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Mizoram

Introduction

Perching on the high hills of northeastern corner, Mizoram is a storehouse of natural beauty with its endless variety of landscape, hilly terrains, meandering streams deep gorges, rich wealth of flora and fauna. Mizoram is situated between 21-58o to 24o 29' north latitude and 92o 29' to 93o 22' east longitude. The tropic of Cancer passes near the capital, Aizawl town. In shape it is rather like a narrow and inverted triangle. It is bounded on the north by the district of Cachar (Assam) and the state of Manipur, on the east and south by Chin Hills and Arakan (Myanmar) on the west by the Chittagong hill tracts of Bangladesh and the state of Tripura. Mizoram borders three states of India - Assam , Manipur and Tripura. Its geographical borders with Assam, Manipur and Tripura extended over 123 km, 95 km and 66 km, respectively. Mizoram, in the local language, means the land of Mizos. Mizo itself means highlander. Under the British administration, Mizoram was known as Lushai Hills district. In 1954 by an Act of Parliament, the name was changed to Mizo Hills district. In 1972, when it was made into a union territory, it was named Mizoram. Mizoram became the 23rd state of the Indian union on February 20,1987. Mizoram occupies an important strategic position having a long international boundary of 722 Kms.

Districts

S.No Districts Area in Sq Km Population Headquarters
1. Aizwal 3,576.31 339812 Aizwal
2. Lunglei 4,538.00 137155 Lunglei
3. Chhimtuipui 1,399.90 60823 Saiha
4. Lawngtlai 2,557.10 73050 Lawngtlai
5. Mamit 3,025.75 62313 Mamit
6. Kolasib 1,382.51 60977 Kolasib
7. Serchhip 1,421.60 55539 Serchhip
8. Champhai 3,185.83 101389 Champhai

Hills

Mizoram has the most variegated hilly terrain in the eastern part of India. The hills are steep and are separated by rivers which flow either to the north or the south creating deep gorges between the hill ranges. The average height of the hills is about 900 metres. As many as 21 major hill ranges or peaks of different heights run through the length and breadth of the state with the highest peak 'Phawngpui (Blue Mountain) towering 2,065 metres above the sea level. The hills are extremely rugged and steep leaving some plains scattered occasionally here and there.


Rivers

Although many rivers and streamlets drain the hill ranges the most important and useful rivers are the Tlawng (also known as Dhaleswari or Katakhal), Tut (Gutur), Tuirial (Sonai) and Tuivawl which flow through the northern territory and eventually join river Barak in Cachar. The Koldoyne (Chhimtuipui) which originates in Myanmar, is an important river in the south Mizoram. It has four tributaries and the river is in patches. The Western part is drained by Karnaphuli (Khawthlang tuipui) and its tributaries. A number of important towns including Chittagong in Bangladesh is situated at the mouth of the river. Before Independence, access to other parts of the country was possible only through the river routes via Cachar in the north, and via Chittagong in the South.

Lakes

Lakes are scattered all over the state. But the most important of them are Palak, Tamdil, Rungdil; and Rengdil. The Palak lake is situated in Chhimtuipui District in southern Mizoram and covers an area of 30 Ha. It is believed the lake was created as a result of an earthquake or a flood. The local people believe a village which was submerged still remains intact deep under the waters. The Tamdil lake is a natural lake situated 110/85 kms from Aizawl. Legend has it there was once a huge mustard plant in this place. When the plant was cut off, jets of water sprayed from the plant created a pool of water, and thus the name Tamdil which means of 'Lake of Mustard Plant' was born. Today the lake is an important tourist attraction and a holiday resort.

People

The inhabitants of Mizoram are known by the generic name of Mizo, which literally means people (mi) of the hills (zo). There are a number of separate tribes under the general ethnic broad group of Mizo. Mizos included the following tribes - Ralte, Paite, Dulien, Poi, Sukte, Pankhup, Jahao, Fanai (Molienpui), Molbem, Taute, Lakher, Dalang, Mar, Khuangli, Falam (Tashous), Leillul and Tangur. The three main sub groups are Lushais, Pawis and Lakhers. The fabric of social life in the Mizo society has undergone tremendous changes over years. Before the British moved into the hills, for all practical purposes the village and the clan formed units of Mizo society. The Mizo code of ethics or Dharma moved around 'Tlawmngaihna", an untranslatable term meaning on the part of everyone to be hospitable, kind, unselfish and helpful to others. They came under the influence of the British Missionaries in the 9th century, and now most of the Mizos are Christians. The Missionaries introduced the Roman script for the Mizo language and formal education. The cumulative result is high percentage 95 % (as per National Sample Survey 1997-98) which is considered to be highest in India. Mizos are fast giving up their old customs and adopting the new mode of life which is greatly influenced by the western culture. Many of their present customs are mixtures of their old tradition and western pattern of life. Music is a passion for the Mizos and the young boys and girls take to the western music avidly and with commendable skill. The fascinating hills and lakes of Mizo-land literally pulsate and resound with the rhythms of the sonorous songs of the youths and the twang of guitars everywhere.

Clothing

The original garment of the Mizos is known as puan. They were used by men and women more or less in the same fashion. These traditional hand woven apparels are of different shades and designs without exquisite play of colour combination and intricate weaving patterns has been evolved. Some of the common clothing or puan are :

Puanchei

It is by far the most colourful costume and is used by every Mizo lady.

Kawrchei

A distinctive blouse of the ladies

Ngotekherh

This traditional puan is won round the waist originally it was a men's puan but now it is worn by men and women alike.

Hmaram

Originally this was a small hand woven cloth of handspun cotton and indigo dye.

Cyhna Hno

It is a beautiful embroidered silk puan of the Mara's. It is used by both men and women.

Language

Although several languages were spoken in the Lushai Hills, the main language was Lushai. Other languages of the Kuki-Chin groups spoken by the different tribes were Zahao, Lakher, Hmar, Paite, Lai and Ralte. Many of the smaller tribes used their own language amongst themselves but used Lushai for conversation with persons of other tribes or with outsiders. Lushai language was a spoken language and did not have any written literature.

Climate

Mizoram has a pleasant climate. It is generally cool in summer and not very cold in winter. During winter, the temperature varies from 11 C to 21 C and in the summer it varies between 20 C to 29 C. The entire area is under the direct influence of the monsoon. It rains heavily from May to September and the average rainfall in Aizawl is 208 cm. The four months between November and February are winter in Mizoram which is followed by the spring. The storms come in the middle of April to herald the beginning of the summer. The mercury starts rising and the hills come under the cover of a haze. The three months from June to August are known as the rainy season. Winter in Mizoram is wonderfully blue, and in the enchanting view of wide stretches of a vast lake of cloud. Mizoram has great natural beauty and endless variety of landscape and is very rich in flora and fauna. Almost all kinds of tropical trees and plants thrive in Mizoram. The hills are marvelously green. The best season to visit Mizoram is September and October when the temperature moves between 19 to 24 degree C.

How to reach

By Air

Aizawl is the nearest airport. It is connected to Kolkata, (1 hr ) and Imphal (30 min). Indian Airlines (Alliance Air) flights Kolkata - Aizawl - Kolkata ( daily service ) and Kolkata - Aizawl - Imphal - Aizawl - Kolkata (Monday, Wednesday, Friday ), Guwahati - Aizawl (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday).

By Train

Nearest railhead is Silchar which is in Assam ( 184 km away). From Guwahati, travel to Silchar by Barak Valley Express, Cachar Express or the Tripura Passenger. The journey takes about 19 hrs.

By Road

NH - 54 connects Aizawl with the rest of the country through Silchar. Buses and taxis are available from Silchar to Aizawl ( 6-8 hrs ). Night services are also available. Aizawl is also accessible by road from Shillong and Guwahati.

Distance from Aizawl to :
City Distance City Distance City Distance
Agartala 457 Gurgaon 2492 Panaji 3512
Agra 2222 Guwahati 466 Paradwip 2062
Ahmedabad 2889 Gwalior 2214 Pathankot 2849
Ajmer 2558 Haldia 1663 Patna 1410
Akola 2625 Hassan 3493 Pondicherry 3446
Aligarh 2242 Hissar 2626 Porbandar 3283
Allahabad 1170 Hubli 3424 Pune 3255
Ambala 2565 Hyderabad 2962 Purulia 1584
Amritsar 2820 Imphal 361 Raipur 2329
Asansol 1478 Indore 2507 Rajkot 3105
Aurangabad 2879 Jabalpur 2113 Rameswaram 3873
Bakhtiyarpur 1364 Jaipur 2427 Ranchi 1704
Bangalore 3424 Jaisalmer 2997 Ranippettai 3393
Barauni 1299 Jalandhar 2737 Raurkela 1903
Barddhaman 1461 Jammu 2956 Rohtak 2533
Bareilly 2208 Jamnagar 3191 Sagar 2241
Belgaum 3429 Jamshedpur 1669 Saharanpur 2538
Bellary 3229 Jhansi 2168 Salem 3607
Bhagalpur 1398 Jodhpur 2758 Sambalpur 2076
Bhavnagar 3076 Jorhat 759 Shahjahanpur 2113
Bhopal 2321 Kakinada 2633 Siliguri 941
Bhubaneshwar 2046 Kandla 3265 Shillong 366
Bikaner 2748 Kanniyakumari 3964 Shimla 2716
Bilaspur 2342 Kanpur 1965 Shivpuri 2272
Calcutta 1547 Kochi 3965 Silchar 140
Chandigarh 2611 Kohima 506 Solapur 3039
Chennai 3281 Kolhapur 3286 Srinagar 3249
Chittardurga 3357 Kota 2492 Surat 2972
Coimbatore 3772 Kozhikode 3841 Thane 3193
Cuttack 2021 Krishnagiri 3543 Thanjavur 3623
Dehradun 2547 Kurnool 3072 Thiruvananthapuram 3988
Delhi 2462 Lucknow 1945 Thrissur 3878
Dhanbad 1537 Ludhiana 2678 Tiruchchirappalli 3597
Dhule 2902 Madurai 3725 Tirunelveli 3879
Dibrugarh 895 Mangalore 3653 Tirupati 3239
Dimapur 580 Meerut 2416 Tuticorin 3860
Dindigul 3676 Moradabad 2304 Udaipur 2777
Durgapur 1486 Motihari 1539 Ujjain 2509
Ganganagar 2806 Mumbai 3236 Ulhasnagar 3194
Gangtok 1055 Muzaffarnagar 2467 Vadodara 2830
Gaya 1474 Muzaffarpur 1455 Varanasi 1645
Ghaziabad 2443 Mysore 3563 Vijayawada 2554
Ghazipur 1641 Nagpur 2375 Vishakhapatnam 2172
Gorakhpur 1741 Nanded 2753 Warangal 2981
Gulbarga 3015 Nashik 3051
Guntur 2885 Nellore 2810
Mizoram at a glance
Latitude 21° 58' & 24° 35' N
Longitude 92° 15' & 93° 29' E
Area 21,087 Sq Kms
North - South 277 Kms
East - West 121 Kms
Inter State Border
With Assam 123 Kms
With Tripura 277 Kms
With Manipur 95 Kms
International Border
With Myanmar 404 Kms
With Bangladesh 318 Kms
Temperature
Winter 11° - 21° C
Summer 20° - 30° C
Average rainfall 250 per annum
Population (2001)
Total 8,91,058
Female 4,31,275
Male 4,59,783
Sex Ratio 938 female per 1000 male
Capital Aizawl
Literacy 88.49 (Second Highest in the country)
Languages Mizo and English
Highest Point Phawngpui (Blue Mountain) 2,210/2065 M
No. of Assembly Constituency 40
No of Seat in Parliament 1 each in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha
District 8
Block 22
Sub - Division 23
Autonomous District Council 3
State Animal Serow (Saza)
State Bird Hume's Bartailed Pheaasant (Vavu)
State Flower Dancing Girl (Aiting)
State Tree Mesual Ferrea/Nahar (Herhse)
Longest River Tlawng (185.15 Kms)