If you want to witness what a delightful cultural extravaganza Mizoram really is, then you cannot afford to miss Chapchar Kut. This crowd-puller carnival is one of the major events, taking place at Mizoram on an annual basis. Chapchar Kut offers copious amounts of entertainment for those who are looking for something unique and want to take away an unseen aspect of India with them.
The primary reason for celebrating Chapchar Kut is to thank the gods for saving people from any kind of harm during the clearing of forests, which is done on the hill slopes for Jhum Cultivation.
This festival is believed to be celebrated since 1450 A.D. According to folklore, once upon a time, there was a chieftain who ruled the village of Suaipui, located in Myanmar.
One bright morning, the chief gathered his bravest men and told them to get ready for a hunting expedition. This expedition was to take place within an animal infested forest.
As the legend goes, it went on for several days. All this while, the local villagers were waiting for their chief and the warriors with great hope in their eyes.
But unfortunately, the chieftain and his men were not blessed with the hunt and had to return empty-handed. Due to this, the whole village seemed quite disappointed. However, the chief, to cover the disappointment and cheer up his tribe promptly proposed a great feast right there and then!
As expected, due to this, there was an instant change in the mood of the people. The spirit of the crowd went high. And in their joy, the villagers started dancing in circles while singing and clapping their hands. This is how they turned their defeat into victory. Since then, this festival has been celebrated on an annual basis as Chapchar Kut.
As per modern history, the festival of Chapchar Kut was revived in 1962 at a very grand scale in Aizawl. But due to some issues relating to religion, the celebrations of this Indian festival were discouraged. After this, it was only in 1973 that it again continued. The major reason behind the continuation of this festival cum event was the slow disappearance of local traditional culture. And till today, Chapchar Kut is celebrated annually in the month of March.
For the preparations of Chapchar Kut, young men get really busy with all kinds of physical preparations and the womenfolk lay focus on beautifying themselves. Whereas, the elderly do nothing but peacefully sit and talk about various topics which include recollecting their younger days with a sense of nostalgia.
Men and women are dressed in their best and the most colorful traditional attires during Chapchar Kut. All the people gather with love and peace in their hearts to sing, dance, and rove to the hymns of flutes, gongs, and cymbals. There are many folks and contemporary performances by the locals. Apart from all this, perhaps, the greatest highlight of this Indian festival Chapchar Kut is the bamboo dance, also known as Cheraw. This dance features men who tap the sticks of bamboo according to their rhythm of the dance and the womenfolk have to adjust their dancing steps with the moving bamboo sticks. The sight of this particular dance is quite peculiar to watch. Everyone irrespective of their age and gender participates in this festival with great enthusiasm.
The meaning of this dance literally translates into the dance of the guests. This is so because it is performed majorly on the arrival of the guests. The performers wrap a woven cloth called Puandum around their shoulders and perform by swaying the cloth.
This dance truly is an ultimate depiction of joy and happiness. Watching the audience grooving during the performance is a moment to cherish in itself.
This is yet another important dance form that can be seen at the Chapchar Kut festival. With this dance, the young boys and girls stand in rows and dance to the beat of the drums.
Aizawl in Mizoram is not the kind of destination which people generally put on their travel bucket list. However, this mindset is slowly changing. The major reasons behind it are festivals like Chapchar Kut. Aizawl is located at a distance of 2,373, 3,198, 1,477, 3,451 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Let’s see how you can reach here by the following means of transportation.
The nearest airport is the Lengpui Airport (AJL) located in Aizawl. The airport is situated at a distance of 32 km from Aizawl. Did you know that Lengpui Airport was constructed in a record time of 2 years and two months?
Here is how you can reach here by the following routes:
Delhi - Board Go Air, IndiGo, Air India, Spicejet from Indira Gandhi International Airport. The airfares start from Rs.4,000
Lucknow - Board IndiGo, Go Air flights from Lucknow Airport. The airfares start from Rs.5,000
Ranchi - Board IndiGo, Air India, Vistara flights from Ranchi Airport. The airfares start from Rs. 5,000-Rs.6,000
Kolkata - Board Indigo, Vistara, Air India flights from Kolkata Airport. The airfares start from Rs.5,000-Rs.6,000
Aizawl doesn’t have its own railway station. The nearest train station is the Silchar Railway Station. This railway station is located in Tarapur, Assam. This particular railway station falls under the jurisdiction of the Northeast Frontier Railway Zone. It has basically three platforms connecting trains to and fro different Indian Cities. After you deboard at the station, you will need to further travel by some means of public transportation. Here is how you can reach here.
Agartala - Board AGTL SCL PASS from Agartala station and deboard at the Silchar Railway Station
Dimapur - Board Barak BP Express from Dimapur station and deboard at the Silchar Railway Station
Guwahati - Board GHY SCL PASS from Guwahati station and deboard at the Silchar Railway Station
Depending upon your location you can easily travel to Aizwal via different means of transportation like a cab or a bus. From Guwahati and Shillong both, the bus fares start from Rs. 800.
Here is how you can reach here by road networks.
Guwahati - About 551 km via NH6 or NH108
Shillong - 374 km via NH6 or NH306
Dimapur - 459 km via NH27 or NH306
Imphal - 399 km via NH37
Siliguri - 915 km via NH6
Manipur - 393 km via NH37 or NH108