MIZORAM

 

The word “Mizo” translates to “man of the mountain”. This is an apt name for the Indian state of Mizoram, as its landscape is characterised by the hilliest terrain in all of eastern India. These hills are high and imposing and the rivers that separate them awe-inspiring. This natural beauty, along with Mizoram’s temperate climate, has ensured that this is a popular hotspot for travellers from other Indian states and the world. It is bordered by Tripura, Assam, Manipur, Tahan and Bangladesh.

There are not accurate written records of the Mizoram history, a typical problem faced by areas in north-eastern India. Most historians and resident believe that this area has been inhabited by Chinese and / or Mongolian migrants. As with other states, this area experienced the impact of the British dominance over India. In 1947, India gained political independence. It was only 40 years later, though, that Mizoram was declared a state.

The steep hills, averaging 1000 metres above sea level, are interspersed with even more humbling mountain ranges,
Image of Mizoram location on map
Mizoram location on map
which can reach heights of over 2000 metres. The highest mountain, Phawngpui Tlang is known as the Blue Mountain and is one of the most exquisite natural wonders of Mizoram. This state is also very wealthy in terms of rivers and lakes. Waterways are used to transport goods to and from Burma, creating a valuable resource for these communities. Palak is the largest lake and is believed to have been created when an earthquake or flood terrorised this community in times past. Tamdil Lake is a natural lake and a popular tourist resort. The land of Mizoram is believed to be rich in oil and certain gases, and extensive efforts have been made to uncover these resources.

The Mizoram population comprises numerous groups of ethnic tribes. These tribes value unity amongst themselves as well as strong connections with similar tribes and groups. Unlike much of the rest of India, over 90% of Mizos are Christians, while Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists make up the minorities. Mizo is the official language, although most tribes have their own unique dialect. The government, education and administrative units work in English.

Mizoram’s economy relies on farming and small (often home-run) industries. However, a lack of money and a distinct lack of local buyers mean that the community is not particularly motivated to pursue industrial development. However, this area is responsible for just less than half of the bamboo used by the entire Indian subcontinent. Bamboo is used for construction, paper production, textiles, and so on and is, therefore, very valuable to the country. Its suitability as an agricultural state is enhanced by the temperate weather conditions, good rainfall and diversity of soils.

Visitors to Mizoram should be warned that there is a strict ban on alcohol in this state. In addition, many of the usual amenities are difficult to obtain, making it somewhat of a challenge for those not familiar with the environment. However, its natural beauty is worth a visit, as are the following attractions:

• Tadmil Lake
• Vantawng Falls
• Dampa Sanctuary (home to tigers, leopards, elephants and other exciting wildlife)


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