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One of the fastest growing towns in Mizoram, Saiha is located in the southern most region of Mizoram. Spread across 1,966 sq kms, Saiha is a census town with significant increase in population.There are limited staying options except Saiha tourist lodge, close to the city helipad.
Dramatic landscape and salubrious weather makes Mizoram a popular destination for nature fanatics across the globe. Based in the northeastern part of India, Mizoram is still not a frequently visited destination of Indian tourists. Also known as the ‘land of the hill people’, Mizoram is one of the sisters of the ‘eight sister states’. Mizoram shares its borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh spreading across 722 kms of land. Until 1972, Mizoram was a part of Assam. It was proclaimed as a full-fledged Union Territory in the year 1987.
A place perfect for an idyllic vacation, Mizoram is known for its exotic hills, plunging gorges, lakes, waterfalls, bamboo forests, azure skies, old-world style hamlets and pristine morning mists! Welcome to the ‘land of highlanders’!
Foreign tourists require an inner line permit to enter Mizoram. International tourists can obtain this permit either from abroad Indian Missions office or from the Mizoram Government in India for a limited time span. Aizwal is the capital city located 1300 meters above the sea level. Domestic tourists are also required to produce an inner line permit which can be secured from Mizo Liaison offices in Guwahati, Shillong, Delhi and Kolkata.
95 percent of the population of Mizoram belongs to tribal origin. Migrations in the 16th and 18th centuries from different south East Asian countries infiltrated in Mizoram creating a diverse tribal population concentration in this state. The place has a majority of Christians (87 percent). It has two national highways namely NH 150 and NH 54.
Mizos are ardent lovers of dance and music. Also quite progressive in their thoughts, Mizoram is the second highest literate state in India.
Boiled food is a specialty of this place. Mizos love non-vegetarian food preparations. A mix of North Indian and Chinese, Mizo food is famous for its unique taste and flavor! Most Mizo meals are served in clean banana leaves, an age old practice of this region.
Try bai is an authentic Mizo dish made of vegetables with a dash of pork, bamboo shoot and spinach. Other important dishes include Panch phoron torkari made of five flavorsome spices. Chhangban and Sawhchiar are other two popular local dishes of Mizoram. Rice is the common ingredient in both. Besides, oft eaten local cuisine of this region includes Chhum Han, Misa Mach Poora, jadoh and kikpu.
Mizos love to cook in mustard oil and consume bamboo shoot a lot. In meat, they love to prepare and eat duck meat. They also consume pickled bamboo shoots in their main course.
Lubrusca grape wine and Zu are the authentic beverages often consumed in Mizoram. Most food joints are clean and managed by women. Available at affordable prices, street food is generally prepared in front of the tourists and served hot!
Though young Mizos are quickly adapting occidental way of life and dressing, majority of the economy of Mizoram is agrarian based. Christmas is one of the biggest festivals of Mizoram. Local churches organize grand feasts attended by most people.
In addition, Mim Kut is an important traditional festival of Mizoram. Due to their dependence on agriculture, festivals in Mizoram center around sowing and harvesting of crops. Observed in the months of August and September, Mim Kut is celebrated after the harvest of maize. Other than Mim Kut, Chheihlam, Cheraw, Solakar and Khuallam are the other popular dance festivals of this state. Bamboo sticks are the common accessories in most of these dances and each dedicated for special incidents like birth, death, welcoming guests and many more. Dancers in gallons of rice beer do their enactments in Chheihlam festival. Lyrics are composed on the spot marking the end of the work in field for a day. While Solakar is a traditional dance festival of this state participated by Pawl tribes.
Mizoram underwent a huge change in its socio-cultural strata ever since 1890. People observe Christmas and Easter with huge pomp and grandeur every year! Though Christianity brought a sea change in the Mizo society, ethnic attributes still remain intact. Bride money or the marriage payment still remains quite visible in the society. It’s a tradition in which the groom pays money to the bride’s family. This price of marriage is approved with due consent of the bride’s family.
Cheraw is a popular bamboo dance festival of Mizoram participated by some of the major tribes in the state. Basically hospitable in nature, Mizos love to entertain their guests by singing and dancing. Western choral singing has gained tremendous importance in modern Mizo society. Mizo women are skilful weavers. The striking shawls with eye-catching motifs and designs make these traditional outfits a must-purchase!
One won’t get a full glimpse of Mizo society and culture unless he or she visits places like Aizwal, Lunglei, Serchhip, Champhai, Palak Dil Lake, Vantawng Falls, Dampa Tiger Reserve, Thenzawl Deer Park, Phawngpui Peak, Mizoram State Museum, and Luangmual Handicrafts Centre among others!
Handloom and handicrafts are predominant indigenous industry of Mizoram which entails bamboo and cane works, textile, and basketry. Khumbeu Ceremonial Hat is made of Hnahthial leaves which make it a waterproof product. Other exciting handicrafts include bas, shawls, flower vases and utensils.
Weaving comes naturally to the Mizos. They are dexterous weavers producing stunning motifs, designs, and patterns in various traditional attires and accessories. Some of the well known textile products in Mizoram are dum, thangou puon, jawl puon, and zakuolaisen and puon pie to name a few.
Smoking pipes are a must buy in Mizoram. Made of pure bamboo, these pipes are available in two varieties namely, vaiber and tuibur.
Bara bazaar in Aizwal is a great place to pick any of these conventional items. Besides, one can also explore Ritz market, New Market, Thakthing Bazaar and Burma lane for collecting souvenirs and exquisite Mizo stuffs!
Mizo is the main native language of Mizoram and an officially approved language of India. Also known as Lushai, most locals speak this language widely. Students learn Hindi up till eighth standard. With growing popularity, more and more people in Mizoram are using Hindi these days. Nepali immigrants generally speak Nepali. However, English is used in education, government works, and social formalities and in administrative spheres. Mizo language is also spoken in few regions of Myanmar and Bangladesh.
By Road: It is connected to Aizwal through NH 54 via regular bus and taxi services.
By Train: Silchar railway station is 258 kms from Saiha and the closest rail head. It is well connected to Arunachal, Bagetar, Chandranathpur, Lumding junction and Bihara.
By Air: Aizwal is 167 kms from Saiha and the nearest airport to the destination. ItÃ¢ÂÂs well connected to Delhi, Kolkata, Imphal and Guwahati.GET DIRECTION
Standalone eateries are limited in Saiha. The lodges have inbuilt cafeterias catering delicious Mizo food and different vegetarian delicacies.
From November till May are the most favored months to visit Saiha.
The place is surrounded by mountains and streams. Trekking, angling hiking and fishing are the popular activities of the tourists visiting Saiha. Pala Tipo or Pala Lake is another significant attraction of this small hamlet!
Palak wildlife sanctuary: 130 kms from Saiha, Palak wildlife sanctuary has a superb biodiversity to explore!