Aizawl, the capital city of the state of Mizoram, is a favoured destination of solitude seekers. Located on the Tropic of Cancer, on the Himalayan ranges, the city is one of the foremost cities in the north-eastern region of India.
The cloudless blue skies, dewy mornings and sunlight streaming through the woods are ideal for a relaxing holiday. Along with the Tlawng River, the Turial River Valley gives an opportunity to visit the high hills of Durtlang and other adjacent areas.
HOW TO REACH
The nearest airport from the capital city of Mizoram is at Lengpui (43kms). Several airlines connect this domestic airport to key cities in this part of India, like: Silchar, Kolkata, Imphal.
A good network of roads connects Aizawl to all important cities and towns in the neighbouring states and major cities in the country. Agartala (321kms), Shillong (438kms), Silchar (140kms), Itanagar (920kms), Jorhat (520kms) are connected by road to Aizawl.
Nearest railhead is Silchar in Assam, 180 km away from Aizawl. But one can also stop at Guwahati since it is better connected to all major cities and towns in the country by train.
WHAT TO SEE
Bung, located 15 km from the main town, is a beautiful picnic spot comprising an isolated green patch amidst the hills. This spot is often crowded with tourists and locals carrying picnic baskets or lying lazily under a shady tree in a hot afternoon. Situated adjacent to Paikhai, this spot can be reached by a car, bus or taxi.
Bara Bazar is a popular flea market in Aizawl, and is the main shopping centre of the hill station. Located on the other side of the ridge, this market is lined with stalls selling garments and other commodities. The market is most famous for purchases like bright colourful traditional garments, handmade wicker baskets and many other things.
Berawtlang Tourist Complex:-
Berawtlang Tourist Complex, situated 7 km from the city centre of Aizawl, is a recreational centre that hosts cultural activities. This popular avenue conducts a number of ceremonial functions and fairs. The entertainment centre is also considered a popular picnic spot among locals as well as travellers.
Mizoram State Museum:-
Mizoram State Museum, located in the centre of the town, houses numerous items that reflect the cultural heritage of the state. Established in 1977, this ethnological museum contains about 2500 items, each of which is an evidence of the rich past and ethnic background of Mizoram. An entire gallery at the museum is dedicated to tribes of Mizoram.
Durtlang Hills, situated on the northern side of Aizawl, are craggy hills that offer a fine view of the hill station. Tourists and locals visiting the hills for obtaining a panoramic view often indulge in trekking on the hill-top. Though the visitors have to trudge the rocky trail, the view obtained from the highest point is breathtaking.
Ruantlang is a small village located in the Champhai district of the north-eastern state of Mizoram. Situated 5 km away from the main town, this village has preserved the traditional Mizo way of life. Tourists visiting Aizawl can travel to this village by renting a car from the city, or simply hiring one of the local taxis.
Paikhai, located 16 km north of the main town is a quietspot that is often frequented by locals and tourists for picnic purposes. Hence, it is common to witness a private gathering involving friends or loved ones in Paikhai. Travellers can reach this site from the main city via car, local bus or local taxi.
Mini Zoological Garden:-
Mini Zoological Garden, located on a hill known as Bethlehem Vengthlang, is a sanctuary sheltering wildlife that is unique to the hilly region. The zoo houses a large number of species of mammals and birds, including some of the rarest animals found in Asia. A major attraction of the zoo is the endangered sun bear, who lures maximum tourists to this place. This zoo can be visited by people of all ages.
Luangmual Handicrafts Centre:-
Luangmual Handicrafts Centre, located 7 km away from the main Aizawl town, is a popular centre specializing in handicraft objects found in the region. It is at this centre that the famous ceremonial hat, called Khumbeu is made using waterproof wild hnahthial leaves, which are found exclusively in the hilly terrain. Journey from the city centre to the site takes not more than half an hour by a car or taxi.
The main shopping areas in Aizawl are Bara Bazar, Millenium Centre and Solomon’s cave. You can buy garments, cosmetics and shoes. For handicraft, go to Zohanco in Zarkawt area. They have good shawls, bags and furnishing materials. If you like traditional bamboo things like baskets or the finely woven bamboo caps (Khumbeu), these are available at MKVI Sales Emporium, Zarkawt. Check out the State Government Emporium and Hnam Chhantu for traditional items.
The restaurants attached to hotels provide Indian and Continental food. In places like Bara Bazaar and Zodin Square you can find local food including delicacies like steamed fish, chicken momos and baked pork momos. At the popular Dhaba Restaurant, you will find good Tandoori food. For authentic Oriental cuisine, go to Beijing Blue – it serves good Korean, Japanese and Chinese dishes.