Silchar To Aizwal Bike Ride: Trip To The Remotest State Of India
After spending two days resting in Silchar, it was time for me to move to my next destination in North-East India. If you had read my previous post on Silchar, you would know that Silchar lies at the center of North-East. Due to its location, major cities of North-east India are equidistance from Silchar. Upon arriving at Silchar, I was in a dilemma as to which state I should visit next in my North-East India ride. My confusion was between Mizoram and Tripura as both sates were easily approachable from Silchar. Eventually, I decided to opt for Mizoram and later explore Tripura. I finalized Mizoram instead of Tripura after much brainstorming. I also calculated some other factors, which I would be explaining in the latter part of this article. Anyways after relaxing for two days, it was time to start riding for the next destination. As I finalized Mizoram as the next state in my north-east India ride, in this article would be dealing with my bike trip from Silchar to Aizwal. I will also be sharing the condition of the road from Silchar to Aizwal and will try to give an insight into the procedure of Inner Line Permit for Mizoram and how to get ILP for Mizoram. The article will also contain some vital information related to Mizoram, which might help the travelers in planning a successful trip to Aizwal and Mizoram.
Why I Decided to Explore Mizoram Instead Of Tripura
After two hectic and continuous rides in Assam, i.e., Kaziranga Nationa Park to Haflong and Haflong to Silchar, I was exhausted. Initially, I thought of taking rest for one day, but the last ride had a heavy toll on me. I decided to stay in Silchar for two days instead of one and completed the following thing:
- Planning which state to visit next out of Tripura and Mizoram.
- Engine oil replacement and bike servicing.
- Finishing the recently released Web Series Mirzapur on Amazon Prime.
- Gathering information about the Inner Line Permit of Mizoram.
- Washed of a few cloths after a continuous ride of 15 days.
My first task was to finalize, which state I should visit as both Mizoram and Tripura were easily accessible. While in the case of Aizwal google maps recommended 6 hours of the ride. For Tripura, it suggested 5 hours (Unakoti in Dharmanagar). My initial plan was to visit Tripura, and once I explored, return to Silchar and start riding for Mizoram. The idea was perfect, but there was one problem. I had to reach Kohima by 1st December to attend the Hornbill Festival In Nagaland, and I wasn’t in a position to explore both states in the given time. Lastly, I decided to visit Mizoram and explore Tripura later. One more reason I chose Mizoram was due to the fact I was riding my own vehicle, thereby giving me the freedom to explore the hilly areas of Mizoram. As Mizoram is 90% covered by forest, having a private vehicle had an added advantage. In the case of Tripura, I knew I could avail of the benefit of Railways and other Public Transport.
Also Read: A Sixty Days Solo Ride To North-East India
Moreover, visiting Mizoram would allow me to enter Manipur from Mizoram, thereby saving valuable time. I was also interested in exploring the Haflong -Silchar-Agartala Railway Route, and in achieving this, I had to visit Tripura anyways. With all the factors in favor of Mizoram, I decided to ride for Mizoram and explore Tripura later. Once I finalized the state, the next task was to gather information about the Inner Line Permit for Mizoram. The Mizoram House in Silchar issues ILP, and I decided to get my ILP from there. Upon reaching, I found that the office was closed due to some holiday. I checked for alternates, and the guard at Mizoram House informed me that ILP is also issued at Vairengte, which lies on the Border of Assam and Mizoram. It was a significant relief as today was Saturday, and I would have to wait until Monday to get the ILP. I also inquired if I can get ILP on Sunday as I planned to ride tomorrow, to which he replied that Vairengte issues ILP on all days.
Also Read: Trip To Wei-Saw-Dong Waterfall In Meghalaya
Once the doubts about destination and ILP were cleared, I was ready to start my ride to another north-eastern state, which I only read in books. While returning to my hotel, I gave my scooter at a mechanic shop for servicing. As there was nothing planned for the day, once I reached the hotel, I watched the newly released Mirzapur. Once I completed the whole season, I did my packing for the next leg of my journey and went for sleep.
The Route I Followed During My Ride From Silchar To Aizwal
The city of Aizwal lies some 180 Kilometers from Silchar, and Google Maps suggested seven hours to reach Aizwal. The route recommended by google was: Silchar-> Kabuganj-> Bhaga-> Vairengte -> Bilkhawthlir-> Kolasib-> N.Kawnpui-> Lungdai-> Aizwal. I assumed that the road would be good as the map suggested 7 hours, including a ride on hills. The National Highway 306 connects Aizwal to Silchar. My main concern was the diversion at N.Kawnpui, where the map suggested to take the NH6 and not NH306. I knew that the ride from Silchar to Vairengte would be quick and smooth as the area lies in the plains of Barak River. Any issues if I am going to face, that would be in Mizoram.
My Ride From Silchar To Aizwal
I woke up early in the morning, ordered a tea, and asked the reception to carry out the check-out formalities. Meanwhile, I packed my bag on the scooter and crossed checked if I have carried all my belongings. I felt energetic like I felt on the first day of my North-East India ride, and all the credit goes to the two days rest in Silchar. I left my hotel around 8 AM, and since today was Sunday, the roads looked deserted. Although the empty road came as a boon for me and I quickly reached the outskirts of Silchar City. My first destination was to reach the National Institute of Technology, Silchar. Though there was no apparent reason for visiting NIT Silchar, I just wanted to see a prestigious institution in the far remote area of India. One more reason was that my school friend was an alumnus of NIT Silchar, and he had helped me in my past journeys. NIT Silchar was only 10 kilometers from the hotel, and I took 30 minutes to reach there. I clicked a few pictures of the college and the campus and then resumed my ride towards Vairengte and Aizwal.
My Bike Ride From Silchar To Vairengte On Assam-Mizoram Border
While riding, I experienced that it was not only me who was feeling rejuvenated but also my scooter after servicing. I took an extra thirty minutes and reached a small market at Bhaga. From morning I had only a cup of tea, and therefore I decided to stop for breakfast before proceeding any further. The Bhaga market was tiny and reminded me of the market I encountered while riding from Damchara to Silchar. I spotted a shop, and they were serving local Assamese breakfast. I ordered my breakfast and meanwhile tried to establish communication with the locals. Once I was back on my scooter and started riding, I sensed the start of the hilly region and a gradual increase in the gradient of the road. I knew that I am approaching the Assam-Mizoram Border. The wider highway got replaced by a single lane road and vehicles replaced by Sumos. Tata Sumo plays a vital role in these hilly areas and serves as the primary means of transport both for passenger travel and goods. After another thirty minutes of the ride and I reached the Vairengte check-post at Assam-Mizoram Border.
The Vairengte check-post looked like a typical state border crossing with a small information center and a few shops on one side of the road. I parked my scooter where the majority of the Sumos were parked and joined the queue for the Inner Line Permit. I was already carrying mandatory documents (10 passport size phots, Aadhar Card, and Passport photocopy), and once my turn arrived, I provided the papers required. The charges for a one-week ILP permit in Mizoram are 130 rupees. It took approximately one hour (waiting for my turn plus processing) to get the Inner Line Permit. I paid the fees, and now I was officially eligible to enter in Mizoram.
My Bike Ride From Vairengte To Kolasib
From Vairengte, Aizwal was still a 120 kilometers ride, and maps suggested another five hours. By the time I crossed Vairengte, it was 11 AM, and I assumed by 5 PM I will reach Aizwal. As most of the area in Mizoram is covers by hills, the roads are single laned but asphalt. As soon as I entered Mizoram, I noticed the movement of security personals and police force. Upon checking with locals, they informed that it is for the preparation of the Mizoram State Assembly Election. Initially, I suspected my time of visiting Mizoram but later decided to go with the flow as I was carrying all the documents to overcome any difficulty. The only precaution I had to take was to avoid night driving, and it was a reasonable step to do under these circumstances. I continued my ride on the highway, also known as the National Highway 306, and I was amazed by the cleanliness of the state. I encountered many makeshift toilets and notice board informing about the Malaria and other diseases. During my initial hours of the ride in Mizoram, I was impressed by the disciplined driving of Mizo people. I had traveled numerous times on hills, including on some of the highest roads of the world, yet the disciplined driving in Mizoram was beyond comparison.
After driving for another hour and a half, I reached Kolasib. Kolasib is the district headquarter of Kolasib District, which is one of the eight districts of Mizoram. The roadside market was big enough to lure me for another break. I decided to stop for lunch and continue my journey later. I met a Sikh truck driver in the restaurant and discussed his nature of business in Mizoram. He inquired why I am in such a distant and remote place of India and told that his son also likes traveling and shooting videos.
My Bike Ride From Kolasib To N.Kawnpui and Durtlang Hills
After 30 minutes of lunch break, I resumed my ride and promised myself not to take further breaks until I have covered significant distance. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, my concern was at the diversion at N.Kawnpui, from where both National Highway 6 and National Highway 306 leads to Aizwal. I took another one hour and reached N.Kawnpui. The road from Kolasib to N.Kawnpui was again in good shape barring a few junctions. Once I arrived at the diversion, I checked with locals about which route to take as the map suggested the NH6 way while my instinct said I should go with NH306. Anyways keeping my intuition aside, I decided to follow the Google Maps and continued my ride along the N.Kawnpui-> Serkhan-> Sihphir-> Aizwal Route. It looked like I made a mistake by opting for NH6 as the road got narrower, and the forest density increased. Earlier I encountered small shops at a regular interval, but here the situation was different. It felt like I am the only one who has opted for this route, yet the advantage was that I was able to ride fast. The road in this stretch was again single lane and loosely asphalted. I took two more hours to reach Durtlang from N.Kawnpui took only one break at Sakawrhmuituai.
The Sakawrhmuituai Peak lies at an elevation of 1535 meters, and it is the highest peak on Silchar-Aizwal Highway. Though I only spent about thirty minutes at Sakawrhmuituai, every minute was worth it. For the first time, I got a clear view of Mizo Hills or commonly called the Lushai Hills. Lushai Hill is one of the prominent mountain ranges of India running in the state of Mizoram. Now I thanked google maps for suggesting this route else I would have missed this lovely place. Earlier while riding on NH306, I took a few breaks to click photos of the highway, but here I refrained from making any breaks except at Sakawrhmuituai. Once I reached the Durtlang, the traffic on the road increased exponentially, so does the density of the houses on the hills. I checked one milestone, and it read “Aizwal 10 Kilometers.”
My Bike Ride From Durtlang To Aizwal City
Once I arrived, Durtlang, I reduced my speed and decided to focus more on capturing photos. I reached Durtlang at 4:30 PM, and I knew I had made it to Aizwal as per my initial plan. I started riding slowly and aimed to get a clear shot of the Aizwal City from the Durtlang Hills. There is a place called “Aizwal City View,” and I clicked a few photos of the city from there. After taking sufficient images, I decided to enter Aizwal and find accommodation.
Once I reached the main city, a surprise was waiting for me. Today was Sunday, and everything remains closed on Sunday in Mizoram. Initially, I wasn’t able to comprehend the reason behind this. Later, I figured that Mizoram being a Christian Dominated State, everything in the state remains closed. From the market to the daily grocery shop, from petrol pumps to the hotel, everything was closed. My scooter was running low on fuel, and my primary concern was to get petrol. I wasn’t aware of this surprise; otherwise, I would have refilled my scooter before entering Mizoram or Aizwal. Anyhow I managed to get one liter of petrol at the black market rate and (100 rupees while the standard rate was 75 rupees).
Once I resolved the fuel issue, I started searching for a hotel. I checked in around ten hotels, but most of them were either closed, or I found no one at the reception. I didn’t know where to spend the night if I didn’t find any accommodation. I asked a local for any accommodation, and he suggested a budget hotel called “Traveller’s Inn.” I straight away went there and, to my surprise, found a person at reception. I asked if any room is available to which he replied in affirmation. Though the room was not appealing, I was not in a position to choose. Moreover, the tariff was reasonable and justified the condition of the room. I paid 350 rupees for one night and inquired if I can find any restaurant. He said that most of the shops are closed, and I can check a small shop near the hotel. Once I unpacked my luggage, I went to the restaurant and checked the menu. The only option I had was fried rice as the rest of the menu was filled with Non-Veg dishes. I got a feeling that my days in Mizoram are not going to be comfortable in terms of food. Having said this, I ordered fried rice and tea and concluded today’s ride from Silchar to Aizwal.