Nestled in the picturesque southwestern Peren district of Nagaland, India, lies the enchanting village of Benreu. This remote mountain village, perched at an altitude of 7000 feet on the Pauna Mountain Range, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored.
With its pristine natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, Benreu offers a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers seeking an offbeat destination.
A Journey to Benreu: The Road Less Traveled
The journey to Benreu is an adventure in itself. Accessible from Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, Benreu is located approximately 67 km away. The path to the village is challenging, characterized by rough and rugged terrain that adds an exhilarating touch to the expedition.
As you traverse through undulating landscapes, passing by gable-roofed houses and lush green forests, you can’t help but be captivated by the beauty of the surroundings. The journey to this enchanting village is more than just reaching a destination; it’s a thrilling experience, with every twist and turn revealing the unique charm of this picturesque region.
Immerse in the Cultural Tapestry of Benreu
Upon reaching Benreu, you will be greeted by the awe-inspiring panorama of the village. The houses, nestled on the hillsides, slope down into a basin, forming the village center. The village is home to the Zeliang and Kuki tribes, who have preserved their rich cultural traditions over the years. The Zeliangrong consists of three tribes: Zemei, Liangmei, and Rongmei. The collective name “Zeliangrong” is derived from the initial syllables of these three individual tribes.
Exploring the village, you’ll come across a traditional Morung, a communal hall where the male members of the community once lived. The Morung serves as a venue for cultural ceremonies and various community events, serving as a vital gathering place for the locals.
Unraveling Legends and Mysteries
Benreu is wrapped in legends and mysterious tales that add to its mystical charm. The villagers believe in the protective spirit of Mireuding, who is thought to arrive in a spaceship adorned with a brilliant headlight. As locals share their stories, they speak of friendly spirits, mythical creatures, and even mysterious herbs with the power to bring the dead back to life. These captivating tales challenge belief and ignite the imagination. These extraordinary narratives not only challenge one’s beliefs but also serve as a spark for the imagination.
Natural Abundance: Flora, Fauna, and Conservation
Benreu is blessed with abundant natural beauty. The village is surrounded by a dense forest, home to diverse flora and fauna. Rhododendrons, orchids, and wildflowers paint the landscape with vibrant colors, while various species of birds and animals add to the biodiversity of the area. The villagers have embraced a culture of conservation, ensuring the preservation of their natural resources. As a result, the village boasts a good water supply and electricity in every household.
The Agricultural Heritage of Benreu
Agriculture is the primary livelihood of the people in Benreu. The villagers predominantly cultivate oranges and mangoes, making the village a haven for fruit lovers. Vibrant hues of rhododendrons, orchids, and wildflowers paint a picturesque landscape. Diverse species of birds and animals contribute to the thriving biodiversity of this area.
Embracing a culture of conservation, the villagers diligently safeguard their natural resources, ensuring a sustainable balance. This commitment results in the village enjoying reliable essentials, boasting ample water supply, and electricity illuminating every household, a testament to the harmonious coexistence between the community and its pristine surroundings.
Trekking to Mount Pauna: A Thrilling Adventure
For adventure enthusiasts, a trek to Mount Pauna is a must-do experience. Mount Pauna, the third-highest peak in Nagaland, offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The peak is located 6 km from Benreu village and just 35 km from the district headquarters town of Peren along the Benreu range.
In their natural habitat, one can observe orchids and various birds and animals, including Mithun, the state animal of Nagaland. Surrounding the peak, numerous man-made stone monoliths, carved by locals over centuries, stand as enduring testaments to the passage of time.
Trekking to the peak in the early morning hours allows you to witness the mesmerizing sunrise, an experience that will stay etched in your memory forever. The trek may be challenging, but the sense of accomplishment and the beauty of the summit make it all worthwhile.
Accommodation and Hospitality
Benreu offers comfortable accommodation options that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the village’s tranquility. The Tourist Village Resort, situated amidst nature, offers a range of amenities to ensure a pleasant stay. The resort features double-bedded cottages with attached toilets, allowing guests to experience the beauty of nature while enjoying modern comforts. The warm hospitality of the villagers adds a personal touch to the entire experience, making you feel like a part of their close-knit community.
Exploring the Surrounding Areas
While Benreu itself is a haven of tranquility, there are several nearby attractions worth exploring. Khonoma, known as India’s first green village, is located about 50 km from Benreu. This eco-friendly village has adopted sustainable practices and is a testament to the community’s commitment to environmental conservation. Dzuleke, the village of the underground river, is another nearby destination (56 km away) that offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region.
How to Reach Benreu
Dimapur is the nearest airport (DMU) which is about 93 km from Benreu and enjoys excellent connectivity with other major cities in India, making it convenient for travel from various parts of the country.
The nearest railway station is Dimapur Railway Station, located 93 km away on the Lumding-Dibrugarh route, and it boasts good connectivity with various cities across India.
Benreu can be reached by two buses plying from Dimapur and Benreu daily. However, be aware that the road might get blocked by landslides during the rainy season, keeping this beautiful place safe from visitors, ironically.
- From Dimapur: 110 km via NH29
- From Kohima: 128 km via NH29
- From Imphal: 222 km via NH2
- From Peren: 35 km
Plan Your Visit to Benreu
If you’re planning a trip to Nagaland, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the enchanting village of Benreu. Immerse yourself in the cultural tapestry, embark on thrilling treks, and witness the beauty of nature in all its glory. Experience the warm hospitality of the villagers and create memories that will last a lifetime. Benreu is a destination that will leave you enchanted and longing to return.
Benreu Village in Nagaland is a hidden gem that offers a unique and offbeat travel experience. With its breathtaking natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, it is a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Whether you’re seeking adventure, tranquility, or a glimpse into the traditional way of life, Benreu has something to offer. Plan your visit and embark on a journey of discovery in this enchanting mountain village.