Introduction to Mizoram: The Land of “Blue Mountains” and “Birds Eye Chilli”
Mizoram is an adorning state clamored with scenic spots and vibrant cultural entities. Based mainly on the tribal communities inhabiting this alluring state, referred to as the Mizos. The Mizo formed one of the important hill tribes of India sub-continent. The culture of the Mizo is intrinsically woven with their practice of Jhuming cultivation. Mizoram is famous worldwide for its pleasant weather. The beautiful-looking state is also called the land of mountains because most of the geographical parts of Mizoram are surrounded by hills. It borders two neighboring countries like Myanmar to the east and south, and Bangladesh to the west. The word “Mizoram” can be broken into three parts as follows, ‘Mi’ means People, ‘Zo’ means Hill and ‘Ram’ means Country. Thus, Mizoram stands for ‘Country of the people of Hilly regions’. Christianity is the main religion in this state due to the setting of Christian missionaries. Mizoram was a part of Assam in the British state province and was the headquarters of Aizawl.
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The culture of Mizoram is quite extensive and rich due to the different types of tribes living in Mizoram. The Mizo’s are actually a group consisting of five major clans or tribes (the Lushai, Ralte, Hmar, Paihte, and Pawi) and 11 minor clans (collectively known as the Awzia). Each of the major tribes maintains its own dialect. It reflects the roots of the Mizo’s known as the “Songbird of the Northeast”. The Mizo people have a community-centered culture, and they embrace the ethical system known as ”tlawmngaihna,” implying hospitality, kindness, and service. The state of Mizoram itself has its own aura and significance. So, even if you plan to pay a visit to this mesmerizing state of Mizoram, you can taste the local aromatic cuisines and also its local traditional dance and musical heritage. There are some regional festivals of Mizoram which include Mim Kut, Pawl Kut, Chapar Kut and Thalfavang Kut. Cheraw dance is a traditional cultural dance performed in Mizoram consisting of mostly six to eight people holding pairs of bamboo staves on another horizontally placed bamboo on the ground. Mizoram’s traditional attire and jewelry not only preserve the state’s cultural heritage but also serve as a source of inspiration for contemporary fashion designers and enthusiasts. Wearing their traditional attire and jewelry, the Mizo people are keeping alive their rich cultural heritage and passing it on to future generations.
The fabric of social life in Mizo society has undergone tremendous changes over the years. Before the British moved into the hills, for all practical purposes the village and the clan became units of the Mizo society. Though animism was the traditional religion of the Mizo’s, most of them have now embraced Christianity which the Christian missionaries have propagated to them along with formal education which eventually resulted in the Mizo’s becoming one of the most literate communities in the country.
Mizoram offers you a calm, serene atmosphere with exciting outdoor activities in the beautiful lush green surroundings which keeps you close to the peaceful nature. With grand festivals, people wearing colorful traditional costumes, Mizoram welcomes you to explore its beauty and richness. The favorite costume of a Mizo woman is Puan. The vibrant color and the outstanding designs made the costume more beautiful. Puanchei, the gorgeous dress of Mizo girls is a must during weddings and festivals like ‘Chapchar Kut’ and ‘Pawl Kut’. The traditional cloth of the women of the ‘Lusei tribe’ is dark blue cotton skirt, worn round the waist and tightly held by a girdle or belt of brass wire. Traditional dresses for men in Mizoram prefer a simple lifestyle and is apparent from their way of dressing up. The dress which is most commonly worn by men comprises a cloth around 7 feet long and 5 feet wide. ‘Ngotekher’ is a type of Puan which can be wrapped around the waist. At first, it was worn by Mizoram men only but now it is worn by both men as well as women. The state has a variety of clothes to offer. The elegance, colors, design and style of costumes that this state has surely given it an edge over others.
Mizoram cuisine uses a lot of non-vegetarian ingredients like chicken, pork, shrimp, fish, etc. They usually cook in mustard oil. Meat cooked and served traditionally is blander with less oil and spices. A lot of boiled vegetables are used as a side for their traditional food. They also use a lot of bamboo in the preparations, which is a culinary link from the chinese. Bamboo shoot fry is a go-to dish for vegetarians traveling to Mizoram.
There are a lot of healthy foods in Mizoram which are traditionally served, like, Bai is a soupy stew kind of dish served with rice and veggies. The non-vegetarian version is cooked with pork, whereas the vegetarian version is made with the flowers of an indigenous plant called Lengser or the Mizo lomba. Vawksa Rep is a traditional pork dish flavored with herbs. It is served with roasted baby spinach and oyster mushrooms in mustard oil alongside sticky or steamy rice. Chhum Han is a popular vegetarian dish and the basic ingredients of this dish is vegetables. The vegetables are steamed and tossed with a little bit of ginger. Misa Mach Poora is a mouth-watering side dish invented by the people of Mizoram. Koat Pitha is a very famous Mizo dessert. It is a fried fritter sweet made out of rice flour, jaggery and bananas. Panch Phoran tarka is a mixed vegetable dish.
Mizoram is one of the most beautiful places in India and a tourist friendly state. Many of the festivals in Mizoram have attracted a lot of foreign tourists who want to indulge themselves in the culture and festivity of Mizoram. The festivals of Mizoram are the best times to explore the culture,dance forms and music of the state. The colorful festivals are a delight to be part of as they happen in full glory across villages, cities and large arenas. The festivals attract a lot of tourists every year. Typical food habits, dance forms, attires and local music add zing to the overall cultural panorama of Mizoram and tend to be a great deal for any travel enthusiast who would love to taste off beat. Blessed with a diverse range of geographical features, this small state brings excellent opportunities of traveling over the small hillocks with winding trails where one can get the adventurous feel of mountain biking. For the adventurous souls, the state has a variety of options for trekking. Phawngpui or Blue Mountain National Park Trekking and Camping is considered as one of the top trails in Mizoram. The landscape of Phawngpui Hills, Vantawang Falls or even Palak Lake looks incredibly picturesque whereas the heritage sites at Chhingpuii talk about the forgotten past of Mizo life. There are a few caves in Mizoram that can be explored without much hassle. The darkness inside the cave, peculiar acoustics and stalagmite formations make this cave an ideal pick for the thrillseekers. Hmuifang Tlang is an amazing hill station and it is one of the most beautiful destinations in Mizoram. It is located a distance of 50 km from the capital city of Aizawl at the heart of the state of Mizoram. Almost 86% of Mizoram is surrounded by forests, making Mizoram a biodiversity state.
There are so many beautiful places for tourists to enjoy their trips. Some of the beautiful tourist places are:
- Solomon’s Temple, Aizawl, is the biggest church overlooking the city from a high hilly location.
- Mizoram State Museum.
- Sibuta Lung, Tachhip.
- Mura Puk, Sialhawk.
- Khawhthlabung Falls, Lallen.
- Vantawng Khawhthla Waterfall, Buangpui.
- Lamsial Puk, Farkawn.
- Thenzawl Golf Resort, Thenzawl.
- Lalsavunga Park, Hlimen.
- Mizo Hla Kungpui Mual.
- Khiphop waterfalls, Mizoram and lots of other beautiful natural spots.
- Some of the beautiful towns, like, Aizawl, Lunglei, Serchhip, Mamit, Kolashb, Durtlang Road,etc.
A visit to the state is surely going to be pleasing to the eyes. Indians need a temporary Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter the state for a fifteen days permit. On the whole, Mizoram is a great place for tourists and travelers to kick back and relax. This serene hilly state, waterfalls, forest, caves, trekking and many more offers an amazing and unique experience that you will cherish for a lifetime.
Mizoram’s Birds Eye Chilli
The Hottest Chili variant in the world !!!
Mizoram Birds Eye Chilli contains ‘Capsaicin’ that helps in weight loss, pain relief, heart benefits and reduces the risk of certain types of cancer. It contains a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, minerals and potassium.
It is not just hot or spicy but also has a strong fruity flavor.
This blog is contributed by Jahid Ahmed, NomadLawyer Volunteer, Travel & Food Blogger, Community Health Counsellor, Social Worker