Evergreen ranges of Mizoram hills with blooms of exotic flora and dense bamboo jungles rise sharply from the plains of Assam in a north south direction. These hills and plunging gorges are criss-crossed by gushing rivers and sparkling waterfalls. Highest among its several peaks is the Phawngpui (Blue Mountain).
Districts== Mizoram is divided into 8 districts: *Aizawl *Lunglei *Kolasib *Mamit *Serchhip *Saiha *Champhai *Lawngtlai
Mizoram is a
kaleidoscopic 'pleasure trove' for the discerning visitor, with its wide array of festivals and dances, handicrafts, flora and fauna, breathtaking natural beauty, and temperate climate. The Mizos are very friendly and hospitable. English is commonly spoken. The joyful enthusiasm and the gregarious spirit of the local populace has been are the main reasons for establishing some of the most attractive tourism features in this beautiful state.
Today, Mizoram is a
dazzling mix of this cross-cultural vibrancy with 87 % literacy (the second highest in India, a fact in which every Mizo takes genuine pride), gender equality and a vigorous pursuit of its ancient cultural traditions and social mores. Almost everybody in the state is a Christian by religion and yet haven't allowed their distint Mizo culture to fade.
You will find women working everywhere in Mizoram. In fact
all shops are run and managed by women . Men tend to do more laborious work and jobs like taxi drivers, car/ scoooter mechanics, working in the fields etc. Women are respected , are safe and enjoy considerable freedom. Smoking and chewing tobacco paan/Gutkha is very common in Mizoram. Many women too smoke, eat tobacco paan, gutkha etc. Comfortable and decent western clothing is uniformly worn accorss the state and Mizo women dress up quite smartly with a makeup even in small villages.
Divorces are common
and but so are re-marriages. People give priority for self sufficiency and you find no beggars anywhere in Mizoram. The crime rate is almost nil and most Mizo houses in villages and small towns are unlocked. The only thefts are due to some drug addicts. Overall the society is quite homogenous, peace loving and classless. The recent rise in corruption has however started widening the gap between rich and poor and may be a threat in future to the social fabric.
Foreign tourists require a Restricted Area Permit (RAP), which can be obtained from Indian embassies in their respective countries.
Different types of car are available for rentals. From SUVs to
Small Cars. SUVs , maily TATA Sumos are available from one town to another at a reasonable rate on seat basis. There are booking counters in Lower Zarkwat in Aizwal where one can book a seat with choice of seat no. A trip to Champai cost Rs. 350/- per head.Any such SUMO takes 10 passengers - 2 ahead, 4 in middle and 4 at the back. Exclusively hired vehicles are available at Rs. 13/- per km + Rs. 600 for each night halt and upwards.
The white and yellow Maruti taxis mainly ply the cities and towns. You need to haggle for the price to get good deal.
Mizoram has a state transport corporation
thst connects the whole of Mizoram. The cities and towns are also serviced by minibus. The rides are '''very''' bumpy and the buses are not so spacious. If you can shell some extra money and hire a cab, do so because it will be really painful the next day. Also , you will encounter bad people on these buses.
There is restaurant by the lake side and about six cottages for stay, which are owned by the restaurant. You can take a boatride in the lake, which costs Rs 400/- for full perimeter ride for 10 people and Rs. 200/- for half round. Indian currency is accepted.
Rengpui===Dampa is a tiger reserve located in West Phaileng district and is 127 km from Aizawl. It is better to book the government lodge well in advance as there are only 2 rooms. You need the permit from forest officer staying in West Phaileng to enter Dampa forest. This can be done also from forest department in Aizawl. You should be careful while visiting the forest on a rainy day as it is infested with leeches.
If you are an early bird, get up early in the morning and see the lakes of cloud all around the cities and towns as most of them are built on the mountain tops.
Visit '''Hnam Chhantu
Pawl''' that sells local handicraft items at very reasonable rates. This is a shop run by an NGO and
is located in
is located in Electric Veng,
, Aizawl. Ask for Champai Sumo counters, the shop is closeby, on second floor of a building. It is a very famous store, so you can ask local people and they will guide you. Alternately, you can reach the store at [email protected]
The main shopping centers in Aizawl is Bara Bazar. Here all kinds of wears from garments, cosmetics, shoes too vegetable, poultry are available. This is the main city shopping center. For Handicraft, Zohanco in Zarkawt has shawls, puan, bags and furnishing materials. For bamboo works such as baskets, khumbeu the finely mizo woven bamboo cap are available at MKVI, Sales Emporium, Zarkawt. Besides, Solomon's Cave is the shopper's paradise for imported garments cosmetics and shoes.However the prices may not be very diffrent from MUmbai or Delhi.
The Mizo people love boiled food and non-vegeterian food. Try 'bai' (boiled vegetables in water with of salt, chingal [now replaced with cooking soda], and sa-um). Try out also chhangban (mizo chhang), which is boiled or cooked dough of the glutinous rice.
The food is generally cheap /reasonable. Even roadside restarants are quite hygeinic. You can see the food cooked infront of you. This could be because all these places are run and managed by women.
Mizoram is a dry state. However, with the lifting of total prohibition in 2010, you can now get Mizoram's very own Grapewine 'Zawlaidi' which has alcohol content of 14% for Rs. 170/- per bottle
. Visit Millenium center to get one. There are no nightclubs or pubs and almost all shops close by 5:00 p.m.