At the mention of any state of northeast India, the first thought that comes to the mind is pristine untouched landscapes, myriad colorful cultures, and languages, hospitable people, yet a nagging feeling of just not knowing enough. Unlike other states of India, whose capitals, languages and famous tourist spots we learn by heart from school, the northeastern states somehow never really stick in our memory. Now if I ask you to mention at least one famous natural or tourist spot in any of the northeastern states, you will need many minutes to think and I doubt if anyone of us will be able to come with a reasonable answer. On the other hand, if I pick any other state, we will rattle off immediately something or the other of importance that signifies and represents that state. Sadly, the north east is a treasure of everything that defines the Indian spirit, yet for some reason does not seem to register in our conscious sense.
However, this is changing at a rapid pace and more and more initiatives are being undertaken to explore, promote and bring forth the beauty and culture of the ‘seven sister states’ to the public domain. One of these is Mizoram, a landlocked state surrounded by Assam, Manipur, Tripura on the Indian side and Bangladesh and Myanmar. Sandwiched between the foothills of Himalaya and the Meghalaya plateau, Mizoram abounds in hilly beauty rarely seen before. The hills, forests, waterfalls, rivers and valleys are sights that will take your breath away. This hill state is magnificent in its beauty and fascinating in its culture. It is modern, educated and yet holds on to its roots with pride and care. It is heavenly with an impressive resume of 21 high peaks located in its realm, yet it is unpolluted and unspoiled. An absolute delight for animal and biodiversity lovers, an adventure roller coaster for daring souls, a splendid, tranquil abode for nature lovers and a haven of a wealth of society and culture for sociologists, Mizoram touches the heart with a simplicity and warmth that is unmatched and unimagined.
So to ensure that you do remember some of the musts see and famous sites in this gorgeous hill country, let me hike you through some of the magnificent sites of Mizoram. And trust me, there are more than you will be able to count on your fingers.
Aizawl, the capital of the Mizoram is, of course, the most popular and well-connected city of the state. Located on ridges at an elevation of about 1000m it offers great views of the valley below. The Durtlang Hills in Aizawal should be a must visit on every tourist’s itinerary. The viewpoint from here looks upon the beautiful view of the city and valley and at night, it is a splendid sight to see with the twinkling lights.
The State Museum of Mizoram is another stop for history and archeology enthusiasts. For shopaholics, the Burra Bazaar is a rainbow of colors. It is also a great place to understand the lifestyle and interact with the locals.
The Luangmual Handicrafts Centre is a famous centre for handicraft items. A definite stop to pick up souvenirs.
Champhai is another major city of Mizoram and also called the ‘Fruit Bowl of Mizoram.’ The Palak Lake and National Park are situated not too far from here. The lake is absolutely stunning scenery of calmness along with a wide variety of flora and fauna. You can also visit the Murlen National Park and Chawngtlai a historical village abounding in many folklore, myths and legends.
Lunglei, the second largest city after Aizwal gets its name from a rock formation that resembles a bridge. It is one of the best places to get some wonderful views of Mizoram, and also close to the Khawnglung and Saza Wildlife Sanctuary.
Serchip is famous for Mizoram’s highest and most spectacular waterfalls, the Vantawng Waterfalls. Located on the Vanva River, the waterfall looks heavenly with lush greenery surroundings. The town of Thenzawl is about 5 km away and is famous for the Deer Park, Chawngchilhi Puk caves and another very beautiful waterfall called Tuirihiau.
Near the Myanmar border, the Phawngpui Hills is the highest peak in Mizoram and one of the best scenic expositions on display. This hill station is a must visit for its sheer beauty and floral treasures. Also known as the Blue Mountain it is part of the Lushai or Mizo Hills.
And when you think that there could be nothing to beat the flawless and diverse topography of Mizoram, a short paragraph on the Mizo people will make you realize that this land would be incomplete without its people. Extremely warm and hospitable the Mizos are educated, cultured, and skilled and follow a moral code of conduct inherent in their society. There is no discrimination on the basis of sex or caste and the local arts and crafts of weaving, basket making, bamboo and cane works are exceptional and passed on proudly from generations.
The Mizo food and clothing are different and ethnic. All in all, Mizoram being a hill country soars high not only with its magnificent landscapes and imagery but also with its beauty inherent in its people, their cuisine, their attire and social structure. Visit Mizoram not once but many times to absorb all of its tall yet intricate beauties.