Phawngpui (Pron: /ˌpʰɔ:ŋˈpʊɪ/), the Blue Mountain of Mizoram, is a highly revered peak, considered to be the abode of the gods. Phawngpui peak is the highest mountain peak in Mizoram, rising about 2157 m high near the Myanmar border in Lawngtlai district, the southeast region of Mizoram. Phawngpui peak is famous for orchids and rhododendrons. With spectacular trees and flowers of all colours, Phawngpui presents a fairytale view of the blue hazed hills, and vales unfolding below.
Etymology and origin Phawngpui was the major centre of folk religion and folklores. The name is derived from the Lai language, phong meaning “grassland” or “meadow”, and the suffix -pui meaning “great”. This was because the mountain was mostly covered with all types meadows, hence appropriately the “great meadow”. The mountain was, according the belief of the natives, the abode of several spiritual races. The most important folktale, Once a upon a time there lived a King of the ghosts called Sangau close to Phawngpui Tlang (Blue Mountain). Across a few hills, in Cheriang lived another king. The King of Ghosts had a worthy son and the King of Cherian a lovely daughter and they were soon married to each other. The marriage witnessed the exchange of some splendid gifts and the most prided among them were – the gift of a Pine Tree from the bride’s home and a pair of Hollock Gibbons from the King of Ghosts to the forests of Cherian.The area where the lone pine stood is called Farpak (single Pine) and today it has multiplied to a plenty while the Hollocks that roam the forests of Cheriang are the original gift of Sangau – they sadly did not breed..
Geography Phawngpui Peak in Mizoram exhibits the most enchanting view of Mizoram. There is a semi-circular beautiful cliff in the western side called Thlazuang Khàm, which has a sharp and deep fall, which serves as the natural home of mountain goats. This cliff is believed to be haunted by spirits. On the peak, there is a level ground of about 2 sq km in area.
Conservation Since 1992 the mountain has been included in the protected area of the Phawngpui National Park, to be one of the only two national parks of India in Mizoram. The Government of Mizoram allows ecofriendly visit to the mountain only during November to April.
Flora and fauna The area is encircled by matted bamboo groves and other alluring vegetations. There are varieties of butterflies, including some rare species found in this region. The Farpak area in Phawngpui is huge grassland adjacent to a cliff area you can sight birds like Perigren Falcon, Blyth’s Tragopan, Sunbirds, Grey Sibia, Golden-throated Barbet, Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant, hornbill, Dark-rumped Swift, Mountain Bamboo Partridge, Black Eagle and other birds. The very rare clouded leopard is also recorded in the Farpak area since 1997. There have been instances of wild orchids being stolen from Phawngpui, efforts are being taken to protect and conserve it.
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