Aizawl - A tete a tete with the city :
Location : North - Eastern India, Mizoram
Best time to visit : November to March
Local Transport : Taxis and local buses
Places to see : Durtlang Hills, Luangmual handicrafts Centre, Mizoram State Museum and Vantawang Waterfall
Souvenirs : Shawls, bamboo and cane articles
Aizawl - The Tale of the city :
History has it that in the year 1890, an officer of the Assam Police Dally came to the present day Aizawl along with some 400 of his men. He came here primarily in support of the soldiers from Colonel Skipper’s troupe which was having an operation against the local tribal’s. Dally told Colonel Skinner to build a fort here at Aizawl. Thus were constructed buildings and stockades by the troops. The tribal uprising of 1890 thus was topped by the British. Robert McCabe was the then Deputy Commissioner of the district of Lakhimpur. He brought some order in the area and made 15 tribal chiefs succumb to his order of surrendering. More soldiers occupied the area and by 1892 another uprising by the tribals was suppressed by Mc Cabe. Slowly the city of Aizawl became the main headquarters of the 1st Assam Rifles. In the year 1966, there was a national Front uprising by the Mizos. These Mizo National Front members completely captured the region and the main part of the city came under siege. The Indian Air Force then had to carry out several air strikes which made the Mizo National Front withdraw and give up their attack.
Aizawl - Down the Ages :
Down the ages, Aizawl has a municipal council which is in charge of the Aizawl, the tribal uprising town. This council formed in the year 2010 is functional and Aizawl has today a population of more than 2,28000. With Christianity as the dominant religion here, the Presbyterians are the major populace here. The other religions of Hinduism and Islam is also found here but in very small numbers. Aizawl today is economically sound and is maintained by the Government. Today it is the capital of Mizoram with many of the major banks located here.
Aizawl - A Rendezvous :
A rendezvous with the city reveals that with the kind of population it has, it is the largest city in the State of Mizoram. Thus Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram is a city with the Tlawng river valley to its west and the Tuirial River Valley to the east. The city is actually situated on a ridge which is around 1132m above the sea level. With a subtropical climate which is mild, the city is witness to a nice growth of dense vegetation. Aizawl, the hill station is the favored tourist spot for many of the tourists who seek solitude. Set amidst the best kind of landscape, the timber houses characterizing the region are a lovely sight.
Aizawl - Travel kitty :
With a place as beautiful as Aizawl, the simple cloudless skies filled with blue hues and the sunlight seeping in the mornings and allowing the dew on the leaves to rest in peace, and the woods gathered here with a happy ambience render the city a perfect holiday spot. Anyone coming here would go back with memories of seeing the best of Mother Nature. Bamboo and cane products are very commonly obtained here and these form the traveler’s shopping travel kitty. Besides there are also textiles and shawls found here which are very unique.
Aizawl - Joie de vivre in the city :
With the Tlawang River and the Turial River giving the tourist an opportunity to feel closer to nature and with the lovely architecture of the past dominating the city’s beauty, Aizawl gives ample reasons for the tourist to have a joie de vivre. One who comes here would see the following :
Durtlang Hills : Lying towards the southern part of Aizawl, these hills have actually naturally formed a barrier. With their rugged nature and with the ridges steeping up to the top, the Mizo hamlets are found here alongwith some Christian missions. One can also find a beautiful and informative zoological garden in these hills. This garden is located on the Bethlehem Vengthalang Hill. Many rare animals are found here and the Sun Bear is the major attraction. The hilly regions here encourage the existence of many birds and animals or rare species. The pleasant surroundings and the scenic beauty makes this a lovely spot to visit.
Burra Bazaar : This is the main traveler’s shopping feast. This shopping zone gives a lot of handicrafts from Mizoram. Articles such as shawls, bamboo craft and textile bags are famous here.
Museums And Centers :
Luangmual handicrafts Centre : This is a popular spot amongst all the tourists who come to the city of Aizawl. Basically popularizing the local handicrafts and textiles, this centre also has the famous Khumbeu. This is a famous ceremonial hat found mainly here and is made at this centre. Hnanthial leaves are used to make this hat.
Mizoram State Museum : This is located in the centre of Aizawl city and has a beautiful collection of the Mizoram culture and tradition. There is a huge gallery where the sculptures of the past and rare objects are showcased. Artifacts, weapons, woodcrafts and musical instruments are displayed here and the tourist finds it enthralling to go through the rich heritage of the tribes which lived here in the city of Aizawl.
Picnic Spots :
Paikhai : This picnic spot is around 16km from the main city. With lovely fascinating sights the beautiful green expanse and the panoramic views that it gives from this place is a sight to remember forever. One feels as if Mother Nature is resting here and holding us on her lap.
Tamdil : Also known as the Tam Lake , this is a much favored and popular picnic spot. With fish and prawns thriving in the natural lake, this is around 85km from Aizawl. As the place approaches the tourist can enjoy the surroundings leading up to the spot. Boat rides and the tranquility around coupled with the nearby jungles with a stupendous collection of flora and fauna makes this a must visit zone in the tourist chart.
Vantawang Waterfall : No scenic beauty is complete without a waterfall and Aizawl completes this requirement too. The height of 750 feet from where the waterfall falls also happens to be the highest in Mizoram. It lies around 152km from the main city of Aizawl. The beautiful thickets of bamboo that dominate the waterfall zone render this water body a beauty to take back home. The Thenzawl hill station is nearby and is an added attraction for the tourist.
Wildlife Sanctuary :
Tawi Wildlife Sanctuary : This is actually one of the first of such kind found in Aizawl. Lying in Central Mizoram, this lies around 115km from the city of Aizawl. The vegetation here is predominantly evergreen and semi evergreen type and the place is full of rare animals and birds. Many endangered fauna and flora are found here and the sanctuary is best visited between October to March. One can reach this place from Chhingchip.
Entertainment factor :
With its lovely tradition, beautiful scenery and historical background, Aizawl also is a place with festivals like the Mim Kut, Chapchar Kut , and Pawl Kut festivals which are celebrated with much fanfare here.
Out of these, the Mim Kut festival is the annual festival which has a lot of colour and vibrancy attached. It is mainly a Maize festival and is one of the important festivals of the State. It involves invoking the dead through offerings which include fresh vegetables, bread , necklaces and maize. The first day is for offerings, the second day is for preparing meals out of bread . Celebrated in the months of August September, it celebrates the harvest of maize.
The Cheraw dance performed with the bamboos commonly known as the bamboo dance also is a major tourist attraction. Thus with all its beauty and grace, Aizawl is a place to visit and treasure.
As the saying goes, “ Beauty lies in the eyes of the tourist in Aizawl.”