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Rih Dil Lake – largest lake of Mizoram lying in Myanmar

by May 22, 2018Mizoram, Trouvaille

Rih Dil Lake is not just a lake to the Mizos, it is deeply rooted in the heritage and folklore of the people. That is why, even though the lake is located in Myanmar some 3 km away from the Indo-Burmese border, it is still considered to be the largest lake of Mizoram. The influence of the lake on the culture and tradition of the Mizo people is so much so that it has transcended international boundaries. Truly it is the human emotion and sentiments that matter the most and not the frontiers decided by nations.

The heart-shaped lake is of significant spiritual and cultural importance to the Mizo people, living both in the Champai district of Mizoram and the Chin state of Myanmar. This beautiful lake is believed to be the pathway for the dead to reach their final resting place.

Where is the Rih Dil Lake?

The beautiful Rih Dil lake is situated in the far east of Myanmar and is within the village area of Rihkhawdar in Myanmar. It lies just two kilometres from the Tiau River, which is the natural boundary between Myanmar and Mizoram in India. Rih Dil Lake is only 24 km from Champai in Mizoram. It is around 100 km from Falam, the nearest major town in Myanmar.

Legends around the Rih Dil Lake – the story of Rihi

There are so many folk tales surrounding the place, but the story of Rihi is the most known. There was once a girl named Rihi who had a cruel stepmother who wanted to get rid of Rihi and her sister. So the father took her sister to the forest one day and killed her. Rihi found her sister in the woods and broke down into tears. Her inconsolable tears moved the spirits of the forest, Lasi (a Mizo spirit) who told her about a tree whose leaves have magical powers. Rihi found that tree and fed her sister with the leaf. Her sister got up from her eternal sleep, but she was thirsty. To quench the thirst of her sister, Rihi consumed the leaf of the same tree and transformed herself into a pool so that her sister can drink water. Later due to some instances, Rihi was forced to transform herself into a Mithun and she wandered around looking for a permanent home. Rihi finally settled down in the village of Sanzawl near the River Ruun. But the demon spirit of the river threatened to suck her if she lived there. So she left the place to look for safer pastures and finally settled down in the valley near Rihkhawdar Village, where she settled in her favourite form – that of a lake. The name Rih thus stands in testimony of Rihi.

Rih dil lake

courtesy : Mizoram portal

Spiritual Significance

The heart-shaped lake is of significant spiritual and cultural importance to the Mizo people, living both in the Champai district of Mizoram and the Chin state of Myanmar. This beautiful lake is believed to be the pathway for the dead to reach their final resting place.

The Mizos believe that the other world is divided into two parts. All the spirits went to “Mitthi Khua”, the village of deaths. From here, a few went on to Pialral, the heaven. But before they reached their eternal abodes, the spirits had to pass through the Rih Dil Lake.

According to the Mizo folklore, the soul departed from the body after death and headed straight towards the Rih Dil Lake. It wandered there for a few days before returning to its erstwhile village and home. The relatives would keep a place at the table for the wandering spirit and offer it food every time they sat down for a meal. After three months, the soul would again depart for Rih Dil and from there would go towards the mythical mountain called Hring Lang Tlang. Here, it would pluck a mythical flower Hawilo Par and then drink the pure and clear waters from the spring called Lungloh Tui or the water of forgetfulness. The water would quench its thirst for looking back at its material life and only then the soul would travel to the village of death.

The lake has a very tranquil and peaceful setting. The waters are of a deep blue colour surrounded by the hills and paddy fields in the valley. The place is so beautifully isolated and set amidst the gorgeous vistas and rugged mountains. This lake is perfect for all those seeking off-the-beaten-track experiences. The picture-perfect Rih Dil Lake remains a pilgrimage site for Mizo people of both the residents of Mizoram as well as that of Chin state in Myanmar. It is also a popular weekend spot for locals to swim, fish or simply relax. Infact, many newly-weds from Mizoram goes to the lake to take pictures of the couple in the background of the lake.

How to Reach Rih Dil Lake:

Reaching the Rih Dil Lake is not so easy because of its remote location.

The nearest Airport is the Lengpui Airport which is 1-hour drive from Aizawl and is well connected by Air to Kolkata, Guwahati and Imphal.

The nearest railhead is Silchar in Assam that is about 180 km and 6 hours drive from Aizawl.

Champai is another 194 km from Aizawl. From Champai, you have to go to Zakhawthar, the border post 27 kilometres from Champai on the Indian side.

You have to register at Myanmar’s immigration post after reaching the eastern bank of the Tiau River that separates the two countries. There is no need for passports or visas as nationals of either country are allowed to enter till a certain distance into each other’s territories.

Rih Dil Lake

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