Rih Dil Lake, a heart shaped lake located midst breathtaking greenery, is the largest lake in the state of Mizoram in India, but awkwardly, is situated in the kingdom of Myanmar. Maybe it has to do with the influence of the lake in the culture and tradition of the Mizo people. Believed to the passage which spirits of the dead inevitably crossed on their way to the next abode of Mitthi Khua, and some even take it to be the final home of all spirits, the lake has since long influenced writers and composers of Mizoram, enriching their literary output.
As legend goes, there was once a girl named Rihi who unfortunately had a very cruel stepmother and father. One day, the father took Rihi’s young sister deep inside the forest and killed her. Rihi eventually found her lifeless sister and inconsolably wept. A friendly spirit called Lasi found Rihi crying. He revealed to her the healing powers of a magical tree which Rihi used to revive the life in her dead sister. To quench the thirst of her young sister, Rihi turned herself into a small pool of water by using the leafs of the same magical tree. Time passed and Rihi was forced due to unforeseeable consequences to change herself into a white mithun. As she wandered through pastures to find a permanent place where she would be safe, her urine formed small lakes wherever she went. It is believed that even today these lakes exist and can be found in the Vawmlu Range in the Myanmar side. Rihi eventually settled down in the village of Sanzawl not fat from the River Ruun. But the demon spirit of the river threatened to suck her if she lived there permanently. She left wandering again for safer pastures, and finally settled down in the current location, in a form that she cherished the most – that of a lake. The name Rih honors and stands testimony to Rihi.