Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, is a 124-year-old city and the largest hub in Mizoram with almost 25% of the State’s population confined in the city alone. Aizawl was an uninhabited mountain range until the British set up an Army outpost of 400 strong soldiers in 1890, to contain a Mizo chief. Soon, like most British occupied places they brought about development and in 1892-93, Aizawl became accessible by road from Silchar. It opened up Mizoram to the outside world. The Mizo village set up as a military outpost became a business hub. Today, it is one of the most developed cities in the North East. Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, is a delightful city sprawled on a hilltop. I arrived in the city in the wee hours of the morning. The city looked like a starry sky from afar; many stars twinkling in the dark sky.
As soon as I landed I liked the city. Some place just beckons you, some puts you off. A short taxi ride along the empty streets at 4:00 am in the morning, as the driver dropped me to my hotel at Zarkawt point was enough to strike a chord with the place. The streets were clean and cozy with colourful buildings on all sides.
The next morning I woke up to a bright, sunny day. I first got a glimpse of the city from the balcony of my hotel. The city in so many ways beat my expectations. The city is built on a steep slope and the concrete buildings cling on like honeycombs.
The cityscape is a beautiful as well as alarming. The buildings sometimes looked like cards stacked up loosely. A small earthquake or landslide could bring down many buildings as they cling on a slope with no proper base.
Aizawl, for starters, is not the most tourist friendly place. Though it is a beautiful place, you don’t see many tourists nor do the locals encourage tourism. The Mizos are nice people, but they are not overtly friendly. They keep it to themselves. And unless you go and ask them, don’t expect them to come and start talking to you.
On many of my travels as soon as I landed in a new place, I tried to get a good understanding of the place first on the map, than explore right away. The city has taxi services all over the place, but it’s not as if it goes from one end to the other. Most routes are different and it takes some time to understand which taxis go where. The best way to get a good sense of the place is to just walk down the main road and walk up again from Chanmari to Khatla. Also, the city is best viewed from Durtlang Hills at sunset.
There are city buses and white and yellow painted taxis all over the city. Taxis are available on both shared and hired basis.
Most of the shops, restaurants and hotels are confined around Zarkawt point. There are many budget hotels near Zarkawt point. The Bara Bazaar and the Millenium Centre are walking distance from there. Aizawl has fine state-run guest houses but they are located at the outskirts of the city. Some budget hotels in Aizawl are Hotel Ritz, Chawlhna Hotel,Traveller’s Inn, Royale Hotel, Chief Hotel etc.