Lunglei - A tete a tete with the city :
Also known as : Lungleh
Location : North eastern India, South Central Mizoram.
Best time to visit : November to March.
Local Transport : Private Cars, buses.
Places to see : Khawnglung Wildlife Sanctuary, Zobawk.
Souvenirs : Local Handicrafts, toys, shawls.
Lunglei - The Tale of the city :
History has it that this city in the south central portion of the state of Mizoram literally means a bridge of rock. It got its name from the bridge like rock that is found in the area around Nghasih which is an area around the River Tlawng. Lunglei, the most populated region in Mizo hills is situated around 235kms from Aizawl.
Lunglei - Down the Ages :
Down the ages, Lunglei comes across as a prominent Mizo district. With a population of more than 1 lakh, it is today accessible by road from Aizawl. Bounded by the Mami and Aizawl districts on the north and the country of Bangladesh on the west, the Lawngtlai district on the south, the Saiha district on the southeast Myanmar on the east and the Champhai district on the northeast, Lunglei has a lot of forest land. The locals of Lunglei have agriculture as their occupation and have their livelihood by growing and selling the cash crops. The jhoom method of cultivation is practiced here and rice has come out to be the main crop here. With four RD blocks, the district of Lunglei also has 7 assembly constituencies.
Lunglei - A Rendezvous :
A rendezvous with Lunglei reveals that Lunglei, the city of bridge of rocks has sub divisions which have been created for making administration easy here. Lunglei is the headquarters of the district. With an average litercay rate of 84% Lunglei actually has a literacy rate more than the average. With its lovely surroundings and picturesque ambience, Lunglei, the beauty of Mizoram, has rendered itself a right tourist spot.
Lunglei - Travel kitty :
The Bamboo Popu up Gun is very common in Mizoram and is found here too. It is made out of a bamboo of small length and is used as a barrel. There is a pellet provided such that when the splint is pulled back then the pellet is released out of the barrel. Then there are household items like the Tuium which is a water carrier that is made from bamboo. Then there is Thalangra a tray used for winnowing. The Lushai tribe manufacture this. This triangular shaped tray exhibits the skilful work of the local artisans. This is made out of thin bamboo strips. The locals also make the Vaibel which is a pipe made out of bamboo and the tuibur which is made with a mixture of clay and bamboo. The Vaibel is used by the females and the Tuibur is used by the males. Thus the travel kitty here is very exquisite and unique.
Lunglei - Joie de vivre in the city :
The beautiful city of Lunglei has a lot of scenic beauty to boast about and attracts tourists from far off places. The captivating beauty of this place is unmatched and the tourist spots here give the ultimate joie de vivre here. The eye catching picnic spots and the enthralling sport spots give the tourist a chance to enjoy the natural beauty and the rich culture that this city possesses. The place is more popular with its lovely scenic settings. Adventure lovers come here and take part in the trekking and hiking activities. It is also a place where bird watching is popular. Some of the places that a person can visit here are:
Saikuti Hall : This is one of the biggest halls in Mizoram and many concerts and innumerable celebrations are held here.
Museum : This is a beautiful architectural monument which has been constructed purely for the painters to showcase their skills and exhibit their lovely paintings and other works.
Khawnglung Wildlife Sanctuary : This is located in the district of Lunglei and is located around 170km from the capital city Aizawl. Expansing over an area of 41sqkm this place is famous for its lovely forests and the wildlife. The animals found here are the barking deer, sambar deer, leopard, serow, wild boar and the hoolock gibbon.
Saza Wildlife Sanctuary : This is in the district of Lunglei to the west of Mizoram. This 15sq km expanse of land also has the best kind of species of flora and fauna. This sanctuary has the rhesus monkey, leopard, barking deer and many varieties of birds.
Thorangtlang Wildlife Sanctuary : This is situated in the Lunglei District at Thorangtlang. It can be reached while coming from Aizawl through the village of Thenzawl. It is situated around 240km from Aizawl. Covering an area of 50sq km this is actually a passage between India and Bangladesh for the elephants. The sanctuary has wildlife like the elephant, leopard, tiger, gaur or the Indian Bison, sambar, wild dog, sloth bear, barking deer, leaf monkey, hoolock gibbon, rhesus macaque, giant squirrel, slow lorris, jungle cat, porcupine and many kinds of birds. In the months of October to March this sanctuary is best visited.
Zobawk : This is a lovely place where the ruins left behind by the missionaries is found. It is another lovely tourist spot and is preferred by most of them. This is a place where picnic lovers come in plenty.
The city of Lunglei plays a major role in maintaining the culture and tradition of Mizoram. This state is famous for a good many festivals celebrated for harvest season. All the festivals are celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and joy. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people so; the festivals are also based on this factor. Kut means festivals. So all the festivals in Mizoram are based on the word kut.
Mim Kut : This is the festival of maize harvesting.
Pawl Kut : This marks a function for two days. It is celebrated in December and January.
Chapchar Kut : In this festival there are lot of bamboos that are dried and these are used for the jhum cultivation. This is an ancient festival believed to be existing since the 14th century.
Thalfavang Kut : This is a festival that is celebrated after the weeding process is over. It is a very common part of Mizoram Culture.
Christmas : Filled with merriment and joy people of all age groups come and take part in the festive mood. Christmas is celebrated for three days.
Lunglei also has its share of fun and tradition with dances. The dances are accompanied with the help of a gong and a drum. The various dances found are:
KHuallam : This is a dance for the guests. This is danced during the Khuangchawi ceremony. This ceremony involves the win for the Thangchhuah title which is attained by performing dances. For this the locals make a cloth with black, red, yellow and green stripes on it. Called the Puandum and wear it over the shoulders. This Puandum is carried by the girl when she gets married and is also the same used to cover a dead body. This dance is danced to the beat of Darbu or the gongs.
Cheraw : Cheraw is a traditional dance danced by the people in Lunglei. It is popular as the bamboo dance and the dance is danced to the beat of drums and is a great fascination all over the world. Drums and gongs accompany this dance.
Sarlamkai : This dance is danced by the Mara and Pawi communities. It is a ceremony which is celebrated to deride the beheaded head of any enemy. It is celebrated such that the soul will remain a victor even after death.
Chailam : This famous dance is danced during the most important festival of the Lungleis - The Chapchar Kut. Men and women alternatively stand in circles with the man holding the woman’s’ waist. The Man keeps his hands on the woman’s’ shoulder. The drums and the mithun’s horns are played in the centre.
Thus Lunglei with all its beauty and scenic elegance has got all the ingredients to be a perfect tourist spot.
As the saying goes, “A rolling city gathers no loss, it gains all the way.