In Mizoram, there is a comparatively new sect who collectively call themselves the Holy Church and who believe that Mizoram is the Biblical ‘city in the East’. According to a famous prophecy, Jesus Christ will resurrect here. This sect is building the ‘Solomon Temple’, which is looked as a successor to the original Solomon’s Temple of Jerusalem that has found reference in the Old Testament.
The Solomon Temple lies on the western borders of Aizawl and is a white marble structure that is completely surrounded by greenery. Spread over 3,025 sq m, the temple has four towers that are topped with a crown each. The four pillars on the edges have been emblazoned with the seven Stars of David.
The four towers indicate the four virtues ideal for mankind – Salvation, Righteousness, Life and Overcomer. The area surrounding the temple has also been renamed as Kidron Valley, after the vast plains that lie adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem in Israel.
Mizoram State Museum is centrally located at Aizawl town. This ethnological museum is a house of over 2,500 items that depict the rich culture of Mizoram. Each of these items has a tale to tell about the ethnic background of the state.
Mizoram State Museum was established in the year 1977 on Macdonald Hill, near the Chief Minister's bungalow. The items stored in the museum vary from photographs to archaeological objects to traditional musical instruments and even specimens of natural history.
The display of various different textiles that belong to different Mizo tribes is one of the most popular exhibits here. All in all, this museum is a delight to every visitor, and especially those who are interested in history. The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays, 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays, and is closed on Sundays. One can hire a local taxi to reach the museum.
Rungdil Lake is a magnificent twin lake that is situated 14 km from Suangpuilawn village in Aizawl district. It covers an area of 2.5 hectares and the entire place is filled with the magic of Nature. Once upon a time, this lake used to be the home for a large number of partridges.
Though even today, it is a popular destination for bird watchers and nature lovers. Rungdil Lake consists of two similar lakes that are separated by a narrow strip of land. It is, however, believed that the two lakes do have a subterranean connection.
The lake is surrounded by beautiful tropical evergreen and deciduous forests, which is a home for several animal species such as bear, deer, tiger, wild boar, etc. Rungdil Lake forms an excellent destination for picnickers as well as outdoor campers. To reach the Rungdil Lake, one may hire a local taxi or a city bus from Aizawl.
Durtlang Hills is situated on the northern side of Aizawl. These are a line of rocky hills, which offer an excellent view of the beautiful city. The peaks of the Durtlang Hills are also a popular trekking destination for both locals as well as tourists. Though the trek isn't a very easy one, the view obtained after getting to the top is simply breath-taking.
The wonderful panoramic view of the small houses at a distance, amidst the beautiful green forests is absolutely phenomenal. For visitors who are looking to lodge in the area for a couple of days, there are multiple choices available at Aizawl.
Some of the popular ones would be Ritz Hotel, Royale Hotel, Tropicana Hotel, Mayur Hotel and Orchid Hotel. All of these are very luxurious and have excellent services. One can easily reach the Durtlang hills by hiring a local taxi from the centre of Aizawl.
Dampa Wildlife Sanctuary is located at a distance of about 130 km from Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram. The sanctuary covers a vast area of 550 sq km and has an extremely rich natural vegetation cover. The summers here are cool, and winters are equally pleasant. The height of the sanctuary varies from 200 m to 800 m.
It is a perfect place to enjoy the magnificence of Mother Nature. The sanctuary is home to several different species of flora and fauna. Some of the common species of plants and trees that can be found in this sanctuary are Dipterocarpus Turbinatus, Dipterocarpus Marcocarpus, Terminalia Myriocarpa, Tonna Ciliata, Michelia Champaca, Artorocarpus Chaplasha, Sterculia Vilosa and various other species of orchids & bamboos.
The common animals that can be spotted within Dampa are Tiger, Rhesus Macaque, Giant Squirrel, Hillock Gibbon, Leaf Monkey, Indian Elephant, Himalayan Black Bear, Leopard, Barking Deer, Porcupine, Gaur, Sloth Bear and Wild Boar.
There are also various types of reptiles such as Python, Monitor Lizard, Hill Tortoise and King Cobra. One can reach the Dampa Sanctuary by booking a tourist vehicle from Aizawl, and the best time to visit the place is from the month of November to March.
Hmuifang is at an elevation of 1619 m and is an extremely popular tourist spot of Mizoram. The mountain is covered with lush green virgin forests that have been reserved since the days of the Mizo chiefs.
The beautiful Hmuifang Tourist Resort is situated at the top of the peak. It is being maintained by the Mizoram Tourism Department. This resort offers a spectacular view of the never-ending nature that surrounds it. The magnificent cliffs and beautiful hills are simply breath-taking. The small patches of grasslands which are there on the peak offer an excellent location for picnics and camping.
The annual Anthuriam Festival and Thalfavang Kut are held right here on the peak. One may also trek around to the nearby villages that encircle the peak. Hmuifang is at a distance of 50 km from Aizawl, and the best way to reach here is by hiring a tourist vehicle from Aizawl.
Bara Bazar is an extremely popular market of Aizawl and the main shopping centre of the beautiful capital city. This market functions as the lifeline of the town. Narrow roads, lined up with shops and stalls on either sides, where you can find traditional clothes, garments, works of handicraft, food items, and almost every other thing, is what makes Bara Bazar so vibrant and colourful.
On one street, you may find it crowded with people selling garments and clothes while in the next street, you may see nothing but fishes and vegetables. Most of the inhabitants of the city, who produce and sell their home-made as well as market-purchased items, are found dressed up in their traditional attire, which so distinctly depicts the culture of the state capital.
Bara Bazar is centrally located in the town of Aizawl, and hiring a local taxi would take you right to the middle of the market.
Reiek is a small village at a distance of about 10 km west of Aizawl. It is a very popular tourist destination of the region. On the eastern side of the village, there are magnificent rocky cliffs which are notched with caves and caverns, and natural forests which have been preserved since the days of the Mizo chiefs.
Distinctive traditional huts of the various Mizo tribes have been created in this village which is maintained by the Tourism Department of Mizoram. There is also the Mizo chieftain’s house, a bachelor’s dormitory and also that of a widow. Each of these houses provides a glimpse of the glorious and vibrant Mizo culture.
Reiek is also the venue of the annual Anthurium festival. This festival is held to promote the cultivation and marketing of the enthralling flower and also to attract more tourists to the scenic beauties of Mizoram.
Various ethnic and cultural dance and music programs, games and fashion shows are organized during this festival. The forests in Reiek hills are a fascination for bird watchers. Various rare species of birds, including the Peregrine falcon can be seen in these hills.
Apart from just viewing and enjoying the beauty of nature, one may also choose to become a part of it by trekking in these rough hills. To reach Reiek, one may hire a local taxi or a tourist vehicle from Aizawl, and a one hour drive through the breath-taking hills will take you to this beautiful and culturally rich village.
Tam Dil, which literally translates to “lake of mustard”, has been developed as an important fishing reservoir by the Fisheries Department of Mizoram and a holiday resort has been built nearby, by the Tourism Department.
There are several different species of plants, trees and animals that can be found at the lake or the dense forest that surrounds it. According to legends, a farmer couple lived in this valley. After the death of the husband, the wife once had a dream in which her husband asked her to take special care of a mustard plant which was there in the middle of their field, and it would bring her great blessings.
She adhered to her husband’s command and the plant thrived. A while later, the widow re-married another man, but this man did not want the woman to have anything which would remind her of her former husband. So he pulled out the mustard plant and threw it away.
Immediately, water started to shoot out of the hole that the plant left in the ground, and it drowned the entire valley, thus forming the lake. Tam Dil is 110 km from Aizawl, and can be reached by hiring a tourist vehicle.