Perched on the tip of the north eastern border of India, idyllic Mizoram, formerly known as the Lushai Hills, is a land of great natural beauty, an endless variety of landscape with steep hills and deep gorges, rich flora and fauna, clusters of whispering pines, and quaint villages with houses on stilts. The forests house some of the rare varieties of orchids that are found only in this region.
One of only 3 Indian states with a Christian majority, Mizoram has international boundaries with Myanmar and Bangladesh, while it shares its domestic borders with the states of Assam, Manipur and Tripura. The Tropic of Cancer runs through the heart of Mizoram. Important rivers that flow through this hilly state are Tlawang, Sonai, Tuivawl, Kolodine and Kamaphul. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people, and the main crops are oranges, lemon, kagzi lime, passion fruit, pineapple and papaya.
The Mizos lead a life of close comradeship in their surroundings. They rank third in the country as far as percentage of literacy is concerned - the state with an 87% literacy rate is just behind Chandigarh and Kerala.
The Mizos are very interested in dance and music and have a rich variety of local dances which reflect their nature. They have an egalitarian society and believe that men and women rank equal. There was a time when they believed that nature in its various forms was haunted by spirits who caused suffering to humans in different ways. However, under the British rule, western missionaries brought about evangelization of the people. Christianity is now an important part of their lives.
The Mizos are basically non-vegetarian and love meat. The food is not spicy and is cooked in such a way that the nutritive value is actually retained. The locally made wine is a great favourite. "Zu" (tea) is a popular drink. Both men and women are fond of smoking.
The state capital is also a hill station. In Aizawl do visit:
• The Museum at Macdonald's Hill
Fast Facts of Mizoram
Places to Visit
Bung and Paikhai
15 and 16 kms. respectively from Aizawl, these are two cool breezy places adjacent to each other.
This natural lake, set amidst the virgin forests of Saitaui village, has boating facilities, making it a terrific picnic spot.
These waterfalls, 750 ft. high, are surrounded by a lush green tropical forest filled with bamboo groves.
Another picnic spot, 204 km from Aizawl. Situated at the end of Mizoram, you can view the Myanmar Hills from here.
Established in 1976, it is inhabited by swamp deer, tiger, leopard, elephant and Hoolock Gibbon.
Phawngui - The Blue Mountain
"Phawngui" or the Blue Mountain, the highest mountain peak in Mizoram, is considered the abode of gods to whom annual sacrifices are offered. Milu peak is a cave of human skulls of people who lived in the area before the Mizos.
Pukzing Cave about 25-km wide is the biggest cave said to have been carved out using a hairpin by a sturdy man called "Mualzavata".
Philpul grave consists of two graves to which visitors are attracted because of the legends linked with them.
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