Dima Hasao is an administrative district in the state of Assam in north-eastern India. The district headquarter Haflong is the only hill station in Assam, a tourist paradise, also called the Switzerland of the east. The earliest inhabitants of the present district were a Mongoloid stock of groups who prefer to stay atop hilly terrain and who practised their own culture, tradition and land rights governing themselves as independent tribes. As per records of different British historians and officials North Cachar Hills was already occupied by the Kuki tribe, Zeme Naga tribe and Dimasa Kacharis during their imperialist regime. These three tribes are still the predominant tribes, while offshoots of these tribes has emerged in recent years. North Cachar Hills is home to 13 tribes and 6 non tribes.
Tourism in Dima Hasao district provides a beautiful voyage around the mesmerizing natural beauty. The exquisite hues of nature in this district of Dima Hasao blend beautifully with the hospitality of the local folks here and makes the tourist experience highly alluring. This place has not yet touched the modern day modernization and the vast unadulterated landscapes of the Dima Hasao district makes it a paradise for all nature lovers. Lush greenery, majestic hills and wandering clouds obscuring the mountains are a treat to the eyes here. The rich cultural heritage and the colorful festivals add to the essence of tourism and makes the place immensely inviting. Tourism has a huge potential here and much of the area of Dima Hasao is yet unexplored. Some of the destinations of this district which is gaining prime importance are:
Haflong: District headquarters of the Dima Hasao district and the only hill station in the State of Assam, Haflong is a town of vast unadulterated natural beauty. Garland like Barai Hills, extending from north to east build up an impervious wall almost all around the town of Haflong and the beautiful Diyung river flows down below with two majestic railway bridges towering over it. A food lovers paradise, the ethnic people of Haflong churn out a wide variety of local delicacies that simply are irresistible.
Jatinga: Located very close to Haflong at a distance of 9 km is the world famous bird suicide mystery site of Jatinga. It is here that a large number of birds during the months of August thru November get disoriented and start plunging towards light sources. The bird mystery is a unique phenomenon that occurs in this tinsel village of Jatinga. During the late monsoon of August thru November months, several migratory and local birds commit mass suicide at the village. Just after sunset, between 7 and 10 pm, hundreds of birds descend from the sky and crash into trees and houses. Some of the birds die, while others are grievously injured, becoming easy prey for the villagers to capture. These birds are often dazed and disheveled, and do not put up any resistance when villagers attack them with catapults or bamboo sticks. Since birds aren’t known to be suicidal, the phenomenon has baffled villagers, visitors and scientists alike. For many years, locals believed that evil spirits living in the skies were responsible for bringing down the birds. Theories explaining this phenomenon state that a combination of high altitude, high winds, and fog leads to the disorientation of the birds and they get attracted to the light of the village (bright light itself has been known to disorient birds) as a source of flight stabilization. While another says certain conditions make modifications of magnetic qualities of subterranean water in this sector. These changes disturb the physiological rhythm of the local birds and they start behaving abnormally towards the sources of light.
Behendao Baiglai Waterfalls: The Behendao Baiglai waterfall is a beautiful waterfall in the Abong river near a village of Haflong. Ideal for sightseeing and river trekking this place is a true nature lovers paradise. According to a legend, it states that two sisters, unable to bear the harassment and torture at the hands of their stepmother plunged into the waterfalls.
Doiheng: A relatively new destination for the mysterious bird phenomenon like in Jatinga, Doiheng is located on a hilltop, higher in altitude than Jatinga and about 15 km from it and can reached by a motorable road from NH-54 (E) at Retzawl.
Maibang: 53 km from Haflong, Maibang once flourished as the capital of the Dimasa kingdom. Stone house, Stone sculptures and a Heritage Museum are major attractions to have a glance at the history and culture of the Dimasa people.
Hajong Lake: Located on Kalachand-Koladisa Road in the Langting-Mupa reserve forest, Hajong Lake is famous for the abundance of rare variety of hill terrapins. Seven rare varieties of tortoise have been identified here. It is only during the winters that visitors can visit this place.
Semkhor: Semkhor is a combination of two words, ‘Sem’ and ‘Dikhor’ which means salt an well. About 29 km from Maibang, Semkhor is the only Dimasa village situated on a hill top and not near a river like the other villages. As legend goes, a Dimasa King had stationed his elite warriors at this vantage point to guard the saline water wells here. By boiling the brine of these wells, salt could be made. The people of Semkhor are known as ‘Semsa’ which means ‘Son of Salt’ or the salt people. After the fall of Maibang and subsequent departure of the Dimasa King to Cachar, the Semkhor people continue to to live in the self contained village without much contact with the outside world. Even today things have not changed much although saline water wells have fallen to disuse. The village administration of Semkhor is interesting and a truly democratic. Semkhor ha not only historical importance, but is also provides scope for studying the structure of the Dimasa society.
Laisong: Largest Zeme Naga village cultural center, located at 110 km from Haflong, with the biggest traditional Bachelor’s dormitory ‘Hangseuki’ – symbol of their culture and heritage. Preservation of culture and tradition is the sole objective of the dormitory.
Hangrum: Green paradise on planet Earth! Above 25 km from Laisong, it is a nature lovers abode in the hills of greenery all around.
Harangajao: It is situated along the border of the district only 46 km from Haflong. The word ‘Harangajao’ is a Dimasa word meaning ‘slope of red soil’. It is the largest producer of pineapples. The river Jatinga is flowing, bisecting this semi-urban area into two and this makes it all the more beautiful.
Panimoor: Approximately 120 km from Haflong, Kopili river turns into a thrilling waterfall, rolling over the rocks of Panimoor. Revered by the Dimasa people as a pilgrimage center and every Magh Purnima, holy bath takes place at the falls.
Umrangso: 112 km from Haflong, famous for its huge hydel plant – North East Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) with dams over the Kopili river as well as for its Amur Falcon Roosting hub where these birds of prey make a brief stopover during their long flight from Siberia to South Africa in October-November. Also known for its 18 hole natural golf course and fantastic view.
Thuruk: Coolest place in Assam located at 112 m from Haflong. One can experience snowfall here during December-January.
How to Reach Dima Hasao
From ISBT, Guwahati: Daily Day/Night Bus Service from Guwahati to Haflong (Network Travels, Royal-Lamagalao Travels and ASTC)
From Silchar: Daily Sumo Service to Haflong
By Train: To New Haflong Railway Station
From Silchar: 55616 Silchar Guwahati Passenger (Runs Daily) – Departure Time: 07.00 AM Arrival Time: 11.45 AM
25658 Kanchanjunga Express (Runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday)
Dep. Time: 10.30 AM Arrival Time: 14.15
15601 Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express (Runs on Monday)
Dep. Time: 18.30 Arrival Time: 22.10
05612 Silchar Guwahati Special (Runs of Saturday)
Dep. Time: 20.50 Arrival Time: 00.33 AM
55616 Guwahati – Silchar Passenger (Runs Daily)
Dep. Time: 23.55 Arrival Time: 08.55 AM (Next Day)
25657 Kanchanjunga Express (Runs on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday)
15602 Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express (Runs on Saturday)
Dep. Time: 09.10 AM Arrival Time 15.38
05611 Guwahati Silchar Special (Runs of Friday)
Dep. Time: 21.30 Arrival Time: 04.55 AM (Next Day)
14020 Tripura Sundari Express (Runs of Wednesday)
Dep. Time: 09.10 AM Arrival Time: 15.35
05651 Guwahati-Agartala Special (Runs on Saturday)
Dep. Time: 16.45 Arrival: 00.30 AM
15659 Kanchanjunga Express (Runs on Monday and Friday)
Dep. Time: 04.35 AM Arrival Time: 11.50 AM
Nearest Airport from Haflong:
Silchar Airport – 107 km
Guwahati Airport – 368 km
Where to Stay:
- Hotel Landmark
- Nothao Lodge
- Hotel Elite
- Lake View Lodge
- Hotel Joyeswary
- Eastern Hotel
- Haflong New Hotel
- Hotel Rahmania
- Tourist Rest House (Jatinga)
- NEEPCO Guest House
- Dalmia Cement Guest House
- Hotel Lily
- Sneha Lodge
- Sunanya Lodge
- Forest IB
- PWD Dak Bungalow