My Trip To Jampui Hill In Tripura: A Journey Amid Chaos And Internet Ban
When I was planning my trip to north-east India, my initial plan was first to explore Meghalaya and later Assam. After Assam and Meghalaya, I was confused between Mizoram and Tripura. My confusion was mostly about the state to visit first and how to access the second state after exploring first. Initially, I planned to explore Tripura and enter Mizoram via the Jampui Hill of Tripura. Later I had to postpone my plans due to the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland. After finishing the first leg of the journey in the north-east by scooter, I decided to visit Tripura on public transport. My travel in Tripura was mostly on Railways, buses, and shared sumos, and after visiting Unakoti, my next destination was the Jampui Hill. Although the Jampui hill is the extension of the mountains and forests of Mizoram, I wanted to experience the region from a different state. After Unakoti, I headed for the Jampui Hills, and this article, I will be sharing my trip to Jampui Hil in Tripura. I will also be sharing important information related to planning a trip to Jampui Hills in Tripura and information like accommodation facility in Jampui Hill, route details, and condition of the road. In the later part of the article, I would try to narrate my trip to Jampui Hill in Tripura and how I explored the site. I hope the blog post would be helpful for the travelers planning a trip to Jampui Hills, and in case any additional information is required, do let me know via the comment or message.
Where Is Jampui Hills Situated?
The Jampui Hill lies in the North Tripura District of the state of Tripura. North Tripura is one of the eight districts of the state and borders Bangladesh in the north, Assam in north-east, and Mizoram in the east. Dharmanagar is the headquarter of the North Tripura district. Jampui hill lies 30 kilometers from the district administrative division of Kanchanpur, and it is the nearest biggest town en route Jampui hill. The biggest village in the area surrounding Jampui hill is Vanghmun and Hmunpui.
In terms of distance, Jampui hill lies 30 kilometers from district administrative division Kanchanpur, 75 kilometers from the district headquarters Dharmanagar, and 200 kilometers from the state capital Agartala. Since the area surrounding the Jampui hill borders two Indian states, it is also accessible from Silchar in Assam and lies 200 kilometers from Silchar.
Why Plan a Trip To Jampui Hills In Tripura?
Jampui Hill is mainly famous for its pristine landscape and virgin forest. The area is sparsely populated by the tribes of Tripura and Mizo community as the region lies in the vicinity of the Tripura-Mizoram border. The southern part borders Bangladesh, and it is sparsely populated, allowing vegetation to take cover of the area. A ride from Kanchanpur to Vanghmun featuring winding road, water streams, and dense jungle is an ecstasy for any traveler. Experiencing sunrise or sunset from the hills is another must to do a thing while traveling to Jampui hill. The highest peak of Tripura, i.e., Betalongchhip, also lies in Jampui hills. As I mentioned earlier, the Jampui hill is the extension of the Lushai Hills, and their elevation gradually decreases in Tripura. While Hmuifang and Aizwal are at an altitude of 1600 and 1200 meters, the highest point in Tripura, i.e., Betalongchhip, is only 900 meters above sea level. Jampui hill is famous for many more things, and I am listing a few more things to do while planning a trip to Jampui Hill
- Exploring the landscape on a ride from Kanchanpur to Vanghmun.
- Trekking to the Vanghmun Eco Park and Jampui Hill Eco Park. There is a watchtower erected by the tourism department to enjoy the view of the forest. A ride to Betlingchhip from Vanghmun will give an idea of the Mizo community living in the area, and you would be amazed by the cleanliness of the area.
- Enjoying the sunset and sunrise from the Eden Tourist Lodge and the surrounding area.
- Attending the Orange Festival celebrated in the area. Orange is one of the main crops cultivated in the area. Initially, oranges were cultivated for local use, but over time, inhabitants started growing them for export and started the Orange Festival. The festival is celebrated in the month of October-November, and a must to attend event.
How To Reach Jampui Hills In Tripura
While planning a trip to Jampui hill in Tripura, there are two things to take care of. One the accommodation facility in Jampui hills and second, how to reach there. Visiting at Jampui hill requires a journey by road as the terrain makes the construction of railways and airports a challenging task. The nearest railway station from the Jampui hill is Dharmanagr, which also serves as the district headquarter. The Dharmanagar Railway station lies on the Agartala and Silchar section of North-East Frontier Railways. There are a few smaller railways stations like Panisagar, Pencharthal, and Kumarghat, where regular passenger trains stop. From there, the Jampui hill is only 50-70 kilometers depending upon the railway station. From Dharmanagar, the route to reach Jampui hill is Dharmanagar-> Panisagar-> Kanchanpur->Vanghmun.In case one is traveling from Agartala via road, the route is Agartala-> Khowai-> Kumarghat-> Pencharthal-> Kanchanpur-> Vanghmun.There is an alternate route from Agartala which is as follow: Agartala-> Telimura-> Ambassa-> Kumarghat-> Pencharthal-> Kanchanpur-> Vanghmun.
Regarding public transport, Kanchanpur is the nearest big town from Jampui hill and is easily accessible from other cities of Tripura via bus and sumo services. Regular bus and sumos run on the Dharmanagar-Kanchanpurm Kumarghat-Kanchanpur route. In the case on is traveling from Agartala, it is beneficial to rely on railways owing to the bad condition of the road. Once arrived at Kanchanpur bus stand, small jeeps and sumo services ply on Kanchanpur-Vanghmun route, and they charge 40-50 rupees per person and take one hour. Depending upon one’s mode of transport and time, one of the mentioned three routes is best for planning a trip to the Jampui hills in Tripura. Regarding air connectivity, the nearest airports to Jampui hill are the Silchar Airport and Agartala Airport, also known as Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport. Silchar Airport is 230 kilometers from Jampui hill, while Agartala airport is 200 kilometers.
Condition of Road While Planning A Trip To Jampui Hills In Tripura
The road condition while driving for Jampui Hill changes as one leaves the big town and enters the forest. The route is motorable, and the majority of roads are single laned. When I traveled to Jampui Hills, I was relying on public transport, but I got a good idea of the condition of the route. The road till Kanchanpur is average from any part of the Tripura as the area mostly comprised of the plains. After Kanchanpur, the hills start, and the condition deteriorates a bit but still doesn’t possess a big challenge. From Kanchanpur, Vanghmun is only 25 kilometers and requires an hour of travel, which is manageable. The road from Kanchanpur to Vanghmun is a single lane passing through the jungle and unending hill bends. It is a single laned tarmac road, so it doesn’t cause any trouble for drivers.
Accommodation Facility While Planning A Trip To Jampui Hill In Tripura
Although Jampui Hill is the only hill area of Tripura, it comprises of mostly small villages, and therefore accommodation facility is limited in the area. The best accommodation facility at Jampui Hills is the Eden Tourist Lodge, managed by Tripura State Tourism Department. The guest house is the best property in the area built amid dense forest and onlooking valley. It is a three-storied building allowing visitors to enjoy the sunrise from the roof. The guest house five kilometers before Vanghmun village on the Kanchanpur-Vanghmun road. Vanghmun is the biggest village in Jampui Hill and has a few homestays, but I would recommend staying at Eden Tourist Lodge. When I was planning my trip to Jampui Hill, I booked a single room in the guest house, and I was impressed by the facilities. The tariff was reasonable, and at the same time, the staff was cooperative.
Apart from Vanghmun and Eden Tourist Lodge, Kanchanpur also has a few hotels and homestays. One can stay at Kanchanpur, visit the hills and return. However, I would recommend staying around Jampui Hills, witnessing the sunrise and sunset, and trekking through the forest. Depending upon the number of days a tourist is traveling to Jampui Hill. He/she can stay either at Vanghmun or Kanchanpur as per the itinerary.
My Trip To Jampui Hills In Tripura And How I Explored The Place
When I traveled to Tripura, the state was in turmoil due to the ongoing protest over the Citizen Amendment Act. An internet ban was imposed on the state, and I had to make a reservation by calling my friend in Delhi. After exploring the Manas National Park, I boarded the Kanchenjunga Express and reached Dharmanagar. At Dharmanagar, I stayed at the Juri Tourist Lodge and explored the famous Rock-Cut carving at Unakoti. Once I explored Unakoit, my next destination was Jampui Hills. From Unakoti, I hitchhiked to Kumarghat, and from there, I boarded a bus, which dropped me to Kanchanpur. From Kumarghat, Kanchapur is 40 kilometers, and it took two hours to reach there. The frequent halts for picking and dropping of local passengers marred my bus ride. Once I arrived at Kanchanpur, another bad news greeted me. After the Internet ban, the local taxi association has declared a transport ban for tomorrow and therefore no cabs or buses. I was skeptical about whether I should continue my journey or not, as I knew it would be hard for me to return from Jampui Hill. Without wasting much time, I decided to continue for Jampui Hill and, in case required, extend my stay there.
Kanchanpur bus stand lies on the outskirts of the town, and after walking for one kilometer, I reached there. It was already 2 PM in noon, and although I was traveling in January, looking at the temperature, it felt like peak summer season. All the buses going towards Jampui hill were either departed or were full. I enquired about other means, and some locals suggested me to find a seat in sumo or jeep. After checking with 3-4 sumo drivers, I found one vehicle going to Vanghmun, and I boarded the same. After sitting for 30 minutes in a jam-packed jeep, finally, the driver came, and my lest leg of the journey to Jampui hill started. As soon as the jeep started, it got punctured, and I felt like God is ensuring all the obstacles in my trip. After 30 minutes, the journey resumed and took another hour to reach Eden tourist lodge. The drive from Kanchanpur to Vanghmun is mostly uphill, and elevation increases gradually. Enroute I crossed the village of Hmunpui, and from there, Eden tourist lodge was only eight kilometers. I was continually looking outside, ensuring I don’t miss any signboard or a view. I was badly missing my scooter, which I used during my ride in the rest of the northeastern state. With the bike, I had the privilege of taking a break as per my wish, and now I was feeling helpless. By 4 PM, I reached the Eden Tourist Lodge and, after completing the check-in formalities, headed straight to the Vanghmun village.
Once I reached there, the village refreshed my ride in Mizoram. Since the Mizo community mostly inhabits the area, everything from signboard to the shop’s name was in Mizo language. Also, I noticed similar cleanliness on the road as I encountered while riding in different parts of Mizoram. The Mizo community in Jampui Hill is commonly known as the Bru tribe, displaced from Mizoram due to differences from the native Mizo community. I stopped at one shop, ordered tea, and started a conversation with the shop owner. I asked about the current protest about the ongoing Citizen Amendment Bill and the shutdown called by the transport association. They were not happy with the shutdown but were helpless, and they had to follow the orders as defying it meant vandalism of their shops and vehicle. After spending a fair amount of time at the shop and discussing various topics, I returned to the tourist lodge.
The next day I woke up early in the morning to get a glimpse of the sunrise from the Jampui Hills. By 6 AM, I was already at the Tourist watchtower, ready to capture the sunrise. As the light started to spread, I was able to see the whole valley filled with fog the way I saw on my trek to Reiek and Vantawang Waterfall. In the next 30 minutes, I was joined by other tourists staying at the tourist lodge. The sun looked astounding, and the entire sky painted in red and orange color. I clicked photos and tried shooting timelapse, but the kids were continually coming in front of the camera, so I dropped the plan of shooting timelapse. Once the sunrise was over, my next task was visiting the Vanghmun Eco Park. I gathered information from the workers of the guesthouse and decided to go for a trek before returning for breakfast.
The Vanghmun Eco Park is within walking distance from the Eden Tourist Lodge and took hardly ten minutes to reach. I was accompanied by a family staying at the tourist lodge. We visited the park and tried exploring it on foot, but the dense jungle made the walk miserable. After 30 minutes in the park, we all were sweating like a marathon runner. There is a watchtower at Vanghmun Eco-park. I climbed there to get some landscape shots for my blog post. After spending two hours at eco-park, we all decided to return to the hotel.
Once I finished my breakfast, I decided to get an idea of the strike and vent again to Vanghmun. Even tourists who came on a private vehicle were afraid of driving on the road as it might cause damage to their car. In Vanghmun, I checked with a mechanic about any possibility of getting a bus or a hitchhiking opportunity. They told me it is better to wait for the next day as there will hardly be any bus and the possibility of hitchhiking in the hill is very rare. I too, agreed with their advice and decided to wait for the next day. Although the strike was for two days, everyone was expecting a relaxation on the second day. I called my friend in Delhi and requested him to extend my reservation for one more day. I decided to return to the guest house and explore Vanghmun in the evening. It was wasting one day sitting ideally in a room with nothing to do. If I were traveling with my scooter, I would have ridden till Kanchanpur or the southern part of Jampui Hill, but I was helpless.
My struggle in Jampui Hill continued the next day as, and I didn’t find any vehicle for Kanchanpur. Eventually, I had to hitchhike and rent a private car to reach the nearest railway station. How I escaped from Jampui Hills and continued my journey to other parts of Tripura, I will cover them in the future articles of the blog post. Thanks for reading; in case you need additional information about planning a Trip to Jampui Hill, which I missed, do let me know via the message and comments, and I would try to help. Continue reading my travelogue on my Sixty Days Solo Trip To northeastern India.