All About Dima Hasao, The Switzerland Of The Northeast

Earlier known as North-Cachar Hills, Dima Hasao is one of the least explored pockets of Assam. It is home to the state's one and only hill station, Haflong
Train going past thickly wooded hills in Haflong
Train going past thickly wooded hills in HaflongSwapan Nayak/Outlook Traveller

In the local tongue, Dima Hasao translates as Dimasa Hills. Because of its pure and serene surroundings, mist-covered hills, and lush forests, this charming village in Assam has acquired the moniker "Switzerland of the Northeast." You will be treated to a misty landscape of undulating hills and lush meadows, whether by car or train. The curving zig-zag route has grasslands and cliffs on both sides.

Earlier known as North-Cachar Hills, Dima Hasao is one of the least explored pockets of Assam, even though it is home to the state's only hill station, Haflong, and is the greenest district in the entire state. The area has a diverse cultural legacy and is home to the Dimasa, Jeme-Naga, Hmar, Kuki, Biate, Hrangkhol, Khelma, Karbi, and Vaiphei tribes. Each tribe has its own distinct culture and heritage.

Dimasa traditional dancer
Dimasa traditional dancerP. L. Tandon / Flickr Commons

Over 80 percent of the district has forest cover, but surprisingly, it is without a single protected forest. In 2019, it was announced that a national park would be set up in the area for conservation purposes. The proposed national park, Simleng River Impenetrable National Park, will cover over 100 sq km area forming a contiguous belt with Borail Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam and Nampuh Wildlife Sanctuary in Meghalaya.

Things To See And Do


This lovely town is Assam's lone hill station. Haflong, at an elevation of 513 metres, may easily be called the "City of Clouds." This charming tiny village, still influenced by Colonial times, looks out over a misty valley below. The trip here may lead you to conclude that it has no apparent connection to the rest of the state. However, the trendy locals wearing t-shirts with their favourite bands and perhaps a Justin Bieber song playing somewhere in the background will convince you that it is not so different after all.

The tranquil waters of the lake
The tranquil waters of the lakeThoiba Paonam/WikiCommons

The Lake

The town sits around Haflong Lake. A stroll through the surrounding park and across the suspended bridge above the lake makes for a beautiful walk. There are also boating and fishing opportunities. The Circuit House, located close to the lake and built when the British made Haflong their headquarters, gives breathtaking views of the valley below, with the mist blowing past your feet on a clear day.

Walks And Hikes

The town is small enough to be discovered on foot. Walk through the narrow alleys leading to the little villages guarded by the bamboo canopy or follow the orchid trails without worrying about getting lost. There are numerous small treks here and one can also try paragliding. 


You could also take a trip to an orchard in Haflong. Ask around about which or­chard you can visit. Explore an or­chard, bag some fruit and relish its sweetness under the warm sun, intermittently punctured by gentle rain, relaxing on the sweet-smelling grass.

A bird's eye view of Halflong
A bird's eye view of Halflong Nadir Hashmi/Flickr Commons

Where To Stay And Eat

Haflong has the best accommodation options in Dima Hasao and it is wise to visit the surrounding places from here. Hotel Landmark (Member’s Council Hostel Road East, Haflong, Assam 788819) has 13 well-appointed rooms and two suites, and a restaurant. The charming Nothao Lodge near Synod Turning Point has a white picket fence border and is situated 400 metres from the market area. Nhoshring Guest House on Convent Road has large rooms, a garden and terrace, and free WiFi.

Sample a glass of judima, a homemade rice wine from Assam's Dimasa tribe that is used in ceremonies and festivals. Judima was awarded a GI (geographical indication) tag by the government of India in September 2021, making it the first brew in the northeast to receive the tag.

Other Places

The only place in the district of Dima Hasao to witness snowfall in winter, Thuruk (38km) is a trekker’s paradise. This quaint village, not too far from Haflong, is very well known for the hospitality of its villagers.

About 50km away from Haflong, on the banks of the River Mahur, lies the ancient town of Maibang. Once the capital of Dimacha Kingdom of the Kachari rulers (16th–18th century), Maibang is now one of the regional headquarters of the Dima Hasao District. Maibang is blessed with a scenic landscape and ornamented with the ruins and monuments of its erstwhile rulers. Maibang’s famous attraction is the Ramchandi Temple. This two-roofed monolithic temple is an architectural wonder, having been chiselled out of a single rock. It bears inscriptions dating back to 1761

Best Time To Visit

You can visit Dima Hasao throughout the year, both in summer and winter, as the weather conditions are relatively cool and pleasant here. Avoid travelling in monsoon as it receives heavy rainfall.

Getting There

The town of Dima Hasao is located northeast of Guwahati (around 270 km away). It is connected by road to cities in Assam like Guwahati and Silchar. The nearest airports are Guwahati and Silchar. Dima Hasao has three railway stations around the area of Haflong.

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