Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mizoram

PROLOUGE

The Name Laldenga would send fear down our spines due to the separatists demand from Indian Union. In general people visiting Mizoram used to be greeted with a statement, Are you from India ? Knowing the history of Mizos, we may be tempted to ask them are you from China or Mongolia. However sanity has prevailed the agitation which began on Feb 28, 1966 ended in 1986 with the Mizo accord. On 30th June 1986 the accord was signed by CM Laldenga and PM Rajeev Gandhi. Mizoram was declared a full fledged state on 20th Feb 1987. The presence of the missionaries bought about a quick resolution in the interest of the state and people. The military presence is quite high to qwell any signs of insurgency in Mizoram. I was lucky to visit twice Aizwal once before the statehood in 1985 and once again after.

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State Website Declares :

Mizoram is our homeland
It is not given or gotten as a gift
It is not acquired by privilege
Or potential contracts
It is not bought with gold or held by the force
No, it is made with us the sweat of the brow
It is the historic creation
And the collective enterprise of a people
Bodily, spiritual and moral
Over a span of generations.

TRAVEL FORMALITIES :

Innerline permit is required to visit Mizoram, the same can be obtained in Delhi, Kolkatta, Gauhati, Shillong, Silchar, Immigration office at Mumbai, Chennai and other border areas too process application on payment of fees. Rs 20 plus Rs 120 along with 3 passport size photographs.

Road Travel : It can be exhausting to the core with steep curvatures on the hilly terrain. The buses and trucks plying are driven mostly by youngsters with a Sylvester stallone type hairstyle in those days. Travelling by loaded trucks can be treacherous with chances of road blocks and jams due to landslide. For those pressed for time it is best to catch flight direct from Kolkatta to Aizwal or Gauhati to Aizwal.

Customs : The Mizo demographic change is rapid. Earlier it was matriarchal now it is patriarchal. There was no taboo if a women used to get pregnant before marriage, she was not under compulsion to marry. Later she used to decide whom to marry or not. Now the system is changing according to times, with women compelled to marry the one responsible for her pregnancy. There is a bride price to be paid for marriage by the bridegroom. The price settled is kept as a security for the girls future. Earlier one used to find majority of the businesses used to be run by females, now male are taking active part.

BUBBLEGUM CULTURE :

Chewing Bubblegum is almost an addiction in these hilly terrains, by young and old alike. Maybe the culture was import of the British and christian missionaries. I remember we got stuck in the road block somewhere enroute to Aizwal, and we had to take rest in a bamboo hut. The porus nature of the platform with cold breeze penetrating the blanket was a real experience. When we woke up in the morning we were served hot mug of tea made out of Milkmaid. We offered money in turn for the boarding and lodging which the natives refused. I carried a pack of bubblegum, which i distributed among the family members, who devoured with ease.

Agriculture :


The world’s best pineapples are grown around this region. I happened to taste one of them in Kolasib, it was so sweet, that I had almost a full size jumbo pineapple for breakfast with salt and spice. Now Tripura claims to produce the worlds best pineapple which is exported to Europe. The other fruits grown are Passion fruit and Orange. Tripura grows litchi, cashews, jackfruit, Tapioca, ginger and turmeric in plenty




PLACES OF TOURIST INTEREST :
( Courtsey State Website )

Blue Mountain: The Highest peak in Mizoram, The Blue Mountain (Phawngpui) is situated in Chhimtuipui district overlooking the bend of the river Koldyne (Chhimtuipui) close on the state's border with Myanmar. The peak 2,157 metre in height and encircled by bamboo groves at the top where there is a level ground of about 200 hectares, offers a grand view of the height hills and the meandering
unadulated valleys. The woods around are home to various species of beautiful and rare flora and fauna.

Pukzing Cave: The largest cave in Mizoram, it is situated at Pukzing village near Marpara in the district of Aizawl district (Mamit). Legend has it that cave was carved out of the hills with the help of only a hair pin by a very strong man called Mualzavata

Milu Puk: In the Mizo language, puk means a cave. Situated near Mamte village over 100 kms, from Lunglei town, the Milu Puk, which is a large cave, was found many years ago to contain heaps of human skeleton.
Lamsial Puk: Sitiuated near Farkawn village in Aizawl (Champhai) district, the cave as a silent testimony to a battle between two neighboring villages in which many lost their lives. The bodies of the fighters from village Lamsial are said to have been kept in the cave.

Kungawrhi Puk: Another cave in Aizawl district, it is situated on a hill between Farkawn and Vaphai Villages. According to the folktales, a beautiful young girl by the name of Kungawrhi was abducted and kept confined in the forlorn cave by some evil spirits when she was on her way to her husband's village. Kungawrhi, however, was later rescued by her husband from the prison of the spirits.

Sibuta Lung: Erected about three hundreds years ago by a tribal chief, this memorial stone is named after him. The memorial offer a story of jilted love and lust for revenge. Having been rejected by a girl he fell headlong in love with, Sibuta went mad for revenge and decided to raise a memorial to himself in a manner which displayed an insane mind. A huge rock awash with the blood of three people sacrificed by Sibuta was carried over a distance of 10 km from the Tlawng river. Darlalpuii, a beautiful young girl, was crushed alive in a pit dug to erect the mausoleum. The memorial was raised over Darlai who lost her life under weight of the stone.

Phulpui Grave: A tale of love and tragedy also hangs by this grave located at Phulpui village in Aizawl District. Tualvungi, a raging beauty in her time, was married to Zawlpala, the Phulpui chief. She was later forced by circumstances to marry Phuntia, chief of another village. But Tualvungi could not forget her first love. She came to Phulpui years after Zawlpala's death, hah a pit dug by the side of his grave and persuaded an old woman to kill and bury there.

Chhingpuii Memorial: Raised to the memory of a young woman called Chhingpuii who was exceedingly beautiful, it is situated between Baktawng and Chhingchhip villages on the Aizawl - Lunglei Road. Chhingpuii, born to an aristocratic family, selected Kaptluanga as her husband from among her many suitors. But her happiness was short-lived, as a war broke out afterwards. Chhingpuii was abducted and killed. A grief-stricken Kaptluanga took his own life. The stone memorial reminds one of the legendary love story of Chhingpuii and Kaptluanga.

Mangkhai Lung: A large memorial stone, it was erected about three hundred years ago at Champhai to the memory of a well-known Ralte chief, Mangkhaia.
Budha's Image: An engraved image of Lord Buddha, with those of dancing girls on either side, was found at a site near Mualcheng Village about 50 km from Lunglei town. The site also has another stone slab on which some human footmarks and a few implements like spearhead and Dao are engraved. The area is close to the Chittagong Hill Tracts which was under which the Buddhist influence a few centuries ago. It is assumed that some visiting Buddhists from the Hill Tracts were responsible for the Buddha engraving.

Suangpuilawn Inscriptions: A stone slab lie by a stream at Suangpuilawn village in Aizawl district with strange words inscribed on it. The inscription remain to be deciphered till date. However, it is believed that the inscription were done by some people who inhabited the area in ancient times.

Thangliana Lung: Captian T.H.Lewin was one of the first Englishmen to come to Mizoram. The District Commissioner of the Chittagong Hills Tracts, who entered Mizoram by way of Demagiri (Tlabung) in 1865, became so popular with the local tribesmen that as a mark of respect, he was called Thangliana which meant 'greatly famous'. He lived with the Mizos for nine years and authored the first Lushai book. His memorial stone at Demagiri remains as evidence of the extent of his popularity with the Mizos.

ACK :  Tourist info courtsey Mizoram Nic.




1 comment:

Catherine Fanai said...

To set the records straight, with regard to the entry on Mizoram on the 29th march, 2009, the Mizos have never been a matriarchal society. As for the bit about the "bubblegum culture" it was n't in hope for bubblegums that the author/traveler was offered hospitality but for the innate regard for others that we Mizos term "tlawmngaihna".

avinash

avinash
cannons ready to fire

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