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Aizawl… A city of unique culture


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Hills have got their own charm. The Drives, the Curvy Roads, Awesome mausam and what not. Road trips to any Hill Station have been a unique experience in itself. Such one experience is Aizawl! This particular place is in the abode of Mizoram and it’s the capital of the State.

Many of us are so grim like me to wonder what is so special about this place?? When I was planning for this trip, many of known ones had told me that there is nothing much to visit in Aizawl, you would get bored in a day. But I have learnt that Aizawl is a place to see its culture! The Christianity here has been followed in a meticulous manner. If you are a person who likes to explore different cultures then you will surely enjoy this city…

So today I will be imparting some light on what this place has to offer for the travellers like me on a very brief trip due to ofcourse the paucity of time.

The way to Aizawl

The Hill station is connected by road via Silchar and by air (I guess it’s the smallest airport in India). Although, one can directly approach Aizawl by air but A traveller like me would still consider going via road from silchar. The state Border between Assam and Mizoram is so well distinguished that one can feel the change in the landscape from head to toe. Just at the end of Assam district of Chachar and starting of Mizo district Kolasib, the landscape changes totally from plains and cultivated region to a Hilly area….

Mizoram has a very peculiar hill pattern running from North to South and one cannot even dream of moving traverse because of the thick tropical jungles separating them. The drive is a bit exhaustive due to bad road conditions in Assam but once you start moving on the hills, you will start getting the pleasure of your road trip. The roads in Mizoram are very different because of its rugged terrain, the roads are only been seen on the ridges itself. Hence one can have sightseeing at both sides of the road. This makes the road much more interesting and beautiful….!!

Photos of  1/2 by Nirzher Agarwal
Photos of  2/2 by Nirzher Agarwal

Aizawl

Aizawl is one good hell of a city midst the mountains, full of twinkling lights and posh roads. It is very different from the rest of the places in Mizoram. While coming down to Mizoram, one will encounter huts made of bamboo sheets and steel sheets, people in their traditional attires and tribal culture but once you enter Aizawl, its all changed. The city has a modern charm, the society is well educated and modern attires which can be trend setters to the rest of the cities . The roads in the city are so full of ups and down akin to any hill station but the difference in this place to the rest are the one ways. One requires time to adjust with the traffic sense of the city. The best part are the long traffic queues in the city but still no honking. The city provides best of the market yet no multiplex. See I told you, city has its own charm…

Photos of Aizawl, Mizoram, India 1/2 by Nirzher Agarwal
Photos of Aizawl, Mizoram, India 2/2 by Nirzher Agarwal

The Church

Mizoram observes Sunday as a closed holiday on which all shops and everything in the city closed down and everyone goes to the church for prayers. The State has got churches in every street and the religious teachings are so much systematic that they even have proper attendance register of each citizen. They also conduct separate teachings for children and adults.  The people are so bonded  towards their religion that infants to old and poor to rich, all comes under same roof and do the prayer together, sing together and even dance together… the unity and coherence in the society shows the depth and substance in their belief towards their culture. Hence, one must visit the church on Sunday to witness the true society of the place. Sitting with them, hearing their prayers and teachings by the father, and everyone singing in unison will give you immense peace from within.

Photos of Chanmari, Aizawl, Mizoram 796001, India 1/1 by Nirzher Agarwal

Route to Reiek

If you are a road trip lover then ride or  drive to reiek is a must on this trip. Although the two wheelers are not available on rent in aizawl but four wheelers are available on rent. Reiek is a small heritage village around 30 kms to the west of Aizawl. The road to Reiek is ofcourse mountainous but the inclination of slope is way higher than in normal mountains found in the northern parts of the country. The route is full of lush green tropical forest and numerous Waterfalls. One peculiarity of this place is that here everything is sharp, for let it be the cliffs or the waterfall. On the way, one has to cross the beautiful Tlawng River. The Bridge over the river is a vintage Iron made rope bridge. The Ride will give you a chance to witness some of the very beautiful waterfalls. Once you are reaching near to the village, you can witness a no of beautiful caves under which the roads are partially passing and while riding through them, the Bat holes over your head will be able to astonish you. The landscape will remind you of the kinnaur highway in Himachal… The route will give an account of various breathtaking views of valley.  

Note: If you are travelling on Sunday then kindly check your fuel for the ride a day prior as everything is closed on Sundays…. EVEN PETROL PUMPS!!

Photos of Reiek Rd, Reiek, Mizoram 796501, India 1/5 by Nirzher Agarwal
Photos of Reiek Rd, Reiek, Mizoram 796501, India 2/5 by Nirzher Agarwal
Photos of Reiek Rd, Reiek, Mizoram 796501, India 3/5 by Nirzher Agarwal
Photos of Reiek Rd, Reiek, Mizoram 796501, India 4/5 by Nirzher Agarwal
Photos of Reiek Rd, Reiek, Mizoram 796501, India 5/5 by Nirzher Agarwal

Khuangchera Puk

Khuangchera Puk is one of the best cave amongst the three famous caves in Mizoram. It is located 3 kms before the village Reiek at the end of Village Ailawng. This is one of the must visit place in Mizoram. Caves are something which are actually difficult to explore (Specially alone), not physically but mentally. They are made against the human psychology in every way. When you get inside the cave, you are surrounded by the long rock walls from all sides, confined to a very small path to travel into the darkness and nothing. Khuangchera Puk route is narrowed down to such an extent that your mind will mentally block you for even the slightest chance of going ahead. If you move even in such scenario then believe me, you are a daredevil in life. But beware, It’s a big no if you are on a solo trip. (Now I have understood why everyone in that village were staring at me when I was asking about the cave roaming alone)

Photos of Ailawng, Mizoram 796501, India 1/2 by Nirzher Agarwal
Photos of Ailawng, Mizoram 796501, India 2/2 by Nirzher Agarwal

Reiek

Reiek is a small Heritage Village. The best time to visit the village is at the time of Anthurium festival which is a three day festival in the month of September. The Festival is named after a traditional Mizo flower Anthurium. I was unlucky to miss the festival by a single day. If someone wants to understand the Mizo culture then Reiek is the best place to visit. The small bamboo sheet homes and the traditional attire of the people will speak much more than any historical book. The very simple way of living and the view of children playing around will take you back to the tribal era for once.

The best part of solo trip is that one can actually feel the culture and merge with it while for the rest of the time he never existed. Hence one can live the life of a society and still be unknown to everyone. Roaming in the small town and observing the people, I have realised that the people here are very humble and at first glance we generally predict them as introvert while in reality they are not. The people here wants to interact but the problem is language..! Mizo people don’t know Hindi or English except for the learned ones, who are very rare to find in a village like Reiek. Here people try to interact and they actually try very hard to make you understand but give up in a while, assuming that they won’t be able to tell. Hence we consider them to be introvert….

There is a Cliff top astride the village known as Reiek Top. The Top can be reached after a trek of 2-3 km inside dense jungle climbing up. Enroute one will encounter a cemetery and few caves. During this trek, I was lucky enough to meet two good pals who accompanied me during the small trek and gave me the wonderful opportunity to have an insight of the locals. Being alone, these fellas offered me to join them. The trek took a detour when suddenly after completing  2 kms of climb we took a right turn and the jungle was opened into the meadows and a clear view in front. It will take you sometime to take your eyes off the magnificent view and understood that you are standing right on the edge of the cliff. We climb along the cliff to reach the reiek top. Reiek top is a Cliff top having a serene view of Aizawl valley to its east and the no of ridges decreasing in the west. During a clear sky one can even view Bangladesh from here.  The Cliff is 200-300 m deep and the golden strip of River Tlawng can be seen from the top. There is a sightseeing shed on Reiek top and a direction clock top to various ridges in vicinty. A few deep breaths and all your exhaustion will purge into air. After spending around half hour, we returned back from the beautiful meadows. One has to be cautious about the untimely rain while going on the trek and one should avoid the trek after 1500 hrs in a day.

Photos of Reiek, Mizoram 796501, India 1/4 by Nirzher Agarwal
Photos of Reiek, Mizoram 796501, India 2/4 by Nirzher Agarwal
Photos of Reiek, Mizoram 796501, India 3/4 by Nirzher Agarwal
Photos of Reiek, Mizoram 796501, India 4/4 by Nirzher Agarwal

Mizo Tea

Once returning to the village, one cannot go without having the traditional Mizo Tea.  After having a good trek, I joined up my local pals at their relative’s home in reiek where they offered me the traditional Mizo tea. Mizo tea is the normal Indian tea without milk and sugar. The way of boiling the tea over the firewood adds a soothing flavour to the tea. The making of the tea is equally enjoyable then the tea itself while sitting near the firewood which are having the Antique chimney clubbed with grill oven. The uninvited Rain in reiek adds up to the joy of having the mizo tea…!!

With this you can return back to the aizawl city with the satisfaction of witnessing one of the finest civilisation ( atleast for me till now). Have a tour of the famous markets and other few prominent places in the city like KV Memorial, one can bid adieu to this wonderful place.

After making some good pals amidst the place. I got a feeling that these people are very humble, docile and clean at heart. There are also much good things to learn from these people and having some lifetime memories in your heart. Hence one can plan this trip to witness such an natural landscape and an amazing culture which has depth and beliefs and dedication towards following it. here the people gives priority to their culture over their personal self. As I said in the starting, Mizo trip is a unique trip in itself and after having this trip, It gives me immense joy to witness this culture…

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