Thenzawl is known to be the handloom centre of Mizoram. The colorful and traditional ‘puan’ that the Mizo women so proudly flaunt during festivals and other occasions are mostly hand-woven in the houses of Thenzawl. The sleepy town in Mizoram is now famously known as the ‘Handloom City’. For the uninitiated, ‘puan’ is the traditional wrap-around skirt worn by the Mizo women. Our introduction to Thenzawl, along with Hmuifang was on a rainy day in the last leg of our week-long Mizoram trip.
Thenzawl is also known for its waterfalls. The highest waterfall in Mizoram, the Vantwang Waterfall and the Tuirihiau Waterfall (this one is so hard to pronounce!) are located in Thenzawl. Hmuifang, on the other hand, is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Mizoram. To call is a hill station in Mizoram is a bit funny because Mizoram is mostly a hilly state. But since we were just back from Champhai Valley, we found the charm of Hmuifang very appealing.
Where is Thenzawl located?
Thenzawl is located in Serchhip district of Mizoram and is about 90 km from Aizawl, the capital city. The road to Thenzawl passes through beautiful mountain roads. Hmuifang is located on the way to Thenzawl, about 60 km from Aizawl city. So you can club these two places together on your trip. Ideally, spending a night each at Thenzawl and Hmuifang is recommended. But we had stayed at Hmifang for the night and not at Thenzawl.
Thanzawl and Hmuifang trip – Our Experience
We were just back from Champhai, the beautiful border town of Mizoram. Champhai was a great experience where we enjoyed bright sunny weather, green paddy fields and an exceptional landscape. We visited the Rih Dil Lake in Myanmar (the lake is located in Myanmar, but is considered to be the most important lake for the Mizos) as well as the wine factory of Mizoram. But one incident there had worsened our mood. We had planned to visit Vangchhia which was cancelled because of the negligence of our sumo driver. I have shared the entire incident in our Mizoram article.
So instead of visiting Vangchhia, we were back at Aizawl. Agni’s mood was spoiled and no amount of cajoling brightened his mood. So I had to do what I had to do! I took him to Thenzawl. We took ta sumo from Aizawl towards Thenzawl.
Aizawl city has interesting traffic etiquette. The vehicles on the road do not honk. Yes, there is no irritating honking of the cars. The drivers, as well as the pedestrians, have a unique understanding among themselves. When a car comes behind a pedestrian, the driver does not honk. The pedestrian also moves out of the way soon without causing any pain to the driver. It is only we tourists and travellers coming from a different state have a bit problem adjusting to this situation. It felt strange when the cars moved right past us as we were walking down the road. So Aizawl is a totally ‘No honk” city.
Coming back to our trip, we started towards Thenzawl. Just after we crossed the precincts of Aizawl city, the weather started changing. It became cloudy and cooler. After spending sunny days in Champhai, the cool breeze and the clouds were a welcome change.
On the way to Thenzawl, there is a point where the Tropic of Cancer passes through. Our sumo driver was kind enough to stop the sumo so that we could take a few pictures. Not only us but also the other passengers got down and started taking some cool selfies at the point. We clicked some pictures as well and hopped on to the sumo and started our journey again. By this time the entire road had become cloudy and it seemed we were moving through a sea of clouds.
The sumo stopped again at another place. It was a beautiful viewpoint that gave an all-encompassing view of the green mountains and the valleys. It was drizzling slightly and the clouds before us were moving amidst the mountain. No wonder Mizoram is considered to be ethereally beautiful. It was see the mountains, the roads carved out in the green mountains, the rains and us. Once in a while, we could see a vehicle on the road and it looked gorgeous.
We started again in our sumo and finally reached Thenzawl. At first look, Thenzawl seemed to be just another nondescript hilly town with a few houses and a local market. We had read so much about the natural beauty of the place that we were slightly disappointed. But we were wrong. The beauty of Thenzawl lies in its obscurity and the little places that you will see on going deeper. From the market area, we hired a car to visit the waterfalls. It was still drizzling at that time. The car took us towards the Vantwang Falls.
Vantwang waterfall is the highest waterfall in Mizoram and is said to be the thirteenth-highest in India. The two-tiered waterfall drops from a height of 229 m (750 feet). Vantwang Falls is said to have been named after a Mizo man named Vantwang. Such a good swimmer he was, that his swimming prowess was compared to that of fishes. He used to jump from the top of the waterfall and used to hover in the waterfall skillfully. However, during one such daring act, a piece of log fell on his head and killed him. That was an unfortunate end to a skilful swimmer.
We arrived at a point after which we could not see any road. The road was being built. It was still drizzling. Nevertheless, we decided to visit the viewpoint which was about a km ahead. The car waited for us and we walked among the bamboo groves and trees towards some viewpoint.
It so happens that we cannot go near Vantwang Falls. There is a viewpoint built by the Mizoram Tourism Department on the other side of the river from where we could see the waterfall cascading down. That is why Google Maps was showing that Vantwang Falls was another 2 km away from the place. So when you are visiting Vantwang Falls, look for Vantwang Falls Viewpoint in Google Maps instead of the waterfall itself.
Vantwang Waterfall is truly awe-inspiring. It drops from such a great height amidst the green forests and looks exceptionally gorgeous. The way towards the waterfall is quite dangerous and I could not find any way to go near it. Neither did I find anyone who could answer my query. The view from the Vantwang Viewpoint is totally mesmerizing. With the rains, greenery and the only sounds of cricket, we were totally overwhelmed. Agni’s mood was brightened and he was happy clicking pictures.
After Vantwang Falls, we headed towards another waterfall in Mizoram, the Tuirihiau Waterfall. While returning from Vantwang, our car gut stuck in the mud! It had to be pulled out by another car after much action. It seems a car incident always has to happen when we are in northeast India. Our car had broken down while on our trip to Basar, there was a landslide on our trip to Kongthong and now this.
By this time it had started raining. Tuirihiau Falls is just a little ahead of the Vantwang Falls on the road towards Lunglei. You have to take a diversion from the main road. Keep an eye, because it is easily missable. There was a small signpost also showing the way towards Tuirihiau Waterfall. We had not heard much about this waterfall. Infact, it was only after the road from Thenzawl to Lunglei was built that this waterfall came into prominence.
Tuirihiau is said to be upstream of Vantwang Falls. We had to take a few stairs downhill to reach the waterfall. So how is the Tuirihiau Falls? Well, it might not have the height of Vantwang Falls, but how many waterfalls can you see from behind? Tuirihiau Falls simply stole our hearts.
As we hiked downhill, we heard the familiar gurgling sound of water. And then suddenly, it came right before our eyes. Water was flowing down with a great force looking like a white stream. The uniqueness of Tuirihiau is that you can see it from behind. The water falls from the top like an arc and so you can go behind the waterfall and see it from behind! There were none at Tuirihiau apart from us. We had the entire place to ourselves. We went behind the waterfall, shouted, jumped and acted like two crazy kids. Sometimes being crazy is the best thing that we can do to ourselves. It was getting late. Even though we did not want to, we had to retrace our steps back to our car.
We wanted to see the handlooms at Thenzawl next. But it had started raining quite heavily by that time. Only a couple of shops were open in the market area. Usually you need to approach one of the shops. They have their looms mostly behind the shops and in their houses. It was getting dark and so we decided not to approach any random houses. Further, we had to reach Hmuifang as well. Our booking for the night was done at Hmuifang. You can also stay at Thenzawl. There are a couple of hotels and Thenzawl Tourist Lodge for accommodation.
Thenzawl also has a deer park. Human settlement in Thenzawl started about 50 years back after clearing the forest cover. The area has a lot of deer and a safe habitat for them has been created at the Deer Park.
A little further to Tuirihiau Falls, Chawngchilhi Puk (Cave) is located. It is one of the many caves in the state. Mizoram is also known for caving just as Meghalaya is.
Thenzawl also has a golf course recently renovated and is gaining popularity among the tourists.
Hmuifang is one of the most scenic places in Mizoram. Blessed with gorgeous landscape and unspoilt nature, the place is ideal for leisure holidays. The area also has a number of trekking trails. So if you want some activity around, then Hmuifang is just the place. It is located on the way from Thenzawl to Aizawl. So we waited for sumo to take us to Hmuifang. After a long wait, we got sumo that dropped us right in front of Hmuifang Tourist Lodge.
Hmuifang Tlang (Peak) is located at an altitude of 1619 m. The Tourist Lodge is on top of another peak. When we reached Hmuifang Tourist Lodge, it was already dark and drizzling. We were quite surprised at the weather. The last few days had been quite sunny and warm, but this day it was all cloudy and rainy.
The Hmuifang Lodge is a huge complex. The rooms were spacious and each cottage had 2 to 3 separate rooms. We were given one room in one of the cottages that happened to be at one end of the property. A cottage had a huge lounge and separate rooms with attached toilets. So we were at one end that overlook the cliff, it was raining and we could hear the sound of the howling winds. Thankfully, electricity was present; otherwise the entire set up was so conducive to a ghost bungalow.
In such weather, what needed is the company of friends who would sit together and narrate ghost stories. Both Agni and I are not quite fond of ghost stories in such situation, so we gave it a miss. There was nothing much to do, so we had dinner and slept.
The next morning was gloomy as well. Clouds and mist reined the area. While there are a number of short hikes to the nearby villages from the Lodge, but we could go for none as it was raining. We just roamed around area enjoying the mountain breeze and the fogs.
Hmuifang had been total leisure for us. We just enjoyed the surroundings and rains sitting at the beautiful Lodge. We had to return that day to Aizawl. I was a little disappointed as we could not explore Hmuifang properly, but Agni was quite happy with everything. I guess we cannot have it all. Maybe, we need to return to Hmuifang to explore it again.
Things to do in Hmuifang
You can climb the Hmuifang Peak. You will get a panoramic view of the surroundings from there. The grassland on the peak is ideal for picnics. On the way to the peak, you will encounter a few Mizo villages. You can visit Hmuifang village, Sumsuih village, Lamchhip village and Chamring village to experience a typical day in the life of Mizos.
You can also visit Sialsuk, another hilly destination near Hmuifang.
The trip to Thenzawl and Hmuifang had been an extraordinary one. The waterfalls, especially the Tuirihiau was something that we will never forget. Doing nothing at Hmuifang also had its benefits. We were constantly on the move for the last few days. One day rest was quite welcome by our bodies as well. We were totally refreshed for the next day’s Reiek Peak trek.
How to reach Thenzawl?
The distance between Aizawl to Thenzawl is about 90 km. Local transport in Mizoram is quite robust. You practically get shared jeeps between most of the destinations. You will get sumo to Thenzawl from Aizawl at Zarkawt.
Where to stay in Thenzawl?
The best place to stay in Thenzawl is the Thenzawl Tourist Lodge run by the Tourism Department. The Tourist Lodges in Meghalaya are all located in excellent locations and have proper service. Apart from the one at Champhai, we found proper service and good food in all the Lodges.
To book the Tourist Lodges, simply make a call and inform them about your requirement. They usually take up booking on the phone. If by any chance, you are not visiting, please inform them that also.
Contact No of Thenzawl T/L : 03838-261489/ 9612065527/ 9863352362
There are a couple of hotels at Thenzawl Market as well.
How to reach Hmuifang?
Hmifang falls on the way from Aizawl to Thenzawl. Get on any sumo going towards Thenzawl and get down at Hmuifang.
Where to stay in Hmuifang?
The best place to stay in Hmifang is again the Hmuifang Tourist Lodge.
Contact No. of Hmuifang T/L: 9436379544
There are a few homestays in the village as well.
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