There are places in this world that demand leisurely discovery, that require days of easy wandering and poking into nooks and crannies. Wee places like these, not much visited, hide within them a soul, which can only be experienced by those willing to discover it.
As the twin-engine propeller aircraft starts its descent to Lengpui airport, lush green hilly terrain comes into view with brown patches of agricultural land (jhum cultivation) scattered in a random pattern, as if to put on a spectacular show for those above. Aizawl’s airport started serving the state only 18 years ago, before which the nearest one was 205 km away at Silchar in Assam. An hour’s drive from Lengpui, Mizoram’s capital is an unpretentious and languid hill station, very different from the usual postcard-perfect scenery of Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Instead of rows of deodars and pines and rhododendron blooms, you will find dense, impenetrable herbaceous undergrowth similar to tropical evergreen forests. Bamboo trees are present everywhere here along with sub-tropical mixed forests of palms, bananas, ferns and orchids.
Almost all the towns and villages in Mizoram are built on mountain ridges and Aizawl is no different. It’s easy to get lost in the labyrinthine roads of the city. Commercial establishments are limited to a specific area called Chanmari where all major shops, hotels, restaurants and bank branches operate. The rest of the town em