Often referred to as the Switzerland of the East, Nagaland is a magical land of undulating mountains, majestic landscapes, salubrious climate, indigenous tribes and their glorious culture and also host to the ‘Festival of Festivals – the Hornbill Festival’. Located in the far north east of India, Nagaland borders the north eastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. Nagaland also shares its borders with the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Nagaland was officially inaugurated as the 16th State of India on 1st December, 1963. The capital of Nagaland is the city of Kohima and the largest city of the State is Dimapur.
Nagaland is home to 16 indigenous Naga tribes of North East India. The primary tribes of Nagaland are Angami, Ao, Chang, Konyak, Sumi, Kachari, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Kuki, Zeliang and many sub-tribes. Each of these tribes of Nagaland have their own distinct traditions and cultures, language and attire. The Naga tribes were earlier considered to be the most fierce tribe across North East India mostly because of their practices of Head Hunting. Dominantly a male activity, in the practice of Head Hunting of Nagaland, the men would be separated from their women during and after coming back from expeditions of men with other tribes and clans of Nagaland. Recognized as a per-requisite for marriage, the women of Nagaland would encourage the men to take up Head Hunting. The men of Nagaland would go out at war against neighboring tribes and kill to score many number of heads. On completion they would ornate themselves with these skulls. The practice of head hunting was abolished in the 19th century and is no longer practiced in Nagaland. The tribes of Nagaland, each have a traditional ceremonial attire. The attire consists of multicolored spears decorated with dyed goat hair, a traditional tribal headgear made out of finely woven bamboo interlaced with orchid stems and adorned with bear’s teeth and feathers of the majestic Hornbill Bird of Nagaland and Elephant tusks. It is the grandeur of these costumes which has inspired the modern youth of Nagaland to take up fashion designing as their career and blend the fabrics of the ancestral motifs of Nagaland with a modern appeal.
The people of Nagaland, by nature, are lovers of fun and frolic and life here is a never ending festival. Each tribe of Nagaland have their own traditional festival and rituals with dances and songs being an integral part of all their festivals. The principal festivals are the Moatsu Mong Festival of the Ao Tribes of Nagaland, the Sekrenyi Festival of the Angami Tribes of Nagaland, the Ahuna and Tuluni Festival of the Sumi Naga tribes of Nagaland and all festivities of each tribes of Nagaland confluences at the ‘Festival of Festivals’ – the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland celebrated every year in December.
History of Nagaland ~
Although not much is known about the history of Nagaland, it is believed that the Naga people of Nagaland arrived at different times from the eastern region much before the arrival of the Ahoms in 1228 AD. It is said that the word ‘Naga’ is derived from the term ‘Naka’ meaning people with earnings in Burmese. The British recorded the term ‘Naga’ and it has been used henceforth to describe the people of Nagaland. Nagaland gained prime importance during the World War II when the Imperial Japanese Army invaded India and aimed to cut off British supplies by capturing Kohima in Nagaland. Although the Japanese captured Kohima briefly, they were successfully repelled by the British and Indian troops in Nagaland at the Battle of Kohima. The defeat at Kohima changed the course of war of the Japanese combined with the Burma Campaign across the Stilwell Road. The memoirs of the Battle of Kohima are preserved at the Kohima War Cemetery and War Museum at Kohima in Nagaland.
Geography and Climate of Nagaland ~
The State of Nagaland is a mountainous State mostly with theprincipal mountain ranges being the Naga hills and the Patkai range. Mount Saramati is the highest mountain peak of Nagaland at an elevation of 12,601 feet. The Japfu Peak is the second highest where one can also experience snowfall. The Doyang and Diplu rivers criss cross the State of Nagaland. Tropical forests are found across Nagaland along with coniferous vegetation and temperate forests. The northern mountains of Nagaland are filled with dense evergreen rain-forests. Nagaland also has an abundant growth of bamboo forests.
The climate of Nagaland is salubrious comprising of summer, monsoon and winter. The average annual rainfall at Nagaland is around 2500 mm. Summers in Nagaland is the shortest season lasting for a few months with temperature ranging from 16 – 31 degrees Celsius. During winter, the temperature does not drop below 4 degrees Celsius with a maximum average temperatures recorded at 24 degrees Celsius.
Flora and Fauna of Nagaland ~
Nagaland has rich and diverse species of flora and fauna across the State. With around one sixth of Nagaland under forest cover, diverse flora and fauna species have made Nagaland its home. Trees found are palms, bamboo, rattan, mahogany, etc. Fauna species found across Nagaland are elephants, porcupines, leopards, bears, sambars and many primate species. The Great Indian Hornbill is the most famous bird of Nagaland.
People, Religion and Culture of Nagaland ~
The people of Nagaland mostly belong to the 16 tribes of Nagaland. The total population of Nagaland is around 2 million with Dimapur being the most populated city followed by Kohima. Apart from the tribes, the business class of Nagaland belong from other parts of the country. Around 88 % of the population of Nagaland practice Christianity as their faith.
The people of Nagaland are expert craftsmen and weave out some of the finest handicrafts in India. Renowned across the World, the handicrafts of Nagaland are mostly woven out of bamboo and cane. Handicraft items of Nagaland include bamboo baskets, cane baskets, bamboo lamps, cane seats, bamboo furniture, etc. Wood carving is also an important practice of handicrafts of Nagaland. Handlooms are also a major attraction of Nagaland with hand woven shawls being the most famous. The women folks of Nagaland also make beautiful ornaments out of little beads like necklaces, bangles and bracelets. Indigenous tribal ornaments of Nagaland are ivory bracelets and tiger claw pendants of the tribes which was prevalent during the olden days.
Festivals of Nagaland ~
Nagaland is known as the Land of Festivals in India. Similar to the other States of North East India, most of these festivals revolve around the agrarian practices of the States. Being home to around 16 local tribes who practice agriculture as a major occupation various celebrations both pre-harvest and post-harvest translate into major festival of Nagaland. Each month of the year witnesses a form of festival here in Nagaland hence the State has earned a name of being the ‘Land of Festivals’. These festivals are a time to witness the various traditions, cultures, practices and cuisine of the people of Nagaland and understand them. Each of these festivals of Nagaland is accompanied by a huge celebration that comprise of merrymaking and feasting followed by endless songs and dance performances and drinking of rice beer.
The festivals are a great opportunity to witness the various traditional dance forms of Nagaland. Each of these festivals showcases various forms of traditional songs and dances. The warrior tribes of Nagaland often used to go out on hunting expeditions and they often had huge celebrations on coming back where they performed the warrior dances. Various folk dances are also an integral part of the culture o the people of Nagaland. Some of the primary folk dances of Nagaland performed during the festival sare Modse, Butterfly dance, Chengami dance, Kuki dane, Khauba, Monyu dance, Rengma, Seecha, Moyashi, etc. The most prominent ones to be observed across the festival of Nagaland are the warrior dances and the Zeliang Dance. The naga men wear exquisite attires to perform these dances which are characterized by an outburst cry and humming tune and swift leg movements to the beats of a drum followed by chanting and shouting of words, thumping of the feet, etc. To add to it, the women wear metal ornaments to bring in a clattering sound during movements that adds to the vigour and melody of the song. These dance forms of Nagaland are a spectacle to be witnessed and can be experienced under one roof at the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland that is held every year from the 1st to the 10th of December.
The Aoling Monyu festival of the Konyak tribe heralds spring. Tuluni (July) is the most important festival of the Sumi Naga tribes of Nagaland. Prayers are offered to Litsaba (the deity of fruitfulness) who creates life and protects crops. The Metemneo festival of the Yimchunger tribe is a harvest festival. This is also considered an auspicious period for marriages. Ngada (Dec) is the annual festival of the Rengma Nagas. It is believed that the spirits of the dead visit the homes of their relatives during this festival.
Some of the major festivals of Nagaland are ~
1| Sekrenyi Festival – Angami Tribe of Nagaland
The Sekrenyi festival is an important festival of the Angami Naga tribes of Nagaland. Observed for 10 days beginning generally on the 25th of February each year, the Sekrenyi festival is observed as a ritual to cleanse of all past sins committed by the Angami Naga people of Nagaland. It basically speaks of purifying oneself especially before going to war (Angamis too were the headhunters of Nagaland). The Sekrenyi festival marks to bring forth unity among the people of Nagaland and also highlights the initiation of young boys to adulthood. The meaning of the term Sekrenyi is ‘Sekre’ meaning ‘sanctification’ and ‘Thenyi’ meaning festival. Various rituals are observed by the Angamis of Nagaland across each of the days of the festival to celebrate the Sekrenyi festival. On the first day, the male members of the home draw few drops of water from a special pot and place these drops on certain leaves that are collected by the main lady of the house and fixed on the three main pillars of the house. On the second day men of the house dawn new shawls on their body and sprinkle holy water on their bodies to wash off their sins and bad luck and later bathe themselves and perform sacrifice of chicken.
On the next few days, celebrations of the Sekrenyi festival are marked with feasting and merry making where young girls and boys (both with shaved heads) gather and sing and dance the entire day wearing traditional dresses and carry hunting spades while girls carry baskets. During these 10 days of the Sekrenyi festival agricultural operations are halted and only upon completion of the festival that common work like cultivation, house building and marriages restart.
2| Moatsu Mong Festival – Ao Tribe of Nagaland
The Moatsu Mong is an important festival of the Ao Naga people of Nagaland that is celebrated every year in the month of May at Mokokchung district in Nagaland. This is basically at post harvest festival that is characterized by clearing of fields, burning jungles, sowing of new seeds and repairing of homes. The festival marks a bountiful harvest and is followed by three days of continuous celebrations, merry making and feasting. Best rice wine and meat are served to the Ao people during the festival days. The entire town community gathers together and a village witch doctor forecasts the days of the next year whether they will be good or bad for the people. The women folk adorn themselves with the finest traditional hand woven garments and traditional naga beaded jewellery and take part with the men in eating, drinking and composing certain warrior songs of Nagaland. Often a huge bonfire is lit where the young boys and girls sing traditional tunes and take this as an opportunity to mingle and meet.
3| Bushu Jiba Festival – Dimasa Kachari Tribe of Nagaland
The Bushu Jiba is an important festival of the Dimasa Kachari people of Nagaland celebrated every year in the month of January. The festival is generally termed as Bushu and has three varieties of celebrations namely –
- Hangsho – lasting for 10 days and 10 nights
- Surem – lasting for 3 days and 3 nights
- Jiba – lasting for 1 day and 1 night
The Jiba is the most widely celebrated and hence the Bushu Festival has taken the name as the Bushu Jiba festival of Nagaland. This is basically a post harvest festival and is marked with various feastings and celebrations. The feast consists of rice and meat. A special form of offering to the deity in the Bushu Jiba is the ‘Meedo Karba’ that is a specially cooked rice and meat. The Dimasa Kachari people of Nagaland during the Bushu Jiba festival take part in various traditional folk dances, songs and other performances.
4| Monyu Festival – Phom Tribe of Nagaland
The Monyu festival is an important festival of the Phom Naga tribe of Nagaland celebrated every year in the month of April. This festival is celebrated to seek blessings of the God for a bountiful harvest and is celebrated after the sowing of seeds in the paddy fields by the Phom people of Nagaland. It is a time of feasting and merriment when the Phom people exchange gifts with family members in the form of rice beer, meat and various other food items. This is the time when sisters and daughters of a family who are married are invited over to their parents home and a grand feast is prepared for these women and in turn they prepare special food to treat the family members and the elderly and seek their blessings. The Monyu festival is celebrated across six days wherein in the first few days, people gather plantain and bamboo for preparation of food, sacrifice animals for food and towards the end of the day feast by singing, dancing, drinking rice beer and beating a traditional drum.
5| Ahuna, Tuluni Festivals – Sumi Naga Tribe of Nagaland
The Tuluni and Ahuna are the most important festivals of the Sumi Naga people of Nagaland. The Sumi Naga people inhabit the Zunheboto district of Nagaland and celebrate these two festivals primarily revolving around their harvest seasons. While Tuluni is a pre harvest festival celebrated every year in July, the Ahuna is a post harvest festival celebrated in the month of November. Tuluni seeks blessings of the Lord for a bountiful harvest and is marked with feasting and merriment. Drinking of rice beer and eating meats of pigs, cows and mithuns are a customary practice during this festival. Ahuna is celebrated after the end of the harvest season and it is hosted to celebrate a bountiful harvest. This is the time when all the food items collected from the farms are gathered together and stored in a granary for the coming season. Feasting is a special occasion during the Ahuna festival and the special attraction is cooking of rice in slit bamboo sticks.
6| Gaan-ngai Festival – Zeliangrong Tribe of Nagaland
The Gaan-Ngai is a popular festival of the Zeliangrong people of Nagaland, Manipur and Assam. This is a post harvest festival celebrated in the winter season wherein the people celebrate a good harvest that is marked with feasting and merrimaking that extends from five to seven days. This festival of Nagaland is performed to mark the end f the harvest season and the people store food in the granary. This festival also heralds the new year and is characterized by lighting of traditional fire using dry wood and bamboo pieces and this fire is distributed across all the Zeliangrong households. The people pay homage to the departed souls and organize a huge feast in their memoir. Young boys and girls play different drum beating tunes during this festival and offer sacrifices to the deities. Various sports competitions like trekking and wrestling are also arranged. Various rites and rituals are performed during the festival and continuous songs and dances are also performed by the Zeliangrong people of Nagaland.
7| Yemshe Festival – Pochury Tribe of Nagaland
The Yemshe Festival is an important festival of the Pochury Naga tribe of Nagaland which is celebrated in the month of October with preparations beginning from as early as September. The Yemshe is a post harvest festival that marks a bountiful harvest which is followed by a huge grand feasting celebrations. The meaning of ‘Yemshe’ festival is ‘Yem’ meaning ‘House’ and ‘She/Alushe’ meaning ‘Odours’ that symbolizes aromatic smell that comes out from the cooking of the food and meat across households during the festival. As many as 30 Pochury villages gather together to celebrate Yemshe. The Yemshe festival begins with the youth of the village gathering together and cleaning the important paths of the local village that lead to the nearby villages, well, etc. This is followed by the elderly and head f each family in the village to perform certain important rituals before the festival.
There are two forms of this festival – the Big Yemshe that is celebrated by the villagers in general and the Small Yemshe which is celebrated by the rich families for the grand purification feast. On the day of the small Yemshe – the family that hosts the feast serves wine in bamboo mugs to the various people in the Pochury village and continues to host a dance party later. Food cooked is generally chicken and mithun but often pork and frogs are used for the feast. Only after the villagers get the feast hosts pine wood from the nearby forests the grand feast is begun.
After the conclusion of the Yemshe festival, the Pochury Nagas start engaging in cultivation which was halted during the entire duration of the festival. This is because people believe that fertile agricultural lands are controlled by evil spirits and to appease them animal sacrifice are made that in turn makes the land fertile and usable which would in turn lead to a bountiful harvest he following year.
8| Mim kut Festival – Kuki Tribe of Nagaland
Mim Kut is an important post harvest festival of the Kuki tribes of Nagaland and Mizoram celebrated every year in the month of December. The Mim Kut festival makes the joyous occasion of celebrating a bountiful harvest of the Mim (Maize) crop that is also the last good harvest crop of the season. Through this festival the Kuki people of Nagaland also pay homage to their dead ancestors and they believe that the departed souls during this time rise from their graves and visit their family homes to look after the well being of the family. Hence the Kuki villagers worship the dead souls during this festival and offer various gifts to them from rice wine, vegetable, maize breads and symbolic traditional jewellery. During the day time, the Kuki people like the other nagas indulge in huge festivitie to celebrate the Mim Kut festival and singing, dancing, feasting and playing drums are an integral part of the festivities. The Mim kut festival marks the traditional bond between two brothers and speaks of certain hard times within the family that bonds their ties more stronger.
9| Ngada Festival – Rengma Tribe of Nagaland
The Ngada festival is an important festival of the Rengma tribes of Nagaland which is basically celebrated post harvest season where all the Rengma people of a Naga village get together to celebrate the harvest and also pay respect to the ancestors. To celebrate and promote peace and harmony is the prime motive of the Ngada festival and the Rengma people gather on this occasion to sing, dance and feast to celebrate a successful harvest. Celebrated every year in November, the Ngada festival extends for seven to eight days and is marked with collection of banana leaves, preparing of rice beer, praying at the graves of the departed souls and offering various gifts like rice beer, food, vegetables and handicrafts, people celebrating by drinking rice beer, eating meat of pork, chicken and mithun and playing songs and dances across the festival days and lighting a huge fire to wade off evil spirits.
Tourism in Nagaland ~
The State of Nagaland is every traveller’s paradise who wants to explore the lush green mountains and valleys of a lesser known tourist place whose beauty is at par with the major scenic destinations of the World. Be it with family, friends or on solo travel, the unending greenary of the lush forests and mountains makes it and an attractive destination like no other. Nagaland is indeed a true paradise that has the age old charm of ancient traditions and beliefs blended with the fusion of the modern world that goes perfectly with the cultural ambience and local cuisines. Nagaland is a place where one can see a unique fusion of the ancient World with the modern World. While the villages of Nagaland continue to practice the age old traditions prevalent from the time of their head hunting practices, modern Nagaland that can be seen in the lifestyle of the people living in the cities is very much similar to the practices followed by the modern society. It is often to be heard that in India, the style practices followed today were what the people of Nagaland adopted five to six years ago. Nagaland is a perfect travel destination as it brings to a visitors mind the age old traditional life, the begotten memories of the World War II and the various other tales of the past that blends and can be related to the modern way of living.
Nagaland is blessed with pleasant climate and one can visit the State anytime around the year. The tribes, their culture, natural landscapes, festivals, the rich flora and fauna is what makes Nagaland an attractive tourist destination. the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland draws visitors from around the globe. For the adventurous, Nagaland is an ideal destination for trekking, rock climbing, jungle camping, etc. The beauty of Nagaland can be seen across the mesmerizing Dzukou Valley, the Japfu peak and the tribal villages. The beautiful Dzukou lily is to be found only at Dzukou Valley. The World’s Tallest Rhododendron tree is found in the Japfu mountains of Nagaland. With three Wildlife Sanctuaries of Intangki, Rangapahar and Fakim one can spot the fauna of Nagaland here of the likes of leopards, giant squirrels, sambars, elephants, sloths, etc. The Blythe Tragopan pheasant species is found only in Nagaland. The Great Indian Hornbill is a revered bird of Nagaland and four of its species i.e. the great pied hornbill, rufous necked hornbill, white throated hornbill and wreathed hornbill is found in Nagaland.
Your visit to Nagaland wouldn’t be complete without savoring the sumptuous Naga cuisine. Food from Nagaland is one major USP of the tourism of the State as people visiting Nagaland are left mesmerized with the plethora of the various dishes that are put on a platter before them. A meat lovers paradise – the people of Nagaland consume various forms of meat like pork, chicken, beef, mithun and many other locally available animal species. Bamboo Shoot or Akhuni forms an integral ingredient for a majority of the dishes here. Pork lovers to Nagaland find it difficult to leave the place just because the pork here is amazing and it comes in various forms like smoked, dried and normal freshly cut too. The smoked pork in Nagaland is prepared by hanging the pork meat across a big fireplace nearby the kitchen and allowed to wait for seven days that makes the pork crispy on the outer side and tender in the inner side. Pork is also prepared with tomatoes, Naga King Chilli and bamboo shoot. The cuisine of Nagaland comprises of exotic meats with flavorful ingredients and spices. Most of the dishes are smoked, dried or fermented. Rice and fish are common food of Nagaland. Some of the other dishes are fermented bamboo shoot with fish or pork, axone with smoked pork and beef and anisha (made up of yam leaves and smoked dry).
For people who don’t prefer meat, nagaland also offers a wide variety of vegetable dishes infused with bamboo shoot and Naga King Chilli like dishes mixed with cabbage, beans, tomatoes, peas and bitter melon that go along with various different flavors of sauce prepared with green chillies and other herbs. A special way of cooked meat and fish in Nagaland is to stuff bamboo tubes with the meat and fish and then pushing the tube under the ashes of fire to allow tender cooking of it. The cuisine of Nagaland is distinguished with the use of a lot of meat, fermented products and spice. Nagaland is home to the Bhut Jolokia or Ghost Pepper which is one of the hottest chili in the World and is often used to flavor curries or eaten raw. The Naga people use a lot of locally grown herbs, ginger, garlic and ghost pepper in their cuisine. The signature dish is snails cooked with pork and silkworm larvae. Local drinks of Nagaland include Zutho and Thutse which are beers made with sticky rice.
Travelling across Nagaland, visitors are bound to see the excellent spirit of Naga craftsmanship in the form of exquisite handicrafts and handlooms. Various handmade items like bamboo mugs, bamboo decors, handwoven naga shawls, cane mats, cane carpets, etc. are sure to catch the attention of any visitor to Nagaland. These craft forms have been practiced from very early times by the people of Nagaland and have been passed down across the generations keeping the tradition of weaving alive. Whenever you travel across Nagaland you can find small local shops to big bazaars and shopping malls that sell such locally made products like handbags, baskets weaved out of cane and bamboo, home decors, the special Naga shawls, the traditional naga beaded jewellery and traditional war weapons of the headhunters,etc. This has also helped the artisans of Nagaland to showcase their art in a common platform across the markets of Kohima and Dimapur. Shopping in Nagaland is a truly amazing experience. In addition to the locally made goods of handicrafts and handlooms various food items can also be bought which are indigenous to Nagaland. Naga King Chilli pods in the form of pickle or powder, Naga honey, bamboo shoot pickle, natural lip balms and various other products can be bought from the markets of Nagaland on your visit to the State. Nagaland is predominantly a Christian State with 90% of the State population having adopted Christianity as their religion. This explains the fact that visitors get to see so many beautiful churches around the State. Some of the most prominent Churches of Nagaland are the Cathedral of Kohima, Many help of Christians Cathedral, Baptist Church of Mokokchung, etc. There are also several very beautiful Hindu Temples like the Kalibari Temple in Dimapur and the Jain Temple in Dimapur.
The majestic mountains of Nagaland has paved way for many hill stations across the State that are characterized with bounties of Mother nature and pleasant climate infused with small villages where visitors get to experience a rural life coupled with the delicious local cuisine of Nagaland. Across these small villages, one is sure to find many local villagers who lead a humble life and welcome travellers with open arms and guide them to see around the place along with the nearby forests and hills. These villages being present atop hills offer various scope of adventure options like hiking, mountaineering, trekking, camping, etc. Some places also offer motorcycling and off road racing on SUVs too. Nagaland has some real good motorbiking trails that leads you across unexplored mountains and remote villages that gives an adrenaline rush like no other.
However, the most popular adventure activity across Nagaland remains that of trekking itself. Some of the most popular trekking routes in Nagaland include the hike to the pristine Dzukou valley from Viswema or Zakahama village, the Japfu peak trek, trekking to the mountains of Saramati peak, the mountains of Mokokchung and the Satori range. Most of these destinations have a traveler’s rest house and offer options of camping in the open.
For the ones who seek thrill not by hiking, Nagaland offers options of fishing and angling as well. With many major rivers flowing across the State, sport fishing of salmons, local trouts and mahseer are becoming popular among the visitors to Nagaland. Each of these activities are sure to leave you with an experience of thrill and make you ask for more during your visit to Nagaland.
Like Assam, Nagaland is a delightful place for all wildlife lovers and nature enthusiasts. The National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of Nagaland are spread out across the State and have some of the most rare animal species found anywhere in the World. Ntangki or Intanki National Park is the only National Park of Nagaland and is home to varied wildlife species of the likes of Hoolock Gibbons, Golden Langurs, Tigers, Monitor Lizards, Flying Squirrel, Pythons, etc. This place is also very good for birdwatching. Another two popular bird watching spots in the area of Nagaland are the Pulie Badze Wildlife Sanctuary and the Ghosu Bird Sanctuary. While Pulie Badze is famous for the presence of the Blyth’s Tragopan and Dark Rumped Swift, the Ghosu Bird Sanctuary has a fair population of Rufescent Prinia, Spot breasted scimitar, Slaty bellied tesia, etc. Located a the border of India-Myanmar, the Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary is a wild haven for nature lovers and it has a varied population of wildlife of the likes of Tigers, Panthers, Slow Loris, Barking Deer, Hoolock Gibbons, Himalayan Bear, etc. These forests of Nagaland are also home to over 350 species of orchids.
The Primary districts of the State of Nagaland are ~
1| Dimapur District Nagaland ~
Dimapur is the largest city of the State of Nagaland. Dimapur was upgraded to a district on January 2004. Dimapur is the commercial capital of Nagaland having many shopping centers and market. Dimapur’s Hong Kong market is well known for imported goods from Thailand, China and Burma. Dimapur is the gateway to Nagaland and Manipur.
Places of Interest at Dimapur are ~
- Kachari Ruins Dimapur, Nagaland
- Diezephe Craft Village Dimapur, Nagaland
- Rangapahar Reserve Forest and Zoological Park Dimapur, Nagaland
- Serenyeki Festival of the Angami Tribes Dimapur, Nagaland
- Honk Kong Market Dimapur, Nagaland
- Jain Temple Dimapur, Nagaland
2| Kohima District Nagaland ~
Kohima is the Capital of the State of Nagaland and also the second largest city of the State. Kohima is the land of the Angami Naga tribes of Nagaland and is located on the foothills of the Japfu mountain range. Kohima contains many number of heritage villages to showcase the rich culture and heritage of the Naga tribes with the primary being the Kisama Heritage Village. Kohima was a prime location in India during the World War Ii where the Allied Forces battled against the soldiers of the Imperial Japanese army at the fierce Battle of Kohima. The Kohima War Cemetery and War Memorial stand as a testament to this war.
Places of Interest at Kohima are ~
- Dzukou Valley Trek Kohima, Nagaland
- Kisama Heritage Village Kohima, Nagaland
- Hornbill Festival at Kisama Heritage Village Kohima, Nagaland
- Khonoma Green Village Kohima, Nagaland
- Touphema Heritage Village Kohima, Nagaland
- Serenyeki Festival of the Angami Tribes Kohima, Nagaland
- Dzuleke Village Kohima, Nagaland
- Japfu Peak Trek Kohima, Nagaland
- Tseminyu Kohima, Nagaland
- World War II Cemetery Kohima, Nagaland
- Kohima Cathedral Kohima, Nagaland
- World War II Memorial Kohima, Nagaland
- Kohima Evening Market Kohima, Nagaland
3| Mokokchung District Nagaland ~
Mokokchung is the district headquarters of the Mokokchung district of Nagaland and is home to the legendary Ao tribe of Nagaland. Mokokchung is the intellectual and cultural capital of Nagaland. Located at an altitude of 1325 m from mean sea level, Mokokchung has a mild and pleasant climate around the year. A land of rich culture and heritage, the Ao tribes of Mokokchung celebrate the festival of Moatsu Mong every year in the month of May and one can get to experience the life and traditions of the Ao Nagas of Mokokchung at the Moatsu Mong festival. Although, almost all Ao Nagas of Mokokchung have converted to Christianity, they still maintain their old customs and traditions. The Ao Naga tradition of hospitality can be seen best during Christmas celebrations at Mokokchung when everyone irrespective of their financial and social status welcome each other warmly into their homes.
Places of Interest at Mokokchung are ~
- Longkhum and Limapur Village Mokokchung, Nagaland
- Ungma Village Mokokchung, Nagaland
- Chuchuyimlang Festival Mokokchung, Nagaland
- Moatsu Mong Festival Mokokchung, Nagaland
- The Peren, Fusen Kei and Mongzu Ki caves Mokokchung, Nagaland
- District Museum Mokokchung, Nagaland
- Main Town Park Mokokchung, Nagaland
- Longkhum, Langpangkong, Mopungchuket and Chuchuyimlang areas in Mokokchung District, Nagaland
4| Mon District Nagaland ~
Mon is the northern most district of Nagaland and is bounded by the States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Mon town is the district headquarters of the Mon district. Mon is the home of the Legendary Konyak tribes of Nagaland. The Konyaks were the most feared Head Hunting tribes of Nagaland and are easily identifiable with their tattooed faces, blackened teeth and head hunting prowess. The Konyaks are the largest tribe among all Nagas and are adept artisans and craftsmen. At Mon, one can find various wood carvings, machetes, guns, traditional head gears, traditional necklaces, etc. The Konyaks being earlier head hunters still decorate their houses with skulls, hornbill beaks, elephant tusks, horns, etc. The ruler of the villages used the word Angh for themselves meaning the ‘beginning of everything’. The Angh’s house is the largest in the village with the Angh acting as an autocrat and democrat. The Angh house is a demonstration of power and glory adorned with both human and animal skulls.
The most interesting village of Mon is the Longwa village. The Longwa village is located between the International boundary line between India and Myanmar and the jurisdiction of the Angh of the Longwa village extends upto Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar. Traders trade freely across the borders here at Longwa. Students of Longwa study at schools in Myanmar too. The Angh of the Longwa village has 60 wives.
Places of Interest at Mon are ~
- Longwa Village at Mon, Nagaland
- Shangnyu Village at Mon, Nagaland
- Chui Village at Mon, Nagaland
- Veda Peak at Mon, Nagaland
- Naginimora at Mon, Nagaland
5| Zunheboto District Nagaland ~
Zunheboto is another major district of the state of Nagaland. Zunheboto is bordered by the Mokokchung, Kohima, Wokha and Phek districts of Nagaland. Zunheboto town is the district headquarters of the Zunheboto district. Zunheboto is the land of the legendary Sumi Naga tribes of Nagaland. Considered among the fiercest head hunting tribes of Nagaland, the Sumi Nagas of today are however peaceful and hardworking people who practice agriculture as their main occupation. The main festivals of the Sumi Naga tribes i.e. Tuluni nad Ahuna are based upon agriculture.
Zunheboto district has a popluation of around 300,000 and is also home to the largest Baptist church in Asia, the Sumi Baptist Church at Zunheboto. The Sumi Nagas of Zunheboto are known for their colorful war dance and folk songs and are the pioneers of Naga martial arts. Zunheboto is a hilly area and a paradie for bird watchers and ornithologists. Zunheboto falls under an Important Bird Area and over 20 endangered species of birds are found at Zunheboto. Endangered species like Blythi Tragopan, Khalij Pheasant and Peacock Pheasant are found in the forests at Zunheboto.
Places of Interest at Zunheboto are ~
- Ghosu Bird Sanctuary Zunheboto, Nagaland
- Satoi Range Zunheboto, Nagaland
- Sumi Baptist Church Zunheboto, Nagaland
- Culture and Heritage of the Sumi Naga Tribes of Zunheboto, Nagaland
- Nagaland University Zunheboto, Nagaland
6| Tuensang District Nagaland ~
Tuensang is the largest district of Nagaland bordering the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Tuensang is also the easternmost district of Nagaland. Tuensang is located at an elevation of 1371 m above the sea level and hence enjoys a favorable climate around the year. Tuensang is also one of the largest urban centers of Nagaland after Dimapur, Kohima and Mokokchung. Tuensang is inhabited by the Chang, Sangtam, Yimchunger and Khiamniungan tribes of Nagaland.
Places of Interest at Tuensang are ~
- Changsangmonko and Chilise Tuensang, Nagaland
- The Living Stones of Tuensang, Nagaland
- Tsadang Tuensang, Nagaland
- The Culture and Traditions of the Chang, Sangtam, Yimchunger and Khiamnungam tribes of Nagaland at Tuensang, Nagaland
7| Wokha District Nagaland ~
Wokha district is home of the Lotha tribe of Nagaland and is located amidst beautiful mountain ranges and rivers. Wokha district is blessed with natural resources like minerals and fertile land. The Wokha district is bordered by the State of Assam and the districts of Kohima, Zunheboto and Mokokchung. Wokha town is the district administrative headquarters of the Wokha district. Wokha town is the third largest town of Nagaland after Dimapur an Kohima. The total population of Wokha district is around 80,000.
Places of Interest at Tuensang are ~
- Trekking at Mount Tiyi and Totsu Cliff Wokha, Nagaland
- Terrace cultivation along Doyung River
- Traditional fishing by the banks of river Chubi and Nzhu Wokha, Nagaland
- Culture and traditions of the Lotha tribes of Nagaland Wokha, Nagaland
- The annual Amur Falcon migration at Wokha, Nagaland
8| Phek District Nagaland ~
Phek district is the home of the Chakesang and the Pochury tribes of Nagaland. Phek was established as a district in 1973 and Phek town is its district headquarters. Phek district of Nagaland has a population of around 163,000 with a literacy rate of around 80%. The tribes of Phek district are known for their unique practices of wrestling and robust health. Agriculture is the primary occupation of the people of Phek district and they are very adept in terrace cultivation. The fields used for such agricultural practices are a unique sight to behold and admire at Phek district in Nagaland.
Places of Interest at Phek are ~
- Pfutsero town at Phek, Nagaland
- Glory peak at Phek, Nagaland
- Terrace cultivation practices of the tribes of Phek district
- Culture and traditions of the Chakhesang and Pochury tribes of Nagaland at Phek, Nagaland
- Traditional wrestling practices of people of Phek, Nagaland
9| Kiphire District Nagaland ~
Kiphire district is the home of the Yimchunger, Sangtam and Sumi Naga tribes of Nagaland. Kiphire district is bounded by the Tuensang and Phek districts of Nagaland and also the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. The major towns of Kiphire district of Nagaland are Seyochung, Sitimi, Pungro and Kiphire. The highest mountain peak of Nagaland viz. the Saramati Peak is located in the Phek district. The Saramati peak remains snow covered throughout winters and offers a majestic three day trekking route to its summit.
Places of Interest at Kiphire are ~
- Saramati Peak Kiphire, Nagaland
- Unexplored Caves of Kiphire, Nagaland
- Sukhayap or Lover’s Paradise – the Cliff of no Return Kiphire, Nagaland
- Wawade Waterfalls at Kiphire, Nagaland
- Mihki – the river of salt at Kiphire Nagaland
- Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary Kiphire, Nagaland
- Culture and traditions of the Yimchunger, Sangtam and Sumi Naga Tribes of Nagaland at Kiphire, Nagaland
10| Meluri District Nagaland ~
Meluri district is the headquarters of the Pochury tribe of Nagaland. Meluri also serves as an ideal stop over on the way to Mount Saramati in Kiphire district. Meluri is also on the Indo-Myanmar trade center at Avankhung. At Avankhung one can see many Myanmarese Nagas coming to buy daily necessities at local shops. This place is famous for the locally made brine salt and the cane furnitures that comes from Reguri village in Nagaland. The Pochury people were adept hunters. One can also find many interesting rock formations in this area.
Places of Interest at Meluri are ~
- Dzudu Lake at Meluri, Nagaland
- Zanibu Peak at Meluri, Nagaland
- Shilloi Lake at Meluri, Nagaland
- Culture and traditions of the Pochury Tribes of Nagaland at Meluri, Nagaland
11| Peren District Nagaland ~
Peren district in Nagaland is home to the Zeliangrong and the Kuki tribes of Nagaland. Peren district was formed as a result of bifurcation of the Kohima district. Peren district is bounded by the Dimapur and Kohima districts of Nagaland and the States of Assam and Manipur. Peren town is the district headquarters of Peren district and the important towns here are Peren, Talukie and Tening. Peren is also home to the Ntangki National Park of Nagaland which has a varied flora and fauna of the likes of Hoolock gibbon, Golden langur, Hornbill, Python, Sloth bear, etc. Mt Paona is the highest mountain peak of Peren district ad the third highest in Nagaland after the Saramati and Japfu Mountain Peaks.
Places of Interest at Peren are ~
- Benreu tourist village at Peren, Nagaland
- Mt. Pauna tourist Village at Peren, Nagaland
- Ntangki National Park at Peren, Nagaland
- Culture and traditions of the Zeliangrong and Kuki tribes of Nagaland at Peren, Nagaland
Nagaland was formally declared as a State of the Indian Union on 1st December, 1963. Nagaland is a hilly State covered with dense forests that is home to varied species of flora and fauna. Meandering rivers flow across the State of Nagaland that provide a water resource to the varied animals and plants in the State of Nagaland. These hills of Nagaland act as natural boundaries of the State and extend to the adjoining States of India and the neighboring countries too. As a natural divide, Nagaland is bounded by the State of Assam in its west, the State of Arunachal Pradesh to its west, Manipur joins Nagaland at its south while the Republic of the Union Myanmar joins Nagaland in the east. Nagaland has divided itself into 11 administrative districts that look after the welfare, social life and economic development of the people in these districts. These districts of Nagaland are – Dimapur, Kohima, Mon, Mokochung, Wokha, Peren, Zunheboto, Kiphire, Longleng, Phek and Tuensang. The State of Nagaland is mostly inhabited by the people of 16 dominant tribes of Nagaland viz. Angami, Chang, Ao, Chakesang, Dimasa Kachari, Konyak, Kuki, Pochury, Phom, Rongmei, Sumi, Zelieng, Yimchungru, Khiamniungan, Sangtam and Rengma. The 16 major tribes are further classified into sub-tribes that bring hue and color to state of Nagaland. While these tribes of Nagaland may be inhabiting the same state but they are very different and distinct from each other in their attire, customs, food habits, culture, language and practices.
The people of Nagaland are extremely talented and have a fine taste of music. This can be closely seen in their traditional festivals which are celebrated by the 16 tribes of Nagaland across the year. Music is the heart and soul of the youth of Nagaland and the music of Nagaland today is a fusion of the days gone by along with modern rock that is very pleasing to the ears of every listener. Numerous cafes across the State capital of Kohima and Dimapur are perfect joints in Nagaland where visitors can sit, grab a bite to east and appreciate these well trained and talented artists of Nagaland. It can be described that Nagaland is a mystical land of folklore and music that has been passed down across the generations by a way of word of mouth.
We welcome you to the Switzerland of the East, the Land of Festivals, the Land of the Legendary Warrior and Head Hunting Tribes at the districts of Mon, Mokochung, Dzuleke, Benreu, Touphema, Kohima, Khonoma and Dimapur, the State of Nagaland, Incredible India!
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