Aizwal City The Capital of Mizo Hills And Places To Visit In Aizwal
When I was a kid, I always used to get confused while learning the Capitals of the States of India. The primary confusion was three cities, i.e., Kohima, Imphal, and Aizwal. It was a daunting task to remember which city is the capital of which state. Back in school days, I had to pay special attention to these capital cities, and today, I was in one of the cities. I knew while commencing my north-east India ride, that no matter if I learn anything or not but I will never forget the capitals of North-East Indian states. Traveling teaches you in a unique way and imprints a memory never to be forgotten. After yesterday’s 200 kilometers ride, I reached Aizwal and stayed in a budget hotel. Today I planned to explore the Aizwal city and understand the town from a biker’s view. Before arriving in Aizwal, I did my study about famous places to visit in Aizwal. Although google suggested many websites, I was disappointed with the suggestions. A few of the renowned sites suggested Palak Dil Lake and Phawngpui Peak, which are more than 300 kilometers from Aizwal. Once I completed my ride, I decided to write an article on famous tourist attractions in Aizwal and a separate article for the entire Mizoram. Thus in this article, I will be sharing the places to visit in Aizwal and why these places are famous. Not only this, but I will also share how I explored these places in Aizwal and if future travelers should visit them of not. I hope this article on Aizwal would be helpful for anyone planning to visit Aizwal and Mizoram in the future.
A Brief Idea About Aizwal And Mizoram
Also Read: Bike Ride From Silchar To Aizwal
Mizoram is the far eastern state of India with Aizwal it’s capital. It came into existence on 20 February 1987. 91% of Mizoram are is under forest cover and hills. The Mizo Hills, also called the Lushai Hills, is the prominent mountain range in the state. The city of Aizwal lies at an elevation of 1200 meters above sea level, and it is the biggest city in Mizoram. The state has the highest concentration of tribal people among all states of India, and the majority of the population follows Christianity. You can read the detailed information about Mizoram from a travelers point of view in my article about Mizoram.
Why I Was Not Satisfied With The Suggestions of Traveling Websites
When I was in Silchar, I did some research on both Places to Visit in Aizwal as well as Places to Visit In Mizoram. I allocated seven to eight days to explore Mizoram, with the flexibility to increase or decrease the number of days. My first task was to explore Aizwal City in the best possible way, and when I googled “Places to Visit In Aizwal,” websites suggested places that were situated 200 to 300 kilometers from the city. For example, they mentioned Tam Dil Lake and Vantawng Falls, which were more than 100 kilometers from the city. A few websites went to an extent and suggested Palak Dil and Phawngpui Peak, which were more than 300 kilometers and required two to three days of travel. Knowing that most of the state is underhill and forest cover, it is impossible to cover these places in a single day. The logic of visiting sites within a city means places that are only 5-10 kilometers and require less time to explore.
A-List of Places To Visit In Aizwal City
The city of Aizwal is similar to any other capital city in India. Roads are full of vehicles and long traffic jams. Though Aizwal exhibits a similar nature as any other city of India, the city distinguishes it from any other city in India. People in Aizwal have more patience when it comes to driving and try to follow the traffic rules. While driving in the city, at a few places, I saw two-wheeler waiting in line, which is a rare scene in most of India. Also, people avoid unnecessary honking. From my experience, I would say I found Aizwal as the most disciplined city in India. My ride to the town and its neighboring areas were pretty smooth, and I didn’t face any problem except the directions. It felt like even google map is getting confused in the meandering streets of Aizwal city. Anyways coming back to the article, let me mention places to visit in Aizwal city.
Solomon’s Temple In Aizwal
The temple is situated within the Aizwal city and lies five kilometers from the town on Aizwal-Lengpui Airport Road. Solomon’s Temple is basically a church, and it is the biggest Church in Mizoram. As the majority of the state population follows Christianity, Solomon’s Temple plays a significant role in social gathering and for offering prayer. Built with the money donated by local people and members of the church, it is an example of exquisite architecture.
Mizoram State Museum
The Mizoram State Museum lies in the center of the city at MacDonald Hill. It is an ideal place to understand Mizoram’s History, its culture, and its people. The state museum is a four-story building divided into segments displaying information related to Mizoram. It covers topics from the History of Mizoram to flora and fauna found in the state. The museum also exhibits the lifestyle of Mizo people, their attire, festivals, and instruments for hunting and amusement. Anyone visiting Mizoram for the first time, the State Museum is a must-visit place.
K.V Paradise In Aizwal City
K.V Paradise is a memorial built by a husband for his deceased wife. The initials K and V stand for Khawlhrings (husband) and Varte (wife). Situated 8 kilometers from the city towards Durtlang Hill, the building is also known as the Taj Mahal of Mizoram. K.V paradise is a two-storied building and offers a beautiful view of Aizwal City. It has a collection of wardrobe and shoes, as well as photographs portraying various phases of Varte’s life.
Durtlang Hills Near Aizwal
The Durtlang Hills is the highest point in Aizwal City and offers a picturesque view of the city. Situated ten kilometers from Aizwal, it is a must-visit place to see the skyline of Aizwal city during day or night time. The K.V Paradise and Aizwal Theological College also lie in the vicinity of Durtlang Hill can be covered in a single ride. There is a watchtower at Aizwal Theological College, allowing tourists to shoot a full panorama of the city.
Aizawl Zoological Garden
It is a zoo situated in the northern end of Aizwal. Aizawl Zoological Garden lies on Aizwal-Sairang Road and fourteen kilometers from the capital city. The zoo hosts some of the famous and endangered animals of Mizoram and north-east India. A major attraction of the zoo is the endangered sun bear and other animals mostly found in the hilly regions of Mizoram.
Aizwal City View
Aizwal City View lies seven kilometers from Aizwal city and offers a broad view of Aizwal city. It is the best place to see the city and recommended to visit during day or night time. Huampui and Tlangnuam are a few more places where one can see the city from a different angle. I would recommend visiting them in both daylight and night to get a better view of Aizwal. Chaltlang and Zarkawt are two more places that offer a great view. All these places present a beautiful sunrise and sunset, and visiting them will make your day.
Martyrs’ Cemetery Or Martar Thlanmual
The Martyr’s Cemetery is a memorial built for the Mizo Army Soldiers who laid their life during the Mizo Uprising against the Indian government in 1966. The Mizo uprising began in the year 1966 and continued till Mizoram Peace Accord signed in 1986. Mizo Uprising is the only instance of India carrying out an airstrike in its civilian territory.
Waterfall In Aizwal City
The Tlawng River is the Longest River in Mizoram, flowing through the western side of Aizwal city. Mizoram is 90% covered by hills and forests, and its topography allows many viewpoints and waterfalls. The Khawhpawp Waterfall and Vaipuanpho Falls are two major waterfalls near Aizwal city that visitors can visit if they have sufficient time.
Reiek Peak Near Aizwal City
Situated 30 kilometers from Aizwal, Reiek is the most popular hill station in Aizwal. Reiek lies at an elevation of 1500 meters above sea level and offers a beautiful view of Lushai Hills. A forty-five minutes trek leads to the top of the cliff from where one can see the entire Aizwal city.
Falkawn: A Glimpse of Traditional Mizo Village
Situated 20 kilometers from Aizwal, Falkwan village exhibits the traditional Mizo Village. The Mizoram Government came up with the concept of Cultural Centre, and thus Zokhua village was set up at Falkawn. It acts as a mini-museum showing Zawlbuk (Dormitory), Lal In (Chief’s House), Pum (Blacksmiths), and other Mizo typical houses. It also hosts a memorial for freedom fighters and Taitesena commemoration stone. The Falkawn enables visitors to understand the remotest state of India through its daily lifestyle.
Places To Visit In Aizwal District And Not In Aizwal City
Apart from the sites mentioned above, there are a few more places to see in Aizwal district. Most of the websites, when lists places to visit in Aizwal, they mention places in Aizwal district (Aizwal is one of 8 districts of Mizoram). These places in the Aizwal district require 3-4 days to cover. Tourists can visit these places if they have a sufficient number of days. Tourist destination in Aizwal District are:
Hmuifang Hill Station
Situated sixty kilometers from Aizwal, Hmuifang offers a beautiful view of Mizo Hills. Located on Aizwal-Thenzawl road at an elevation of 1619 meters, it is a must-visit site to see the sunset and sunrise. Sialsuk a green pasture hills which offer a breathtaking view of the virgin forest of Mizoram lies 14 kilometers from Hmuifang.
The Vantawng waterfall is the biggest waterfall in Mizoram and lies 100 kilometers from Aizwal. Situated 10 kilometers from Thenzawl on Thenzawl-Lunglei road, the Vantawng waterfall is a two-storied waterfall with water falling from a height of 230 meters. The tourism department has constructed a watchtower to watch the waterfall.
The Tuirihiau falls another waterfall that lies on the Aizwal-Thenzawl route. Tuirihiau falls lie three kilometers from the Vantawng waterfall. To reach the base of Tuirihiau falls, one has to trek/walk for a few hundred meters. While Vantawng Waterfall is a two-storied waterfall, Tuirihiau falls a cascading waterfall.
Baktawng Village In Aizwal
The Baktawng village is famous for holding the Guinness Book of World Record as the World’s Largest Family. The village lies 80 kilometers from Aizwal and requires a three to four hours ride. The family consists of 162 members headed by Pu Ziona. He has 38 wives, 89 children, and a large number of grandchildren. The family lives in a four-storied building called “Chhuanthar Run.”
Tam Dil Lake In Aizwal
The Tam Dil Lake lies 80 kilometers from Aizwal on the Aizwal-Champhai route. A four-hour ride will take you to one of the famous lakes of Mizoram.
These are some of the important places to visit in Aizwal city and district. There were a few more places mentioned in the Mizoram Government Tourism Website, but I didn’t find them appealing. Moreover, I was skeptical about the condition of the roads leading to these places. Therefore I refrained from going too far from the main highway or the town.
How I explored the Aizwal City
After a Sunday surprise, I managed to get accommodation in one of the hotels in Aizwal. Most of the markets in Aizwal and Mizoram remain close on Sunday as local go to Church to offer prayer. Not only hotels, but I also struggled to get a restaurant, a petrol pump, and other necessary commodities. Anyone visiting Mizoram should keep this fact in mind and make the booking and carry essential items before entering Mizoram on Sunday. Before arriving in Aizwal, the only knowledge I had about this city was that Aizwal is the capital of Mizoram, but now I understood the city. I planned to explore the city during the day time and decided to ride for Reiek in the evening. As Reiek is only 30 kilometers from the city, I knew that even if my plan gets delayed while exploring the city, I can make it to the Reiek. Once I woke up, I packed my bag and kept it near the reception of the hotel. I was not in a mood to carry the luggage while I explore Aizwal. Also, it would give me greater freedom while navigating in the city.
I had already visited the Durtlang Hills and Aizwal City View while riding from Silchar to Aizwal. I also visited the hills during night time to capture the City Skyline and panorama in the dark. As I had already covered these two places, I decided first to visit K.V Paradise and then explore the rest. Another reason for choosing K.V Paradise was the timings of the Mizoram State Museum. The state museums open at 10 AM, and I was in no mood to wait for the museum to open. My hotel was adjacent to the Mizoram State Museum, and I decided to visit the museum in the end before leaving for Reiek. I took 30 minutes to reach the K.V Paradise, paid the entry fees of ten rupees, and explored the building. Although the collection of photographs and other items was fantastic, it has a limited impact on me. I have visited many such places during my traveling. For example, the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum in Pune also hosts a similar type of collection; therefore, I was little amazed by K.V Paradise. Once I explored the mausoleum, I clicked a few more photos of Aizwal city from K.V Paradise and decided to move to the next destination. After K.V Paradise, I decided to ride for Solomon’s Temple as most of the websites mentioned it as a must-visit place in Aizwal. While returning from K.V Paradise, I visited the Mizoram Tourist Guest House at Chaltlang to gather more information about the availability of the guest house in Mizoram and their booking. I struggled to ride through to narrow streets of Aizwal city and often missed the direction. It looked like even google maps was facing problems in Aizwal. After riding through the narrow lanes for forty-five minutes, I reached the Solomon’s Temple.
The Solomon’s Temple is indeed massive and the biggest church in Aizwal and probably in Mizoram. When I was reading about the History of Israel a few years back, I read about a temple built by King Solomon and dedicated to Jewish God Yahweh. While a King built the Solomon Temple In Israel, the Solomon Temple in Mizoram came into existence with the help of locals and church members. I explored the temple from outside as the main gate and entrance gate was locked. I also tried to peek into the interior from a window and got an idea of an interior hall and sitting arrangement. Later I went to the restaurant near the main gate of the temple. I ordered tea and settled with a little breakfast.
After Solomon’s Temple, I decided to visit the Martyr’s Cemetery before returning to my hotel and visiting the Mizoram State Museum. I planned to visit the waterfalls in Aizwal while riding to Reiek. At the time of visiting the Martyr’s Cemetery, I was not much aware of the Mizo Uprising of 1966. Later after the completion of my North-East India ride, I dived into the books and read a lot related to north-east India. It included topics like the Kohima War, Mizo Uprising, Khongjom War, and other historical facts related to northeastern India. The Martyr’s Cemetery lies three kilometers from Solomon’s Temple. I visited the graves of those who died demanding a separate Mizo state. In my opinion, demanding freedom from India is treason, and the government will deal with a firm hand. Yet I was able to comprehend that things in 1966 would have been different, especially when the famine of the worst kind marred the state. The official government record states the death of more than 100 rebels, but there is no doubt in accepting that the count would have been higher. Although the cause of Mizo Fighters is a matter of debate, it reminded me of a famous quote by Game of Thrones Writer, “a villain is a hero of the other side.”
By the time I completed exploring the Martyr’s Cemetery, the clock read 11 AM, and I knew that the Mizoram State Museum would be open by now. I started riding for the MacDonalds Hills, where their state museum is situated and reached in the next fifteen minutes. Upon arriving at the museum complex, I parked my bike, paid the entry fees, and entered the museum. The Museum allows visitors to click the photos after spending an additional 50 rupees. I happily paid the extra amount and started understanding the Mizoram through the museum. The Mizoram State Museum is a four-storied complex classified into complexes dealing with different topics from Mizoram geography to its history. It also showcases the traditional Mizoram family and how they used to live in ancient times. For anyone visiting the Mizoram, the state museum is a must-visit place to understand the state. I will be writing a detailed post on my visit to Mizoram State Museum in a separate article.
I spent more than three hours exploring the state museum, and once I was satisfied, I decided to return to my hotel. I clicked a lot of pictures of the artifacts and information which I wanted to use in future articles of my blog. Initially, I thought of visiting the Aizawl Zoological Garden, but due to the time constraints decided to drop the plan. The Aizawl Zoological Garden lies 20 kilometers from the city. I knew if I will try to visit the place, it would seriously derail my plan. Also, I was not sure if my visit to the zoo would be beneficial as I read a lot of negative reviews about the zoo. Once I returned to my hotel, packed my bag on my scooter, and decided to ride for the Reiek. My next destination was to visit the Khawhpawp Waterfall and Vaipuanpho Falls, and they both lie on the Aizwal-Reiek route. During my ride in Meghalaya, I visited some of the beautiful waterfalls in India, including the Wei-Saw-Dong Waterfall, Rainbow Waterfall, and Krang Shuri Waterfall. Now I hoped to see something similar in Mizoram. How I explored these waterfalls and whether they are worth visiting, I will cover that in my next article on “My Ride To Reiek Mountain.“
In this article, I have mentioned a few more places, but they are mostly lie in the Aizwal District and not in the vicinity of Aizwal city. To cover them, I already had an itinerary. I decided to explore the Falkwan village while riding from Reiek to Thenzawl. Moreover, I decided to include Hmuifang, Sialsuk, Vantawng, and Tuirihiau on the same ride. To explore Baktawng, I decided to visit it while riding from Thenzawl to Tam Dil Lake via the Thenzawl-> Serchhip-> Baktawng-> Seling-Tam Dil Route.
With this, I concluded my ride in Aizwal City. I always plan the destination in such a way that I have to travel less and to save precious time. In case anyone wants additional information about famous places to visit in Aizwal city, kindly let me know via the comment/message and email, and I would try my best to help out.