A Breathtaking Scenic Beauty
While Shillong Hill is out of the state of Assam, a new hill emerges, at 680m high, Upper Haflong. The main language spoken over here is Dimashi. In Dimashi, Haflong means "White Ants Hillock".
Haflong is a land of pleasing blue orchards and pera, pineapple and oranges. The nature of Haflong is a great attraction in itself. Add to it the picturesque beauty of Haflong Lake situated within the heart of this hill town.
The Seat Of Sovereignty
The scenic hill resort of Haflong, 84-km north of Silchar, is the seat of the North Cachar Hills autonomous district council, where members of several ethnic groups including Dimasas, Hmars, Nagas and Mizos, belonging to different religious denominations - Christian, Hindu and Buddhist - live together in apparent harmony.
Haflong is spread along Main Road, which winds up from Silchar. The market, off Main Road in the centre of town is at its most bustling and colourful on Saturday, when it expands into an enclosure further down Main Road, and overflows with fresh betel nut, banana flowers and Dju Vie (rice beer) for space. For the best views, head out towards the ASTC bus stand.
9-km south of Haflong on the Silchar road and covered with Blue Vandas Orchids, Jatinga is famed in local folklore as the place where birds commit mass suicide. The more brutal truth is that on certain foggy, moonless nights in autumn, local migrant birds can become disorientated while flying up the valley over the saddle of the hill and are attracted with lights by local people, who clobber them to death with bamboo poles and eat them.
There is a bird watching centre in Jatinga, where one may be able to stay if one can get permission from the district forestry office in Haflong. Buses to Silchar pass through, but it may be easier to make a day-trip from Haflong by auto-rickshaw.
47-km away from Haflong, on the banks of river Mahur, lie the ruins of the once flourishing capital of the Dimasa Kachari Kingdom. A stone house and temple of Kachari kings can be seen at Maibong.
Umrangshu or Umrongso
112-km away from Haflong by road, the biggest Hydel plant under North East Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) has come up with dams across the river Kopili, a tributary of the Brahmaputra. Near Umrangshu, there is a hot water spring Garampani, which is believed to possess medicinal properties. Boating on the lake, hot water spring - Garampani and the exquisite scenery from the top of the hill are enough to captivate a tourist's attention.
Rail: Lower Haflong is having a railway station,
3-km from town, with departures to Lumding - a slow but scenic ride,
Silchar, and Dharmanagar.
Road: Private buses pull in on Main Road, 100m above the market by the Hamringdi cinema, with departures early morning and midday for Silchar, plus one overnight departure to Guwahati. The ASTC bus stand, 1-km further out, sees morning and noon departures to Silchar, and one daily to Nagaon.
Accommodation options are available in Halflong from medium
budget hotels to Assam Tourism's Tourist Lodge.