Aizwal - Champhai - Rihdil - Zokhawthar - Hmuifang - Thenzawl
Mizoram is a hilly place located at the southern tip of northeast India. Covered with verdant forests that teem with bamboo groves, vibrant wildlife, deep cliffs, and breathtaking waterfalls, the state has many unique landmarks of old folklores and picturesque villages of houses built on stilts – a land where a dramatic sea of morning mist unfolds throughout the hills and peaks. This is the land of the highlanders, or the Mizos, who are by nature carefree and friendly. For anyone looking for a quiet holiday or for some time in the outdoors, Mizoram is a destination worth your while. The state is kaleidoscopic with its wide array of festivals and dances, handicrafts, flora and fauna, natural beauty, and temperate climate. English is commonly spoken here. The joyful enthusiasm and the gregarious spirit of the local populace contribute to the simple wonders that the state has to offer. The places covered in this tour are;
This 112-year-old citadel-like city, with its timber houses and a profusion of flowers, is set on a ridge at an altitude of 1132m above sea level. Aizawl is the religious and cultural center of the Mizos, and the town lies just north of the Tropic of Cancer. The town experiences cloudless blue skies, dewy mornings, and sunlit days that carry a promise of quaintness all year round. Even the monsoon months are pleasant and gentle.
The drive to Champhai passes through some stunning landscapes of emerald rice fields that remain bordered by the smoky hills of Myanmar. Champai has the biggest stretch of plains in Mizoram which are used for rice cultivation. The bustling commercial hub on the Indo-Myanmar borderline also attracts nature lovers and the nights here bring out millions of stars in the sky. The town is also a convenient base for hikes to surrounding landmarks and historical places, including Rih Dil, the mythical lake located 5 kms from the border within Myanmar which is associated with the Mizo animist religion of yore.
Rih Lake is the largest lake in Mizoram, but is situated in Burma – goes the common saying. The legendary lake is believed to have been the inevitable passage that spirits of the dead crossed on their way to their future abode known as Mitthi Khua. Some even believed it was the final abode of the spirits. The many myths about this mysterious lake have been a source of inspiration for several Mizo writers and composers, and have immensely enriched their literary output.
Meaning the ‘lake of mustard’, Tam Dil is situated near Saitual village. Having been developed as an important pisciculture center by the Fisheries Department and a holiday resort set up by the Tourism Department, this is perhaps the most frequented lake in the state. The lake and the surrounding thick forest are home to wide species of trees, plants, and animals.
It is an ideal getaway located at the scenic peak of Hmuifang mountain, 50 kms to the south of Aizawl. With an elevation of 1619 meters, the mountain is still covered with virgin forests reserved since the days of the Sailo tribal chiefs. Patches of grassy glades on the peak are also suitable for picnics and outdoor camping. From here one may visit the four Mizo villages situated on the hillsides, Hmuifang, Sumsuih, Lamchhip, and Chamring to see the typical rural life of the Mizos.
Thenzawl was initially a dense forest with wild animals before being cultivated and inhabited in the year 1961. The Tropic of Cancer runs exactly through this verdant village. It is an important center for traditional Mizo handloom, producing rich and colorful varieties of weaves. One can observe the indigenous weaving techniques of the Mizos here and support local weavers by purchasing their rare commodities. Attractions around the village include the amazing Vantawng Falls surrounded by pristine forests and hill scenery. The Tualvungi Thlan are two graves immortalizing the interesting love story between Zawlpala and Talvungi. Chawngchilhi Puk is a cave known for another love story, between a lady and a snake. The local deer park is also an attraction where visitors get an opportunity to spend time with numerous deers.
Day 1 | Aizawl
After arrival at Lengpui airport, drive to Aizawl (2 hours), the capital of Mizoram. Check-in at a standard city hotel with modern amenities. Aizwal is a quaint hill town located at an altitude of 1,132m in the Lushai Hills and is situated just north of the Tropic of Cancer. The rest of the day will be free to explore the town for local sightseeing. Visit the State Museum which exhibits anthropological artifacts, rare photographs, archaeological objects, and specimens of natural history from the region. If time permits, one can also visit Solomon Temple, a majestic church built of pure white marble that has an architectural style similar to the historic temple of King David in the Bible. Also, visit KV Paradise on Durtlang Hill which is a memorial built by Khawlhring in the memory of his wife and is locally known as the Mizo Taj Mahal. Enjoy a sunset view from Durtlang which offers a panoramic view of Aizawl and the Tlawng river valley below. The evening will be free at leisure to explore the Burra Bazar market where one can see traditional items from the farms as well as fashionable urban culture.
Day 2 | Aizawl - Champhai
After breakfast, travel eastwards to Champhai (7 hours) near the Burmese frontier. Champhai is a commercial town known for its border trade but is also a naturalist's paradise as it is surrounded by green rolling hills. Located at an altitude of 1670m, Champhai is also the largest valley in Mizoram and an important agricultural center. Enjoy the view of the terraced paddy fields and the beautiful countryside. Your stay will be in a standard lodge of the Mizoram tourism department.
Day 3 | Champhai - Zokawthar
Drive to the international border (2 hours) and walk to Rih Dil, a famous heart-shaped lake located across the border in Myanmar. The lake is of great importance in Mizo culture. According to local folklore, the Mizos believed it to be the passage to Pialral heaven for the souls of their departed ancestors. Enjoy boating in the lake and have lunch at a lakeside restaurant. The picturesque landscape around the lake is a beautiful place to photograph. It is also a romantic spot for many newly married couples. One can go on short hikes in the scenic surroundings and also visit a Buddhist monastery in the nearby Burmese village of Rikhawdar. There are also several Mizo villages and many such mythical lakes in the hills of Chin State of Myanmar. Return by sunset and spend overnight at the small town of Zokawthar near the Myanmar border. (Rih Dil and Zokawthar are accessible only for Indian travelers as it is a border area).
Day 4 | Zokawthar - Champhai
Spend the day exploring the countryside. Visit Ruantlang village where glimpses of the ancestral way of life of the Mizos can still be seen. Vangchia is a historic village known for its age-old megaliths and is also an archaeological site. Some of the menhirs also have stone carvings and the large ancient gateway is believed to be the passage of the Mizo people during their migration in the old times. The villages of Zawlsei and Khawbung appear to be the remains of an ancient settlement where stone blocks dwellings, small man-made caves, and iron artifacts were discovered. Return to Champhai for a night's stay.
Day 5 | Champhai - Aizwal
After breakfast, return to Aizawl (7 hours). On the way, see the unique Nghah Lou Dawr shops, which are common along the highway near Seling. These stalls are interesting as they do not have any shopkeepers. People pick up vegetables, flowers, and forest items and drop the money as per the price list in a container. It shows one of the rare examples of honesty and trust among the Mizo people even today. Reach Aizawl by evening and relax in your comfortable hotel room.
Day 6 | Aizwal - Hmuifang - Thenzawl
After an early breakfast, drive towards Thenzawl (3-4 hours), one of the state's most beautiful towns and a center for traditional handloom. En route visit the forested areas of Hmuifang and Sialsuk for breathtaking panoramic views of the Mizo Hills. Hmuifang Tlang peak (1620m) is also ideal for picnics and outdoor camping. The centuries-old well preserved forests attract many nature lovers as they are abundant with a variety of flora and fauna. Later after check-in, visit the beautiful Vantawng Falls to enjoy your time amidst pristine nature. Further upstream one can find the Tuirihiau Falls. If interested, visit the local deer park or visit nearby villages to learn more about the Mizo culture and their way of life. Evening at leisure. Your stay will be in government-run cottages with basic amenities.
Day 7 | Thenzawl - Aizwal
After an early breakfast, transfer to Lengpui Airport (3-4 hours) for departure. End of tour.
With clean and simple rooms providing breathtaking views of the valley, Hotel Arini is a quiet and homely abode centrally located in the hilly city of Aizwal. The lobby is charming with extensive woodwork. Staff are friendly and courteous.
Run by the department of tourism of Mizoram, the Tourist Lodge is the only decent accommodation option in Champhai. The highlight of the property is its location midst a beautiful and utmost peaceful campus. Rooms are simple and clean, however service can be pretty lousy, a trait common in many government run properties across India.
The Tourist Lodge located in the remote village of Zokhawthar has a scenic compound overlooking the valley. It is a simple government run property with clean rooms, basic facilities and courteous staff.
The Tourist Lodge at Thenzawl is run by the government and offers accommodation in simple and clean cottages. The property is surrounded midst the lush greenery of the hills and has a peaceful atmosphere to relax and reflect.
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