Mizoram

The southernmost of the Northeastern Hill States, Mizoram lies between Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh. Until 1972 it was known as the Lushai Hills, a district of Assam. The six or so parallel north-south ranges of hills, which rise to an altitude of over 2000 m, are covered in dense forests of bamboo and wild banana. At the bottom of the deep gorges the rivers run in narrow ribbons.

Aizawl

The road from Silchar comes upon the isolated capital Aizawl (pronounced Eye-jull), built along a central ridge and several surrounding spurs. White-painted churches stand out above the residential buildings that cling precariously to the hillsides.

Bara Bazar
, the main shopping centre, is on the other side of the central ridge. The steep Zion Street is lined with stalls selling garments and Mizo CDs. In the main market people gather in their traditional costumes to sell produce from farms and homesteads including river crab in little wicker baskets.

At the
Weaving Centre
you can watch women at their looms weaving traditional shawls which are for sale.
Luangmual Handicrafts Centre
, 7 km away, has a
khumbeu
ceremonial bamboo hat made using waterproof wild
hnahthial
leaves.

Mizoram State Museum
 is small but has an interesting collection of historical relics, ancient costumes and traditional implements.

Champhai

Champhai, on the Indo-Myanmar border and known as the fruit bowl of the Northeast, is worth a visit for its stunning location and sense of history (if your permit allows a visit here).

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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