We welcome you to the State of Mizoram!
The State of Mizoram is another among the Seven Sister States of India with Aizawl as its capital city. A State dominated by Christianity as its religion, Mizoram is often referred to as the “Land of the Hill people”. Mizoram is considered by many as a beautiful place due to its dramatic landscape and pleasant climate. Geographically, Mizoram is the southern most landlocked state sharing borders with three of the Seven namely Tripura, Assam, Manipur. The state also shares a 722 kilometre border with the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Myanmar. Mizoram takes pride in being one among the State in India with the Highest Literacy Rate.
Mizoram is a land of rolling hills, valleys, rivers and lakes. As many as 21 major hill ranges or peaks of different heights run through the length and breadth of the state, with plains scattered here and there. Mizoram is one of the most scenic states in North East India. With its rolling hills covered with exotic blooms, sparkling lakes and valleys that magically vanish only to reappear out of the mist, it is unusually enchanting! Since the 19th century, Christian missionaries have played a defining role in the State’s religion. Today almost 90% of the population of Mizoram practices Christianity. This has also been instrumental in the westernization of its social life. The Mizo’s are basically Mongoloid. With a literacy rate of 87% (a fact that every Mizo is proud) and a gender equality that does not even exist in India’s metropolises, Mizoram is marching ahead. Tourism, agriculture and handloom industry powers the region’s economy. Aizawl, the citadel like capital city of Mizoram is the best place to start your exploration of the state.
The beautiful State of Mizoram is nestled between the two countries of Myanmar and Bangladesh and is located in the southernmost tip of North East India. Being located amidst the rolling mountains and beautiful valleys, the State of Mizoram enjoys a pleasant climate across the year. The unadulterated landscapes and the sparse human population across the majority area of the state makes Mizoram a land filled with abundance of flora, fauna and avifauna. The Tropic of Cancer passes across the State as well. Mizoram is an attractive destination for all tourists especially nature lovers as it is the land filled with a plethora of scenic landscapes that comprises of blue hills and mountains, beautiful lakes, crystal clear rivers, clear valleys and much more. The abundance of forest cover and higher elevation makes Mizoram home to various bird species. The State is a birdwatchers paradise with some very rare bird species to be found in the State as well. Mrs. Hume’s pheasant is the State bird of Mizoram and along with it some other rare species to be found across the State are Blyth’s Tragopan, Green Peafowl, White Cheeked Partridge, Oriental Hobby, Crested Finchbill, Blue Pitta, etc.
For adventure lovers, the State’s rugged terrain and cascading rivers offers a variety of options for outdoor sports and adventure activities as well. The forest cover of Mizoram comprises of thick bamboo forests and other varied flora that is home to a varied wildlife species. The land is filled with picturesque villages that have unique folklores attached to it and the unique bamboo houses built on slits to ward away the excess rainfall. Mizoram is truly the Land of the Mizos or the Highlanders. A State that offers any visitor to enjoy it as a pristine and peaceful holiday destination. As per geological records, the Mizo hills of Mizoram form a part of the Rakhine mountains that are formed out of sandstone, limestone and slides that are considered to be 2.6 to 65 million years old. The three major rivers of Mizoram, the Kaladam river, the Dhaleswari (Tlawng) and Sonai (Tuirali) flow across the State to drain out in Myanmar and north of Assam respectively.
History of Mizoram ~
The earlier Mizos were often referred to as Kukis and were the earliest inhabitants of the Mizo hills and were earliest inhabitants of the Mizo hills. The majority of the people today however most likely migrated to the present areas from neighbouring countries. Before the coming of British to Mizoram, the various clans of the Mizoram area lived in autonomous villages practicing Jhum cultivation. Although the indigenous people lived under the order of the respective rulers of the clans but they were actively under the rule of the Maharajas of Tripura and Manipur mostly. The earlier Mizos like the Nagas were also ferocious head hunters and they used to go out on expeditions where they would ambush other villages and chop off the heads of the other fighters to bring back to their village to be kept at the entrance of their village. The practice of headhunting across Mizoram was banned on the advent of the British. With the gradual arrival of Christian Missionaries, a majority of the population of Mizoram converted to Christianity in the first half of the 20th century.
Geography and Climate of Mizoram ~
Mizoram is said to be the fifth smallest State in India covering a total area of 21,087 sq. km. Mizoram shares an International boundary between Myanmar and Bangladesh and the Tropic of Cancer runs across the area of the State of Mizoram. Surrounded by rolling mountains, across Mizoram there are around 21 major Hill ranges. The areas of the plains in Mizoram are also located at an elevation ranging from around 1,000 to 2,000 m. The highest mountain peak in Mizoram is that of Phawngpui Tlang at a height of 2,210 m and is often referred to as the Blue mountain. A green state about 76% of Mizoram is covered by forests and as per records Mizoram has the highest forest cover as a percentage of its area that among other states in India. The topography of the state of Mizoram is uneven and it consists of a series of small and flat humerocks with a series of topographic highs as well.
many rivers flow across Mizoram with the most important ones being that of Chhimtuipui (the biggest river of the State), Tlawng, Tut, tuirial and Tuivawl. These rivers are the lifeline of Mizoram providing the people of the state with the requisite water source for the survival of livelihood. In addition to the rivers, another important source of water in Mizoram are its lakes. Mizoram has some huge lakes, some spanning across 74 acres that create a natural water resource to the surrounding areas. While some of these lakes were created as a result of earthquakes others were naturally formed as a result of floods. the important lakes in Mizoram are Palak lake, tam Dil, Rih Dil, etc.
Mizoram has a temperate climate around the year however with the global climate change across the World the summer temperatures now soar to slightly above 30 degrees while the winters are moderate ranging from 7 to 22 degrees. Mizoram just like the other North East Indian states as a region is influenced by the monsoons with heavy rainfall lashing the state through the months of May to September. At certain places like Lunglei, rainfall recorded is about 350 cm during monsoons. The winter time is the best time to visit and explore Mizoram as during the monsoons heavy rainfall often causes landslides leading to certain emergencies.
People of Mizoram ~
Mizoram is mostly a tribal state and has the highest concentration of protected tribal people in India. Across Mizoram, you will find several indigenous communities living and each being linked both culturally and linguistically as well. The dominant tribe of Mizoram is that of Mizo and they are spread across the State. The Mizos of MIzoram belong to the Mongoloid race and they are subdivided into several other tribal communities. Some of these tribal communities of Mizoram are Luseis, Lais, Kukis, Maras, etc. Hmars tribe is further subdivided into Thiek, Lungtau, Faihriem, Darngawn, Zote, Khawbung and others. Among these clans there exists slight linguistic differences as well. The Bru (Reang), Chakma, Tanchangya people of Mizoram are origins of Northern Arakan Mountain, are some non-Kuki tribes of Mizoram, with some suggestion that some of these are Indo-Aryan in their origins.The Bnei Menashe tribe claim Jewish descent. Each of these tribal communities of Mizoram have their own customs, traditions, social practices and dialects that showcases the rich culture and heritage of the State of Mizoram. The varied diversity in culture and traditions of the tribal groups of Mizoram reflect their historical immigration patterns from varied other countries of Asia. The different tribes arrived at Mizoram and settled down in different parts of the state in a gradual migration pattern. And as they started arriving slowly there were raids and fear of intertribal feuds. This resulted in the isolation and thu creation of numerous tribes and sub-tribes here in Mizoram. The people of Mizoram today usually suffix their descriptive given names with their tribe to keep their ancient legacy and heritage.
These tribes earlier practiced animism as their traditional religion where in they worshipped the things of nature like the mountains, rivers, sun, moon, plants, etc. But with the advent of christian Missionaries in the earlier half of the 20th century, majority of the indigenous people of Mizoram converted to Christianity. The Mizo of today are very literate and have adopted to the western lifestyle while sticking to their rich cultural traditions and colorful customs and heritage as well. A dominant part of the Mizo community practice agriculture as their primary occupation and the popular agricultural output of the State are paddy, maize, mustard, sugarcane, potatoes, etc.
While Christmas and New Year are the major festivals of Mizoram, the traditional festivals like Chapchar Kut (celebration of end of harvest) is celebrated with equal pomp and vigour. The most popular dance form of the people of Mizoram are Cheraw (Bamboo dance), Khual Lam and Chheih Lam.
Once you travel across Mizoram you will realize how simple, carefree and peace loving the people of Mizoram are. With 100 % ban on alcohol across the State no rowdiness is reported among the people here. The people of Mizoram since the earlier times have lived in a close knit society and believe in selfless service to others. There is no class division in the Mizo society and a low ranked employee can preside over a social gathering attended by high ranking officials. Just like in the Sikh community, the Mizos too have associations that take care of the needy and poor thereby eliminating any person to be seen begging on the streets of Mizoram.
The Mizo people are very talented in music and dances and their traditional dances reflect this. They are a singing community and their church choirs are among the finest in India. The people of Mizoram are very hospitable and welcome tourists with open arms and a smile on their faces. At times, you can also see them sing and dance for you during your visit to Mizoram. The people of Mizoram are also adept handloom weavers and their traditional costumes are a treat to one’s eyes. The Mizo women are expert weavers and they weave out classy traditional designs on their handlooms. One sight at these fantastic handloom works will make you buy one of the Mizo shawls for sure as a memoir of your visit to Mizoram. The traditional attire of the people of Mizoram are also very elegant and handcrafted. while Puran is a traditional dress of the Mizo women, the men folks usually wear a long piece of handwoven fabric wrapped with a shawl to keep warm in winters. A best combination is that os the colors of red and white. The traditional dress of the women of Mizoram also comprises of red, white and black shades. The traditional hand woven blouse is called as the Kawr Chei and is often worn during traditional dance performances. However in the capital city of Aizawl you will find people wearing modern clothing with a slight twist. Fashion to the people of Mizoram is very important and they adopt styles much earlier than the other people of India. You can witness this once you walk around the streets of Aizawl in Mizoram.
The people of Mizoram use English, Hindi and Mizo for communication is their daily life. While Mizo is most widely used for interacting among the local people, English is used in education, administration and governance. The Mizo language is of the Duhliam dialect and is often mixed with other dialects of Mizoram like Hmar, Mara, Paite, Gangte, etc. The migrants of Mizoram used their own languages to communicate for eg. the Nepalese people speak in Nepali although they have learnt Mizo to carry out their daily business activities.
In Mizoram, the majority of the people around 87% are Christians predominantly Presbyterian. Some of the christian churches in Mizoram are Mizoram Presbyterian Church, Baptist church, United Pentecostal church, etc. around 8.5% of the population translating to around 71,000 people (2001 census) are Buddhists mostly belonging to the Chakma Theravada Buddhism. Approximately around 100 Buddhist Monasteries exists across Mizoram. Around 2.7% of the population translating to around 32,00 people (2001 census) are Hindus out of which some are non-indigenous while some are indigenous tribal. several thousand Mizos also practice Judaism as well. Muslims constitute around 1.3% of the State’s population of Mizoram while there are a few Sikhs, Jains and other minorities.
Fairs and Festivals of Mizoram ~
The Mizos are considered the best choir singers. Mizoram has incredibly rich heritage with festivals that reflect an amalgamation of different cultures. The indigenous festivals of this State are usually associated with agricultural activities. At the end of February, when the winter starts receding, the Mizos prepare the land for sowing and ‘Chapchar Kut’ festival commemorates spring and the promise of a good harvest. One dance that is perennially popular is the Cheraw or bamboo dance where bamboo staves are used as props. This distinctive dance of the Mizos requires great skill and alertness. ‘Khual Lam’ is the ceremony that celebrates new beginnings. The ‘Mim Kut and Pawl Kut’ festival (Nov/Dec) celebrates the completion of the harvest season. Christmas is one of the most important events of the people of Mizoram and is usually celebrated from 24th to 26th of December every year along with the New Year’s Eve on December 31st and Jan 1st.
1| Chapchar Kut (February):
Traditionally in Mizoram, the people after the completion of the forest for Jhum cultivation (a very rigorous activity) the fallen trees and shrubs are left out in the sun to dry to be burnt later and this period is called ‘Chap Chare’. During this time, the people of Mizoram find respite and so they celebrate the festival of Chapchar Kut with much joy and fanfare. The weather transforms from clod winters to pleasant spring that brings in a green landscape so the people come out to celebrate this new air of joy dressed in their colorful traditional attires and sing and dance and also do a lot of merrymaking.
The festival of Chapchar Kut is widely celebrated across the various villages of Mizoram and to promote this festival the Dept. of Tourism (Govt. of Mizoram) and the Dept. of Art and Culture (Govt. of Mizoram) organizes Chapchar Kut festival at the Assam Rifles grounds in the heart of Aizawl city in Mizoram.
2| Lyuva Khutla Festival (March):
The Luvya Khutla festival is celebrated every year in the month of March and it marks the successful completion of Jhum cultivation viz. after the Jhum is cut and cleared off. The festival is also known locally as ‘Pakhup’s La’ which is basically named after its dance form and this is the biggest festival of the Mara tribes of Mizoram. Also celebrated across Mizoram as a festival of thanksgiving in this festival the home of a wealthy man is selected in a village and the local villagers gather to celebrate a feast prepared by the Mizo women of the village. During the celebrations a pot of rice beer is contributed from each household and the ‘Pakhupu La’ dance is performed.
During the festival days, the Mizo people adorn themselves with traditional clothing and cultural folk song and dances are performed. The people gather for community feasting in the evening time during the festive days.
3| Anthurium Festival (September)
To promote tourism across Mizoram, the Dept. of tourism (Govt. of Mizoram) every year celebrates the Anthurium festival at the Tourist Resort in Reiek village – that is a quaint countryside which is about an hour long drive from the state capital of Aizwal. This festival marks the blossom of the Anthurium flowers and is a 3 day extravaganza of culture, dance, music, fashion shows, handloom and handicraft display and traditional cuisine savouring.
Being celebrated since 2006, the Anthurium festival is the display of the large scale growing of the Anthurium flower by the Mizo women. Celebrated across the green backdrop of the Reiek mountain range this event started to gain popularity much because of the picturesque landscapes. today the Mizoram Anthurium flowers are highest in standards in the country and are sent to various parts of the country as well as exported abroad.
4| Winter Festival (Nov – Dec)
Organized every year in the month of (Nov – Dec) by the Dept. of Tourism (Govt. of Mizoram), the Winter Festival is a 3 day festival that showcases the rich and diverse culture and traditions of the Mizo people to the World. This festival is celebrated in the abandoned tuirial airstrip and showcases a plethora of activities, games, music featuring local artists and bands, exhibition of handicrafts and handlooms, local cuisine, etc. Adventure sports like Hot air ballooning and Hang gliding is also a part fo the festival along with the MIMSA Motor racing that happens during the winter festival of Mizoram. This festival of Mizoram was originally called as Thalfavang Kut that reflected the close knit society of the Mizo people. During the insurgency period (1960s – 1970s) a lot of people got displaced from their families and they had to flee to the neighboring states. To maintain their unity wherever they were they used to gather and perform traditional songs and dances and share a feast at the end of the day.
Cuisine of Mizoram ~
The local cuisine of Mizoram just like any other state in North East India is also a delight to savour. The traditional cuisine of Mizoram comprises of rice which is a staple diet along with various preparations of meat, fish and seasonal leafy green vegetables. Food is prepared with minimal oil and powdered spices just like the other cuisines of North East India. Food is served in banana leaves that imparts a wonderful flavor to the food as well. Use of bamboo shoot is common in the Mizo recipes and some popular dishes of Mizo people are Vawksa Rep, Arsa Buchian, Dal with eggs, Roasted fish, pork, etc. The local special food of Mizoram is Bai that is mostly a preparation of Pork, spinach, bamboo shoot and other vegetables. Chhum Han and Koat Pitha are other must try local dishes along with Zu (a local tea) and Labrusca grape wine.
Economy of Mizoram ~
Mizoram’s primary industries are agriculture, handloom industries, horticulture industries, while tourism is gradually growing. The biggest contributors to the State’s GDP of Mizoram are agriculture, public administration and construction work. Forestry, fishery and sericulture also contributes significantly to the State economy as well.
Flora, Fauna and Avifauna of Mizoram ~
As mentioned earlier, Mizoram has the highest forest cover as a percentage of its area in the country. These dense forests of Mizoram comprises of semi evergreen, tropical moist deciduous, subtropical pine forests, etc. Bamboo trees are common to be found across the State of Mizoram. As per satellite data almost around 91% of the State’s area is covered by forests. The forests of Mizoram are home to varied species of animals, birds and reptiles. For effective conservation of wildlife species the State has classified the forest cover under 2 National Parks – Blue mountain (Phawngpui) National Park and Moulen National Park and 6 Wildlife Sanctuaries – Dampa Tiger Reserve, Lengteng Wildlife Sanctuary, Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary, Tawi Wildlife Sanctuary, Khawnglung Wildlife Sanctuary, Thorangtlang Wildlife Sanctuary.
The animal species to be found across these National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of Mizoram are Tigers, Leopards, Clouded Leopards, Leopards, Leopard Cat, Asiatic Black Bear, Capped Langurs, Hoolock Gibbons, Gorals, slow Loris, etc. Varied bird species found across the forests of Mizoram are Mrs Hume’s Pheasant, Green Peafowl, Blyth’s Tragopan, Blyth’s Kingfisher, Blue Pitta, White-cheeked Partridge, Spot-breasted Laughingthrush, Crested Finchbill, Flavescent Bulbuls, Oriental Hobby, Purple-throated Sunbird, etc.
Entry formalities to Mizoram ~
Being a protected State, certain guidelines need to be followed by tourists before their visit to Mizoram. Certain documents in the form of ILP (Inner Line Permit) for Indian Nationals needs to be obtained before a visitor can enter Mizoram.
1| For Domestic Tourists:
For Domestic tourists, they have to obtain a valid ILP (Inner Line Permit) from the Liaison Office, Govt. of Mizoram, Mizoram House from across the cities like Guwahati, New Delhi, Kolkata, Silchar and Shillong. Tourists arriving by air to Aizawl can obtain temporary entry passes from the Security Officers at Lengpui Airport, Aizawl. Domestic tourists entering Mizoram via Vairengte can also obtain a 7 day temporary permit from the Security Officer at the Security Check gate at Vairengte.
2| For Foreign Tourists:
All foreign tourists to Mizoram have to register themselves at the office of the Superintendent of Police (SP) at Aizawl, Bungkawn, Khatla within 24 hours of their arrival in the State of Mizoram. The SP is the designated Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) in the State of Mizoram.
However, citizens of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan have to seek prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs (Govt. of India) before entering the state of Mizoram.
Tourist Districts in Mizoram ~
1| Aizawl District – Mizoram ~
Located at about 1132 m above MSL, Aizawl is a beautiful hill city and the State capital of Mizoram along as well being the culture and political center of the State. The capital city of Aizawl is surrounded by the green valley of River Turial on the east, Tlawng river on the west and the Durtlang Hills on the north makes Aizawl a perfect pleasure for its visitors. Aizawl offers a picturesque view of the landscapes of the verdant hills of Mizoram. The word ‘Aizawl’ means ‘a field of wild cardamoms’ in the local language as the great Mizo chiefs (Lanlsavunga and Thanrumsa) had set up certain villages in the city that had abundance of cardamom cultivations around. Aizawl became the headquarters of the Mizoram after the British came here and established a Fort around the place called as ‘Aijal’.
Aizawl today is a bustling modern city that speaks of a high discipline which is to be seen nowhere else in India. All cars drive in designated lanes and drivers halt their cars at zebra crossings allowing people to pass at first. Aizawl offers a variety of interesting places like the State Museum on Macdonald Hill for deeper insight into Mizo culture; Bara Bazaar the main shopping center, Durtlang Hills and Mini Zoological garden which is dwelling place for many species of birds and animals and two famous picnic spots namely Bung and Paikhai. Other places worth visiting are the natural lake named Tam Lake which is home to prawns and fishes and offers boating experience to the tourists. Mizoram’s highest waterfall Vantawang close to Thenzawl hill station, Phawngpui, its highest peak often called the Blue mountains and the Dampa Sanctuary the best place to see bison and wild elephants.
Places of tourist interest in Aizawl district ~
Hmuifang Tlang ~
This place is about 50 km south of Aizawl and is where the Hmuifang mountains is present covered with green forests and offers great view of the cliffs and has varied flora, fauna and avifauna including rare orchids of Mizoram. This place is also the venue grounds of the annual Anthurium festival and the Thalfang Kut being hosted by the Dept. of Tourism (Govt. of Mizoram). A beautiful tourist resort built and maintained by the Dept. of Tourism Mizoram offers comfortable accommodation to all tourists here. There is also a beautiful countryside as well that had a few local villages like Sumsuih, Lamchhip, etc. where one can witness the rural lifestyle of Mizoram as well.
Lungleng Lal In ~
Located in the Lungleng village around 30 km from city of Aizawl, this place is the century old residence of the then Mizo chief Khamliana Sailo. The Lungleng Lal In was the first home in Mizoram to have a tin roof back in 1918. The place is surrounded by lush green gardens ideal to relax and witness a colonial environment. The Mizo chief was the first literate chief and is said to have played an important role in establishing good relations between the Mizos and the British.
Lamsial Puk (Caves) ~
The Lamsial Puk caves is located around 6.5 km north of Farkawn village in Aizawl district of Mizoram and has a total length of 9 m. The primary attraction here is a wooden box that has some well preserved human bones estimated to be over 300 years old. It is assumed that the skeletal remains of some people were well wrapped in traditional shawls and laid to rest by the relatives of these people. Til now the identity of the people are yet to be found.
Solomon’s Temple ~
The Solomon’s Temple is one of the most beautiful churches in India and is located at Aizawl in Mizoram. This church was founded by Dr. L B Sailo when he had a vision in his dream to build Solomon’s Temple in 1991. The construction began in 1996 and the church was officially inaugurated on 25-12-2017. Today this has become the most popular tourist attraction in Aizawl. The place is spread across a huge area and has the capacity to accommodate 2000 people within the main hall and around 10,000 people within the church courtyard. The place holds a church service every sunday and people attend the service and also come to visit the large park area that has many trees which are home to various birds and squirrels.
This is the village that is home to the World’s largest family – the family of Pu Ziona who has 39 wives and 94 children and 33 grandchildren. The entire Ziona family stays in a four storey house that was built by ziona himself to accommodate this large family. Guinness World Records holds this family as the World’s largest. All the wives of Ziona live in harmony and then is no sort of enmity among them. They take their turns to attend to his needs during the day and take care of the family, while the wives of the family do the cooking, the daughters attends to cleaning of the house and do laundry. The men engage in live stock rearing, agriculture, small cottage industries like wood furniture making and aluminum utensil making, etc. The entire family is self reliant and do not seek any assistance from the government. This place also houses a school to educate their children.
Mizo Village demonstration – Falkawn ~
Constructed by the Dept. of Art and culture (Govt. of Mizoram), the typical Mizo village at Falkawn demonstrates the Lusei village of the olden days of Mizoram that showcases the house of the chiefs, the chief elders, a blacksmith and his workplace, common citizens and the bachelor dormitory called a Zawlbuk. For visitors to Aizawl who want to experience the rural lifestyle of Mizoram and its indigenous people they can come here to Falkawn to get this experience. Local stalls here offer traditional food of Mizoram to its visitors and also showcases the rich handicraft and handloom art of Mizoram as well. there is a place here as well that has a large stone erected the commemorates the 7 brave Mizo patriots who laid down their lives during the British colonization.
Sibuta Lung ~
This ancient site is located at Tacchip near Aizawl. This place has a rocky gravestone about 12 feet high erected in the memory of sibuta, the Palian clan chief. This stone stands as a reminder to the atrocities committed by this chief. People dreaded him and he went to the extent of ritually killing his step mother with a spear (instead of a bull) as a part of the ceremony of the Khuang Chawl community feast. Thankfully to the people he did not live long and died soon.
Vantawng Khawhthla ~
The Vantawng Khawhthla or the Vantawng waterfalls is the highest and most beautiful waterfall in Mizoram located at around 95 km from Aizawl. This waterfall is named after Vantawnga who was said to be a very good swimmer. The waterfall measures 750 feet in height and can be viewed from the viewing tower constructed by the Dept. of Tourism (Govt. of Mizoram)
2| Champhai District – Mizoram ~
After the capital city of Aizawl, another important bustling town of Mizoram is Champhai in the Champhai district. This town is located at the Indo-Myanmar border and acts as an important trade route across India and South East Asian countries. This resulted in a market area here in this town that is any shopping lovers paradise. People can buy various items like electronics, clothings, cosmetics, household goods at very attractive prices in this market. Today Champhai district is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination as it offers various beautiful tourist attractions as well as numerous ancient monuments and memorials.
Champhai is also an important horticultural district of Mizoram as various farmers grow various fruits and tend to vineyards. The recent introduction of Kiwi plantations makes the hills around Champhai more attractive and captivating. The entire Champhai valleys are filled with rice cultivations as well that earns Champhai the distinction of being the rice bowl of Mizoram.
Champhai has a rich cultural background as this was the entry point for settlement of the first Mizos to India. Various villages around the district speaks of the legendary heritage of these indigenous people in the form of Monoliths and monuments that speak of their success in hunting, wars and achievements. The mingling of history and legend along with the modern day developments makes Champhai an ideal tourist destination in Mizoram. For visitors to Champai the Tourism Dept. (Govt. of Mizoram) has set up Tourist cottages and lodges for the comfortable stay of visitors.
Places of tourist interest in Champhai district ~
Rih Dil Lake
Located around 23 km from Champhai is the Rih Dil lake said to eb the largest lake in Mizoram. Although to be seen actually this lake is situated in Myanmar around 4 km from Tiam that is a river that demarcates the boundary of Myanmar and India. The lake measures a mile long and a half a mile wide having a circumference of about 3 miles. The interesting characteristic of the Rih Dil lake is that it becomes suddenly very deep in its waters. Many legends are associated with this lake and locals believe that this lake is the passage that spirits of the dead cross on their way to eternity. Some locals even believe that this lake is the final abode of the spirits. One myth is that of a girl name Rihi after which the lake has been named as the Rih Dil lake.
This is the second longest cave in Mizoram measuring a length of 119 m with a vertical range of 19 m depth. It requires around 12 hours of rigorous trekking across jungles and footpath to reach the cave entrance and can be accessed only during the dry season.
Far Puk and Kungawrhi Puk (Caves)
These two are other noteworthy caves in the Champhai district of Mizoram. while the Far Puk caves are of great archaeological significance, the Kungawrhi caves are believed to be inhabited by local spirits.
Tiam Lui River
This river acts as a natural boundary dividing India and Myanmar and is a border crossing across both side. The area around this place has been developed as a commercial center now with availability of imported products and goods.
Thasianna Se No Neihna
Located around 86 km from Champhai, this is a steep hillock that is rugged and an adventurous climb is needed to conquer this hillock. A folklore is attached to this hillock and it is said that Thasiama who had an affair with a fairy named Chawngtinleri and he was bestowed with a gist of a Mithun (Bull) by the fairy. This mithun would multiply rapidly in turn making Thasima prosperous. The fairy guided the Mithun to the top of the hillock as well as guarded it from the tigers that haunt the area as well.
This place in Mizoram is a huge memorial stone that has engravings of various human figures who are believed to be the guardian of the dead. Other smaller engravings of certain animals are also present.
This place is a source of drinking water from the nearby mountains located 65 km from Champhai. As per folklore due to shortage of drinking water people used to travel great distances on foot for collecting water. Fiana, a poor lady’s son happened to turn a flat stone and to his delight found a natural source of clear water. This place was kept as a secret by the old lady and her son until it was later found by the villagers who were enthralled to find the water here was more clearer and tastier that the other sources.
This place also called the Great entranceway is a natural heritage site that has 171 carved stones located at Khawbung. These 171 stones were Mizoram’s first archaeological site.
Mouling National Park
The Mouling National Park is located close to the Indo Myanmar border and is a perfect site for birdwatching in Mizoram located around 245 km from Aizawl. Covering an area of 100 sq km of a thick canopy of sub-tropical evergreen forests the most renowned bird species to be found here is the Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant or the Vavu. Other species of mammals are also to be found here and the best time to explore is from October to April.
Chawngtlai Heritage Village
The Chawngtlai village was founded by the great zalau chief Nikuala in 1887. Around this historic village there are various artefacts and historical sites. The flower Chawngtlai is found in abundance here. Also a very tall monolith (25 feet) high has been erected in this village. Around this village, this is a sacred rock that is red in color and is believed to be a fortune telling rock.
The Champhai winery was established in 2007 and is the finest winery in Mizoram. The beautiful vineyard has production of grapes and the entire area looks very beautiful. Visitors can take a tour of this winery area in Mizoram.
Lengteng Wildlife Sanctuary
The Mt. Lengteng is the second highest mountain peak in Mizoram having a height of 2141 m and the area around here has been declared as the Lengteng Wildlife Sanctuary. This Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 60 sq km and has a dense vegetation of tropical evergreen and tropical broadleaf forests. The various animals and birds found here are slow loris, leopards, leopard cats, serow, gorai, asiatic black bears, capped langurs, Mrs Hume’s pheasant, etc.
3| Kolasib District – Mizoram ~
This is another of the eight districts of Mizoram and is also the district headquarters. As of today this place has not been touched by modernization and hence is a huge expanse of unadulterated landscapes that provides a peaceful and calm environment. This place is now becoming an adventure sports destination. The only railhead of Mizoram at Bairabi is located here and serves an an entry point from Vairengte mostly via Assam.
Places of tourist interest in Kolasib district ~
This picturesque lake is located about an hours drive from Kolasib and is a perfect weekend getaway. The waters of River Serlui has been used to create a dam for hydroelectric purpose and the waters of the river flows across various mini pools amidst thick forests and lush green hills. This place is developed as an Ecotourism center and a water sports complex is also being developed by the Tourism Dept. (Govt. of Mizoram).
One of the many unexplored caves of Mizoram, Bak Puk is located at Kolasib and is surrounded by many superstitions and mysteries. This cave has various rock formations and chambers that have deep pools as the cave entrance draws in rainwater like a sinkhole. Huge amounts of rain water accumulates inside this cave and hence legends say that an entire town is on top of an underground lake.
4| Lawngtlai District – Mizoram ~
The Lawngtlai district is around 296 km from Aizawl and serves as a nodal point for the Kaladan Multi Nodal transport project that will link India and Myanmar thereby proving an access route for trade relations between India and South East Asian countries.
Places of tourist interest in Lawngtlai district ~
Phawngpui Tlang (Blue Mountain)
This is the highest mountain peak in Mizoram that has a height of 2157 m at its peak. The blue hazed hills here offer great views of the horizon around and one can get to see various species of Rhododendrons and orchids around here. The mountain peak overlooks the Chhimtuipui river and also the hill ranges of Myanmar as well.
The area around the Blue mountains has been declared as a National Park covering an area of about 50 sq km. This National Park boasts of a varied species of flora, fauna and avifauna of the likes of tigers, leopards, leopard cats, gorals, capped langurs, Blyth’s tragopan, dark rumped swift, Mrs. Hume’s pheasant, etc. The area of the park can be explored on foot and one gets most beautiful vies of Mizoram from the cliffs here.
Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary
Another beautiful Wildlife Sanctuary of Mizoram, the Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 110 sq km and is comprised of dense virgin forests and is comprised of dense virgin forests composed of moist deciduous and tropical evergreen trees and has the most beautiful forest cover in the whole of mizoram. The forests here are home to elephants, gaurs, various primates and birdlife like peacock pheasant, hornbills and imperial pigeons.
5| Lunglei District – Mizoram ~
Lunglei is the second largest city of Mizoram and is also the district headquarters of the Lunglei district. Lunglei is located about 175 km from the capital city of Aizawl and is an important business and trade center of Mizoram. However, being perched at an altitude of 1222 m Lunglei is loftier than Aizawl and enjoys a favorable weather the year around. Lunglei as a district in whole is a nature lover’s paradise with lush landscapes and beautiful forest cover abundant in varied flora and fauna and also hamlets and landmarks that are associated with various local legends and folklores. Certain places to visit around Lunglei city are Serkawn, Theirat Tlang, Nghasih stream, Lung Lei (stone bridge after which the city is named), Khawzawl and engraved Buddha image at Mualcheng village.
Places of tourist interest in Lunglei district ~
Khawnglung Wildlife Sanctuary
The Khawnglung Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as a protected Wildlife Sanctuary in 200 that covers an area of 35 sq. km. and is abundant in flora and fauna especially primates and birds. A very good bird watching site you can plan your visit to the Khawnglung Wildlife Sanctuary during October thru March and it requires 10 km of trekking to reach the Wildlife Sanctuary from the road.
The village of Khawnglung is located nearby and this village had seen the bloodiest massacre during the feud days among the Sailo chiefs of Mizoram.
Darkhuang Tlang – Pukpui
Darkhuang Tlang meaning ‘Gong mountain’ is located at Pukpui village around 7 km from Lunglei. It is here that a Mizo prophet named Darphawka used to talk to spirits who showed him vision of future events including the coming of Christian Missionaries to Mizoram. And these predictions were made several years before the animist Mizos knew anything about Christianity. Today there is a prayer house at this place for visitors.
Bungalow of Pioneer Missionaries – Lunglei
These two bungalows in Lunglei constructed in 1903 at Serkawn village are said to be the oldest building in Mizoram. Two pioneer missionaries arrived in Mizoram in 1894 and established the Presbyterian Church in Aizawl. They assisted is formulation of Mizo alphabets in Roman script, compilation of Mizo English dictionary, etc.
Thangliana Lung – Tlabung
This is a memorial stone erected in the Tlabung village near Bangladesh border dedicated to a courageous British adventurer named Captain T H Lewin the first to have signed a peace treaty with the Mizo chiefs and is remembered as the White friend of the Mizos. He married a local Mizo girl and settled his life here at Tlabung.
Lungding is basically a stone that stands upright. This is an interesting landmark that is composed of rocks and hard soil and is about 60 feet in height. The stone surface is covered with shrubs and climbing plants and in the earlier days, the Mizo used to believe that this rock was dwelled with spirits. While the sides of the rock was covered with plantations the top always remained clean making the warriors wonder what was frequenting the rock on top. Villagers offered prayers to ward off evil spirits as well.
This is a huge monolith that has beautiful carvings on it and is located at Ngharchhip near the Indo Myanmar border. This monolith was erected in 1800s by the Chinzah chiefs in longing for their fellow clansmen who were driven away during a severe famine to a village in Myanmar Republic. This monolith measures 8 feet in height and has interesting carvings of animal heads, gongs and human figures with spears and other weapons.
At this place near the Tamikhawthlir hill, there are three figures of person in meditation poses of the Buddhists that the local people call Lung Milem or ‘Stone figures’. It still remains a mystery as to who created them as there are no other relics of Buddhism to be found anywhere in the State of Mizoram.
6| Mamit District – Mizoram ~
Lying in the North western part of Mizoram, the Mamit district is the known to be the most visited hill station of Mizoram at Reiek. The Dampa Tiger Reserve also lies in this district. Mamit is the fourth largest district in Mizoram bounded by North Assam, Tripura and Kolasib and Aizawl districts. The major tribes inhabiting the district are Mizos, Cholula and Reang. Three major rivers of Tlawng, Tut and Teirei flows across the district and is filled with a hilly terrain and deep valleys and gorges.
Places of tourist interest in Mamit district ~
Dampa Tiger Reserve
Dampa Tiger Reserve is the largest Wildlife Sanctuary in Mizoram covering an area of 500 sq km and is a Project Tiger Reserve sharing an international boundary with Bangladesh. This is a Biodiversity hotspot home to Tigers, Elephants, Bears, Gaurs, Dhole and Primate species. Birdlife to be found are hornbills, wood pigeons, jungle fowls and pheasants. Best time to visit the Dampa Tiger Reserve is from October to April.
The Reiek village is located amidst beautiful mountains and valleys and is worth visiting. About an hours drive from Aizawl across various rocky cliffs notched with caves and caverns are a highlight on your drive here. The entire way is a photographer’s delight.
Before reaching Reiek, one has to pass through Ailawng the village of Khuangchera who was a great Mizo warrior of the 19th century and was known for his brave resilience against the British which however cost his life.
The village of Reiek is a traditional Mizo village that has traditional huts of various Mizo subtribes, Mizo chieftains house, dormitory, etc. This place gives an insight into the glorious past of the fierce Mizo highlanders. The Dept. of Tourism has also constructed a few modern houses to show the changes in Mizo life after modern day development. There is also a cafeteria here that serves delicious traditional Mizo food as well.
This is an ancient cave named after Khuangchera – a legendary Mizo warrior who lived here in the late 19th century. This is the second longest cave in Mizoram and its an adventure sports grounds that provides experience like dark ambience, tactile interactions, peculiar acoustics, etc.
This is also known as the ‘Cave of shouting stone’ located near Pukzing village. This is a spacious cave of three chambers connected via a narrow passage. As per ancient folklores, the villagers used to hear evil spirits inside the cave. some folk tales also state that somewhere inside the cave, legendary character Maurawkela hid the magical drum that he took away from a monkey troop after he saw them conjure fruits by beating this drum.
6| Serchhip District – Mizoram ~
Located in the central part of Mizoram, the Serchhip district is home to the highest waterfall in Mizoram. The Serchhip district is bounded by Aizawl and Champai district and also shares an International boundary with Myanmar. The town of Serchhip is the district headquarters and it came into existence in 1998. Serchhip district boasts of having the highest literacy rate in India. Due to natural beauty and resources, the district og Serchhip is an ideal site for trekking and paragliding and regular courses on paragliding are conducted here. The Khawnglung Wildlife Sanctuary is located in this district and has an area of 35 sq. km.
Places of tourist interest in Serchhip district ~
Lungkhawdur – Vanchengpui
Meaning the ‘Cloudy Stone’ the Lungkhawdur – Vanchengpui is located near the Vanchengpui village south east of Aizawl/ In this place there is a large flat stone with a man of elliptical shapes that are embossed on the surface resembling the formation of clouds. It is not yet certain whether the stones are mane man or natural. There are deep grooves on the stone as well.
MZP Puk – Ngentiang
Said to be the longest cave in Mizoram at 220 m this cave was discovered by the student organization of Mizoram named Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MP) and hence name after them. This cave is yet to be properly explored and mapped with geological equipments.
Tuilut – Ngentiang
Tuilut is a sinkhole formed near the MZP Puk Cave. It is a large crack in the very rocky ground into which the Pherpui stream flows in without any outlet and the water disappears into it during the rainy season. It is said that this sinkhole has a drop of 40 feet from the mouth and is then inclined slightly.
Another noteworthy landmark at the Ngentiang village is the ‘Saklam’ that is an old tree on which ‘Human Heads’ were hung dating back to the time of the chief Lafunga. It is said that the slain enemies were decapitated and their heads displayed on this tree as trophies. Also there is a flat rock called ‘Lambung’ where the local villagers used to perform ‘Chai’ dance. A person named Neihlaia who was aid to possess magical powers including love potion to be feared by the Chief as well.
This is the only village to be attacked by the Japanese forces via air raids during World War II in 1944. Six Japanese fighter aircrafts took time circling the village and then dropping two bombs on the village. This was the village where the British had constructed a hospital and the Japanese targeted this hospital along with the doctor’s quarters here. Fortunately no one was killed in the bombings. Built in 1913, this hospital is one of the few remaining relics of the British occupation here and the bullet holes on this hospital along with bomb craters are still to be seen here til today.
The area around North Vanlaiphai village has several landmarks that have folklores attached with a local here named Chhura. Chhura Farep is a memorial stone with a height of 5 feet that has on its surface several carvings of human figures, mithuns, hornbills, spears, shields, gongs, etc. The other important things are Churra Kehniak or Chhura’s footprints. Chhura-Sekawi or Chhura’s herd of Mithuns, Churra Rwang Tluk or the place where Churra fell dead, etc.
6| Siaha District – Mizoram ~
The most beautiful district in Mizoram when it comes to natural beauty as it is filled with picturesque scenery, distinctive cultures and hospitable people. The lofty hills and greenery around is a real feast to the eyes of any visitor to the Siaha district in Mizoram.
This is one of the 8 districts of Mizoram inhabited by the Mara people of Mizoram. The Siaha district is bounded by Lunglei and Lawngtlai district and also shares an International boundary with Myanmar. The road distance from Aizawl is 318 km and the drive takes about 10 hours.
Places of tourist interest in Siaha district ~
Lorrain Villa at Serkawr
Built in 1914, this is a century old villa of the Christian Missionaries who came to Mizoram located at Serkawr. This has been the pioneer place for Baptist Missionaries who came to Mizoram to preach Christianity and worked towards the development of the people here. The Missionaries helped to teach the whole tribe and guide them towards civilization with literacy. Today the granddaughter of one of the missionaries still stays in this house with her grandchildren and the century old furnitures, decoratives and furnishings have been preserved here. The family has opened up their home to visitors who can come here and admire the century old house.
This is the largest natural lake in Mizoram situated at the Phira village and is oval in shape. The lake covers an area of 1 sq. km. and is surrounded by lush virgin forests and rich flora and fauna. As per legends, this lake was home to a big serpent who used to steal the villager’s livestock. The problem cropped when the serpent started to take away the children of the village. The villagers in a fit of rage decided to kill the serpent and baited it with a dead goat. They killed the serpent and distributed the meat amongst the villagers. A widow got the head and she started cooking it. To her shock while she was cooking the head the serpent’s eyes were still moving and out of fear she threw the dish outside only to see that the lake waters drowned the entire village.
Today this lake is the home to several wetland birds and is said to be the winter stopover point of the Pintail Duck. Elephants roam around the virgin forests along with varied other wildlife.
Castle of Beino (Koladyne)
This is the rock formation that resembles a castle in the south of Mizoram. This is a craftsmanship of nature and considered to be a geological wonder located amidst the river Koladyne. Known as the Castle of Beino, this is a sprawling array of rocks about 10 m high on both sides of the river. However, the locals believe it to be a cursed castle and the river Queen of spirits inhabits the palace. This destination is a must visit place to explore to admire the sheer natural beauty. Ideal time to visit is during Jan thru April and one needs to hire a motorboat to reach the palace along with a guide.
Tokalo Wildlife Sanctuary
The Tokalo wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest Wildlife Sanctuary of Mizoram covering a total area of 250 sq. km. located in the Siaha district of Mizoram. This wildlife Sanctuary is comprised of semi evergreen and moist deciduous forests and is home to varied species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. This Wildlife Sanctuary also boasts of rich species of butterflies as well. Ideal time to visit is during the months of October thru April.
So why wait?! Plan your visit to the Mystical State of Mizoram, North East India, Incredible India!
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