The bridge expedition to Benreu tourist village

A bird’s eye view of the Village

A bird’s eye view of the Village

KEYICAULANG MERU
RESEARCH COORDINATOR
THE BRIDGE, PEREN

The Bridge, a youth forum based at Peren organized an adventurous expedition cum exposure trip to DUILAKI (Poilwa) and Benreu Tourist Village on the 23rd September, 2006.It is to note that the Benreu Tourist Village, also popularly known as the ”GREEN VILLAGE” has been under construction with the initiative of the then Tourism and Revenue Minister, Government of Nagaland, Shri.Vatsu Meru, Coinciding with the Langsim Ngi festival of the Village, it is due to be inaugurated on the 30th and 31st of October, 2006. All together a total of fifty (50) students from all the schools under Peren, including the club members participated in the expedition. The expedition was also accompanied by Smt.Asenla, NPS, Additional SP Peren, Smt.Apeuna Iheilung, DIS Peren, representatives from various NGO’s like Peren Town Women Welfare Organization, Peren Town Youth Organization and Nringbeting Foundation.

The zealous expedition troupe started off from Peren in the early hours of the morning around 7:30 am, when the sun just peeped out of the mountainous ranges in the east, which was our destination, with promises of a beautiful day ahead. The journey began and as we crossed the limits of the town, Mother Nature greets us warm. The winding roads passed through in a uniformed manner with all the hues and colors of the salubrious and luscious manifestations of nature delighting our fancy and imagination. Passing through the ridge-like roads we took time to marvel at the rocky and steep landscapes, the wild flowers and the orchids blooming in all its grandeur, besides posing for the lens before the exquisite backgrounds. Addition to these delighting scenes, we were held spellbound by the rapturous sounds of the mixed songs of a variety of birds prattling and frolicking which corresponded with the bliss of nature.

The main entrance of the Village used in the olden days

With that same spirit of mirth and explicit joy we reached DUILAKI in a matter of two hours. The rain Gods played the spoilsport but our spirit never stoop so low to deter us from exploring the enormous gorge. This gorge indeed was not merely a tell-tale but a Masterpiece of the creative handiwork of God which anyone who hears about it have every reasons to be curious enough to pay a visit. Moreover, it has its own historical significance which the locals residing there would be keen in their heart of hearts to relate it to any tourist visiting the place-DUILAKI.

After spending a few minutes there, we headed for our final destination. In a matter of about twenty minutes drive we reached Benreu Tourist Village, the abode of legends and mysticism (both natural and supernatural), the land where one can really experience God’s bountiful gift of nature in all its glory and magnificence and home to the endangered species Blythe Tragopan. Having drizzled then, the enchanting Village had a surprise in store for us as the foggy atmosphere rendered us a cozy and romantic feeling which every Tourist would love to experience. William Wordsworth, the great romantic poet propagates that “Imagination is superior to reality”, but here in Benreu Village reality triumphed over our imagination as we saw the majestic PAONA PEAK (Third highest peak in Nagaland with an altitude of 2510 meters above sea-level) and the adjacent mountain peaks adorned with the rich and vibrant flora and fauna which apparently seems to fortify the entire Village. Nothing in the world could possibly disturb the quite, calm and peaceful atmosphere of this Hamlet. The perfect embodiment of God’s mighty creation here was the reality.

The expedition troupe took shelter in a newly constructed house build in the traditional style of the Morung. There we unpacked our things and had our brunch. After an overview of the village we had an interactive session along with the Village Council Members. Speaking on the occasion, representatives from The Bridge vented out that the club endeavors to expose and highlight the marvels of nature and any such potentials and resources available in the District which can be a boost and an impetus to the Tourist sector. The main purpose of the expedition however, was to create awareness among the students community about the developments going on in our area and at the same time, a noble gesture of acknowledging the initiative of the Government for prioritizing the Tourist sector which is accounted as one of the fastest growing industries in the country. It was also mentioned that Nagaland in general and Peren District in particular have enormous potentials and resources in this sector. What remains to be done is that these resources should be properly tapped and utilized and given due exposure with proper packaging and infrastructural facilities through the right channels. Smt.Asenla, Additional SP, Peren also remarked that she never expected this kind of developmental activities going on in the interior of the district and appreciated the initiative of the Government in this regard. Besides, some other important dignitaries present, the Village Council Chairman also spoke on the occasion. This interactive session was later followed by a ‘Bara Khana’, where everyone opened their home made delicacies and shared it with one and all. It was a food feast no doubt, and we feasted on the much desired Mountain trout which was no wonder a delicacy. Having had our fill and having geared for the expedition we were led by the Village folks for sight-seeing in and around the Village.

Fortunately by that time, the fog and the clouds were swept away by the wind and we could view and appreciate the steep slopes and the distant scene of the Oak trees standing still and the whole scenario of the ancient Village. We also visited the Morungs and places of historical importance and dipped our tongue on the much talked ‘NRI ZAO’, a locally brewed rice beer which is one of the main attractions of the Village. But there was one particular place which captivated us by its overwhelming charm. This place was a twenty minutes walk from the Village which the Village folks nonchalantly called, “THE LOVERS PARK”. Indeed, true to its name it was another paradise on Earth. On reaching the spot we were breathless because of the tedious walk, but as we got a bird’s eye-view of the picturesque Village from the top of the huge rocks we were relieved and joyous. Standing on the rocks we could also feel the gush of wind tenderly caressing our skin making us to scream and shout not of a violent out-burst but out of sheer joy. The bliss and the joy there in communion with nature were beyond man’s comprehension; it was indeed an experience of a life-time.

Alas!! The dusk was nigh by then and we had to descend back to the Village. There we had a brief chat with the Village folks, thanked them for their hospitality and then climbed on the bus with a heavy heart to leave. Some one turned on the music system, so we cleared our throat and sang, “Country Roads” along with John Denver as we hit the roads back to Peren. 

At the end of this little sojourn we had to agree that it was one of the best days of our life and we’d always cherish all the goods times and the stolen moments that we had there in the enchanting Village. Above all, the quite, peaceful and tranquil atmosphere of the Village was the big treat and the real experience. The charm of the ancient Village sure cast a spell on every one of us and yes!!!, we all left with a mind to return some other time. Perhaps, during the inauguration of the Tourist Village on the 30th and 31st of September, 2006, and on the 1st November, 2006,when the Village host the MISS PEREN BEAUTY PAGEANT,2006. 

BRIEF PROFILE OF THE VILLAGE.

ORIGIN: The ancient Village of Benreu was established since time immemorial by the inhabitants of Nkuilongdi, from where the earliest Zeliang people first migrated to various regions in the administrative areas of Nagaland, Manipur, Assam etc. It is said that the Village happened to grow up to a maximum of three hundred households. But due to occasional occurrence of wars and pestilence prevalent in those days the Village was abandoned several times. Yet the call for the homeland was strong and the people always returned. Today’s Benreu Village was established in and around 1840 by four men viz, 1).Ngwabuing.

2).Suozhumo. 3).Nsarangbe and 4).Iswarang.

LOCATION:  The Village is perched high on the Paona Range at an altitude of 2510 meters above sea-level in the Eastern limit of Peren District. It is located at a longitude of 93 degree: 50` and latitude 25 degree: 35`.

CLIMATE: Benreu Village is bestowed with clear water sources and a balmy climate. It is cold and chilly during winters. In fact, it is one of the coldest places in Peren District.

MAIN ATTRACTIONS: The endangered Blythe Tragopan, mountain trout, the majestic Mt.Paona, the Lovers Park, Spring waters, the salubrious Mother nature, local brewed rice beer, the recently established Tourist Village, the panoramic bird’s eye view of Peren, Kohima and the plains of Dimapur, places of historical significance and many other traditional and cultural remnants.

HOW TO GET THERE: Peren, the Headquarter of the District is about 84 kilometers from Dimapur and from thence it takes only one and half hour drive to reach the Benreu Tourist Village. Daily bus and taxi services are available on the safe and pliable roads.