12 Reasons Why Mizoram Should Be Next On Your Travelling List!
Mizoram, known as “the land of the hill people” to say the least is a place filled with a natural abundance that can quench the thirst for the traveller in you. It is a canvas that is artistically covered by lush green forests, thick bamboo groves, natural caves, tranquil lakes, gorgeous waterfalls and exquisite vineyards.
From innumerable hilltops like Hmuifang, Reiek Tlang to caves like Khuangchera Puk to lakes like Rih Dil and pristine waterfalls like Tuirihiau, Mizoram has it all. It is the 3rd least densely populated state in India with 87% of the population being Christians. We have picked up the following reasons why Mizoram should be next on your travelling list and what sets it apart from any other part of our country (India):
1) To Meet the Most Hospitable Hosts
Besides their undying love of football, Mizos are also known for their hospitality and their positive attitude. Let your curious soul step in this less explored land and explore the organised streets of Aizawl, feel like the ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and walk through the virgin forests, trek to the top of the surreal peaks and enter the caves in the pitch dark.
2) To Explore a Part of Northeast India which Stands Out from the Rest of India
If you visit the unexplored land of Mizoram you will see a different side of India. Though Mizoram is the second most literate state in the country after Kerala, with 92% of the population being literate you will still find it difficult to converse in English once you step out of Aizawl. But the friendly nature of the locals makes up for this shortcoming and as long as you are humble you will most likely not have any issues with the Mizos.
3) To Meet the Women who Rule Mizoram’s Economy
Like the Khwairamband Bazar popularly known as ‘Ima Keithel’ or ‘Ima market’ in Imphal which is famous for being run by women; there are lots of shops in Mizoram that are run by women. Coming across working women in Mizoram isn’t a rare sight. You will find more women than men here. The fact that the state has more women than men shows that there is no female infanticide.
4) To Experience a Noise-free Traffic
Mizoram promotes noise-free traffic which must become the goal for all Indian states. Unlike other places where honking is the norm, Mizos have a rule for honk-free roads. As a result, there is no noise pollution created by traffic. People strictly follow the lane abiding practices of the road and you will most likely not see a biker breaking lane and riding his/her bike on the footpath to avoid traffic. The locals are not forced to follow traffic rules but they are self-conscious enough to know the importance of abiding by the traffic rules.
5) To Visit the Place where the Two-Wheeler Taxis Originated in India
Before Rapido made way into our lives, Mizoram roads were already running smoothly with the two-wheeler taxis. To control motionless long queues on the hilly roads, the two-wheelers were introduced in 2017. If you spot a rider with a yellow helmet on Aizawl roads, you’d know that you have found your two-wheeler taxi!
6) To Shop without Shopkeepers
It is hard to have faith in others when there is a question of money and the incidents that take place now and then are to blame for this situation. We can hardly trust anyone when money is involved unless there is some assurance, but the Mizos teach us golden lessons of trust. If you pass through the highways of Mizoram especially between the villages, you will see several bamboo makeshift shops with fresh produce from the farms. The unique thing is that these shops have no shopkeepers but just a wooden money box kept for you to pay thereafter you choose what you wish to buy. It’s a simple transaction wrapped in trust, you pick what you want and leave the money in the box (take change too, in case). These shops without shopkeepers are known as ‘nghahloh dawr‘ in the Mizo language. This culture isn’t found in other Indian states. If you ask a Mizo what makes them leave these shops unattended they will tell you that ‘Mizos live on the concept of trusting others’. These boxes are however called ‘honesty boxes’.
7) To Try and Challenge Your Taste Buds with the Mizo Flavour
If you want to challenge your mainland Indian taste buds then you can experiment with the boiled and bland Mizo food. It might take time to relish the hidden Mizo flavour soaked deep within the boiled meal. If you are vegetarian, you will have options like boiled pumpkin leaves to Mizo Bai (mixed veggies soup) on the plate to choose from. Mizos neither use salt nor oil while making these delicacies and they use minimal spices unlike other states in India. Most of us who are used to the taste of other Indian flavours of food may find it tasteless at the first go, but it is undoubtedly the most healthy diet that one can have. You will, however, find extra salt on the table which you can add to the food to adjust your taste buds to the Mizo food which is served to you.
8) To Write Down Your Order at the Restaurants
Yes, you read that right! Visit a cafe in Aizawl and you will experience utter silence. No these restaurants are not desolate but here you don’t place your order verbally but write it on a sheet of paper. The waiters won’t wait with a pen and paper but place one in front of you. You can take your time and write about what you wish to eat.
9) To Find Your Style Icon in Mizoram
As men and women walk in the streets you would wonder if you are watching a ramp walk or are people just going about their work. Aizawl has the right mix of fashion and style. Talk about fashion and Aizawl defines it! The cafes, streets, taxi stand, and malls have people who are dressed with the right touch of swag. Pay a visit to this city defining fashion and you will surely find new style icons. Like the fashionable people of the city, ‘Aizawl’ too loves to get decked up in the evenings.
We would like to thank Mr David Chhana for allowing us to use his picture of Aizawl.
10) To Realise that the Influence of Anime Exists in Mizoram too
Not a lot of people know that Mizos are also bitten by the Anime bug. The youth are well versed in the art of cosplay not only in their state but in the neighbouring states as well.
11) To Understand the Korean Influence
K- Drama and K-pop have a great impact on the youth here and therefore you will find lots of dancers grooving to the melodious tunes of K- pop bands. You will even find the youngsters copying the fashion portrayed by the Korean stars. The Korean serials are translated into the local language so that everyone can watch and enjoy. On 12th, January 2019, a Korean cultural and musical extravaganza was organised for the first time in Mizoram. Participants took part in various Korean games, sing along challenge, and dance. Korean food was served to people to give them an authentic feel of the culture. A section of the Mizos, admire the Korean culture not only for their K-Pop and K-Drama but for their healthy lifestyle.
12) To Celebrate the Chapchar Kut festival in Mizoram
A land filled with abundant culture and heritage offers you a different festival to enjoy. There are three major festivals especially related to agriculture known as Chapchar Kut, Mim Kut, and Pawl Kut. But Chapchar Kut is considered as the major festival of farming celebrated during spring i.e. March. The word ‘chapchar’ means drying of bamboo sticks and ‘kut’ means festival. During ancient times, the bamboo forests were chopped to make way for seasonal farming especially after the Jhum cultivation. If you visit Mizoram in March you will get the opportunity to see the Mizos in their traditional attire and thus enjoy the festival with the locals.
We would like to thank Mr Mala Pachuau or allowing us to use his picture of the Chapcharkut Festival.
If these simple reasons make you want to explore a land which is far away from the regular tourists’ spots then we at ChaloHoppo curate such experiences.