Chin State

Chin State

Chin State which stretches 300 miles from north to south is situated in the northwest of Myanmar having common borders with India and Bangladesh. It is between north latitude 20′ and 24′ and between east longitude 93′ 15′ and 94′. It has an area of 13,902 square miles. Chin people belong to Tibeto-Burman race. Although Chins have been divided generally according to regions they are called as Kathe, May Htay Chins and ordinary Chins. There are also Tidim Chins, Phlam Chins, Hakha Chins, Mindat Chins, Matupe Chins, Kanpeklek Chins, Palekwa Chins and Lowland Chins. Although they are called with different names they can be integrated into 44 tribes. There are different tribes in Chin State but when phonological study is made they have a main language and groups of dialects have developed from it. In Chin State there are faiths such as animism, Christanity, Paung Kyin Haung religion and Buddhism. Animism is the main faith of Chin people. They have also believed in witch-craft and others superstitions. Chin State has a population of 458,000.

Hakhar is the capital of Chin State in Myanmar. The city is 6120 ft above sea level and it lies at the foot of Rungtlang (Mount Rung), which is about 7543 ft high, and is one of the most famous and beautiful mountain peaks in the Chin State. January is the coldest month of the year with a mean temperature of around 27 degrees Celsius. April is the hottest month at a mean of 36 degrees. The total rainfall is about 86.22 inches every year. The total area of Hakhar is about 12.50 sq miles. Hakhar is in the center of Chin State and it is connected with Thantlang, Falam, Gangaw and Matupi by truck roads. Hakhar was founded in around A.D 1400 by the Laimi ethnic group. There were only 30 houses at that time and the area was ruled by local chefs for many generations. After the second World War, Hakhar became an important city as the headquarters for one of the sis subdivisions in the Chin Special Division and Falam was the capital at that time. The Chin Special division was abolished and formed the Chin State in 1974 and Hakhar became the capital for the Chin State. That brought an influx of government workers, housing development and extension of the city limits. Hakhar eventually became the largest city in the Chin State with about 20,000 people.

The Chin Nationals reside in the north and northwest of Myanmar. The Chin State is hilly and not too easily accessible. The uniqueness of the Chin nationals is their language which varies from family to family and region to region. Most interesting of all are the traditional tattooed faces of Chin females which are added attractions of the region.

Mindat is a town located in the south of Chin State, which is in the western part of Myanmar. Its southern region has provinces like Matupi and Paletwa. The eastern border faces Saw region and south Kanpetlet and Tilin. The Mindat Kcholand is famous for its intact traditional culture.

To the locals, it is known as Khaw-nu-soum or Khonumthung. Given its height and being surrounded at lower elevations by tropical and subtropical moist forests, Nat-ma Taung rises above as an alpine “sky island”. More than a century ago, during the British colonial era, it was called Mount Victoria, named in honour of Queen Victoria. It is located in Kan-pet-let Township, Mindat District, Chin State, on the western part of Myanmar and is part of the Chin Hills range. In 1994, the government designated 72,300 hectares of the Chin Hills including Nat-ma Taung as a national park, an important site for wildlife conservation. In February 2004, Nat-ma Taung National Park was identified as a “priority candidate” for recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its outstanding plant and animal life which is highly diverse and provides insight to the biogeographical history of Asia. It is also home to multiple threatened birds, mammals and reptiles. It is an ASEAN Heritage Park and was listed as an Alliance for Zero Extinction Site because of the White-browed Nuthatch, which is endemic to Nat-ma Taung National Park.

Rih Lake or Heart-shaped Lake is located in Falam Township, Chin State, just about 3 kilometers from the Indian border. The lake is about one mile in length and half a mile in width. Legend goes that anyone who takes bath with its water will be healed from any disease. It is one of the most magnificent and beautiful lakes in Myanmar.

Tedim is a town in and the administrative seat of Tedim Township, Chin State, in the north-western part of Burma. It is the largest town in Chin State. The town’s four major boroughs are: Sakollam, Myoma, Lawibual and Leilum. The population is primarily Zomi. The name “Tedim” was derived from a pool up in the hills that used to twinkle in the sunlight, therefore it was called “te (bright, shine)” and “dim (twinkling, sparkling)” in the local Zomi language. As the Zomi lacked a formal writing system in the past, the story of Tedim mostly depends on oral tradition. Establishment of Tedim is ascribed to Gui Mang II, a powerful prince from the then ruling Guite family in the region (c. 1600). However, due to the untimely death of Gui Lun (the fifth generation from Gui Mang II), Tedim was deserted for two generations. By the time of Pum Go, Tedim was reestablished as the political base of the Guite family. At the time of Mang Suum II, son of Pum Go, the allied force of the Pawihangs began their advance in the region and attacked Tedim. Tedim was again deserted by many, though some local residents survived under the leadership of Mang Gin from the Hatlang family. In 1840, in order to secure peace, the remaining citizens invited the leadership of Kam Hau of Mualbem, of the emerging Sukte family, since they had good military and political ties with the Zahau family of the Pawis. When British rule began in 1824, Tedim was chosen as the local residence for the District Officer.

Paletwa (Palangvum) is one of the westernmost towns of Myanmar, in Chin State 18 kilometres from the border with Bangladesh. It is the administrative seat for Paletwa Township. During British periods Paletwa was in the region of Arakan (Rakhine State). During U Nu administration, the town has included in the list of Chin State. Paletwa Township (Palangvum Kapeang) is a township of Mindat District in the Chin State of Myanmar. The population of it was 96,899 according to an answer in Myanmar parliament on 14 May 2014.

Kanpetlet Township is a township of Mindat District in the Chin State of Myanmar. Its principal town is Kanpetlet. There are 26 village-tracts and 117 villages in the township, only about 13 villages have access to motor roads and the remaining over 100 villages have to rely on foot to travel from one place to another in 2011. In 2014, Kanpetlet township has a population of 21493, according to Myanmar Census Report: census report volume 2 pg. 52. It is one of the most isolated townships in Chin State.


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