram.
But that was Dec 2014. A lot could have changed, one way or the other. As of writing this, Bairabi bridge is yet to be completed.