Mizoram, also known as the Land of Blue Mountains and the Land of Lushai Highlanders is an exceptionally beautiful place. Covered with lush green forests, tourism in Mizoram is known for its breathtaking views from cliffs, stunning waterfalls and picturesque villages set amidst seas of morning mist that enfold the hills and peaks in its embrace. Here is our complete Mizoram Travel Guide that will help you to plan a trip to Mizoram.
Mizoram runs at its own rhythm. This is what we understood on our week-long trip in Mizoram. Literally tucked in one corner of the country, tourism in Mizoram has not yet seen the rush. Thus the beautiful mountain villages and the verdant valleys beyond Aizawl remains quite a tempting destination for off-the-beaten-track travellers like us. The Mizos are friendly and helpful; they lead their life on their own terms.
The hills of Mizoram are often shrouded in a perpetual mist and cloud. They look simply magnificent. Even at nights, you can see a layer of cloud hovering near the hills. That led us to think why this state was not called the abode of clouds! With diverse natural beauty and gorgeous countryside, the land of Lushai highlanders welcomed us with open arms.
The plan to visit Mizoram was a sudden one. The time was during the October holidays and flights to Aizawl were at a sky-high price. So we decided to do a little detour to Aizawl. We reached Silchar and from there took a shared Sumo to Aizawl. It was a long journey, but Mizoram is worth all the trouble on the road.
- 1 Where is Mizoram located?
- 2 The land of Lushai Highlanders
- 3 Why should you visit Mizoram?
- 4 Mizoram Tourism | How to reach Mizoram?
- 5 Mizoram Tourism | Getting around Mizoram
- 6 Do you need an Inner Line Permit (ILP) for Mizoram?
- 7 Our Mizoram Itinerary
- 8 Mizoram Tourism | Where to stay?
- 9 Mizoram Tourism | What is the best time to visit?
- 10 Tourism in Mizoram & Travel Guide (FAQ’s Answered)
Where is Mizoram located?
Mizoram is located in the southern corner of Northeast India and shares its borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh. Assam, Manipur and Tripura are its neighbours in the Indian side.
The land of Lushai Highlanders
Mizoram has very interesting folklore about their origin. The majority of Mizo tribes believe that they had originated from Khul, a mythical cave in south China. Most of these beliefs were passed on oral traditions. These tribes then migrated towards Manipur and Assam and Myanmar.
Mizo literally means highlanders and so Mizoram is practically the land of the Highlanders. Anthropologically, the Mizos belong to the Mongoloid race and were the original settlers in the Shan state of erstwhile Burma. Two of their tribes, the Lushais and the Hmars migrated to their present land crossing the Tiau River bordering western Burma in the early eighteenth century. After the Indian independence in 1947, Mizoram was originally a part of Assam. Later it became a union territory in 1971 and finally, Mizoram became the 23rd Indian State in 1987.
The Mizos are divided into several sub-tribes having their own dialect. In the past, the Mizos were animists and worshipped nature. Later with the advent of Christian missionaries, they embraced Christianity. Now, the majority of them are Christians and almost every village and city of Mizoram has a beautiful church. Infact, Aizawl can be called a city of churches, as we found so many of them there. The Mizos take their Sundays very seriously. Almost everything is closed on Sundays. The Mizos attend the church dressed in their best attires on Sunday morning and evening for mass and prayer. We arrived Aizawl on a Sunday when all the shops and market were closed, the sumo stand was also closed and we could not get any sumo to our next destination! But on the road, we saw pretty ladies and handsome men in their best dresses and suits. It reminded us of our stay at Shnongpdeng in Meghalaya.
Why should you visit Mizoram?
You should visit Mizoram because tourism in Mizoram is completely unadulterated and off the beaten track. The natural beauty of the state is unparalleled. Verdant rolling hills stretch across the horizon. Different shades of green gradually get toned down towards a bluish tint as you keep looking at them. No wonder Mizoram is also known as the land of blue mountains. In the early morning, the mists from the valleys envelop the hills and mountains in such a way that it feels like a milky white sea. Mizoram also has a number of lakes and waterfalls. Come down to the valleys and you will see stretches of paddy fields surrounded by small hills.
Did you Know? Mizoram has 22 hill ranges of diverse heights.
The Mizos have a rich and culture and they are passionately drawn to singing and dances. The festivals are quite colourful and their songs and dances depict their joyful nature. With so many places to visit in Mizoram, I hope you will definitely find your reason to visit this remote state of India.
Mizoram Tourism | How to reach Mizoram?
The easiest way to reach Mizoram would be by taking a flight to Aizawl, the capital city. Aizawl is connected by direct flights from Kolkata, New Delhi and Guwahati. Other ways to reach Mizoram is long and tedious. Get your flight tickets done early because they usually get costly.
Guwahati to Aizawl
If you do not want to spend on flights, then the next easy way is to reach by road. Overnight buses are available from Guwahati, almost 470 km away. Although Google Maps will show you that it takes about 15 hours to cover this distance, rest assured, buses will take almost 20 -22 hours to reach. Buses to Aizawl are available from the ASTC Bust stand near Guwahati Railway Station and ISBT, Guwahati. I know people who have spent almost 24 hours on the bus. Roads on mountains are highly unpredictable and so keeping buffer time is highly recommended.
Shared sumos are also available from Guwahati to Aizawl.
Silchar to Aizawl
You can also reach Aizawl from Silchar, Assam. Shared sumos are available from Silchar Sumo Stand just opposite to the Mizoram House in Silchar. The distance between Silchar to Aizawl is about 175 km. Here again, do not get fooled by the time G-maps show you. We had taken this route to Aizawl. Sumo takes about 7-8 hours to Aizawl. Sumos from Silchar to Aizawl is available at 6.30 AM, 11.30 AM, 3 PM and 6 PM. The times are subjected to changes.
We arrived at Silchar from Kolkata in the morning and took the sumo at 11.30 AM. The journey started at 12 noon and we reached at 9.30 PM. But our sumo had broken down just 10 km before reaching Aizawl town and we lost about an hour there. Even then, keep aside 7-8 hours for this ride. The conditions of the road are fine as long as it is in Assam. The last stretch of roads to Aizawl is quite bumpy.
There are other ways to reach Mizoram as well. From the Silchar stand, we saw sumos available to Champhai and Kolasib as well.
There are sumos available from Imphal, Manipur to Aizawl as well. But we heard the road conditions to be very bad. There is absolutely no guarantee when you would reach your destination and the ride is very bumpy.
If you are coming from Manipur to Mizoram, I would suggest you make the journey via Silchar. Take a sumo from Imphal to Silchar and then another one to Aizawl. You might take a little more time, but the journey will be a bit better.
There are no railways in Mizoram. The nearest railway station is at Silchar in Assam. From Silchar, take the sumo as I mentioned in the earlier para.
Mizoram Tourism | Getting around Mizoram
Mizoram has a hilly terrain, so some of the roads are not at all good. Mizoram does have a robust sumo service. Almost all the major towns and district headquarters are connected by daily sumos that leave at regular intervals. The villages are also connected by sumo, but their numbers are generally very less.
Mizoram is also one of the northeast states where we found that sumos ply also in the night time. And believe me, they are quite safe. We ourselves were a bit sceptical about the night sumo, having known about the treacherous road conditions of the mountains. But believe, the night sumos in Mizoram are quite safe. We had taken night sumo from Champhai to Aizawl and later from Aizawl to Silchar. As far as we had heard, accidents usually do not happen.
So from Aizawl, you will get sumo to almost all the major towns and destinations of Mizoram like Champhai, Thenzawl, Kolasib, Lunglei, Saiha, Serchip, Lawngtlai etc. Sumos are available from Zarkawt Main Street. There are a number of Sumo counters on the street. Just go to one and book your tickets from there.
From Zarkawt, there is a flight of stairs that comes down to the market area. Sumos from Champhai are available from there. Wherever you want to go, just go to any sumo counter and ask about the place. They will help you with the time, fare and other details of the sumo.
From Zarkawt, you will also get sumos to Silchar. However, sumos to Guwahati is available from some other stand. But there is a sumo counter right at Zarkawt. There is the bus counter also from where you will get bus tickets for Guwahati. While considering our return option, we asked about the bus service. The buses leave at around 2.30 PM and reach Guwahati not before 11.30 the next morning. Volvo buses are available. We saw a couple of them on the road.
Renting cars in Mizoram
Renting cars in Mizoram can be quite a costly affair. It is unlikely that you will get a small car for rent. Mostly, SUVs are available and they charge Rs30-35 per km. So if you have your own car, it is well and good, otherwise, be ready to pay the high price.
Nevertheless, sumo services in Mizoram between the main towns are quite reliable. Try to get the seats in the front or second row. The third row becomes a bit uncomfortable for people having long legs like me!
A word of caution: For going offbeat destinations and villages, get to know about your sumo timings beforehand. Also, go to the counter, meet the driver or any representative and get your seats booked. I am telling you this from our personal experience. I will narrate the experience later.
Bike taxis in Aizawl
Aizawl has a fleet of bike taxis, i.e there are riders on scooty who will take you to your destinations. They usually charge about Rs20 -30 depending on the destination. But they can ask more from tourists.
Do you need an Inner Line Permit (ILP) for Mizoram?
Yes, you would need Inner Line Permit (ILP) for Mizoram. And no, you would not get it online. Indian tourists need Inner Line permit to visit Mizoram and they can be obtained from Liason Officer in Mizoram House in Kolkata, Silchar, Shillong, Guwahati and New Delhi.
ILP can also be obtained from Lengpui Airport at Aizawl, Mizoram for tourists coming in by flight.
Tourists entering from Bairabi and Vairengte can obtain ILP from Sub-Deputy Commissioner, Bairabi and Sub-Divisional Officer Vairengte respectively.
You will need to fill up the ILP form and submit copies of your ID and address proof and two sets of passport-sized photographs.
ILP Fees : Rs.120 (Rs.20 for the form and Rs.100 Processing fees).
Please note, that citizens of Assam need to show the NRC certificate while obtaining ILP.
Validity of ILP: Well, on the website, it is written that ILP can be obtained for 15 days and renewed for another 15 days. But the reality is a bit different. Let me tell you about our experience of getting a Mizoram ILP.
Getting Mizoram ILP
We applied at the Mizoram House at Kolkata located at Singhi Castle Building at Gariahat Road. I had already downloaded the ILP form from the website, filled it up with the details to submit it there. But there I was told I have to fill it up in the form provided by them. So again I filled up the form and submitted to the officer at Mizoram House. Here again, I arrived at the office at 1 PM. The officer there told me that ILP form can be submitted only till 12 PM. After much request and apologies, she took my form.
I had requested for an ILP for 10 days. But there again I was told that ILP will be given only for 7 days. You usually get the ILP on the next working day. However, I think the officer took pity on me and arranged for the ILP on the same day.
The Mizoram Houses remains closed on Saturday, Sundays and Public Holidays. If by any chance, you have not got your ILP done, you can get your ILP also at Vairengte Checkpost. Our sumo from Silchar stopped at the Vairengte Gate. There were a few passengers who did not have ILP. But getting ILP from the Vairengte Checkpost is a long process. For 3 passengers, we had to wait for almost 1.5 hours there. Further, the officials here want details of your sponsorship. It becomes difficult to make them understand that a tour is self-sponsored. There was a guy in motorbike who was getting his ILP from the checkpost. He had a hard time getting the ILP. And the passengers from Assam who did not have their NRC certificate were simply denied ILP.
Getting the ILP renewed
If you want to stay for more than 7 days, you need to get your ILP renewed.
Renewal can be done at District Commissioner’s Office located at Treasury Square, Aizawl.
We went to the Champhai DC office to renew our ILP. There again, we got a new form, filled it up and submitted again (also paid another Rs 140). We wanted to renew for 7 days, but there they renewed the ILP for only 3 days! The lady there simply told us that they cannot renew the ILP for more than 3 days. Fancy wasting an entire day for getting only 3 days permit! I am not quite sure what happen in Aizawl Office. But will you come back to Aizawl again to renew the ILP? So I will recommend you to get different ILPs for your dates.
Having said all these, our ILP was not checked even once in our entire trip, even at the checkpost. But the irony is you need to have an ILP. I often wonder why would I need to get a permit to travel within my own country. Even if I had to, I wish the process was easier and online as the ILP in Arunachal Pradesh.
For Foreign tourists
Foreign tourists no longer require Protected Area Permit for Nagaland. However, they must register themselves at the local Foreigner Registration Office (FRO) of the districts they visit within 24 hours of arrival. But residents of Pakistan, Afghanistan and China are still banned from visiting the PAP restricted area.
Our Mizoram Itinerary
Day 1 | Kolkata – Silchar (by flight) – Aizawl (Sumo)
We started from Kolkata, reached Silchar by flight. Flight to Silchar was really cheap compared to Aizawl. Silchar Airport is a small one located quite away from the main town. ASTC buses are available from the airport to the main town. There is an ASTC Bus Counter at Silchar Airport. Otherwise, you can hire a car from the airport to the town and you will cross through the beautiful and green tea gardens of Assam before entering the small town of Silchar. The car fare is Rs1000.
The Sumo stand is just opposite the Mizoram House at Silchar. We booked our sumo tickets, had our lunch and started our journey towards Mizoram at 12 PM. We reached Aizawl at around 9.30 PM after our car breakdown. It was my second car breakdown after Basar.
Day 2 | Aizawl
This was a Sunday and so everything was closed in Aizawl. We stayed in the city, roamed around the streets visited the churches and admired the handsome men and beautiful ladies. Later in the afternoon, we visited K V Paradise and Solomon’s Temple.
Day 3 | Aizawl – Champhai
We took a sumo early in the morning to Champhai. We reached in the afternoon. Champhai is an extremely beautiful place connected to tourism Mizoram. Located near the Indo-Myanmar border, Champhai district is also known as the Rice Bowl of Mizoram. The place is full of green paddy fields and is so pleasing to the eyes. We stayed at the Champhai Tourist Lodge.
Day 4 | Champhai – Zokawthar – Rih Dil (Myanmar) – Champhai
The main attraction of Champhai is definitely the Rih Dil, a lake situated in Myanmar but revered by the Mizos. Zokawthar is the border town just like Moreh in India. We had not thought that after crossing the Indo- Myanmar border last year, we would again visit Myanmar, even though it is only for some time.
In the morning, we took shared sumo to Zokawthar. From there, we crossed the border bridge across the Tiau River. The River forms the natural boundary between the two countries. On crossing the boundary, we had to keep our Adhaar cards with the border security of Myanmar. While we were wondering on how to go to Rih Dil, we found that scooty are available that will take you to the Lake. The distance is hardly 3-4 km and we rode on the back of the rider and they dropped us to Rih Dil, waited there and also brought us back. The scooty took Rs250 per head.
After our visit to Rih Dil, we came back to Champhai and visited the wine factory. We wanted to see the vineyards, but it was not the season. The vines were all dried up. So we scrapped the plan. If you want to see the vines in season, visit during August.
Day 5 | Champhai – Aizawl
We explored Champai area on foot and also went to the DC office to get our ILP renewed. We were supposed to leave for Vangchhia in the afternoon. Well, then the sumo fiasco happened!
Our sumo fiasco
It so happened, that we were at Champhai and had planned to visit Vangchhia next. We asked a local person about sumo to Vangchhia and he gave us the phone number of the sumo driver. We called him, but could not understand a word of what he said. He was speaking in his own dialect and did not understand English. So we again got hold of another local and asked him to talk to the sumo driver on our behalf. He talked with him and told us that sumo to Vangchhia is available the next day and it will pick us up from Champhai Tourist Lodge at 1 PM.
So we were quite happy that our next sumo was arranged and we did not have to visit the sumo counter. But that was the mistake we made. What happened the next day was totally uncalled for. The next morning, we requested the manager cum cook cum caretaker of the Champhai tourist lodge to speak to the Vangchhia sumo driver to confirm. He spoke to the driver and got the confirmation. So we checked out of the tourist lodge at 12 PM and were waiting for our sumo. It was going to pick us up from the Tourist Lodge itself. It was 1 PM, then 1.30, the sumo did not arrive yet. I started calling on the drivers’ number and he did not pick up the call. It was 2 PM and then 3 PM, yet no news of the sumo driver and he refused to pick up our calls.
We were in Champhai for already 2 days, our next plans were almost fixed and we checked out of the lodge too. We were just sitting at the lobby with our backpacks without knowing what to do. Finally We called up at the Aizawl sumo counter (the number we got while coming to Champhai). They told us that the sumo to Vangchhia already left. Well, he went without taking us! It took us a moment to sink in. So that day, we have nowhere to go and we have to also look for a place to stay.
I called up the sumo counter again to ask about the next day’s sumo. And he had another bad news for us. The next day, there was some sumo owners’ convention and so no sumos will be running! Well, now that was another problem as our leaves were limited! I think I sounded really sad and desperate on the phone. The person on the other end suggested that we might consider going to Aizawl that night itself as night sumos to Aizawl were available.
We were a bit sceptical to take the night sumo but then decided to take it. We asked him to book two seats for us in the sumo. This time also, the guy at the sumo counter said whether he will pick us up from the Tourist Lodge. I almost shouted “No”. Once bitten, twice shy. I am not going to repeat the mistake. So we took our baggage and went straight to the sumo counter in the market area. We bought our tickets, identified our sumo and finally sat down after taking a long breath! Whoa! What a day of misadventures! Vangchhia was cancelled for this trip.
Day 6 | Aizawl – Thenzawl – Hmuifang
We reached Aizawl early in the morning at around 5 AM. When we arrived, Aizawl was still sleeping. So we waited at the sumo stand for almost 2 hours. At 7 AM we went to Zarkawt and booked a Sumo to Thenzawl.
The road to Thenzawl goes through a place where the Tropic of Cancer passes through. The sumo driver was good enough to stop the sumo there for some time so that we can take some photographs. He was so good after the one who stranded us at Champhai. We reached Thenzawl and booked a car there and visited the Vantwang Falls and the Tuirihiau Falls.
Vantwang Falls is a vision. You cannot really go close to the waterfall and have to see it from a distance at the viewpoint. Even from a distance, it looks amazing. Tuirihiau falls is special because we could go behind the falls. Both of them were extremely gorgeous. From Thenzawl, we came back to Hmuifang. We had a hard time getting sumo for Hmuifang as it was almost late. We had to wait a long time before we got a car that dropped us to Hmuifang.
Hmuifang is a small hill station and has some great views of the mountains and valleys. Hmuifang lies between Aizawl and Thenzawl. We stayed at the Hmuifang Tourist Lodge for the night.
Day 7 | Hmuifang – Aizawl
Early mornings in Hmuifang is beautiful with the mist rolling in and clouds hanging over the hills. We felt that we could spend the entire day there simply looking at the clouds coming and going. There is not much to do here. This is a place to relax. And well, we enjoyed the stay after all our hectic sumo journeys. Later in the afternoon, we returned to Aizawl.
Here again, we found it difficult to get a vehicle for Aizawl a bit difficult. All the sumos that were coming from Thenzawl or Serchhip were already full. We had to wait a long time before we got 2 seats in sumo.
Day 8 | Aizawl – Reiek – Aizawl
So we had another day and we decided to give a visit to Reiek. We hired a car for Reiek as we could not find any proper public vehicle for Reiek that would suit our time.
Reiek is another delightful place and is also the venue of the Anthurium festival. The festival was celebrated just a few days back and so Reiek was decorated quite beautifully. A model Mizo village was also built for the visitors there. We climbed up Reiek Peak and took a visit to the model village. After that, we were back at Aizawl.
From Aizawl, we took night sumo to Silchar. Now that we had already done a night journey, we had no qualms in doing it again. The only problem that we faced was that the sumo dropped us at Silchar at 3.00 AM and our train to Agartala was at 8 AM. We had to wait for 5 long hours at the railway station which did not even have a proper waiting room.
Mizoram Tourism | Where to stay?
The best places to stay in Mizoram are Tourist Lodges run by Mizoram Tourism department. They are located at strategic locations and are quite cheaper compared to hotels.
Aizawl has a number of hotels, but we found the hotel rent to be comparatively higher compared to the service and standard. Well, the Mizoram is quite remote and understandably the cost of living is higher here. There is a travellers Inn at Aizawl that has single rooms for Rs350. But the hostel is quite basic. Champhai also has a few hotels.
To book the Tourist Lodges, simply make a call and inform them about your requirement. They usually take up booking on the phone. If by any chance, you are not visiting, please inform them that also.
Phone number of some Tourist Lodges run by Mizoram Tourism
- Chaltlang T/L (Aizawl) : (0389) 2341083/ 2349421
- Champhai T/L : (03831) 235866/ 9436143518
- Hmuifang T/L : 9436379544
- Reiek T/L : 9366078543
- Thenzawl T/L : 03838-261489/ 9612065527/ 9863352362
- Zokawthar T/L : 8415841566
Mizoram Tourism | What is the best time to visit?
You can visit Mizoram throughout the year. The best time will be between October to March. The monsoon season should be avoided as the roads get treacherous during the rains.
Tourism in Mizoram & Travel Guide (FAQ’s Answered)
Q. Is it safe to travel in Mizoram?
Mizoram is absolutely safe to travel. The people are friendly and there are usually no issues in the state.
Q. How is mobile and internet connectivity?
The main cities and town have proper mobile and internet connectivity. Vodafone and Jio work fine there. The remote places do not have proper connectivity though. We did not have any mobile connectivity at Hmuifang and a very poor one at Reiek and Thenzawl.
Q. Is permit required to visit Mizoram?
Yes, ILP is required to visit Mizoram. It has been already covered.
Q. Are there ATMs in Mizoram?
The main towns have a number of ATMs. We found sufficient ATMs in Aizawl, Thenzawl and Champhai. Reiek and Huifang did not have any ATM.
Q.How is the local transport in Mizoram?
You need to take a sumo to travel across Mizoram. The sumo services are quite robust and covers almost all the areas of the state. In Aizawl, taxis and bike taxis are available for commuting. We even saw a few buses, but they were less in number.
Q. How is the food? Is vegetarian food available?
The food is quite tasty. The best thing we found in Mizoram is community dining. The hotels (I am not talking about fancy restaurants here) will provide a sumptuous meal at a fixed rate. All the places we ate on the road charged Rs150 per head. A table would have 6-8 chairs. They would provide a large array of dishes on a table and all the people sitting at the table would have to eat together. They would fill up the bowls and dishes again with food if it finished. You can eat as much as you want. But you have to eat together with a few strangers on the road. I found this concept of community eating quite interesting.
Q. What to carry in Mizoram?
Carry your ID cards and keep it safe. As for clothes, do carry some woollens and jackets whenever you plan to visit Mizoram. And in winters do carry sufficient woollens and scarves.
Q. Is Mizoram expensive?
Travelling in Mizoram by rented car is a tad bit expensive. Hotels also are expensive compared to the price of the room.
We had travelled across Mizoram in shared sumos and stayed at the Tourist Lodges. They are fairly priced. We had food at the local restaurants and as we mentioned before, these places provide a meal for Rs150 per head which consists of chicken, pork, rice and vegetables in a large amount.
Q. What are other places of interest in Mizoram?
Mizoram is known as the land of the Blue Mountains. And this Blue Mountain can be seen at Lawngtlai. The Phawngpui Peak is the highest peak in Mizoram and is known as the Blue mountain.
Another interesting place is Tam Dil, a lake located in Saitual, a village, about 110 km from Aizawl. Vangchhia, the place that we missed is known for its archaeological findings. A lot of menhirs had been found there that might have a link with Mizoram’s past. Vangchhia is located near Champhai.
Q. Anything else that we should know?
- Mizoram practically remains full closed on Sunday. Fewer sumos run on Sundays. So plan your trip and itinerary accordingly.
- The local people are no doubt very good and honest. But for renting cars, bike taxis etc from the road, they quote a high amount, that they usually do not charge from the local population. Like the other states, they also try to get a maximum amount from the tourists. So you have to bargain with the taxi drivers and bike taxi drivers for a fair price.
Mizoram is really a beautiful and interesting place. Take time to visit this northeast state of India. You might not find the best of infrastructure here, but the experience will be worth all your trouble. We also faced a few problems with the ILP, sumo service and all, but all these are a part of travel. Inspite of all these, we loved Mizoram and would visit the place again. We will also recommend you to take a visit to the land of the Lushai Highlanders.
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