Rih Lake

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Rih Lake

      Rih Dil (lit. Rih lake) a natural lake located in northwestern Chin State in (Burma). It lies at about 3 kilometers from Zokhawthar village at an Indo-Burma border. The lake is about one mile in length and half a mile in width. It is about 3 miles in its circumference and the depth is about 60 feet. It has a heart-shaped outline.

      The name is derived from a Mizo folktale of Rih-i. Rih-i had a younger sister who was murdered by her father upon the order of their stepmother. Rih-i's sister was resurrected with the help of a spirit. With the same magical spell Rih-i turned herself into a water body that became the lake.
      Rih Dil occupied an important status in the traditional religion of the Mizo people. According to the ancestors of the tribals, it was a corridor to their heaven called Pialral. All souls destined to Pialral must pass through the lake. Due to its cultural importance it is often said 'the largest lake in Mizoram is Rid Dil, but is in Burma.'

      According to legend, there were two sisters who had a cruel stepmother, who persuaded her husband to rid of them. The father killed the younger sister was in a forest. The older sister Rih-i found her decapitated sister and was inconsolable. A good spirit known as Lasi found revealed to her a particular magical tree haing a single leaf with which Rih-i revived her sister back to life. To quench the thirst of her younger sister, Rih-i turned herself into a small pool of water using the same spell. Later, Rih-i was compelled to change herself into a white mithun, and wandered around in search of a safe place. Her urine formed rih note or small lakes wherever she went.

      It is believed that such lakes can still be found in the Vawmlu Range, Zur forest near the village Natchhawng, a place above Bochung village; the area of Khawthlir village, all of which are in Myanmar. She wandered to Sanzawl village, followed the river Run. But the demon spirit of the river threatened to suck her dry. She migrated westward into Mizoram but found even the valley of Champhai unsuitable. A little further southeast she found the present location, and the lake became Rih Dil.