Aizawl: The Field of wild cardamom
Aizawl: The Field of wild cardamom

Aizawl: The Field of Wild Cardamom

Aizawl, city, capital of Mizoram state, northeastern India, with its surrounding area and the rest of the state have been developed to meet the influx of domestic and foreign tourists. The largest city in the states, but still very remote. Aizawl is located at 3715 feet from sea level and is a religious and cultural centers of the Mizos. Aizawl lies just north of the Tropic of cancer.

Brief History

  • Aizawl was included in the territory that became part of the newly created Assam state in 1950. The tribal peoples of the region’s Mizo Hills, however, demanded more autonomy.
  • In the mid-1960s members of the Mizo National Front launched an armed attack on local government offices in Aizawl, but it was quickly suppressed by government forces.
  • The insurgency continued, and in 1972 the union territory of Mizoram was created from a portion of Assam, with Aizawl as the administrative centre.
  • When Mizoram was redesignated as a state in 1987, the city became its capital.

State/District/Capital

Aizawl is a hill station and the capital of the Northeast Indian state, Mizoram. The city is perched on a ridge around 1132 meters above sea level. It is known for its impeccably clean habitat, scenic natural beauty and tranquility. Including aizwal, there are a total of 8 districts in Mizoram.

How to reach Aizawl?

By Air

  • Aizawl’s Lengpui airport (situated about 32 km from the city) is connected to the main cities like Kolkata, Guwahati and Silchar almost throughout the week.
  • Major airlines like Jet Airways, Air India, SpiceJet and GoAir fly in and out of Aizawl’s airport on a regular basis.
  • If you’re traveling to Aizawl by flight during the city’s peak vacation season of Christmas (or anytime between November to March), it’s recommended to book your tickets in advance to avoid paying bloated airfare.
  • Travelling to Aizawl by flight from any of the aforementioned cities takes anywhere between 50-90 minutes.

BY Train

  • Aizawl does not have a railway station. The nearest options are Manu (75 km) and Silchar (180 km), from where you can hire a rental cab and make your way to the city.

BY Bus

  • Aizawl is well-connected by bus routes with other major cities during the day as well as night. And buses are the preferred means of conveyance for both tourists and business officials.
  • You can reach Aizawl via Silchar (180 km), Guwahati (510 km), Imphal (375 km) and Agartala (445 km).
  • Well-known bus services that ply in and out of Aizawl are John Travels, Trishul Transport Service, Deep Travels, Ratnagiri Transport, Capital Travels, Network Travels, Jagganath Travels & Tour Pvt. Ltd. and Mizoram State Transport buses etc.

When to visit Aizawl?

  • Aizawl can be visited throughout the year.
  • The summers are pleasant with maximum temperatures touching 25 degrees Celsius, while the winters are very cold with the temperatures occasionally dropping to 3-4 degrees Celsius.
  • However, to get a true taste of the festivities owing to the winter holiday season, Aizawl should definitely be visited in the winter season.

Official Language

  • The Mizo language, or Mizo ṭawng, is a language belonging to the Tibeto-Burman family of languages, spoken natively by the Mizo people in the Mizoram state of India and Chin State in Burma. The language is also known as, a colonial term, as the Duhlian people were the first among the Mizos to be encountered by the British in the course of their colonial expansion.
  • The Mizo language is mainly based on the Lusei dialect but it has also derived many words from its surrounding Mizo sub-tribes and sub-clan. Now, the Mizo language or Mizo ṭawng is the lingua franca of Mizoram and its surrounding areas and to a lesser extent of Burma and Bangladesh and in India in some parts of Assam, Tripura and Manipur. Many poetic language is derived from Pawi, Paite, and Hmar, and most known ancient poems considered.

Weather

Aizawl is 974m above sea level. In Aizawl, the climate is warm and temperate. When compared with winter, the summers have much more rainfall.

Weather in January

January, the same as December, in Aizawl, India, is another pleasant winter month, with average temperature fluctuating between 11.4°C (52.5°F) and 20.4°C (68.7°F). With an average high-temperature of 20.4°C (68.7°F) and an average low-temperature of 11.4°C (52.5°F), January is the coldest month.

Weather in February

February, the last month of the winter, in Aizawl, is also an agreeable month, with temperature in the range of an average low of 12.8°C (55°F) and an average high of 21.7°C (71.1°F). In February, the average high-temperature is practically the same as in January – a still agreeable 21.7°C (71.1°F).

Weather in March

The first month of the pre-monsoon summer, March, is a moderately hot month in Aizawl, India, with average temperature varying between 15.6°C (60.1°F) and 25.2°C (77.4°F). In March, the average high-temperature slightly increases, from an agreeable 21.7°C (71.1°F) in February, to a moderately hot 25.2°C (77.4°F).

Weather in April

April, the same as March, is a moderately hot pre-monsoon summer month in Aizawl, India, with average temperature ranging between max 26.8°C (80.2°F) and min 17.5°C (63.5°F). With an average high-temperature of 26.8°C (80.2°F) and an average low-temperature of 17.5°C (63.5°F), April is the warmest month.

Weather in May

May, the last month of the pre-monsoon summer, in Aizawl, is another warm month, with average temperature fluctuating between 26.3°C (79.3°F) and 18.1°C (64.6°F). In May, the average high-temperature is practically the same as in April – a still warm 26.3°C (79.3°F).

Weather in June

June, the first month of the rainy (monsoon) season, in Aizawl, is still a warm month, with average temperature ranging between max 25.5°C (77.9°F) and min 18.9°C (66°F). In June, the average high-temperature is relatively the same as in May – a still warm 25.5°C (77.9°F).

Weather in July

July, the same as June, is another warm rainy (monsoon) season month in Aizawl, India, with average temperature ranging between max 25.3°C (77.5°F) and min 19.1°C (66.4°F). In July, the average high-temperature is practically the same as in June – a still moderately hot 25.3°C (77.5°F).

Weather in August

August, like July, in Aizawl, India, is another warm rainy (monsoon) season month, with average temperature fluctuating between 25.5°C (77.9°F) and 19.1°C (66.4°F). In Aizawl, India, the average high-temperature is essentially the same as in July – a still moderately hot 25.5°C (77.9°F).

Weather in September

The last month of the rainy (monsoon) season, September, is also a moderately hot month in Aizawl, India, with average temperature fluctuating between 25.7°C (78.3°F) and 19.2°C (66.6°F). In Aizawl, the average high-temperature is relatively the same as in August – a still moderately hot 25.7°C (78.3°F).

Weather in October

The first month of the post monsoon autumn, October, is still a warm month in Aizawl, India, with average temperature fluctuating between 24.7°C (76.5°F) and 18°C (64.4°F). In Aizawl, the average high-temperature in October is relatively the same as in September – a still moderately hot 24.7°C (76.5°F).

Weather in November

November, the last month of the post monsoon autumn, in Aizawl, is also a moderately hot month, with average temperature ranging between max 23°C (73.4°F) and min 15.1°C (59.2°F). In Aizawl, the average high-temperature in November is relatively the same as in October – a still moderately hot 23°C (73.4°F).

Weather in December

December, the first month of the winter, in Aizawl, is still a pleasant month, with temperature in the range of an average low of 12.2°C (54°F) and an average high of 21°C (69.8°F). In December, the average high-temperature is practically the same as in November – an agreeable 21°C (69.8°F).

Fairs and festivals in Aizawl

The festivals of Mizoram are the best times to explore the culture, dance forms and music of the state. The colourful 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.

Chapchar kut festival

The Chapchar Kut Festival is one of the major festivals in Mizoram. This vibrant and colourful festival is special in Mizoram for the fact that it signifies the welcome of Spring season in the state. In Aizawl, which is the capital of Mizoram, the Chapchar festival also transforms the festivals into a giant carnival.

The Mim Kut Festival

It is yet another important harvest festival in the state of Mizoram. It is dedicated to the loved ones and the departed souls. The importance of the Mim Kut Festival is also directly related to the importance of the Chapchar festival. The crops that were sowed during the Chapchar festival are harvested during the Mim Kut Festival in Mizoram.

The pawl kut festival

The Pawl Kut Festival in Mizoram is yet another major festival that happens annually in the state.

Transportation/stay to prefer

As aziwal is not a very big city, therefore there are not a plenty of options, hotels to choose from. But the scenic view that resides throughout the place is worthwhile. So where ever it is that you choose to stay is going to have a breath taking view to look at, all covered in mountains.

Local state transport buses are readily available for getting around Aizawl. Do keep in mind that these buses only travel on certain routes, so do confirm before you plan to board one. Or you can also hire private mini buses or vans for a day trip of sightseeing in Aizawl and even around the city.

  • Taxis/ cabs- Local taxis are readily available to travel within the city. These taxis don’t come with a meter installed, so the rates are negotiable but be sure to bargain hard as tourists are often quoted higher. Autos are not as common as cabs in the city, but they can be found to take you around for shorter distances, like to the local markets.
  • Rentals- Mostly you get to hire a car with a driver in the city, as self-driven car/bike rentals are not common in Aizawl. Rental cabs are one of the best modes of transportation within the city for day trips, tours and making your way around its local markets and nearby mountains.

Places to visit in Aizawl

Heritage sites

  • Mizoram state museum- Located right in the centre of the city, this museum displays the rich heritage of Mizoram.
  • Dampa tiger reserve- Dampa Tiger Reserve or Dampha Tiger Reserve, the largest wildlife sanctuary in Mizoram, has been declared as a Tiger Reserve in 1994.

Spiritual sites

Mizoram is one of those states in India wherein the Christian population is highest. There are a lot of churches to be found in Mizoram. The majority of the Christians here are Protestants and the Mizos here have their own distinct churches. Apart from Christians, there are a few other parts of the population that follow Buddhism and Animism as well. The Animists worship a supreme power they call Pathian. Hinduism and Islam religion also exists here in Mizoram amongst a very small percentage of the population.

  • Solomon temple– Located in Kidron Valley, this is a grand temple for the locales here in Aizawl.
  • Salvation army temple- This place has wonderful bell chimes and these can be heard throughout the city on quiet mornings.
  • Baptist Church of Mizoram– The Baptist Church of Mizoram which is also known as BCM is the second biggest church in all of Mizoram and is a protestant denomination of India. It was founded in the year 1897.

Natural sites

• Tamdil lake is a great place to visit. It is situated near situal village.
• Durtlang hills is another great place to find solitude.
• Vantawng falls is as beautiful as it can get. One should not miss this at any cost.

Cuisines to taste in Aizawl

The food of Mizoram can be seen as a mixture of North Indian and Chinese elements. This blend gives it a unique taste and will make you remember your meal long after you’ve eaten it. Mostly, the food preparations here are non-vegetarian. However, they also consume their fair share of vegetables along with their meals.

Generally, the food here is served on banana leaves. This is done to maintain their ancient customs and traditions. Lots of bamboo is used in their preparations and they are also prone to consuming a good quantity of fish.

  • Bai- This is one of the most popular dishes of Aizawl. The key factor of this dish is that it is prepared using lots of locally available herbs and spices.
  • Koat pitha– Koat Pitha is essentially a fried dish. It is made using rice flour and bananas. They also add fish to it, as it is considered to be one of their staples.
  • Vawska rep- This is yet another popular dish in Mizoram. The star of this dish is pork, which is flavoured with some delicious herbs.
  • Panch poran tarka– This dish is also very popular in Mizoram and is prepared in several places. It can be made in vegetarian or non-vegetarian fashion. In the vegetarian version, it is made with brinjal, pumpkins and potatoes. In the non-vegetarian version, it is mostly prepared with chicken. True to its name, it is spiced perfectly well.

Things to do in Aizawl

  • Going for mountain biking would be one of the best things to do in Mizoram and to try that Hmuifang Hill has no other second. Hmuifang Hill is located at a height of around 1524m and brings unbeaten trails to be explored through biking.
  • In Mizoram, most of the forests are virgin. So, if you get a chance to go trekking you would love the unspoilt beauty of its scenic charm. For the adventurous souls, the state has variety of options for trekking. Phawngpui or Blue Mountain National Park Trekking and Camping is considered as one of the top trails in Mizoram.
  • Champhai district is yet another delight for the trekkers. Some of the most off beaten trekking trails in Mizoram are Lengteng and Mawmrang.
  • Located at a distance of around 7km from main Aizawl Town Luangmual Handicrafts Centre is a popular spot to view the grandeur of Mizo handicrafts. Among the catchiest things you will find Khumbeu which is made of waterproof wild hnahthial leaves.

Souvenirs to buy in Aizawl

  • One can buy the bright woolens, wicker baskets and tiny bamboo souvenirs.
  • The Bara Bazaar is the main shopping area and there you’d find stalls selling hand-woven traditional garbs, the typical Mizo hat made of bamboo and leaves and finely-woven shawls.
  • Also available here are traditional handloom shawls, colorful bags and bamboo handicrafts.

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