Mizoram is one of the seven Northeastern states of India. It is bounded by Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in the east and south, Bangladesh in the west, and Manipur, Assam, and Tripura in the north. Mizoram means ‘Land of the Highlanders’ and its local language is Mizo. The Mizo Hills, which dominate the state’s topography, rise to more than 2000 m (6560 ft) near the Myanmar border. Aizawl is the state capital and is 1220 m above sea level.
Mizoram is a land of great natural beauty, an endless variety of landscape with rich flora and fauna, clusters of whispering pines and quaint villages with houses on stilts. The Tropic of Cancer runs through the heart of Mizoram, and hence, it has a pleasantly temperate climate throughout the year. A land of steep hills and deep gorges, Mizoram’s highest peak ‘The Blue Mountain’ rises to a height of 2165 metres. Important rivers that flow through this hilly state are Tlawang, Sonai, Tuivawl, Kolodine and Kamaphuli.
About 95% of current Mizoram population is of diverse tribal origins who settled in the state, mostly from southeast Asia, over waves of migration starting about 16th century but mainly in 18th century. Mizoram is a highly literate agrarian economy, but suffers from slash-and-burn jhum or shifting cultivation, and poor crop yields. In recent years, the jhum farming practices are steadily being replaced with a significant horticulture and bamboo products industry.
The state is rich in bird diversity, which has the potentiality to make it a major birding destination. For Mrs Hume’s pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae), Mizoram is a stronghold. There is also a rare record of the wild water buffalo from the state. There are several past records of the Sumatran rhinoceros from Mizoram, then Lushai Hills. The small population of wild elephants can be seen in Ngengpui and Dampa Sanctuaries. Some of the interesting sites are Mizo Poets’ Square also known as Mizo Hlakungpui Mual in Mizo, the Great Megaliths locally known as ‘Kawtchhuah Ropui’.