Palak Dil or Palak Lake is the largest natural lake in Mizoram and is situated near Phura village which is about 391 kms to the south of Aizawl. Oval in shape, it covers about 1 square km and is surrounded by lush virgin forests rich in flora and fauna.
Legends abound the origin of the lake. One version says that before the lake was formed, there used to be a big village here and a large serpent lived in a cavern in the vicinity and occasionally stole the villager’s livestock. When it started stealing their children, the villagers decided to kill the serpent. Using a huge fish hook and a dead goat for bait, they managed to catch and kill the serpent and distributed its meat to every household for dinner. That night strange things began to happen. A widow living with her two children got the serpent’s head as her share and started cooking it in a big pot. After sometime, when she looked into the boiling pot, she found that the eyes of the serpent was blinking, rolling and watching her. Frightened and horrified, she threw out the pot with the serpent’s head still inside it. Later on, she heard strange noises and ran out of the house to find her doorsteps being flooded with water which continued to rise. She took her children and ran away just before the water submerged the whole village. All the other inhabitants were drowned while they were sleeping and the water formed a wide lake that has come to be called Palak Dil.
Legends aside, nature lovers are attracted by the surprisingly great variety of wildlife to be found in this remote area adjoining the Myanmar forests. It is a home to most of the common wetland birds and hill birds, and is believed to be a winter stop-over for migrating Pintail Duck while a few elephants still roam the surrounding virgin forests. Though a jeepable road connects Palak Lake from Phura, care has been taken to maintain and preserve the area in its pristine environmental state.