Places to Visit in Mizoram – Day Trips from Aizawl

Information about places to visit in Mizoram is rather scarce, and this is reflected in the fact that Mizoram is very much still an off-beat destination in India, where foreigners rarely venture.

During our travels in Northeast India, we decided to spend the Christmas period in Mizoram, seeing that together with Nagaland, and Meghalaya, it is one of the only states in India where Christianity is the predominant religion, and we thought that we might appreciate the Christmas spirit there.

Aizawl is the state capital of Mizoram, so we based ourselves in the capital, which has better infrastructure when compared to the more remote destinations in the region. The following is a list of places to visit in Mizoram if you’re based in Aizawl like we were!

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The hills of Mizoram - Daytrips from Aizawl and places to visit in mizoram

Information about Mizoram

Mizoram is one of India’s Northeastern states, also known as the Seven Sisters. The name Mizoram means “Land of the Mizos”, a reference to the Mizo tribe, Mizoram’s main inhabitants. Mizoram shares borders with the states of Manipur, Tripura and Assam, as well as the countries of Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Indian citizens require an Inner Line permit to visit Aizawl, but foreigners do not require a permit besides their Visa to India.





Mizoram countryside - day trips from Aizawl

Places to visit in Mizoram from Aizawl

Aizawl

How to get to Aizawl

Mizoram’s capital Aizawl, stands proudly on mountain ridges and can be accessed via winding mountain roads from other states. Aizawl is also home to an airport connecting Mizoram with other cities in India. Flights to Lengpui airport can be booked here.

If you’re coming from other Northeastern states, the easiest (although not the most comfortable) way of getting to Aizawl is by sumo. We were in Dharmanagar, Tripura, so getting to Aizawl involved getting to Silchar in Assam by train and hopping on a sumo to Aizawl the following morning. Sumos typically leave to Aizawl form Silchar in the morning at 9am.

If you are staying in Silchar for the night like we did, we highly recommend Swastik hotel which is located almost directly opposite the sumo stand to Aizawl, near Mizoram House. A friend based in Silchar had recommended that we pre-book the sumo tickets with Road King (sumo provider) since it was a relatively popular route and we were rather tight with our schedule. We managed to book in person very easily as soon as we arrived in Silchar, given the proximity of our accommodation, however if you wish to pre-book, this is Road King’s number +918011693954.

Related: The magic of Majuli island

The city scape of Aizawl in Mizoram

Where to stay in Aizawl

Mapui and her homestay Riah Run came highly recommended by another Northeastern local and it certainly did not disappoint! Our large room with private bathroom was probably the best we had in all of India (except for that in Jaipur where we splurged out on a particular hotel) and the terrace just outside our room provided great views over Aizawl. We paid Rs 1500 (about €19) a night at Riah Run and the tasty meals cooked by Mapui were charged at Rs250 (about €3) each. Mapui can be contacted on the Riah Run facebook page.

Celebrating Christmas in Aizawl

As mentioned previously, one of the events we were really looking forward to in Mizoram was Christmas. Having spent the previous year’s Christmas in Laos, where celebrations were sparse, we wanted to spend this year’s Christmas in a destination where we could join in the festivities. When traveling long-term we rarely get homesick, but the Christmas period is when we miss Malta, our home country, and our family and friends most!

Just as it is in Europe, Christmas in Mizoram is mostly about buying gifts, going to Church and hanging out with family and friends, with a few ‘local’ differences. Mizoram has recently been proclaimed a dry state, meaning that no alcohol was on sale, but we quickly discovered that plenty of home-made rice beer was available, which proved to be a reasonable substitute to the wines and liquors we normally enjoy at home.

Related: The Best Places to Visit in Tripura, India

Christmas decorations of a bridge in Aizawl, Mizoram

On Christmas eve we joined the crowds scurrying along Bara Bazaar in Aizawl and were rather surprised at the appearance of various Santa Claus’ on the streets! That night we were treated to a BBQ of different smoked meats accompanied by the home-made alcoholic brew as we joined in the family’s merriment.

We woke up on Christmas day to join Mapui for Christmas mass, not out of any religious inclination, but rather to satisfy our curiosities concerning the celebration of a Presbyterian Christmas mass in the heart of tribal Mizoram – our second mass in the Northeast, the first being in Longwa Village, Nagaland. The celebration was long and cheerful and the hymns pleasing and melodic. Our badly-worn, tattered, travel clothes looked awful in comparison with the congregation’s suits and beautiful dresses but we were welcomed eagerly.

Quirky christmas decorations at Seilsuk - things to do in Aizawl





We were also happy to join the queues outside the church to get some pastries, cake and tea after mass. We gladly answered the usual questions of why we were in Mizoram and what we intended doing there, and posed for photos near the Christmas trees, cribs and tinsel with anybody who cared to stop by and chat with us.

Indeed, the festivities continued over a number of days, during which, all shops were closed, and public transport was non-existent. Luckily, Mapui and her husband showed us all the things to do in Aizawl and took us on daytrips to the different places to visit in Mizoram. We spent a lot of time visiting little villages such as Sailam, which were serving up large communal Christmas meals on the Church grounds. We literally got to eat so many different animal parts (some of which remained unidentified) accompanied by several bowls of bitter intestine soup, which reminded us of the same soup, (a Filipino version of) we had tried in Buscalan, the Philippines.

Here’s what to do in Aizawl including a number of different daytrips from Aizawl!

Related: Getting to Imphal from Kohima

The houses of Aizawl - places to visit in Mizoram

Things to do in Aizawl

The Mizoram capital lies scattered among the hills, so traveling across the slopes is no mean feat. Mapui’s husband was kind enough to drive us on a tour around the streets of Mizoram one night to witness the various Christmas stands set up on different streets. It is definitely preferable to travel around Aizawl by car.

We should stress that there aren’t too many things to do in Aizawl itself and getting out of the capital to enjoy Mizoram’s verdant scenery is a good idea. However, here’s a list of things to do in Aizawl itself.





Durtlang Hills

Find it on a map!
Aizawl’s Durtlang Hills offer panoramic views across the city from several viewpoints. We went there at night so we didn’t get any good photos. The view isn’t out of this world, but if you’re in the area, it is worth stopping at one of the viewpoints.

Aizawl by night

Solomon’s Temple

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Visiting the massive newly-constructed white temple is known to be one of the things to do in Aizawl, but honestly it’s not a particularly amazing sight. On the other hand, there’s nothing much to do around the city anyway…

Bara Bazaar

Find it on a map!
This is the market area in Aizawl with crowded streets lined with little shops selling anything from groceries to weaved items. Go and get lost in the hustle and bustle!

The stalls at Bara Bazar in Aizawl

Mizoram State Museum

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The small museum showcases Mizo tribal life which we were eager to learn about during our stay in Aizawl. Unfortunately, it was closed during our time there.

Christmas festivities at Seilsuk Mizoram

Daytrips from Aizawl – Places to Visit in Mizoram

Daytrip from Aizawl no. 1 – Reiek Peak

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This was easily out favourite daytrip out of Aizawl, and although the 30-minute hike to the peak was rather steep, the surrounding views were absolutely stunning. Reiek peak is around 35km from Aizawl, and we were lucky enough to be almost alone at the peak, although it seemed to be getting busier as we were going down. We really advise going early for some spectacular views!

Reiek Heritage Village, a replica of a typical Miso village is located close by but we didn’t stop here since we preferred going to Falkawn, a similar village (more on that below).

Related: Meeting the Greater One-Horned Rhino at Kaziranga National Park
Michelle enjoying the view of Reiek Peak - Places to Visit in Mizoram - Day Trips from Aizawl

Daytrip from Aizawl no. 2 – Hmuifang

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We arrived in Hmuifang, to find the grounds in full swing in preparation for a music festival being held later on in the area. The place was jam-packed with villagers having picnics all around, so we decided to give the park a miss and head on to our next destination. We have been told that the hikes inside the park are pretty decent, and the trails across the woods include suspension bridges over a forested area, although the picnicking crowds put us off from venturing further in!

Related: Read more about Tawang, its monastery and the Sela Pass

Hmuifang region in Mizoram

Daytrip from Aizawl no. 3 – Sialsuk Peak

Find it on a map!
Instead of staying in Hmuifang, we made our way to Sialsuk where little hills gave way to larger ones in the distance. Sialsuk is a pretty little place, and honestly one of the most perfect picnic spots I’ve ever come across. This was hardly an original thought considering that locals were scattered in seated groups around the hills feasting on Mizo delicacies. A lone swing on top of one of the yellow hills was the perfect prop for some photos against the scenic backdrop.

The peak of Sialsuk - Day Trips from Aizawl

Daytrip from Aizawl no. 4 – Baktawng

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Perhaps the most interesting of all the daytrips from Aizawl, Baktawng village, is the home to the world’s largest family, a fact we were only made aware of once we were in Aizawl.

Ziona is the head of Chana Pawl, a polygamy-practicing Christian sect in Baktawng. Ziona has 39 wives and over 90 children who, together with their spouses and other relatives, live together in a massive house which he built for all of them.

Members of the world's largest family in Baktawng, Mizoram

CTR house in Mizoram

Many of the activities in the house are communal and with several roles given to different persons in the household. The family is actually a community living according to several rather strict rules set by Ziona himself.

When we visited Baktawng to meet the unique family in their rather quirky setting, Ziona was out hunting but his first (or maybe second?) wife, sat with us and answered all our questions about life in the curious household, more akin to a little village, inclusive of own schools, gym and stadium.

There are no rules for visiting, you can just turn up and walk into the house, but it’s a good idea to be accompanied by a local who will explain different roles within the household.

The world's largest family in the Baktawng village in Mizoram - Day trips from Aizawl

The worlds largest family stadium in Mizoram

Daytrip from Aizawl no. 5 – Falkawn

Find it on a map!
Falkawn is a heritage village depicting the tribal lifestyle of the Mizo people. The heritage village contains typical large huts decorated with animal horns and hides, as well as utensils and instruments typically used by the Mizo villagers.

A Rs 20 (€0.25) fee is collected at the entrance along with registration details. The village is only a model of a typical village, and is not actually inhabited, and we were far more impressed with actual similar tribal villages in Arunachal Pradesh which were still used. However, if you are interested in typical tribal lifestyles, do put Falkawn on your list of places to visit in Mizoram.

Related: Explore Arunachal Pradesh with our Itinerary

Typical houses displayed in Falkawn Mizoram

Decorations at Falkawn, one of the best places to visit in MizoramThe traditional village of Falkawn, Mizoram - Day trips from Aizawl and plavces to visit in mizoram

Things to do in Mizoram

There are a few other unique things to do in Mizoram which can be experienced by traveling around the state.

Buy items from the unmanned stalls

Probably the most unique of things to do in Mizoram is to buy items from what we call the unmanned stalls, literally little shacks found on mountain roads containing a variety of produce, but no human seller.

Farmers have no time to run the stalls since they are busy working in the fields, so the produce and corresponding prices are just left at the stall, whilst the potential clients are trusted to leave the correct change for whichever items they ‘purchase’.

We were pretty amazed by the whole concept, even more so when we were told that there is absolutely no theft or cheating. Items typically include fruit, vegetables and lots of bottled home-made lemon juice.

Unmanned stalls in Mizoram

Cross the Tropic of Cancer

Yup, a little-known fact is that the Tropic of Cancer runs through Mizoram and you actually get to cross the line in Aizawl. Nothing much to do here except take a photo with the sign announcing the fact, but we thought it was pretty cool and worth putting on your list of things to do in Mizoram!

Crossing the tropic of cancer in Mizoram - Places to visit in Mizoram

Tropic of cancer memento - things to do in Aizawl and places to visit in mizoram

Try Rice Beer

Although alcohol should not be consumed in Mizoram, the law does not seem to extend to ‘local’ brews which can be bought from roadside stalls. You can find stalls selling plastic bottles filled with a milky white concoction of fluidy rice, which ‘pops’ every so often due to the fermentation process, meaning that you need to loosen the cap just a little to release the pressure unless you want to be squirted with the sticky brew all over.

The taste is very similar to the rice beer served during the Hornbill festival in Nagaland (also a dry state) and may not necessarily be up to everyone’s palate, but do include it on your list of things to do in Mizoram nevertheless.

Rice Beer - places to visit in Mizoram

Other places to visit in Mizoram

There are plenty of other places to visit in Mizoram, many of which involve long commutes and travels from Aizawl, which sadly, we did not have time for. It is not easy to travel around Mizoram. Although sumos from the capital service many of the districts, public transport was at a standstill during the Christmas period so it did not make sense for us to try to travel around the region.

Here are some other places to visit in Mizoram which you might make your way down to if you have time!

Mizoram landscape - Places to visit in Mizoram

Champhai

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Champhai lies on the border between Mizoram and Myanmar and is home to beautiful views across the Champhai Valley. It’s a long 8-10 hour journey along winding roads from Aizawl.

Blue Mountain

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Phawngpui (known as Blue Mountain) is the highest peak in Mizoram located close to the border with Myanmar. The ridge is home to wonderful vistas of Southeastern Mizoram as well as some unique flora and fauna.

Vantawng Falls

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These falls are known to be some of the most beautiful in all of NorthEast India. They are located near Thenzawl and are best visited during the winter period. They can probably be visited on a very long day trip from Aizawl if you leave early enough.

Tamdil Lake

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The small lake is probably worth a visit if you’re in the area but we weren’t prepared to make too much effort to get there just to see the lake. Boating on the lake is possible, but we read that the infrastructure and organisation is not great.

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Mizoram is an off-beat #destination in #India where #tourists are still scarse. Here's a list of #places to visit in #Mizoram including #daytrips from #Aizawl. #incredibleindia #travelstoke #offbeattravel #remoteplaces #beautifulplaces
Mizoram is an off-beat #destination in #India where #tourists are still scarse. Here's a list of #places to visit in #Mizoram including #daytrips from #Aizawl. #incredibleindia #travelstoke #offbeattravel #remoteplaces #beautifulplaces

2 Comments

  1. Allisson Nadler
    18/09/2019

    It’s amazing how since I’ve been wanting to travel to a place in India post like this appear everywhere, the photo you uploaded from Hmuifang seems incredible!
    Thank you very much for sharing!

    Reply
    • Cheeky Passports
      19/09/2019

      Hi Allisson, glad you enjoyed the read 🙂 you should definitely visit Mizoram (and not only!). Happy travels 🙂

      Reply

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