Mizoram /mɪ.’zoʊ.’ram/ (Mizo pronunciation: /mɪ.’zoʊ.’ram/) (from mi ‘people’, zo ‘hill’, ram ‘country’, literally “land of the hill people” / Mizo people) is one of the Seven Sister States of the North Eastern India, sharing borders with the states of Tripura, Assam, Manipur and with the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Burma. Mizoram became the 23rd state of India on 20 February 1987. Its capital is Aizawl.
Mizoram has a mild climate, comfortable in summer 20 to 29 °C (68 to 84 °F) and never freezing during winter, with temperatures from 7 to 21 °C (45 to 70 °F). The region is influenced by monsoons, raining heavily from May to September with little rain in the dry (cold) season. The average state rainfall is 254 centimetres (100 in) per annum. In the capital Aizawl, rainfall is about 208 centimetres (82 in) and in Lunglei, another major centre, about 350 centimetres (140 in).
Mizoram is a land of rolling hills, valleys, rivers and lakes. As many as 21 major hill ranges or peaks of different heights run through the length and breadth of the state, with plains scattered here and there. The average height of the hills to the west of the state are about 1,000 metres (3,300 ft). These gradually rise up to 1,300 metres (4,300 ft) to the east. Some areas, however, have higher ranges which go up to a height of over 2,000 metres (6,600 ft). Phawngpui Tlang also known as the Blue Mountain, situated in the south-eastern part of the state, is the highest peak in Mizoram at 2,210 metres (7,250 ft).
The biggest river in Mizoram is Chhimtuipui, also known as Kaladan. It originates in Chin state in Burma and passes through Saiha and Lawngtlai districts in the southern tip of Mizoram, goes back to Burma’s Rakhine state, and finally enters the Bay of Bengal at Akyab, which is a very popular port in Sittwe, Burma. The Indian government has invested millions of rupees to set up inland water ways along this river to trade with Burma. The project is known as the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project.
Although many more rivers and streams drain the hill ranges, the most important and useful rivers are the Tlawng, Tut, Tuirial and Tuivawl which flow through the northern territory and eventually join the Barak River in Cachar District. The Chhimtuipui which originates in Burma, is an important river in the south of Mizoram. It has four tributaries and the river is in patches. The western part is drained by river Karnaphuli (Khawthlang tuipui) and its tributaries. A number of important towns, including Chittagong in Bangladesh, are situated at the mouth of the river. Before Independence, access to other parts of the country was only possible through the river routes via Cachar in the north, and via Chittagong in the south. Entry through the latter was cut off when the subcontinent was partitioned and ceded to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1947.
The Palak lake, the biggest in Mizoram is situated in Saiha district which is part of southern Mizoram covering 30 hectares (74 acres). It is believed that the lake was created as a result of an earthquake or a flood. The local people believe that a submerged village remains intact deep under the waters. The Tam Dil lake is a natural lake situated 85 kilometres (53 mi) from Aizawl. Legend has it that a huge mustard plant once stood in this place. When the plant was cut down, jets of water sprayed from the plant and created a pool of water, thus the lake was named Ţam Dil which means of ‘lake of mustard plant’. Today the lake is an important tourist attraction and a holiday resort.
The most significant lake in Mizo history, Rih Dil, is ironically located in Burma, a few kilometres from the Indo-Burma border. It was believed that the departed souls pass through this lake before making their way to Pialral or heaven .mizoram is also called as peninsula state as it has 3 sides covered with water and one side covered with land.
The origin of the Mizos, like those of many other tribes in the northeastern India, is shrouded in mystery. The people living in the Mizo Hills were generally referred to as the cucis or kukis by their neighbouring ethnic groups which was also a term adopted by the British writers. The claim that ‘The Kukis are the earliest known residents of the Mizo hills area,’ must be read in this light. The majority of the tribes classified as “Mizo” today most likely migrated to their present territories from the neighbouring countries in several waves, starting around 1500 CE.