Mizoram (English: /mɪˈzɔːrəm/ ( listen)) is a state in
Northeast India, with
Aizawl as its capital city. The name is derived
from "Mizo", the name of the native inhabitants, and "Ram", which
means land, and thus
Mizoram means "land of the Mizos". Within the
northeast region, it is the southernmost landlocked state, sharing
borders with three of the Seven Sister States, namely Tripura, Assam
and Manipur. The state also shares a 722 kilometre border with the
neighbouring countries of
Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Like several other northeastern states of India,
previously part of
Assam until 1972, when it was carved out as a Union
Territory. It became the 23rd state of India, a step above Union
Territory, on 20 February 1987, with Fifty-Third Amendment of Indian
Mizoram's population was 1,091,014, according to a 2011 census. It is
the 2nd least populous state in the country.
Mizoram covers an area
of approximately 21,087 square kilometres. About 91% of the state
About 95% of the current population is of diverse tribal origins who
settled in the state, mostly from Southeast Asia, over waves of
migration starting about the 16th century but mainly in the 18th
century. This is the highest concentration of tribal people among
all states of India, and they are currently protected under Indian
constitution as a Scheduled Tribe.
Mizoram is one of three states
India with a Christian majority (87%). Its people belong to
various denominations, mostly
Presbyterian in the north and Baptists
in the south.
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's gross state domestic product for 2012
was estimated at ₹6,991 crore (US$1.1 billion). About 20% of
Mizoram's population lives below poverty line, with 35% rural
poverty. The state has about 871 kilometres of national highways,
with NH-54 and NH-150 connecting it to
It is also a growing transit point for trade with
2.1 British era (1840s to 1940s)
2.2 Post 1947
4.1 Ethnic groups
4.2 Protected demographic category
6.2 Forestry, fisheries and sericulture
6.4 Education infrastructure
6.5 Energy infrastructure
6.6 Transport infrastructure
8.1 Traditional festivals
10.1 Alcohol prohibition
10.2 Rat problems
11 Media and communication
12 Notable people
13 See also
15 Further reading
16 External links
Mizoram is derived from two Mizo words-Mizo and ram. 'Mizo'
is the name used to call the native inhabitants and 'Ram' means
'land'. There is dispute on the term 'zo'. According to one view, 'zo'
means 'highland' (or hill) and
Mizoram means 'land of the Mizos'. B.
Lalthangliana says 'zo' may also mean 'cold region' and therefore,
Mizo may also signify people of the cold region.
Main article: History of Mizoram
One of the many battles between British troops and British-aligned
Mizoram against a
Lusei clan in Mizoram. This sketch is
by Lieutenant Cole in 1889 titled "Looshai expedition".
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.
Before the British Raj, the various Mizo clans lived in autonomous
villages. The tribal chiefs enjoyed an eminent position in the
gerontocratic Mizo society. The various clans and subclans practised
slash-and-burn, locally called jhum cultivation - a form of
subsistence agriculture. The chiefs were the absolute rulers of
their respective clans' territories (ram), although they remained
under the nominal political jurisdictions of the Rajas of Manipur,
Tripura and Burma. There were many instances of tribal raids and
head-hunting led by the village chieftains. Head-hunting was a
practice which involved ambushing, taking slaves and cutting off the
heads of fighters from the enemy tribe, bringing it back, and
displaying it at the entrance of the tribal village.
British era (1840s to 1940s)
Some of the earliest records of raids and intertribal conflicts are
from the early 19th century. In the 1840s, Captain Blackwood of
Britain marched into the Mizo Hills with his troops to punish a Palian
tribal chief for raiding British interests in India. A few years
later, Captain Lester was wounded in a battle with the
Lusei tribe in
the region that is now Mizoram. In 1849, a
Lusei tribal raid killed 29
members of the Thahdos tribe and added 42 captives to their clan.
Colonel Lister retaliated in 1850, with the co-operation of the
Thahdos tribe, an event historically called the First British
invasion, burning down a
Lusei village of 800 tribal houses and
freeing 400 Thahdos captives. British historical records on
the Mizo Hills state similar inter-ethnic tribal raids for loot,
slaves and retaliatory battles continued for decades.
The Mizo Hills formally became part of British
India in 1895, and
practices such as head-hunting were banned in
Mizoram as well as
neighbouring regions. The northern and southern Mizo Hills became
Assam province in 1898 as the
Lushai Hills District, with
Aizawl as their headquarters. At the time of the British conquest,
there were around 60 chiefs. After Christian missionaries arrived
with the gospel, the majority of the population became Christians in
the first half of the 20th century.
By the time
India gained independence from the British Empire, the
number of tribal chiefs had increased to over 200. The educated elites
Mizos campaigned against the tribal chiefdoms under the
banner of the Mizo Union. As a result of their campaign, the
hereditary rights of the 259 chiefs were abolished under the
Assam-Lushai District ("Acquisition of Chief's Rights") Act,
1954. Village courts were re-implemented in the Mizo region
along with other parts of Assam. All of these regions were frustrated
by these arrangements and by centralised
Assam governance. The Mizos
were particularly dissatisfied with the government's inadequate
response to the 1959–60 mautam famine. The Mizo National Famine
Front, a body formed for famine relief in 1959, later developed into a
new political organisation, the
Mizo National Front
Mizo National Front (MNF) in 1961.
A period of protests and armed insurgency followed in the 1960s, with
the MNF seeking independence from India.
In 1971, the government agreed to convert the Mizo Hills into a Union
Territory, which came into being as
Mizoram in 1972. Following the
Mizoram Peace Accord (1986) between the Government and the MNF,
Mizoram was declared a full-fledged state of
India in 1987.
Mizoram was given two seats in the Parliament, one each in the Lok
Sabha and in the Rajya Sabha. The region has been peaceful in
recent decades. Between 2006 and 2013, no more than two civilians have
died each year from protest-related violence (or less than 0.2 people
per 100,000). The world's average annual death rate from
intentional violence, in recent years, has been 7.9 per 100,000
Main article: Geography of Mizoram
Mizoram is a landlocked state in North East
India whose southern part
shares 722 kilometres long international borders with
Bangladesh, and northern part share domestic borders with Manipur,
Assam and Tripura. It is the fifth smallest state of
21,087 km2 (8,142 sq mi). It extends from 21°56'N to
24°31'N, and 92°16'E to 93°26'E. The tropic of cancer runs
through the state nearly at its middle. The maximum north-south
distance is 285 km, while maximum east-west stretch is
Mizoram landscape is mostly rolling hills with major valleys. Most
villages and town are located on hill sides.
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
2,210 metres (7,250 ft). About 76% of the state is covered by
forests, 8% is fallows land, 3% is barren and considered uncultivable
area, while cultivable and sown area constitutes the rest.
Slash-and-burn or jhum cultivation, though discouraged, remains in
Mizoram and affects its topography. The State of
Forest Report 2015 states that
Mizoram has the highest forest cover as
a percentage of its geographical area of any Indian state, being
Chhimtuipui (top) and Tuipui river of Mizoram
Mizoram terrain is, according to the Geological Survey of India, an
immature topography, and the physiographic expression consists of
several almost North-South longitudinal valleys containing series of
small and flat hummocks, mostly anticlinal, parallel to sub-parallel
hill ranges and narrow adjoining synclinal valleys with series of
topographic highs. The general geology of western
Mizoram consists of
repetitive succession of Neogene sedimentary rocks of the Surma Group
and Tipam Formation such as sandstone, siltstone, mudstone and rare
pockets of shell limestone. The eastern part is the Barail Group.
Mizoram lies in seismic zone V, according to the
Department; as with other northeastern states of India, this means the
state has the highest risk of earthquakes relative to other parts of
The biggest river in
Mizoram is Chhimtuipui, also known as Kaladan(or
Kolodyne). It originates in Chin state in
Burma and passes through
Lawngtlai districts in the southern tip of Mizoram, goes
back to Burma's Rakhine state. 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
rivers have a gentle drainage gradient particularly in the south.
Palak lake is the biggest in
Mizoram and covers 30 hectares (74
acres). The lake is situated in
Saiha district of southern Mizoram. 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 departed souls pass through this lake
before making their way to
Pialral or heaven.
Mizoram is also
called a "peninsula state" as it is surrounded by
international borders on three sides.
Mizoram has a mild climate, being relatively cool in summer 20 to
29 °C (68 to 84 °F)but progressively warmer most probably
due to climate change with temperature crossing 30 degrees Celsius
with winter temperatures ranging from 7 to 22 °C (45 to
72 °F). The region is influenced by monsoons, raining heavily
from May to September with little rain in the dry (cold) season. The
climate pattern is moist tropical to moist sub-tropical, with average
state rainfall 254 centimetres (100 in) per annum. In the capital
Aizawl, rainfall is about 215 centimetres (85 in) and in Lunglei,
another major centre, about 350 centimetres (140 in). The
state is in a region where cyclones and landslides can cause
Climate data for Aizwal, the capital of Mizoram
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
State symbols of Mizoram
Mrs. Hume's pheasant
Mrs. Hume's pheasant (Vavu)
Indian rose chestnut (Herhse)
Red Vanda (Senhri)
Vavu (Mrs. Hume's pheasant) is the state bird (top) and Senhri
(Renanthera imschootiana) the state flower of Mizoram.
Mizoram has the third highest total forest cover with 1,594,000
hectares (3,940,000 acres), and highest percentage area (90.68%)
covered by forests, among the states of India, according to 2011
Forest Survey of India. Tropical semi-evergreen, tropical moist
deciduous, subtropical broadleaved hill and subtropical pine forests
are the most common vegetation types found in Mizoram.
common in the state, typically intermixed with other forest
vegetation; about 9,245 km2 (44%) of the state's area is bamboo
bearing. The state and central governments of
India have cooperated to
reserve and protect 67% of the land covered by forests, and additional
15% by management. Only 17% of the land is non-forested area for
cultivation, industry, mining, housing and other commercial human
activity. Satellite data suggests 91% of state's geographical area is
covered by forests.
Jhum cultivation, or slash-and-burn practice, was a historic tradition
Mizoram and a threat to its forest cover. This practice has reduced
in recent decades, due to a government supported initiative to support
horticultural crops such as pineapple and banana plantations.
Mizoram is host to numerous species of birds, wildlife and flora.
About 640 species of birds have been identified in the state, many of
which are endemic to the Himalayan foothills and southeast Asia. Of
the birds found in
Mizoram forests, 27 are on the worldwide threatened
species lists and 8 are on the critically endangered list.
Prominent birds spotted in
Mizoram include those from the families of
Phasianidae, Anatidae, Ciconiidae, Threskiornithidae, Ardeidae,
Pelecanidae, Phalacrocoracidae, Falconidae, Accipitridae, Otididae,
Rallidae, Heliornithidae, Turnicidae, Burhinidae, Charadriidae,
Scolopacidae, Jacanidae, Laridae, Columbidae, Psittacidae, Cuculidae,
Strigidae, Caprimulgidae, Apodidae, Alcedinidae, Meropidae,
Bucerotidae, Ramphastidae, Picidae, Pittidae, Laniidae, Campephagidae,
Dicruridae, Corvidae, Paridae, Hirundinidae, Cisticolidae,
Pycnonotidae, Sylviidae, Timaliidae, Sittidae, Sturnidae, Turdidae,
Dicaedae, Chloropseidae, Ploceidae, Motacillidae, Fringillidae,
Nectariniidae and Muscicapidae. Each of these families have many
The state is also host to a variety of fauna, just like its sister
northeastern Indian states. Mammal species observed in the Mizoram
forests include slow loris (Nycticebus coucang), red serow
(Capricornis rubidus), which is the state animal, goral (Nemorhaedus
goral), tiger (Panthera tigris), leopard (Panthera pardus), clouded
leopard ("Neofelis nebulosi"), leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis),
Asiatic black bear
Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus). Primates seen include
stump-tailed macaque (Macaca arctoides), hoolock gibbon (Hylobates
Phayre's leaf monkey
Phayre's leaf monkey (Trachypithecus phayrei) and capped
langur (Trachypithecus pileatus). The state is also home to many
reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates.
The state has two national parks and six wildlife sanctuaries - Blue
Mountain (Phawngpui) National Park, Dampa
Tiger Reserve (largest),
Lengteng Wildlife Sanctuary, Murlen National Park, Ngengpui Wildlife
Sanctuary, Tawi Wildlife Sanctuary, Khawnglung Wildlife Sanctuary, and
Thorangtlang Wildlife Sanctuary.
Source:Census of India
Mizoram has a population of 1,091,014 with 552,339 males and 538,675
females. This reflects a 22.8% growth since 2001 census; still,
Mizoram is second least populated state of India. The sex ratio of the
state is 976 females per thousand males, higher than the national
ratio 940. The density of population is 52 persons per square
The literacy rate of
Mizoram in 2011 was 91.33 per cent, higher
than the national average 74.04 per cent, and second best among all
the states of India. About 52% of
Mizoram population lives in urban
areas, much higher than India's average. Over one third of the
Mizoram lives in
Aizawl district, which hosts the
The great majority of Mizoram's population consists of several ethnic
tribes who are either culturally or linguistically linked. These
ethnic groups are collectively known as
Mizos (Mi means People, Zo
means Hill; Mizo thus is hillmen).
Mizo people are spread
throughout the northeastern states of India,
Burma and Bangladesh.
They belong to numerous tribes; however, to name a particular tribe as
the largest is difficult as no concrete census has ever been
Sometime in the 16th century CE, the first batch of Mizo crossed Tiau
river and settled in
Mizoram and they were called as
Bengalis. The term Kuki mean the inhabitants of the interior and
inaccessible mountain tracts. Sometimes grouped as Kuki-Chin tribes,
The First batch were called Old
Kukis which are the
Biate and the
Hrangkhol and the second batch that followed include Lushei (or
Lusei), Paite, Lai, Mara, Ralte, Hmar, Thadou, Shendus, and several
other. These tribes are subdivided into numerous clans, and these
clans are further sub-divided into sub-clans, for example the Hmars
are divided into Thiek, Faihriem, Lungtau, Darngawn, Khawbung, Zote
and others. These clans sometimes have slight linguistic differences.
The Bru (Reang), Chakma, Tanchangya, Chin origin of Northern Arakan
Mountain, are some non-Kuki tribes of Mizoram, with some suggestion
that some of these are Indo-Aryan in their origins. The Bnei
Menashe tribe claim Jewish descent.
The diversity of tribal groups reflects the historical immigration
patterns. Different tribes and sub-tribes arrived in the present
Mizoram, in successive waves and settled down in different parts of
the state. Further, as they arrived, there were raids, fear of raids
and intertribal feuds. The resulting isolation and separation created
numerous tribes and sub-tribes. The
Mizo people usually suffix
their descriptive given names with their tribe.
Other than tribal groups, other ethnic groups inhabit Mizoram. For
example, Nepali Gorkhas were encouraged to settle in
Aizawl area and
other parts of
Mizoram during the British colonial times. Thousands of
their descendants are now residents of Mizoram.
Protected demographic category
According to 2011 census,
Mizoram had 1,036,115 people (95% of total)
classified as Scheduled Tribe, the highest concentration of protected
tribal people in all states of India. This demographic
classification, given to
Mizoram tribes since the 1950s, has provided
reservations and extra resources in education and government job
opportunities, a preferential treatment as a means to accelerate their
integration with mainstream society.
Main article: Mizo language
Mizoram in 2001
Mizo is the official language and the most widely used language for
verbal interactions, but English, being important for education,
administration, formalities and governance, is widely used. The
Duhlian dialect, also known as the Lusei, was the first language of
Mizoram and has come to be known as the Mizo language. The language is
mixed with other dialects like the Hmar, Mara, Lai, Thadou-Kuki,
Paite, Gangte, etc. Christian missionaries developed the Mizo script.
Writing is a combination of the Roman script and Hunterian
transliteration methodology with prominent traces of a phonetics-based
spelling system. There are 25 letters in the alphabet: A, AW, B, CH,
D, E, F, G, NG, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, Ṭ (with a dot
under), U, V, Z. Mizo is one of the languages with official status in
India (at the state level). Nepali is also spoken by Nepali immigrants
to the state.
The major languages spoken as per census 2001 are Mizo (650,605),
Chakma (80,389), Lakher (34,731), Pawi (24,900), Kuki(21,040), Tripuri
(17,580), Hmar (14,240), Paite (14,367), etc.
Other or not religious (0.16%)
The majority (87%) of
Mizos are Christians in various denominations,
Mizoram has a Chakma
population of 8.5%, making them the largest minority, followed by
Hindus at 2.7% according to the 2011 census. There are several
thousand people, mostly ethnic Mizo, who have converted to Judaism
claiming to be one of the lost Judaic tribe group Bnei Menashe, with
descent from the biblical Menasseh. Muslims make up about 1.3% of
the state population. The remaining 3,000 people are Sikhs, Jains and
Main article: History of
Christianity in Mizoram
The major Christian denomination is
Presbyterian Church which
was established by a Welsh Missionary Rev. D.E. Jones starting in
1894. By the time
India gained independence from British Empire,
some 80% of Lushei tribe people had converted to Christianity. The
Presbyterian Church is one of the constituted bodies of the
General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church of
Meghalaya; it became the dominant sect of
Christianity in north
Mizoram hills; In the southern hills of Mizoram, the Baptist Church
had the dominant following. Other Christian churches present in
Mizoram include the United Pentecostal Church, the Salvation Army, the
Seventh-day Adventist Church, Kohhran Thianghlim, Roman Catholic,
Lairam Isua Krista Baptist Kohhran (LIKBK), Congregational Church of
India (Maraland), Evangelical Church of Maraland, Independent Church
India (ICI) and Evangelical Free Church of
According to 2001 census report there are more than 70,494 people who
Buddhism in Mizoram. The Chakmas and Tongchangya or Tanchangya
have been Buddhist since[when?] historical times and there are
approximately one hundred monasteries (known as vihara in Pali) in
Mizoram. Of the many schools of
Buddhism that are exist recent time
Buddhism in Mizoram.
According to the 2001 census, there were 31,562 Hindus in Mizoram, or
about 3.55%. Out of this, 26,448 were non-indigenous and 5,114 were
indigenous tribal. Earlier there were significant Hindu population
among the Reang (Bru) communities, but after the communal clash, many
of them migrated to
Tripura and Assam. In 1961, the
Hindu population was about 6%.
There are also a few
Mizos who practice Judaism (866 according to the
2001 census) and a modernised traditional Mizo religion called Hnam
sakhua, which puts a particular emphasis on Mizo culture and seeks to
revive traditional Mizo values, while at the same time attacking the
influence brought about by
Christianity on Mizo people.[citation
A total of 1,367 people practised the Mizo religion according to the
2001 census. This number included, in addition to the original Mizo
religion (755 people), adherents of other tribal religions such as
Lalchhungkua (279), Lalhnam (122), and Nunna Lalchhungkua (211).
Politics of Mizoram and Government of Mizoram
Mizoram Assembly House
Originally village land, locally called ram, was the property of the
tribal chief. The institution of chieftainship began in the 16th
century. Each village behaved like a small state, and the chief was
called Lal. The rule was hereditary, and there were no written laws
(the first script for
Mizo language was developed by Christian
missionaries Lorraine and Savidge about 1895).
After annexation by the British in the 1890s, northern part of Mizoram
was administered as the
Lushai Hills district of Assam, while southern
Mizoram was part of Bengal. In 1898, the southern part was transferred
from Bengal to Assam. The colonial power retained the chiefs and Mizo
customs, including the socially stratified hereditary transfer of
political power. In 1937, under Section 6 of the Scheduled District
Act, the British administration consolidated executive and
legislative political power to the
Deputy Commissioner and District
Magistrates, with village chiefs in advisory role. The political and
judiciary powers of chiefs were neither final nor exclusive,
thereafter. Rulings could be appealed to courts staffed with British
India gained independence from the colonial rule, the
region was granted autonomous status in 1952, where Mizo people
formulated their own laws and delivered judicial decisions. The region
was renamed as Mizo District within
Assam State in April 1954 and in
that year, the institution of hereditary chieftainship was abolished,
and instead village courts/council were set up. In the same year
Young Mizo Association was formed which is still an important
institution in Mizoram.
The representatives of the
Lushai Hills Autonomous District Council
Mizo Union pleaded with the States Reorganisation Commission
(SRC) to integrate the Mizo-dominated areas of
Tripura and Manipur
with the District Council in Assam. The tribal leaders in the
northeast were unhappy with the final SRC recommendations and met in
Aizawl in 1955 to form a new political party, Eastern
Union (EITU). This group raised their demand for a separate state
comprising all the hill districts of Assam. However, the demand was
not accepted by the Government.
Mizoram Peace Accord was signed in June 1986. The Accord granted
political freedoms by making
Mizoram a full state of India, and
included infrastructure provisions such as a High Court and
Mizoram University (shown).
In the 1950s, the fears of Assamese hegemony and perceived lack of
government concern led to growing discontent among the Mizos. The
Mizos were particularly dissatisfied with the government's inadequate
response to the 1959–60 mautam famine. The Mizo National Famine
Front, a body formed for famine relief in 1959, later developed into a
new political organisation, the
Mizo National Front
Mizo National Front (MNF) in 1961.
The Front sought sovereign independence for the Mizo territory,
staging an armed insurrection with the 28 February 1966 uprising
against the government. The revolt was suppressed by the
Government of India, which carried out airstrikes in
surrounding areas. The secessionist
Mizo National Front
Mizo National Front was
outlawed in 1967, as the
Mizo Union and other organisations continued
the demand for a separate Mizo state within the Republic of India.
Assam state was split, re-organised into multiple political regions,
Mizo hills area was declared
Mizoram after the insurgency, and it
received status as a
Union Territory in 1972. A Peace Accord was
signed between central government and insurgent groups of
30 June 1986. Per the accord, insurgents surrendered their arms and
Mizoram became the 23rd state of
India in 1986, formalised the
following year. The first election of
Mizoram Legislative Assembly
Mizoram Legislative Assembly was
held on 16 February 1987. Elections have been held at 5 year
intervals since then. The most recent
Mizoram elections were held for
40 seats of legislative assembly on 25 November 2013. The voter
turnout was 81%. The
Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress led by
Lal Thanhawla was
re-elected to power.
Nirbhay Sharma (Retd) is the Governor of Mizoram.
Main article: List of districts of Mizoram
Districts of Mizoram
Mizoram State Legislative Assembly has 40 seats and the Village
Councils are the grassroots of democracy and leadership in Mizoram.
The state has a chief minister, council of ministers with a portfolio
of ministries responsible for different priorities and role of the
There are three Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) for ethnic tribes
in Mizoram, namely
Chakma Autonomous District Council (in the southern
part of state, bordering Bangladesh), Lai Autonomous District Council
Lai people in the southern part of the state, and Mara
Autonomous District Council (MADC) for
Mara people in the
There are eight districts in Mizoram. A district of
Mizoram is headed
Deputy Commissioner who is in charge of the administration in
that particular district. The
Deputy Commissioner is the executive
head of the district, responsible for implementing government
regulations, the law and order situation in the district, as well as
being responsible for tax collection for the government.
A Superintendent of Police is responsible for the police
administration of each district. These officials work with the
village councils in each district.
Main article: Economy of Mizoram
The capital city of Aizawl.
Mizoram gross state domestic product (GSDP) in 2011-2012 was about
₹6,991 crore (US$1.1 billion). The state's gross state
domestic product (GSDP) growth rate was nearly 10% annually over
2001-2013 period. With international borders with
Myanmar, it is an important port state for southeast Asian imports to
India, as well as exports from India.
The biggest contributors to state's GSDP growth are Agriculture,
Public Administration and Construction work. Tertiary sector of
service sector continued to have the contribution to the GSDP with its
share hovering between 58 per cent and 60 per cent during the past
As of 2013, according to the Reserve Bank of India, 20.4% of total
state population is below poverty line, about same as the 21.9%
average for India. Rural poverty is significantly higher in Mizoram,
with 35.4% below the poverty line compared to India's rural poverty
average of 25.7; while in urban areas of Mizoram, 6.4% are below the
Mizoram has a highly literate work force, with literacy rate of nearly
90% and widespread use of English. The state has a total of 4,300
kilometres of roads of which 927 kilometres are high quality national
highways and 700 kilometres of state highways. The state is developing
its Kolodyne river for navigation and international trade. Mizoram's
airport is at the capital city of Aizawl. The state is a power deficit
state, with plans to develop its hydroelectric potential. After
agriculture, the major employer of its people include handloom and
horticulture industries. Tourism is a growth industry. In 2008, the
state had nearly 7,000 registered companies. The state government has
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to encourage economic
A paddy field in Zawlpui, Serchhip
Between 55% to 60% of the working population of the state is annually
deployed on agriculture. The sector's contribution to the
gross state domestic product was 30% in 1994, just 14% in 2009 due to
economic growth of other sectors.
Agriculture has traditionally been a subsistence profession in
Mizoram. It is seen as a means for generate food for one's family,
ignoring its potential for commerce, growth and prosperity. Rice
remains the largest crop grown in
Mizoram by gross value of
output. Fruits have grown to become the second largest category,
followed by condiments and spices.
Before 1947, agriculture in
Mizoram predominantly used to be
slash-and-burn driven Jhum cultivation. This was discouraged by the
state government, and the practice has been slowly declining. A
2012 report estimates the proportion of shifting cultivation area
Mizoram to be about 30% - predominant part of which was for rice
production (56% to 63% depending on the year). Despite dedicating
largest amount of labour, jhum cultivated and non-jhum crop area to
rice, the yields are low;
Mizoram average rice yields per acre is
about 70% of India's average rice yield per acre and 32% of India's
Mizoram produces about 26% of rice it consumes every year,
and it buys the deficit from other states of India.
The crop area used for jhum cultivation rotates in Mizoram; that is,
the area slashed and burnt for a crop is abandoned for a few years and
then jhumias return to slash and burn the same plot after a few years
of non-use. The primary reasons for cyclical jhum cultivation
includes, according to Goswami et al., personal, economic, social
Jhum cultivation practice offers low crop yields and is
a threat to the biome of Mizoram; they suggest increased government
institutional support, shift to higher income horticultural crops,
assured supply of affordable food staples for survival as means to
further reduce jhum cultivation.
Oil palm in Mamit
In horticulture and floriculture,
Mizoram is a significant producer
and global exporter of
Anthurium (over 7 million a year) and roses. It
is also a significant producer and domestic supplier of banana,
ginger, turmeric, passion fruit, orange and chowchow.
accomplished this horticulture success and exports in 2009, with just
6% of its cultivated land dedicated to horticulture and floriculture,
indicating a large potential for further growth and economic
integration with other Indian states as well export driven
economy. In 2013, the area dedicated to horticulture and
floriculture increased to 9.4% of 1.2 million hectares potential.
The agricultural productivity is very low in Mizoram. The state
gets a lot of rain, but its soil is porous and irrigation
infrastructure very inadequate; this has affected it crop yield and
reliability. The yield issue that can be addressed by building
irrigation infrastructure and adoption of better crop technologies.
The state also has very low consumption of fertiliser and pesticides,
which scholars suggest offers an opportunity for organic farming
particularly of vegetables and fruits.
Forestry, fisheries and sericulture
Mizoram is one of the leading producers of bamboo in India, has 27
species of bamboo, and supplies 14% of India's commercial
bamboo. Forest products contribute about 5% to the state's
gross product. The state produces about 5200 metric tonnes of fish a
year, about 12% of potential that can be sustainably achieved.
Sericulture is an important handicraft industry engaged by nearly
8,000 families in over 300 Mizo villages.
Mizoram produces over 7 million tonnes of
Anthurium (shown), supplying
the domestic market as well as exporting it to UAE, UK and Japan. The
majority of producers and income earners from this business are
Mizoram faces difficulties in the advancement of industries. Lack of
transport infrastructure is one of the major drawbacks. Other problems
faced by the state includes shortage of electricity, capital,
telecommunication and export market access.
Mizoram has two industrial estates at Zuagtui and Kolasib. Another
software technology park is being established in
campus. The state government has acquired 127 acres of land in
Khawnuam for development of the Indo-
Myanmar border trade
A school campus in Mizoram
Main article: Education in Mizoram
The first primary school was set up in 1898 at
Aizawl by Christian
missionaries. The state has long enjoyed higher literacy rates than
average literacy rates for India. In 1961, the literacy was 51%.
By 2011 census, it had reached 92%, compared to 74% average for
Mizoram is second only to Kerala.
There were 3,894 schools in
Mizoram as of 2012. Of these, 42% are
publicly owned and managed by Central/State governments, 28% are
private without government subsidies, 21% are private with government
subsidies, and the rest are primary and middle schools that are
government financed by run by three Autonomous District Councils of
Mizoram. The teacher-pupil ratio is about 1:20 for primary, 1:9 for
middle School, 1:13 for high, and 1:15 for higher secondary
There are several educational establishments under the umbrella of the
Ministry of Education, including universities, colleges and other
Mizoram University, there are 29 undergraduate
departments including 2 professional institutions affiliated with the
university. The state had 22 other colleges, and the total college
enrolment was approximately 10,600 students in 2012. Other well
known institutes are National Institute of Technology Mizoram, ICFAI
University, Mizoram, College of Veterinary Sciences & Animal
Husbandry, Selesih, Aizawl,
Mizoram and Regional Institute of
Paramedical and Nursing Aizawl.
Mizoram is not self-sufficient in power. In 2012, the state had a
demand for 107 MW of power, but had an effective installed capacity of
only 29.35 MW. To bridge the gap, it purchased electricity from the
national grid of India.
Of the total installed power generation capacity, all 29.35 MW came
from hydel. The state also has 22.92 MW of thermal power and 0.50 MW
of Diesel generating set as of March 2012. The thermal and diesel
generating stations were kept on standby mode owing to their high cost
of operation, and because it was cheaper to buy the power from India's
grid than to operate these standby units.
The hydroelectric power potential of
Mizoram was assessed to be about
3600 MW in 2010, and about 4500 MW in 2012. If even half of
this is realised, the state could supply all its citizens and industry
with 24/7 electricity, as well as earn income from India's national
grid. The topography of
Mizoram hydroelectric resources is ideal for
power projects. The following rivers are suited for hydel projects
with minimal impact on its biosphere - Tuivai, Tuivawl, Tlawng, Tut,
Serlui, Tuirial, Kolodyne, Tuichang, Tuipui, Tiau and Mat. Beyond the
Mizoram has many small but perennial streams and
rivulets with ideal condition for developing micro/mini and small
hydroelectric projects. The state has proposed projects to attract
private investments on Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis
with financial assistance in rehabilitating its citizens were they to
be affected by the project. The largest proposed project is expected
to be on Kolodyne (460 MW), and there are dozens of small to micro
projects that have been identified.
By 2014, the state had signed memorandums to build and add 835 MW of
electricity generation projects - Tuivai SHP with VGF (210 MW) in
Champhai district, Kolodyne-II SHP with NHPC (460 MW) in Sahai
Bairabi with Sikaria Power (80 MW) in
Tuirini with SPNL (38 MW) in
Aizawl district, and Tuivawl with SPML as
well (42 MW) in
The state is the southern most in India's far northeast, placing
Mizoram in a disadvantageous position in terms of logistical ease,
response time during emergencies, and its transport infrastructure.
Prior to 1947, the distance to
Mizoram was shorter; but
ever since, travel through
Bangladesh has been avoided, and traffic
Assam an extra 1,400 kilometres to access the economic
market of West Bengal. This remoteness from access to economic markets
India is balanced by the state's closeness to southeast Asian
market and its over 700 kilometres of international boundary.
Road Network: In 2012,
Mizoram had a road network of around 8,500
kilometres (5,300 mi) including unsurfaced village roads to
surfaced national highways; and there were 106,000 registered motor
vehicles. The village roads are primarily single lane or unmetalled
tracks that are typically lightly trafficked.
Mizoram had 871
kilometres of national highways, 1,663 kilometres of state highways
and 2,320 kilometres of surfaced district roads. All of Mizoram's 23
urban centres and 59% of its 764 villages are connected by all weather
roads. However, landslide and weather damage to these roads is
significant in parts. The State is connected to the Indian network
Assam through the National Highway 54. Another
highway, NH-150 connects the state's
and NH-40A links the State with Tripura. A road between
Burma has been proposed and is awaiting co-operation from
the Burmese authorities.
Lengpui Airport Building
Mizoram has an airport,
Lengpui Airport (IATA: AJL), near
Aizawl and its runway is 3,130 feet long at an elevation of 1,000
Aizawl airport is linked from
Kolkata – a 60-minute
flight. Inclement weather conditions mean that at certain times the
flights are unreliable.
Mizoram can also be reached via Assam's
Silchar Airport, which is about 200 kilometres (120 mi) (around 6
hours) by road to Aizawl.
Railway: There is a rail link at
Bairabi railway station but it is
primarily for goods traffic. The nearest practical station to Mizoram
Silchar in Assam.
Bairabi is about 110 kilometres (68 mi)
Silchar is about 180 kilometres (110 mi) from the state
capital. The Government is now planning to start a broad gauge Bairabi
Sairang Railway connection for better connectivity in the
Helicopter: A Helicopter service by
Pawan Hans has been started which
Aizawl with Lunglei, Lawngtlai, Saiha, Chawngte,
Serchhip, Champhai, Kolasib, Khawzawl,
Mamit and Hnahthial.
Mizoram is in the process of developing water ways with
the port of
Burma along its biggest river,
Chhimtuipui. It drains into Burma's Rakhine state, and finally enters
the Bay of Bengal at Akyab, which is a popular port in Sittwe, Burma.
The Indian government considers it a priority 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.
India is investing
$103 million to develop the
Sittwe port on Burma's northern coast,
about 160 kilometres (99 mi) from Mizoram. State Peace and
Development Council of
Burma has committed $10 million for the
venture. The project is expected to be complete in 2015, and
consists of two parts. First, river Kaladan (or Kolodyne,
Chhimtuipui) is being dredged and widened from the port at
Paletwa, in Chin province, adjacent to Mizoram. This 160 km
inland waterway will enable cargo ships to enter, upload and offload
freight in Paletwa, Myanmar; this is expected to be complete in 2014.
As second part of the project, being constructed in parallel, includes
a 62 km two-lane highway from Paletwa (also known as Kaletwa or
Setpyitpyin) to Lomasu, Mizoram. Additionally, an all weather
multilane 100 km road from Lomasu to
being built to connect it with the Indian National Highway 54. This
part of the project is slated to be complete by 2015. Once complete,
this project is expected to economically benefit trade and
horticulture exports of Mizoram, as well as improve economic access to
60 million people of landlocked northeast
India and Myanmar.
Aizawl Theological College (ATC), Mizoram
Main article: Education in Mizoram
See also: List of institutions of higher education in Mizoram
Mizoram schools are run by the state and central government or by
private organisation. Instruction is mainly in English and Mizo. Under
the 10+2+3 plan, students may enroll in general or professional degree
programs after passing the Higher Secondary Examination (the grade 12
Mizoram has one Central University (
one engineering college (National Institute of Technology Mizoram) and
one private university (a branch of the Institute of Chartered
Financial Analysts of India).
The culture of the Mizo tribes and its social structure has undergone
tremendous change over 100 years, since the arrival of
the late 1890s. Contemporary people of
Mizoram celebrate Christmas,
Easter and other Christian celebrations replacing many of old tribal
customs and practices.
The growth of Christianity, scholars state, was shaped from a
foundation of cultural, religious and socio-political structure. One
such foundation cultural element of
Mizo people was Hnatlang, states
Hlawndo, which literally means social work, united labour or community
labour (the word hna‘ means job or work in the Mizo language; and
tlang‘ means together and mutual). The tribal members who were
absent from such social work (for reasons other than illness and
disability) were penalised — a form of strong peer pressure. Jhum
cultivation and raids on neighbouring tribes required Hnatlang, the
spirit of united labour and equal sharing of the end result.
A consequence of Hnatlang was the culture of Tlawmngaihna, which does
not have a direct English translation. Tlawmngaihna as cultural
concept incorporates behaviour that is self-sacrificing, self-denying,
doing what an occasion demands unselfishly and without concern for
inconvenience caused, persevering, stoical, stout-hearted, plucky,
brave, firm, independent, loath to lose one's good
reputation. Thus, after a fire or landslide or flood
damage, the Mizo culture is one of spontaneous humble social work
without demands or expectations.
Several other cultural elements of ancient Mizo tribes, some of which
became less prevalent after arrival of Christianity,
Zawlbuk: a place near the chief's home, which served as defence camp
in times of war, as well as "bachelor house" where the youth gathered
and centre of village life.
Pathian: the term for god, to whom prayers and hymns were recited. The
evil spirits were called ramhuai.
Nula-rim: the method of courtship in ancient culture. Courtship,
pre-marital sex and polygamy were accepted. The man and the woman
could have many partners. If the woman got pregnant, the man was
required either marry or pay a substantial sum called Sawnman. If the
woman's parents discover the relationship, they had a right to demand
a payment called Khumpuikaiman. While pre-marital sex was accepted, a
woman who was virgin at marriage was more highly esteemed than one who
Pathlawi: a young married man who engaged in extra-marital
relationships, something that was acceptable in traditional Mizo
Ramrilekha: a boundary drawing that identified a chief's tenured land
called ram. Only the chief owned the land, and this ownership was
hereditary. The tribe and village worked and harvested the
In modern Mizoram, much of the social life often revolves around
church. Community establishments exist in urban centres that arrange
social events, sports event, musical concerts, comedy shows and other
Darkhuang, Zamluang or jamluang — a traditional musical instrument
found in Mizoram.Other instruments include khuang (drum), dar
(cymbals), as well as bamboo-based phenglawng, tuium and
Traditional festivals in
Mizoram often revolved around stages of jhum
cultivation or the seasons. Community festivals were called kut
in the local language, and there were major and minor kuts such as
Chapchar Kut, Thalfavang Kut, Mim Kut and Pawl Kut. Chapchar Kut was
the festival of spring (February/March), just before jhum started and
land was cut-and-burnt for a new crop. Chapchar Kut was most
anticipated by youth, a major festival and involved dancing and
feasts. Thalfavang Kut celebrated completion of weeding of the jhum
crop fields. Mim Kut was the festival dedicated to ancestors
after first maize crop was collected, while Pawl Kut celebrated the
end of harvest and the start of new year. These festivals slowly
Christianity became established in Mizoram.
Chapchar Kut was reintroduced and revived in 1973 by
Mizo people to
celebrate their heritage. Before
Christianity arrived in Mizoram,
home-brewed alcohol and many meat delicacies were part of the Chapchar
celebrations. Now, with Mizoram's state law as a dry state, the youth
busy themselves with music and community dancing. Along with
reviving traditional festivals, the community has been reviving
traditional dances at these festivals, for example, dances such as
Cheraw, Khuallam, Chheihlam and Chai.
Dance of Mizoram
Mizoram has many traditional dances, such as:
Cheraw — a dance that involves men holding bamboo close to the
floor. They tap the sticks open and close with the rhythm of music.
Women in colourful dresses dance on top, stepping in between and out
of the bamboo with the music. It requires co-ordination and
Khuallam — a mixed-gender dance that traditionally celebrated
successfully hunting with swaying cloth with singing and music.
Chheihlam — typically performed over cool evenings with rice beer,
people sit in a circle with two or more dancers in the centre; they
sing with impromptu often humorous compositions about recent events or
guests between them with music and dancers keeping up. The song was
called Chheih Hla.
Mizo people have tried to introduce Chheihlam dance
during church sermons with controversy.
Chai — an important dance at the Chapchar Kut, this places the
musicians in the centre while men and women in colourful dresses
alternate and form a circle; the women held the men at their waist,
while men held the women at their shoulders; they step forward to move
in circles while swaying left and right with the music. A song may be
sung which is also called Chai.
Main article: Music of Mizoram
Mizo traditional tunes are very soft and gentle, with locals claiming
that they can be sung the whole night without the slightest fatigue.
The guitar is a popular instrument and
Mizos enjoy country style
music. Within the church services are drums, commonly used and known
locally as "khuang". The "khuang" is made from wood
and animal hide and are often beaten enough to instigate a trance-like
state with worshipers as they dance in a circular fashion.
Mizos enjoy singing and, even without musical instruments, they
enthusiastically sing together, clapping hands or by using other
rhythmic methods. Informal instruments are called chhepchher.[citation
Mizoram's first football league debuted in October 2012. The Mizoram
Premiere League had eight teams during the 2012-2013 season and is the
highest level league in Mizoram. The eight clubs include Aizawl,
Chanmari, Dinthar, FC Kulikawn, Luangmual, Mizoram, RS Annexe, and
Reitlang. The season starts each year in October and wraps up with the
finals in March.
Main article: Tourism in Mizoram
See also: Tourism in North East India
Mizoram are required to obtain an 'inner line permit'
under the special permit before visiting. Domestic and international
visitors face different requirements.
The state requires Inner Line Pass. This is available from the Liaison
Government of Mizoram
Government of Mizoram in Kolkata, Silchar, Shillong, Guwahati
and New Delhi. Those arriving by air can obtain a 15-day visit pass at
Aizawl by submitting photographs and paying the fee
of ₹120 (US$1.80).
Almost all foreign nationals can also get visitor pass on arrival, and
face the same requirements as domestic tourists. However, they
additionally have to register themselves with state police within 24
hours of arrival, a formality that most resorts can provide. Citizens
of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals having their
origin in these countries are required to get the pass through the
Indian consulate or from the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi,
before they arrive in Mizoram.
Mizoram is a place with flora and fauna rich landscape and pleasant
climate. The tourism ministry regulates the maintenance and
upgrade of tourist lodges throughout the state.
The state is a bird watcher's destination. For Mrs. Hume's pheasant
Mizoram is a stronghold. Wild water buffalo,
Sumatran rhinoceros, elephants and other mammals have been spotted in
In 1996 the government of
Mizoram banned liquor. The church leaders
Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee) argue that state government
should keep the ban and not seek to amend the law, while others argue
prohibition should be lifted. However, it has been difficult to
enforce the ban due to the high demand for alcohol.
In 2008, the
Mizoram Excise and Narcotics (Wine) Rules amended the ban
of 1996 to allow the manufacture, export, sale, possession and
consumption of wine in
Mizoram made from grapes and guava which
would help the economy of the state, reduce fruit waste from farms,
and encourage large scale commercialisation. In 2011 the bill was
amended to include apple, ginger, passion fruit, peach and pear
In 2013, the state assembly unanimously passed a resolution to study
the impact of liquor prohibition. In 2014, the state's narcotics
minister noted that the liquor ban had produced some serious problems
in Mizo society due to the drinking of spurious and unhealthy (locally
made) liquor, known as zu. The government suggested it would introduce
an amended liquor bill allowing retail shops to operate in
other district headquarters to sell liquor — but not in bars.
Furthermore, they would not consult the powerful church on the
issue. The amended bill was proposed to be tabled for state
legislative assembly discussion after May 2014.
Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition and Control) Act, 2014 (Act No. 8 of
2014) was enacted on 10 July 2014 which received the assent of the
Mizoram on 11 July 2014 repealed the
Mizoram Liquor Total
Prohibition Act, 1995, except the
Mizoram Excise and Narcotics (Wine)
Every 50 years, the
Mautam bamboo blooms and its high-protein seeds
lead to an explosion in the black rat population in the jungle, also
referred to as the rat flood, which has historically destroyed entire
villages' food supplies after rats move on to farm fields and devour
crops. The 1958–59 plague provoked a rural uprising during which the
Mizo people launched a violent 20-year rebellion against
the federal government. The dispute only saw final resolution in
1986. The 48 year rat problem re-occurred in
2006-08. The crops suffered massive damage, with yields at 30
year lows; the crop yields recovered sharply to pre-mautam levels in
2009 after the mautam passed.
Media and communication
See also Newspapers in Mizoram.
Mizoram's media is growing quickly. Internet access is average, and
private television cable channels are popular.
Doordarshan, the national television service of
terrestrial broadcasting services and All
India Radio broadcast
programmes related to the indigenous culture and local news. Broadband
access is available. In addition to these, there are several websites
in local dialects. Print journalism remains a popular news medium in
Mizoram; local newspapers include
Vanglaini and The Zozam Times.
Mizoram News In English: Zoram Observer is a website dedicated to
Mizoram and other Zo tribes spread across Northeast
India and rest of
Brig. T. Sailo
Joy L.K Pachuau
Margaret Ch. Zama
South Asia portal
Tourism in North East India
Outline of India
Bibliography of India
India – book
Mizo Hlakungpui Mual
Mizo National Front
Seven Sister States
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mizoram.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Mizoram.
Official Tourism Site of Mizoram
Mizoram Encyclopædia Britannica entry
Mizoram at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Geographic data related to
Mizoram at OpenStreetMap
Places adjacent to Mizoram
Chin State, Myanmar
Chittagong Division, Bangladesh
State of Mizoram
Bird: Hume's pheasant
Tree: Mesua ferrea
Assembly election results
Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project
Serlui B Dam
National Institute of Technology Mizoram
Solomon's Temple, Aizawl
Murlen National Park
Phawngpui National Park
Kaziranga National Park
Namdapha National Park
Orang National Park
Manas National Park
Dibru-Saikhowa National Park
Nameri National Park
Balphakram National Park
Nokrek National Park
Mouling National Park
Keibul Lamjao National Park
Sirohi National Park
Murlen National Park
Ntangki National Park
Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary
Sipahijola Wildlife Sanctuary
Gorumara National Park
Singalila National Park
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