Ukhrul, Feb 27 : After 8 hours of bumpy ride, the nine member ‘CHIKO’ Adventure team along with three guest- photographers and writers, reached Phungtha village the eastern boarder of Ukhrul at around 8 pm on February 19, 2018.
Phungtha lies in the extreme Eastern Tangkhul region and is also the last village to have motorable roads (PMGSY – first phase). The CHIKO Adventure team had planned this expedition to explore the possibilities of ecotourism in the far eastern Tangkhul region, including villages like Phungtha, Kachouphung, Khayang, Chamu and Hangou. After a strenuous yet adventurous six days of tough trekking, the team returned on February 25 morning.
More than the beautiful nature of the villages, what impressed the team was the willingness of the villagers to embrace eco-tourism. More interestingly, few had already started delving into the possibility of conserving their rich wildlife and forest without any external pressure to do so.
The team witnessed that one of the biggest setbacks for this region is the inaccessible roads where even the existing road becomes non-existent during the monsoon. With better roads that can connect even the farthest region like Kachouphung, the team is positive that ecotourism will play an important role in helping these villages improve their living conditions. The villages are yet to receive electricity. Thatched mud houses as well as bamboo houses are still a common sight in the villages covered by the team, and thus could be a hotspot for tourists who would prefer to experience basic lifestyle. Few of the stunning sights include the waterfall that lies in between Phungtha and Kachouphung. The only way to reach the fall is on foot by crossing Phungtha village.
The waterfall is the largest and tallest fall in Manipur measuring upto 754 feet. A sight for wonder in close proximity to the fall is the Khui Ngalung, a rocky river that is overlooked by a tall cliff with wild bee hives hanging on the rock. Kachouphung Lake is another beautiful spot in Kachouphung, a freshwater lake that stretches as long as nine acres and grows bigger during monsoon. The call of the Gibbons could be clearly heard from the site while the team halted there. Kazeiram was the last stop, a place that holds a significant mythology of the Tangkhuls, located after Chamu and Hangou Kaphung.
Believed to be the place of the spirit world, on the way to Kazeiram is the Kazei Keirak (non man-made stone steps), believed to be a stone ladder that leads to Kazeiram. Kazei Wonra (resting joint), Kazei Kharalung (sharpening stone), Kazei Shimpam (settlement area) and Kazei Rakhong (pond) are all a part of Kazeiram, each with its own importance.
The CHIKO Adventure team will be coming up with its travel video from this expedition so that people can not only just read about it but also witness the charms of the Eastern Tangkhul region. Met with top-notch hospitality and the willingness to open up to the world, the team returned home with renewed hope and a full fledged aim to bring about a positive change through ecotourism.