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Aizawl: Sightseeing, recreation, adventure amid timber houses

January 25
02:39 2013

BungwebAizawl, the capital city of the state of Mizoram, is a favored destination of solitude seekers. Located on the Tropic of Cancer, on the Himalayan ranges, it is one of the foremost cities in the north-eastern region of India.
The 112 year old hill fortress offers ample opportunities for sightseeing, recreation and adventure. Set in the midst of beautiful landscapes, the destination is situated on an elevated platform at an altitude of 4,000 ft above sea level. One of the characteristics of the region is timber houses positioned between profusion of flowers.
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.
The hill station of Aizawl also houses administrative houses like the State Assembly and Civil Secretariat. The state has several public sector offices and is a beehive of economic activity.
Some of the attractions in Aizawl are the State Museum on Mcdonald Hill, known as Zarkawt, which exhibits various artifacts and historical relics related with Mizo culture. Chapchar Kut, Min Kut and Pawl Kut festivals are hosted in the city, which are celebrated with zeal in the traditional Mizo style.
The group performance displaying foot movements and colorful costumes of the famous Cheraw (bamboo dance) is a spectacular sight to witness in Aizawl. The region is popular for items like cane and bamboo items.
The north-eastern city experiences a pleasant weather all round the year with inappreciable changes in mercury levels. The monsoon months are pleasant and gentle. Therefore, Aizawl can be visited throughout the year.
Surrounded by the green valley of river Tlawng on the east and high craggy hills of Durtlang on the north, Aizawl stands on the high ridge like a citadel city. This remote city’s natural beauty has made it an ideal hill station for vacations. The rich tribal extravaganza of this city further affirms the ethnic, religious and cultural background of the state of Mizoram.
The high ridges of the Durtlang hills, punctuated by a number of small Mizo villages such as Ruantlang (5 km), Falkawn (18 km) and Sairung (19 km) are a major attraction. Depicting the culture and lifestyle of a typical Mizo village, these beautiful towns serve as places of great interest.
There are plenty of picnic spots within and around the capital as well, such as Paikhai (15 km) and Bung (16 km), which are often visited by travelers. Nature lovers can visit the famous mini zoological garden in Aizawl that houses several species of mammals and birds unique to Mizoram. This sanctuary is famous for the endangered sun bear and other rare animals.
Besides natural sites, Aizawl is also rich in cultural heritage with sites like the Cultural Sub-Centre, Luangmual Handicrafts Centre (7 km) and Berawtlang Tourist Complex (7 km). The Mizoram State Museum is also popular, for displaying evidence of the glorious past and ethnicity of the state. Bara Bazar, a shopping centre in the city, is extremely popular among shoppers.
Bung
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 car, bus or taxi.
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 travelers.
In fact, the complex provides accommodation to the local people during the peak season. Facilities like restaurants and tourist cottages are also available inside the complex. Visitors coming from across the world can travel to the entertainment centre from Aizawl via rented car or local taxi.
Bara Bazar
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 famous for bright colorful traditional garments, handmade wicker baskets and many other things.
The Zion Street inside the market is crowded with shops selling garments and music cassettes. From the shops on another street, travelers can buy produce from the farms and homesteads, such as river crab in small wicker baskets. The inhabitants of the city, selling produce, home made things and other items are seen in traditional dresses that depict the culture of the state’s capital.
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.
Items stored in the museum include photographs, musical instruments, archaeological objects and natural history specimens. The most popular among all exhibits is the one displaying the textiles of the tribes of Mizoram. This small museum is situated close to the Chief Minister’s bungalow.
Durtlang Hills
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.
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.
Vantawang
Known for the 750 feet Vantawang waterfall, it is about 152 km from Aizawl. The waterfall is set amidst bamboo thickets with lush verdant greenery all around. The Thenzawl hill station is close by.
How to reach
By Air: 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.
By Road: A good network of roads connects Aizawl to all important cities and towns in the neighboring states and major cities in the country. Agartala (321kms), Shillong (438kms), Silchar (140kms), Itanagar (920kms), Jorhat (520kms) are connected by road to Aizawl.
By Rail: 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.

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