Mizoram

Myanmar and Bangladesh border Mizoram, the finger-like projection in the extreme south of the region. This region gained a measure of self government as a state in its own right. The Mizos have the second highest literacy rate in India.

Mizoram, predominantly a Christian populated state, is towards the southern-most tip of the North-Eastern states, sharing borders with Manipur, Assam, Tripura and then jutting between Myanmar and Bangladesh. The word Mizo means "highlander", a collective term given by their neighbours to a number of tribes, which settled in this area. They are orginally believed to have come from North-Western China and gradually pushed themselves to their present homeland, less than 300 years ago. A mountainous region, Mizoram became the 23rd state of the Indian Union in February 1987. The hills are steep with an average height of 900 metres. Its green thick forest is rich in flora and fauna. Mizoram has an area of 21081 sq kms.


History
The word Mizo means highlander, a collective term given by their neighbours to a number of tribes which settled in this area. They are originally believed to have come from North-Western China and gradually pushed themselves to their present homeland, less than 300 years ago.

Flora & Fauna

The state has thick bamboo forests. Rivers run in narrow ribbons that seem to be challenging onlookers to plunge in for some adventure and excitement. The hill ranges running in north-south direction are resplendent with green vegetation throughout the year. The highest peak, Phawngpui Mountain (meaning vast meadow) known as Blue Mountain, a garden of rhododendron of arboreum and veitchianum species is 2,065 mts. There are a number of hilly streams and rivers which murmur through idyllic scenario.

Inhabited by swamp deer, tiger, leopard, elephant and hoolock gibbon, Mizoram can boast of a variety of wild life in the Dampa Sanctuary, established in 1976 at the north-western tip of Mizo hills. Best season to visit the sanctuary is from November to March.


Fairs & Festivals

Among other festivals, Chapchar Kut or Spring Festival is the most popular festival, celebrated after completion of the most arduous task of jungle clearing for 'jhum' operations. On this day, people of all ages, young and old, men and women dressed in their respective colourful costumes and head-gears, assemble and perform various folk dances, sing traditional songs, accompanied by the beating sound of drums, gongs and cymbals.

Mizos boast of a number of folk and community dances that have been handed down over the generations. It is in these dances that the visitor can get a glimpse of the tribal heritage of the Mizos. Most important of these dances are Cheraw (bamboo dance), Khuallam, Solakia and Chheih Iam. These dances have evolved through community involvement and participation.

People & Lifestyle

The majority of the Mizos are Christian by faith. The literacy percentage is 88 percent the second highest literacy rate in the country. The people are mainly non-vegetarian and their staple food is rice. The Mizo people are a close knit society with no discrimination on grounds of sex, status or religion. They are hospitable, sociable and love music, singing and dancing.