Proving true to its name as "the home of the highlanders," Aizawl, the capital of the northeastern state of Mizoram, is located at an altitude of 3500 feet above sea level. It is the seat of a rich tribal cultural extravaganza and is famous for its handicrafts. The town is blessed with exotic natural beauty. While the river Tlawng flows quietly on the east, on the north one can see the jagged hills of Durtlang.
Aizawl is situated towards the central part of the state and is flanked by rivers and rapids. It is at a distance of 466 km from Guwahati, 366 km from Shillong, and 140 km from Silchar. The Durtlang Hills constitute a natural barrier immediately south of Aizawl, their high ridges punctuated by Mizo villages and Christian missions, and provide pleasant rambling country. Aizawl perches precariously on the steep slopes of a sharp ridge, straddling the watershed between the Tlawng and the Tuirial river valleys at an altitude of 1100 m.
Aizawl as a town does not have a distinct past specifically. The whole state of Mizoram was a part of Assam until 1972 when it was made a Union Territory. There were insurgency problems in the region until 1987, when it was declared a State. Unusually enough, almost all problems of terrorism and demands for freedom have subsided since then. The Mizos are Christians by faith and most of them speak English. In fact, Mizoram has a literacy rate of 87%, which is the second highest in the country.
Fairs & Festivals
Mizoram is known for its jhum crops and the people of the region celebrate the festivals related to it with traditional gay and pomp. In the months of February to March the clearing of the jungles to make way for sowing is celebrated through the festival of Chapchar Kut. The harvest festival is celebrated during the month of December and is called Pawl Kut. Another festival, Mim Kut, is celebrated after the maize harvest in September in honor of the departed souls. The birth of Christ, and New Year's Day are also major festivals.
Best Time to Visit
Although it may lack a snowy Himalayan backdrop, it has something of the feel of a Himalayan hill station. It is generally cool during the summers with temperatures ranging from 20 to 30°C and heavy rains during the months of May to September. Winter temperatures range from 10 to 20°C. Fog is commonplace, and the first rays of the sun drive it away to make way for the mountain peaks-a sight that often attracts many tourists.
How to Reach
BY AIR -There are regular flights of Indian Airlines from Aizawl to Calcutta and the journey takes roughly two hours time.
BY RAIL -The nearest major rail junction is at Lumding, a further 180 km north of Silchar. Companies operating deluxe buses to and from Silchar, as well as Shillong and Guwahati, are found in Zarkawt.
BY ROAD -Virtually all visitors to Aizawl arrive by bus from Silchar via National Highway No. 44. Most of the private buses operating on the Aizawl-Silchar route run overnight, except for Mizoram State Transport's buses that run during the day. Travelers are advised to allow sufficient time to book tickets at MST's not-so-peaceful office, near the GPO and below Zodin Square, where one can also arrange rail tickets for use on the network in Assam. The minibuses that run between central Aizawl and the suburbs head from the top of town near the GPO and Zodin Square to Chandmary in the north.
The State Museum at Babu Tlang is worth visiting and one can have a glimpse of Mizo dresses, implements, historic relics, and other traditional items. The mini zoo has some rare Asian animals in it and the most important one is the endangered sun bear. The Cultural Sub-Center is a good retreat center from the cacophony of modern life and is provided with modern amenities, while providing alluring natural sights. There are a few other attractions as well. These include the zoological garden, Bung picnic spot, MAHCO Showroom, Treasury Square, Vengthlang, and Bethlehem.
Places Around Aizawl
Tamdil Lake is located at distance of 85 km from Aizawl and is a good picnic spot with boating facilities. For an admirer of natural beauty, Vantwang Falls are at a distance of about 137 km, providing a breathtaking sight of water falling amidst bamboo forests. To take a fantastic view of the Myanmar hills, one can visit Champai, about 192 km from Aizawl. Luangmual is at a distance of 7 km from Aizawl and is a small village known for its handicrafts center.