MIZORAM, SOLOMON’S TEMPLE

Back to Mizoram again in this post, with still so many photos to show after my December / January trip.

There are church buildings all over the place in Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, a state in North East India (which is 87% Christian),  and very large impressive  buildings they are too, but Solomon’s Temple is considered a ‘must see’ for tourists. It’s a huge building with a seating capacity of 3000 inside, and a lot more could be seated in the porch or canopied area all around the exterior of the building.

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The architect and leader of the Church Dr LB Sailo, claims that God showed him the design in a dream, so he set about attempting to get this church constructed.  It took more than 20 years to build, and it was built largely on voluntary labour. I found that the name of the religion was hard to grasp, as I was given different answers when I enquired about it.  ‘A cult’,  ‘Born again Christian’  ‘Kohhran Thianghlim’ (meaning Holy Church) were some answers. Whatever, it is, it is the largest Church building in Aizawl.  I don’t know how full it might be on a Sunday.  It’s open to tourists with a caretaker there to show you around.

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The walls of the building are covered in white busleara marble, and the floor is of red sandstone. The winter afternoon sun gives the walls a warm tint in some of these photos.

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Mizo Church goers do seem to enjoy their singing and this is generally accompanied by enthusiastic drumming.

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The building inside is just one open space. The ceiling is highly polished which enables the light from the windows to be reflected, giving extra light in the building.

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Notice the Star of David, generously applied as ornamentation around the building. They named this building after the original Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, (currently the site of the Al Aqsa Mosque) and see it as some kind of replacement for the First Temple.

Just for a little balance, I have included a few photos of other church buildings I happened to see as I walked around. I haven’t got the names of all of them

I would just like to say that I am not at all religious and have no religious beliefs whatsoever. I’m just an observer.

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Chaltlang Presbyterian Church, above and below (with Christmas lights).

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A Christmas tree street decoration below, outside a church building.

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Thanks for visiting my post. I might return again to Mizoram in another post.

I can be contacted via my website.

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c51-india

MIZORAM, INDIA, up in the Mountains

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In my previous post, https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/01/27/mizoram-2/ I showed several photos of Mizoram, mainly from around the city of Aizawl, the State capital, but this time I would like to show some images captured in the mountains outside Aizawl.

Mizoram, this North Eastern State of India, is a land of forested mountains, lakes, rivers and plains and therefore, as you can imagine it is particularly beautiful and scenic. Travel through this land is not easy, and many of the few existing roads can be narrow and potholed. Regrettably, I didn’t get much chance to explore as much as I would like, but I did manage a couple of days out of the city.

Below are images of Hmuifang, a few hours drive from Aizawl, where heavy rain and fog descended upon us, but eventually we got a short window just before dark when I took the following photos from the roadside on the route back.

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Before our return, from Hmuifang we moved on to Sialsuk where the fog was very heavy and the wonderful views that I know are there, were completely hidden. There are very old gravestones there at the site of a disappeared village, and I took several shots of them, being all that could be seen, and although the light and visibility were poor, I thought the misty appearance enhanced the feeling of history and mystery.

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Sometimes, if the colour is a bit weak, I find that I may get a better result if I convert the image to black and white, as with this image (above / below).

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Another day, another place, just outside Aizawl, viewing the city from a distance.

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This cross had a highly reflective surface. The pattern appearing on it was just a reflection.

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Do take a look at my other posts on Mizoram:

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/01/27/mizoram-2/

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/03/10/mizoram-closer-copy/

Thank you for viewing my post. There are several more images from Mizoram on my website.

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c51-india

If you would like to contact me please do so from my website.

MIZORAM, INDIA

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I have been quieter than usual for some time now, because I was doing some travelling and visiting some different countries. My main focus was the beautiful state of Mizoram, India. Up to a couple of years ago I was completely unaware of this place, and I find most other people are just as unaware. Over the Christmas period a family event enticed me to visit Mizoram, and it was a very interesting trip.

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I stayed in the state capital, Aizawl, and most of my photos are of this city which is built haphazardly and mostly with very basic resources on these very steep slopes on the top of several mountain peaks. I managed a couple of trips outside of the city but not nearly as much as I would have liked.

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Generally, I am more attracted to landscape and seascape photography, which offers opportunities for capturing beauty, or what I see as beautiful. In Aizawl I felt challenged in my attempts to find beauty in the narrow, noisy streets, with motor bikes, taxis, buses and private cars creating such a level of pollution that many people have taken to wearing masks. Skeins of electric wires, looping, coiling and dipping around the streets would definitely challenge the temptation to edit them out of the picture, as I might do at home! I made the decision that in this city I would focus mainly on capturing the character of the place, I would even make a feature of these tangled wires and untidy buildings! So not all my photos would be about beauty, but I tried to embrace the beauty when I found it, and there was a lot of it there.

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Viewed from my balcony on Christmas morning, an out of hours electrician works on the electric connections. Power cuts are frequent, but not usually too long lasting.

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HIV/AIDS infection affects 2% of the population. Mizoram is one of the poorest states of India which must make it even more difficult to deal with the problems and needs that this poses. These posters are a very common sight here.

Although economically poor, Mizoram is very rich in culture and tradition, and have at the heart of their society a great sense of community and caring for others. They come from South East Asian tribes and became converted to Christianity around the end of the 19th Century. Almost 90% of the population of 1.5 million is Christian, Presbyterianism being the most common. Perhaps because of this they do seem in many ways more western than the people in mainland India. They manage to combine the western Christian lifestyle with strong cultural traditions of their own.

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Below, houses appear to be tumbling down the mountainside.

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Along Hospital Road, opposite the hospital, I couldn’t believe how many pharmacies there were. Almost every shop was a pharmacy, with a few other medical or dental services thrown in between. I was told that each one has its own specialisation.

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Most buildings appeared to have these corrugated metal roofs.

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The above painting was on the wall of a house or block of flats, see building below.

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Colourful graveyards appear to be integrated into residential areas.

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As it was Christmas time, these poinsettias were flowering everywhere – outdoors!

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There are many beautiful views from around the city.

Please take a look at my other Mizoram posts:

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/02/04/mizoram-india-up-in-the-mountains/

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/03/10/mizoram-closer-copy/

Also, There are several photos on my website. Please visit.

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c51-india

Thanks for viewing my post.