Aizawl, a charming hill station, is the capital of Mizoram in North East India. The population of Aizawl consists of different communities of the ethnic Mizos. The 112-year-old town is also the centre of all important government offices, the state assembly house and the civil secretariat.
Aizawl is located above the Tropic of Cancer, set on a ridge 1132 m above sea level, with the Tlawng river valley to its west and the Tuirial river valley to its east. The interesting characteristic of the region is its timber houses and varieties of flowers.
Aizawl has witnessed tribal uprising in 1890 and was besieged then. Robert McCabe, the then Deputy Commissioner of the Lakhimpur district, restored order in the area and forced 15 tribal chiefs to surrender. After this incident, more troops were employed at Aizawl and another uprising was also quelled by McCabe in 1892.
The city then became the headquarters of the 1st Assam Rifles. During March 1966, the Mizo National Front (MNF) members took control of the city in an uprising. The AR headquarters in the city was besieged. The Indian Air Force then carried out air strikes on the town and the MNF had to withdraw to Lunglei.
Various Mizo tribes make up the majority of the population. The dominant religion here is Christianity. Though small in number, Hindus and Muslims are also present in the city. Mizo and English are spoken and understood here. Since Aizawl is the capital, the economy is basically sustained by government services.
The Mizoram State Museum is worth a visit. It charges a nominal entry fee.
Aizawl is also a religious and cultural center of the Mizos. Chapchar Kut, Min Kut and Pawl Kut festivals are hosted in the city and celebrated with much enthusiasm. The famous Cheraw (bamboo dance) is a spectacular sight. In this group performance, the dancers display rhythmic foot movements and colourful costumes.
The other major dances of the region are Khuallam, Chheihlam, Chai and Sarlamkai. These dances are generally accompanied by a town feast. During these dance festivals, they also organize flower shows, food festival, music competition and traditional games. The region is popular for items made from cane and bamboo.