Hakha, also known as Halkha or Hakhar, is Chin State’s capital. Founded on a small highland plateau at 6,120 ft (1870m) above sea level, the entire city is only about 12.5 square miles (32.4 square km). Despite the small footprint, Hakha is the largest town in Chin State.
The town was founded by the Lai ethnic group around 1400 and became the capital city in 1974 when the British reformed the Chin Special Division to become Chin State. Falam was the capital of the Chin Special Division. The town also has a Christian majority due to the missionary work by American Baptists in 1899.
Until the landslides in 2015 (see below) the town was well known for its beautiful landscapes, wooden buildings, and many churches. It is also located at the base of Mount Rung (Rungtland), considered one of the most beautiful peaks in Chin State.
Falam, founded the British in 1892, is about 70km (44 miles) away from Hakha. At around 5800 ft (1767m) above sea level, the town is surrounded by views of the expansive green Chin mountain range and cool temperatures.
Falam is primarily Christian as well. Also similar to Hakha, Falam’s remoteness has preserved much of the simple British influenced wooden buildings, and its large Baptist church, a focal point of the town.
Tedim, or as it’s officially known, Tiddim, is the largest town in Chin State. The town gets its name from a story in the local Zomi language. It’s said that there was a body of water in the hills that would twinkle in the sunlight, giving the name: te-dim. Te means “bright or shines” and dim means “twinkling”.
Much like Falam and Hakha, the town is primarily Christian. Most of the attractions in the area are the many natural features surrounding the town including the 8,868ft (2,702m) Kennedy Peak, the second highest peak in Chin State.
During mid-2015 Hakha, Falam, and Tedim were hit by torrential rain.
Hakha: The resulting severe landslides left more than 4,000 houses destroyed, 200 killed and 20,000 people displaced. The area most affected by the landslides was the old Hakha town area. Since then, geological surveys have determined that many areas in the town were unstable and not fit for habitation so the government has placed around 1,300 residents in relief camps.
Falam: Landslides also hit the town, with four villages from the township forced to relocate.
Tedim: Tedim town proper was not severely affected, but smaller villages in the township were forced to relocate to the main town area.
The government is in the process of building homes for the displaced residents, rebuilding the towns, and improving the infrastructure. However, the remoteness, geography, and the lack of infrastructure have been continuing challenge for reconstruction.