Hiking up Assam’s highest point- Hapeo peak

This trek happened by chance. It was an instant plan when the activity aimed at was not happening due to unfavourable conditions. That said, here’s what happened to the backup plan: The hike to Hapeo peak, the highest point in the state of Assam. We wanted to reach the peak for sunrise. However, due to the clouds that had hovered that morning, we decided to snooze for a little longer before going ahead with the plan.

There are totally 13 native tribes in Dima Hasao and each tribe has its own village. A local NGO called spectrum is working for the upliftment of local tribes and improvement of tourism in the district. They helped us in getting this event organized. They drove us in their 4WD vehicle from Haflong to the village called- N.Liekung. This a village of the Kuki tribes. We got the required permission from the village head and thus, a local guide was arranged to take us through this off-beat wilderness. After a small stop in front of the holy Cross at the prayer area of the Kukis, we began our ascent towards the highest peak in the state of Assam.

Hardly 4-5 trekkers climb this hill in a year apart from the tribes who like to party atop the hill. The climb wasn’t a very difficult one as compared to what we had done back in the Southern India. But what made it seem difficult was the high grass that had grown to cover the entire stretch through which we had to find the trekking trail. The first half of the trek has a well traceable path with steps laid. However, at some places, the stairs have been lost amid the thickets. We had to cut the grass and bushes in order to find our way… The first 3rd of the path was full of high grass with occasionally placed animal traps which our guide ahead would carefully move aside to make way for us… Then we reached at the only flat area and grassland vegetation for not more than 500mts. This was the only place apart from the highway from where we could actually see the peak that we were apparently scaling up!

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The only grassland in Hapeo trek

The next part was through thick jungle with a canopy of trees that allowed very less sunlight to penetrate. Varieties of innocent looking wild mushrooms had bloomed at several patches, but we were careful by not picking them as they could actually be lethal with allergens or venom. We were accompanied by strange sounds all being the cries of migratory birds around. Our Kuki guide enlightened us with their tribal customs, culture with a few videos on his phone of their traditional dances performed on their festivals… It was barely two hours and we had already scaled up the hill top. He jokingly told us how his fellow folks are named in the tribe. The names may not mean anything, anything random that sounds nice goes as a name and thus he was called after a ‘Song that was Sung’ (I’m sorry, I don’t want to give out his name). But the tradition is that the maternal grandfather selects a name for the granddaughter and the paternal grandmother picks a name for the grandson and vice-versa. It is a patrilineal system of inheritance.

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A view of Dima Hasao district from Hapeo peak

Suddenly, the darkness of the jungle had turned into snow white of the clouds. We were told that one could see the entire district of Dima Hasao from up there but we were greeted with thick fog and clouds… We spent some time soaking in nature’s beauty and waiting for the clouds to clear so that we could catch a glimpse of the beautiful view. There is just one small shelter with a bench atop the hill and nothing apart from yourself there! Our guide mentioned about a 2×2 patch right behind the bench where there is a natural and strong magnetic force due to which none of the mobile phones work. Yes, we did observe the phenomenon too. Although all our phones had FULL network, we were unable to place any calls. But none of us had any scientific reasoning for what he told. In the next fifteen minutes, the clouds had slowly started to clear. We spotted the railway bridge at Lumding onto the right side of the horizon. This is the longest and highest in the Silchar route. Our guide pointed towards another hill onto our left through which the longest railway tunnel in the North-east passes… It is around 3.5kms he said! The Silchar-Lumding railway route has been featured in several tourism websites and has been one of the scenic stretches in the country. As the weather slowly worsened and began to drizzle, we decided to start our descent.

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The thick forest path in the Hapeo trek

When we had just started to climb down when we received a call from the NGO… We were told to reach back the base of the hill ASAP as cyclone alert had been given in the Bay of Bengal and heavy rains were expected in this region. Within no time, it started to pour cats and dogs… The fastest pace we could catch is roll down the hill… With all the rain, thick grass covering the path and steep down, the descent was extremely slippery and we had to struggle to walk steadily… There was nothing enroute to take shelter and waiting at any place made no sense because the rains would continue for the entire day or two. We were already drenched till our bones and hence decided to simply continue… We were back at the base by 11.00.a.m. and thus ended our trek to the highest point in the state of Assam.

We were invited over to our guide’s house to dry ourselves up and have a cup of hot tea. We thanked him much and bid adieu with a warm heart to this lesser known corner of the world!

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5 thoughts on “Hiking up Assam’s highest point- Hapeo peak”

  1. Hi,
    This is Bikram Boro from Guwahati. I just know about the hight of Hapeo peak as you mention the highest point in Assam in your article here “HIKING UP ASSAM’S HIGHEST POINT- HAPEO PEAK” on January 14, 2017.

    I want to visit once there. So please let me know about the hight of this poin and also the shortest road diraction from Guwahati to that point.
    And which season will be best to visit this peak?

    Please reply.
    Thank you so much.

    Regards,
    Bikram Boro.
    Call or whatsapp: 09864893905.
    Email: kb_kangkan@rediffmail.com.

    1. Hi, I’m afraid I can’t tell u the exact height of this place. As I was told, Dimahasao is the only hill station in Assam. Hapeo peak is the highest point in this district.
      Shortest route would be via Shillong-Umrongso-Haflong. The other route is via the international Highway passing thru Nagaon-tezpur-haflong
      The best season would be post monsoon- October thru February.
      You need to take permits from the forest authorities and the village head.

      1. Thank you so much for your reply.
        I recently got an information about the peak through Dima Hasao Tourism departmental concerned. They have let me know that “Thumjang Peak” with elevation of 1866mt is the highest poin of Dima Hasao even in the state of Assam. And second is “Hampeupet” (Hapeo) with the elevation of 1748mt. Both the peak is in Dima Hasao District of Assam. Also it is mentioned in the website of Dima Hasao Tourism.

        Thanks and regards,
        Bikram Boro.

      2. Thanks for being contact with me.
        Im sending a team from Guwahati, Assam to explore this remote hill and also to scale the both 1st and 2nd highest point of Assam in very soon.

        Ill keep in touch with you. Thanks.
        Bikram Boro.
        Guwahati, Assam
        Cont: 09864893905 (Call/ whatsapp).

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