Mizoram is a land of rolling hills, rivers and lakes. As many as 21 major hills ranges or peaks of different heights run through the length and breadth of the state, with plains scattered here and there. The average height of the hills to the west of the state are about 1,000 metres. These gradually rise up to 1,300 metres to the east. Some areas, however, have higher ranges which go up to a height of over 2,000 metres. The Phwangpui, situated in the southeastern part of the state, is the highest peak in Mizoram.
The biggest river in Mizoram is the River Kaladan also known as Chhimtuipui Lui in local Mizo language. It originates from Chin State in Myanmar and passes through Saiha and Lawngtlai districts in Southern tip of Mizoram and goes back to Myanmar Rakhine state, finally it enters Bay of Bengal at [Akyab], a very popular port in [Sittwe], [Myanmar]. Indian government has invested millions of rupees to set up inland water ways along this river to trade with Myanmar. The project name is known as Kaladan Multipurpose project.
Although many more rivers and streams drain the hill ranges, the most important and useful rivers are the Tlawng (also known as Dhaleswari or Katakhal), Tut (Gutur), Tuirial (Sonai) and Tuivawl which flow through the northern territory and eventually join the Barak River in Cachar District. The Koldoyne (Chhimtuipui) which originates in Myanmar, is an important river in the south of Mizoram. It has four tributaries and the river is in patches. The western part is drained by Karnaphuli (Khawthlang tuipui) and its tributaries. A number of important towns, including Chittagong in Bangladesh, are situated at the mouth of the river. Before Independence, access to other parts of the country was only possible through the river routes via Cachar in the north, and via Chittagong in the south. Entry through the latter was cut off when the subcontinent was partitioned and ceded to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1947.
Lakes are scattered all over the state, but the most important among these are Palak dil (Pala Tipo), Tamdil, Rungdil, and Rengdil. The Palak lake, the biggest lake in Mizoram is situated in Mara Autonomous District Council (MADC) within Saiha District which is part of southern Mizoram and covers an area of 30 hectares. It is believed that the lake was created as a result of an earthquake or a flood. The local people believe that a village which was submerged still remains intact deep under the waters. The Tamdil lake is a natural lake situated 110/85 km from Aizawl. Legend has it that a huge mustard plant once stood in this place. When the plant was cut down, jets of water sprayed from the plant and created a pool of water, thus the lake was named 'Tamdil which means of 'Lake of Mustard Plant'. Today the lake is an important tourist attraction and a holiday resort.
However, the most significant lake in Mizo history Rih Dil is ironically located in Myanmar, a few kilometres from the India-Myanmar border. It was believed that the departed souls pass through this lake before making their way to "Pialral" or heaven.
With its abundant scenic beauty and a pleasant climate, Mizoram hopes to develop its tourist-related industries. Specific tourist projects can be developed to put Mizoram on the "tourist map" of India. With the development of Reiek resort centre and a number of other resort centres in and around Aizawl, as well as establishment of tourist's huts across the entire state, tourism has been much developed. The ever smiling faces of the Mizos is an experience to cherish, and gives new meaning to life.
Tourists require a special permit for visits.
The socio-economic life of the rural people depends on their local vegetation from where they derive all their material requirements – timber, food, fuel wood, medicinal plants etc. About 95% of the interior population depends on herbal medicine and nearly 98% of raw materials are harvested from the wild plant resources without replenishing the growing stocks. The villages' herbal preparations include uprooting of the plants, which is detrimental to both the plants themselves and the growing area. As a result of this practice, many commonly used and effective medicinal plants have become rare and endangered species. Some are on the verge of extinction unless conservation measures are taken up for revival.
Mizoram is connected through National Highway 54. NH-150 connects the state with Seling Mizoram to Imphal Manipur. NH-40A links the State with Tripura.A road between Champhai and Tiddim Myanmar will soon connect the two countries.
Mizoram has only one airport, Lengpui Airport, near Aizawl and this Airport can be reached from Kolkata by Air within a short period of 40 minutes. Mizoram is also accessible from Kolkata via Silchar Airport, which is about 200 km. from the state capital of Mizoram.
Mizoram is in the process of developing water ways with the port of Akyab Sittwe in Myanmar along Chhimtuipui River. India is investing $103 million to develop the Sittwe port on Myanmar's northern coast, about 160 km from Mizoram. Myanmar committed $10 million for the venture, which is part of the Kaladan Multipurpose project .
Main article: Music of Mizoram
Mizo traditional tunes are very soft and gentle, with locals claiming that they can be sung the whole night without the slightest fatigue. Even without musical instruments, the Mizo can enthusiastically sing together by clapping hands or any materials which can produce complimentary sound. All these informal instruments are called Chhepchher. The Mizo in the early period were very close to nature and that music was the tune of their life. Even today, the Mizos use a drum known locally as "khuang", made from wood and animal hide, to accompany their singing in church services as well as cultural festivities. western influence is evident from the contemporary music scene though, with experiments in genres such as rock(punk,emoscream, metal), pop and hip-hop, R&B to name a few. We can say that Music and the society of Mizo's goes together.Mizos are very fond of Music, they sing in a funeral and in a wedding.
Modern Mizos are fast giving up their old customs and adopting the new ways of life which are greatly influenced by western cultures. Music is a passion for the Mizos, and the youth especially have become quite enamored of western music.
The Mim Kut festival is usually celebrated during the months of August and September, after the harvest of maize. Mim Kut is celebrated with great fanfare by drinking rice-beer, singing, dancing, and feasting. Samples of the year's harvests are consecrated to the departed souls of the community. Mizos practise "slash and burn" (Jhum) cultivation. They clear areas the jungle, burn the stumps and leaves of the downed trees, and then cultivate the land. All their other activities revolve around the Jhum operation and their festivals are all connected with such agricultural operation.
Chapchar Kut is another festival celebrated during March after completion of their most arduous task of Jhum operation i.e., jungle-clearing (clearng of remainings of burnt area). This is a spring festival celebrated with great fervour and gaiety.
Pawl means “Straw” hence pawl kut means kut held soon after the harvest.Pawl Kut is a festival celebrated in December to commemorate the end of harvest season. It is perhaps the greatest Mizo festival.
The most colourful and distinctive dance of the Mizo is called Cheraw. Long bamboo staves are a feature of this dance and it is known to many as the Bamboo Dance. Originally, the dance was performed to wish a safe passage and victorious entry into the abode of the dead (Pialral) for the soul of a mother who had died in childbirth. To dance Cheraw takes great skill and alertness.
Khuallam was originally a dance performed by honoured invitees while entering into the arena where a community feast was held. To attain a position of distinction, a Mizo had to go through a series of ceremonies where friends from nearby villages were invited and Khuallam was the dance for the visitors or guests. Khuallam is performed by a group of dancers, the more the merrier, in colourful profiles to the tune of gongs and drums.
Chheih Lam is the dance done over a round of rice-beer in the cool of the evening. The lyrics in triplets are usually spontaneous compositions, recounting their heroic deeds and escapades and also praising the honoured guests present in their midst.
RESTRICTED AREA PERMIT:
Restriction are in place for entry of Foreign Tourists to visit some place in Mizoram. Restricted Area Permits for Foreign Tourists can be obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreigners' Regional Registration Offices and Immigration offices at Airports at New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chief Immigration Officer, Chennai apart from All Indian Missions Overseas, I.G.Police or Home Commissioners of all the above mentioned states.
Foreign Tourist will be allowed to visit the above places for a maximum period of 10 days and in groups of 4 or more persons. However, married couples can be allowed.
INNER LINE PERMITS:
Inner Line Permits for Indian Tourists can be obtained from Resident Commissioners and Representatives of the above states at New Deli, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chief Immigration Officer, Chennai and at Border Crossings. For, Mizoram, the permit can be had from the Office of the Resident Commissioner at New Delhi and Liaison Officers based at Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong and Silchar. (more info)
Common Places from Aizawl
Nearest airport is Aizawl
Aizawl is connected to Kolkata, (1 hr ) and Imphal (30 min) and Guwahti. Indian Airlines (Alliance Air) flights Kolkata - Aizawl - Kolkata ( daily service ) and Kolkata - Aizawl - Imphal - Aizawl - Kolkata (Monday, Wednesday, Friday ), Guwahati - Aizawl (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday).
Road Distances from Aizawl
Hills: Mizoram is a land of rolling hills, rivers and lakes. As many as 21 major hills ranges or peaks of different heights run through the length and breadth of the state with the highest peak 'Phawngpui (Blue Mountain) towering 2,065 metres above the sea level. The terrain has, perhaps, the most variegated topography among all hilly areas in this part of the country. The hills are extremely rugged and sleep and the ranges and leaving some plains scattered occasionally here and there. (more info)
The Koldoyne (Chhimtuipui) which originates in Myanmar, is an important river in the south Mizoram. It has four tributaries and the river is in patches. The Western part is drained by Karnaphuli (Khawthlang tuipui) and its tributaries. A number of important towns including Chittagong in Bangladesh is situated at the mouth of the river. Before Independence, access to other parts of the country was possible only through the river routes via Cachar in the north, and via Chittagong in the South. Entry through the later was sealed when the Sub-continents was partitioned and ceded to E.Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1947. (more info)
The Tamdil lake is a natural lake situated 110/85 kms from Aizawl. Legend has it there was once a huge mustard plant in this place. When the plant was cut off, jets of water sprayed from the plant created a pool of water, and thus the name Tamdil which means of 'Lake of Mustard Plant' was born. Today the lake is an important tourist attraction and a holiday resort
Mizo people have a number of dances which are accompanied with few musical instrument like the gong and drum
Khuallam: Khuallam literary means 'Dance of the Guests'. It is a dance usually performed in the ceremony called 'Khuangchawi'. In order to claim a distinguished place in the society and to have a place in paradise or Pialral one has to attain the coveted title of 'Thangchhuah'. There are two ways of attaining this title. (Video Clip)
Guests invited from the other villages at the Khuangchawi ceremony enter the arena dancing Khuallam. Traditional hand woven Mizo cloth known as Puandum is wrapped over the shoulders and the dance is performed by swaying the cloth. Puandum has the colors black, red, yellow and green stripes. Significantly Puandum is an indispensable item which every girl has to take along with when she gets married. It is used when her husband dies to cover the dead body. As most other folk dances of the Mizos, this dance is accompanied by a set of gongs known as Darbu and no song is sung. It is generally performed in large numbers.
Mizo Thul & Khumbeu
Empai & Flower vase
Puanchei & Puandum
Collection of Shawl
People celebrate Chapchar kut - Chai
People celebrate Chapchar kut - Chai
H.V Lalringa, Chief Secy
Joseph & SP-i
Announcer - P.B.Lianthangpuii
CM - Zoramthanga - Kut Pa
LR Sailo, Director, I&PR - taking photo
Johan H. Lalmalsawma
Kungawrhi Kua - Farkawn
Lianchhiari lunglen tlang
Articles found in the ruins of Selesih
Thasiama Se no neihna
A monument of Selesih 7000
Durtlang Presbyterian Church
Aizawl Government College
Aizawl Theological College
Typical Mizo House
Inside Zarkawt Church
Site of Referral Hospital, Falkawn