Haflong Travel guide- Scotland of Assam. Assam, south of the Eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys, is a state that has had a colorful and chequered history in more ways than one. It has been renowned for its national parks, the mighty Brahmaputra, and the globally acclaimed tea gardens. However, some places do not fall in the above category. These are still offbeat and unknown to a large extent.
One such region is known as Haflong. Assam’s only hill station is rich in natural beauty, ethnic culture, and timeless heritage. Haflong is all about quaint villages, lush evergreen forests and mountains with abundant miniature waterfalls. Haflong showcases the beauty of Assam through a beautiful view of the Borail Mountain range to its south.
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Many Assam Travel guides indicate the Assam tourist places a traveller should visit. Assam is famous for wildlife, historical places, monuments, natural vegetation. There are world heritage sites in Assam like the Majuli islands and famous monuments like Kamakhya Devi temple. The best areas in Guwahati include temples, the Brahmaputra River, various museums and also the local markets. My blog post will introduce the readers to Haflong Travel guide- Scotland of Assam.
What is my blog about ?
My blog focuses quite a bit on nature based places and off beat destinations. India has abundance of these kind of places . Read about the forest magic of Odisha out here or in depth story on the trek to Sandakphu to see the Kanchenjunga up-close.
Going westwards, I would recommend the reader to glance at the beaches of Goa. My recommendation from my stay in the state for over 2 years. I am sure a visit to know about the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway while to the North of the country we have the trek to Kashmir Great Lakes or maybe visit the high altitude lakes of Ladakh region.
Haflong Travel guide- Scotland of Assam
Guwahati to Haflong is a day journey, and the vista dome express from Guwahati to Haflong is one of the significant tourism initiatives in Assam. Haflong Assam, in my opinion, is one of the best places to visit in Assam. The beauty of Assam, which is visible throughout the state, is amplified manifold in the Haflong region. Haflong tourism is now picking up on account of the initiative of the local community and the State Government. Being the only Hill Station in Assam, it is also known as the Scotland of Assam.
Haflong Essential background
Haflong is located in the Dima Hasao district and is a resident of Dimasa Tribe in the majority. Dima Hasao has an enviable diversity of tribes that play an essential part in the region’s social fabric. This is a tribal majority district with a 71 % population share. There are 13 tribal groups in this region and several other non-tribal groups. So while essentially this place is peaceful, there are sometimes eruptions that cannot be predicted.
Manipur surrounds Dima Hasao district in the East, with Nagaland in North East Meghalaya in the West. The Borail range contains two of the highest peaks, out of which one is the Thumjan peak which I saw in my travels.
Haflong region is a land of sensuousness. The region is home to many tribes who maintain their dialect, customs and way of living. The people are part of the earth, with their way of life evolved through centuries in the villages, tending to their livestock and lands. To this region, I meant to travel and inquire into its history and culture.
Accordingly, it was a road trip with my RIDE to this fantastic region I had only read and not come across someone in my known circle who had visited. The road to Haflong from Guwahati was unique indeed. As I ventured further into the interiors, the traffic density reduced. Soon, I could see the winding road snaking through the mountain ranges all around, not too high but imparting a sense of aloofness to the region from mainstream Guwahati.
Places to visit in Haflong
- Haflong Lake
- Abraham Viewpoint
- Fiangpui Church
- Haflong church
- Moulpong View Point
- Bendai Baglao Waterfall
One of the most famous and must-visit attractions is Haflong Lake. The lake is located in the middle of the town. The lake offers a variety of activities, including boating. It covers a large area with a children’s park and a rock garden that was also conceptualized.
I had a look at the lake early in the morning when the still waters and the wooden bridge across the lake with lots of accompanying greenery reminded me of the lakes that one sees in the palaces of the Japanese kings. Tranquil and sublime is the essence imparted just standing and looking across the water.
In the Jiangsu locality of Haflong is situated the Fiangpui church. This is also a must-visit for all those who come to Haflong town. It is one of the largest churches in this region, and there is an aura of peacefulness around the church’s vicinity.
I went visiting when it was Christmas week. Hence there were lots of programmes and religious discourses with celebrations. Keeping in mind the sanctity of the occasion, I refrained from clicking any picture; however, in the darkness of the night, the warm light of Fiangpui Church serves as a beacon of warmth and hope to all those who look for it.
Haflong has a rich cultural past dating back to the days of the Holy Cross Mission in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In 1974, the present-day Haflong Church was constructed along with the Don Bosco School, which came into existence in 1980. The architecture of the school and church is one of the most imposing and pretty sights in the whole of Haflong town.
The School and Church stand in the center of the town and are a popular visiting destination to all those who come to Haflong.
Moulpong View Point.
There are some beautiful viewpoints from where one can get a panoramic view of Haflong, its valley and the surrounding mountain ranges. One such is Moulpong View Point, situated about 500 mts away from the Haflong Main Bazar area. The view is just fantastic, and Sunrise is the best thing that happens out here over the surrounding mountain ranges.
I will recommend visiting the Moulpong viewpoint and going ahead on the main road connecting to the view. One can then witness the entire valley on the other side with the heavy fog bank lifting ever so slowly upwards from the valley floor.
Abraham View Point.
This place is located on the Haflong-Lumdig road and comes right at the entrance of Haflong town. I could see the panoramic beauty of the Borail Hill range and the Haflong valley with the Railway Station nestled right at the valley floor.
Maibong is one of the three subdivisions of the Dima Hasao District. It was once upon a time the capital of the Dimasa Kachari Kingdom. The name Maibong is subdivided into Mai and Bang, which means “plenty of rice “. the ruins of the Kingdom are still visible, especially the stone houses of the royal clan. The kingdom flourished from the 16th to 18th century on the banks of the Mahur river. The ruins and some carvings remain the primary attraction. Ramachandi Temple is a famous monument that is to be visited.
The town has grown all around the river in our modern times and is just like any other rural town. However, one needs to peer beyond the modern-day structures to get a glimpse of the history of Maibong.
One of the secluded places of this region, Mahur is the gateway to the pristine natural beauty of the Haflong forests. It serves as the entry point to the Laisong region, which is nestled deep within the forested hills of the Dima Hasao area. The scenic beauty of Mahur grabs eyeballs for its rustic appeal.
Bendai Baglao Water fall
Besides, several lesser-explored destinations in Dima Hasao, like Bendai Baglao Waterfalls. This waterfall is famous for its pristine beauty and crystal-clear water. This is a three-tiered waterfall; however, only two tiers are generally accessible, with the third tier being quite remote. There are some pretty impressive seasonal waterfalls, like Panimur Waterfalls and Didaodip waterfall.
One has to do an introductory trek to reach this waterfall nestled in the surrounding forest of Sampridisia Village (One hires guides from this village itself). The tour is indeed enjoyable because of the green landscape of the Hadingma Hills, small cultivated fields, bamboo groves, and birds all around.
Presbyterian Church, Haflong
One of the mainline protestant churches in the region, the architectural beauty of the church set the backdrop of the Borail mountain range again imparts a sense of peace and tranquility to the traveller who comes visiting this place.
In addition to the above places that I visited, a few more notable areas of interest associated with Haflong tourist places which would complete the entire Haflong region as a part of the Haflong Travel guide- Scotland of Assam are:-
Jatinga Wild Life sanctuary and eco-village.
This place is famous for viewing the various migratory birds that visit the Haflong region, while the village showcases the region’s cultural history.
Haflong Railway Station.
It is desirable to visit Haflong Railway Station to have a glimpse of the spectacular bridges constructed in the valley and the location of the station deep within the valley surrounded by towering hills.
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Weather in Haflong. Desirable to visit in the Winter months as rains arrive in the region by April
Stay in Haflong. A few Guesthouses / Haflong hotels are to be pre-booked, especially in the Winter times nearing Christmas – New Year.
How to Reach Haflong. Guwahati to Haflong by taking the Vistadome and experiencing the magnificent railway bridges, deep valleys and forests or do a Road Trip and soak in the vibe of offbeat travels.
Haflong Market. Nothing extraordinary, I would say, other than picking up some ethnic Naga hand-stitched clothing which would be pretty awesome.
Conclusion to my Haflong Travel guide- Scotland of Assam
This Road trip was my first foray into the vast region, termed the North East of India. It will take a lifetime or maybe more to see the entire area with its many intricacies and offbeat destinations. I am pretty content with this particular road trip, which was a perfect departure from the standardized version that most travelers attempt. Do visit Haflong hill station, experience Assam’s only Hill station and soak in beautiful Haflong.
It would be my genuine recommendation to make a trip to Haflong and beyond to see Assam minus the tea gardens.