By Salai Van Rol Thang
Translated by Than Tun Aung
Hustle and bustle of famous Bontalar waterfall taking a position near Htisaung Village in Matupi of Matupi District in Chin State starts alive with travellers as open season has come now. Seven-step Bontalar waterfall catches interest of local and foreign travellers on a yearly basis.
Flocks of visitor throng into the waterfall
Bontalar waterfall possesses wonderful beauty of nature giving excitement to travellers. Although number of travellers declines in monsoon due to poor transport facility, the open season including cold season and summer is an opportune time for travellers on a daily basis. Those travellers comprise foreigners and various kinds of ethnics from all over the country. As such, Bontalar waterfall is crowded with picnickers in groups, photographers, flocks of people, visits of departmental officials, tour guides, artistes to cover MTV series and taking photos on pre-wedding ceremonies. Even those who are difficult to meet again can gather each other at the waterfall.
Rare visitors reach third step of waterfall
The majority of travellers can reach the second step of Bontalar waterfall, some of whom can visit the third step of the waterfall.
“Most of the visitors wonder around the second step of the waterfall. After enjoying views and taking photos, they go back. Some travellers don’t have practice of climbing the rocks leading to the third step. So, they don’t dare to go up and return,” said a local people.
Generally, women and older persons cannot continue their visit to the third step. In fact, each step of the waterfall is very far and high. Hence, those who don’t have endurance for rough route are difficult to reach the third step.
Need to take care of visit without too much joyfulness
As Bontalar waterfall is rounded by ravines, all the travellers need to take care of their visits. They may face slip on the route because of high distance of steps. Some visitors accidentally fell from the upper step. In crossing Bontalar creek to other bank for taking photos, stones underwater are very slippery, so travellers should take more care in crossing the water.
Natural beauties added to Bontalar waterfall
Bontalar waterfall is flanked by naturally rocky beehives, medicinal plants, water streaming between natural rocks and large rocks. A cricufix was built by youths from Htisaung Village in the centre of the second step where the water from Bontalar and Reinsi Creek flows. If one goes up Reinsi Creek, one can see natural beauty of the drain. If one proceeds upstream of the natural drain, one can see beauties of the waterfall again. Some visitors and local youths can pay visits to the natural drain easily but number of travellers going up to Bontalar waterfall declines. It is because the route to the waterfall is full of difficulties with natural barrier of water flowing from Reinsi Creek and large rocks. In fact, such step is the last one of beauties without any way beyond the waterfall.
One and a half drive to Bontalar waterfall from Matupi
Travellers from Matupi can take a motorcycle to the area beyond Htisaung Village passing Phanaing and Htisaung villages on their way to Bontalar waterfall. Vehicles can reach Htisaung Village. Hence, travellers need to use motorcycles or walking for remaining route. Some travellers pay visits to Bontalar waterfall by car but others take a hired motorcycle from Matupi or assistance of friends from Matupi. Regularly, the route from Matupi to the waterfall is one and a half drive. Most of the travellers visit the waterfall within a day.
Need to take adequate time for enjoying natural beauties around Bontalar
Travellers should take a risk for visiting the natural drain upstream of Reinsi Creek and beautiful flowing of water over stone plaques. Most of the travellers stop their visits on the second step after taking photos and only a few travellers pay visit to around the waterfall. In fact, the waterfall has a grand background history. As such, travellers can ask traditions and history of the waterfall from senior citizens residing around the waterfall and Htisaung Village as well as those from Matupi. If one continues observation along the route of water streaming in Bontalar Creek, one can see more one-step waterfalls. Some local youths often reach there to do fishing and took photos on beautiful scenes.
Need to systematically litter at Bontalar waterfall
Water which flows down from Bontalar waterfall is drinking water for all local people. Hence, the water in Bontalar Creek needs to be clean. As people from various corners pay visits to Bontalar waterfall, they have to systematically dispose garbage there.
A diver who reached the first step of the waterfall said: “The bed of waterfall is full of plastics, polythylene bags, pieces of broken bottles and other garbage.”
Undisciplined disposing of garbage causes water pollution in Bontalar Creek, harming health of users as well as aqua animals. Pieces of broken bottles are the worst. Some youths bring bottles of beer. They break bottles of liquor without any reasons and other bottles systematically stockpiled. Broken bottles may cause injuries to travellers. Some piles of garbage can be seen around the waterfall but youths of Htisaung Village set fire to the piles sometimes. Scattering of garbage disturb happy minds of travellers. As such, every traveller bound for Bontalar waterfall needs to systematically dispose garbage.