While one is lost exploring the beauty of Kashmir in the north and Kanyakumari in the south one often misses out on the beautiful northeast of the country. Mizoram is one such state located in the far northeast of the country. A part of the seven sister states, Mizoram shares border with the states of Tripura, Assam, Manipur and countries like Burma and Bangladesh. Aizawl is the capital of the state. Along with priceless natural scenery the place offers you a beautiful moderate climate during the summers and winters and if you are feeling brave you can visit it during the Monsoons.
To get to Mizoram you will be required to present an Inner Line Permit. This permit can be obtained from the Mizoram House in Delhi, Kolkata and Silchar. Mizoram has one airport named Lengpui airport which is close to Aizawl. You can reach it ether from Kolkata or Guwahati. After reaching the airport you can hitch a taxi to get to the city. If you feel like having a road trip you can take National Highway No. 54 from Silchar, Assam. Getting around the cities is also pretty convenient. The best way would be to rent a car. You can also book a taxi or have bumpy rides in buses and TATA Sumo all day long.
Once you are in Mizoram there are a lot of things to keep your senses occupied and to explore the culture and beauty of the state:
Blue Mountain Park
The Blue Mountain Park is very popular among the tourists. The park exposes you to both wildlife and adventure. The park is strategically located on a hill amidst true natural beauty. So there is a tedious but thrilling trek awaiting you. The locals believe the mountain to be an abode of gods. Apart from the spectacular natural scenery there is also a diversity of wildlife in the park.
Chapchar Kut Spring Festival
If you are looking to learn about the culture and traditions of the people of Mizoram then the Chapchar Kut Spring Festival is the best opportunity for you. The Chapchar Kut festival is the oldest festival of Mizoram. The festival is celebrated to mark the arrival of the cropping season. Bamboo trees are cut in order to make land for seasonal crops. Colourful traditional dresses are worn for the occasion. Hats are made out of feather of parrots and beads. A traditional bamboo dance is performed by the women while men sit on the ground and beat the bamboos against each other. The festival goes on for a period of five days.
Located at a height of 750 ft. above the ground, Vantawng Falls is a beautiful example of what Mizoram has to offer in terms of picturesque natural scenery. People pour in to feast their eyes at this stream plummeting into lush green bamboo groves. The waterfall has a sort of artistic expression to it. It is located at a distance of 137 kms from the capital city of Aizawl. Your trip to Mizoram can’t be complete without witnessing Vantawng Falls.
Dampa Tiger Reserve
Dampa Tiger Reserve is the largest tiger reserve in the state of Mizoram. It is spread over an area of 550 sq. km. The place is rich in flora and fauna with a vast number of tigers and other animals such as wild boars, Indian elephants and Himalayan Black Bear.
Mizoram State Museum
The Mizoram State Museum offers a great opportunity to explore about Mizo culture. It is located up a steep lane past Aizawl’s distinct church with modernist bell-tower spire.
A three storey mausoleum dedicated to the memory of Varte, KV Paradise offers a beautiful view of Aizawl. Varte’s husband spent his entire savings and energy to develop this beautiful place in memory of his wife.
Salvation Army Temple
The Salvation Army Temple is known for its bell chimes that can be heard all over the city. The sound of the bell is prominent on a Sunday church morning.
Mizoram introduces to an entirely new style of cooking unlike anywhere else in India. The cuisine of Mizoram is mainly about non-vegetarian dishes. Though vegetarian food is an integral part of the culinary culture of Mizoram, a non-vegetarian flavour is added to every dish. The staple food is primarily rice. The most popular non-vegetarian item is fish. The people of Mizoram make a point to avoid using too much oil in their delicacies and hence most of their food is cooked in very less oil. One must try ‘Bai’ while one is in Mizoram. It is basically a non-vegetarian dishes prepared with boiled vegetables and adding pork, spinach and bamboo shoots to it. Other dishes to try out are ‘Vaska Rep’ which is smoked pork, Arsa Buchair is a rice and chicken dish and Sawchair which is a traditional rice dish served with chicken or pork. Among drinks one should try Lubrusca grape wine and a popular form of tea called Zu. A good restaurant to try is David’s Kitchen.
For a proper Mizo shopping experience visit the Saturday street market. The streets are covered by women selling fruits, dead pigs and living hens.
Mizoram gives you a taste of the culture of the Northeast which is unlike the rest of India.