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Mizoram

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Status: North Eastern State of India
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Population: 11.50 Lac

Perching on the high hills of northeastern corner, Mizoram is a storehouse of natural beauty with its endless variety of landscape, hilly terrains, meandering streams deep gorges, rich wealth of flora and fauna. Mizoram is situated between 21-58o to 24o 29' north latitude and 92o 29' to 93o 22' east longitude. The tropic of Cancer passes near the capital, Aizawl town. In shape it is rather like a narrow and inverted triangle. It is bounded on the north by the district of Cachar (Assam) and the state of Manipur, on the east and south by Chin Hills and Arakan (Myanmar) on the west by the Chittagong hill tracts of Bangladesh and the state of Tripura. Mizoram borders three states of India - Assam , Manipur and Tripura. Its geographical borders with Assam, Manipur and Tripura extended over 123 km, 95 km and 66 km, respectively. Mizoram, in the local language, means the land of Mizos. Mizo itself means highlander. Under the British administration, Mizoram was known as Lushai Hills district. In 1954 by an Act of Parliament, the name was changed to Mizo Hills district. In 1972, when it was made into a union territory, it was named Mizoram. Mizoram became the 23rd state of the Indian union on February 20,1987. Mizoram occupies an important strategic position having a long international boundary of 722 Kms.

Hills

Mizoram has the most variegated hilly terrain in the eastern part of India. The hills are steep and are separated by rivers which flow either to the north or the south creating deep gorges between the hill ranges. The average height of the hills is about 900 metres. As many as 21 major hill ranges or peaks of different heights run through the length and breadth of the state with the highest peak 'Phawngpui (Blue Mountain) towering 2,065 metres above the sea level. The hills are extremely rugged and steep leaving some plains scattered occasionally here and there.

Rivers

Although many rivers and streamlets drain the hill ranges the most important and useful rivers are the Tlawng (also known as Dhaleswari or Katakhal), Tut (Gutur), Tuirial (Sonai) and Tuivawl which flow through the northern territory and eventually join river Barak in Cachar. The Koldoyne (Chhimtuipui) which originates in Myanmar, is an important river in the south Mizoram. It has four tributaries and the river is in patches. The Western part is drained by Karnaphuli (Khawthlang tuipui) and its tributaries. A number of important towns including Chittagong in Bangladesh is situated at the mouth of the river. Before Independence, access to other parts of the country was possible only through the river routes via Cachar in the north, and via Chittagong in the South.

Lakes

Lakes are scattered all over the state. But the most important of them are Palak, Tamdil, Rungdil; and Rengdil. The Palak lake is situated in Chhimtuipui District in southern Mizoram and covers an area of 30 Ha. It is believed the lake was created as a result of an earthquake or a flood. The local people believe a village which was submerged still remains intact deep under the waters. The Tamdil lake is a natural lake situated 110/85 kms from Aizawl. Legend has it there was once a huge mustard plant in this place. When the plant was cut off, jets of water sprayed from the plant created a pool of water, and thus the name Tamdil which means of 'Lake of Mustard Plant' was born. Today the lake is an important tourist attraction and a holiday resort.

People

The inhabitants of Mizoram are known by the generic name of Mizo, which literally means people (mi) of the hills (zo). There are a number of separate tribes under the general ethnic broad group of Mizo. Mizos included the following tribes - Ralte, Paite, Dulien, Poi, Sukte, Pankhup, Jahao, Fanai (Molienpui), Molbem, Taute, Lakher, Dalang, Mar, Khuangli, Falam (Tashous), Leillul and Tangur. The three main sub groups are Lushais, Pawis and Lakhers. The fabric of social life in the Mizo society has undergone tremendous changes over years. Before the British moved into the hills, for all practical purposes the village and the clan formed units of Mizo society. The Mizo code of ethics or Dharma moved around 'Tlawmngaihna", an untranslatable term meaning on the part of everyone to be hospitable, kind, unselfish and helpful to others. They came under the influence of the British Missionaries in the 9th century, and now most of the Mizos are Christians. The Missionaries introduced the Roman script for the Mizo language and formal education. The cumulative result is high percentage 95 % (as per National Sample Survey 1997-98) which is considered to be highest in India. Mizos are fast giving up their old customs and adopting the new mode of life which is greatly influenced by the western culture. Many of their present customs are mixtures of their old tradition and western pattern of life. Music is a passion for the Mizos and the young boys and girls take to the western music avidly and with commendable skill. The fascinating hills and lakes of Mizo-land literally pulsate and resound with the rhythms of the sonorous songs of the youths and the twang of guitars everywhere.

 

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