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Indian States

Nagaland

 

It is a land of folklore passed down the generations through word of mouth. Here, music is an integral part of life. By nature Nagas are lovers of fun and frolic and here life is one long festival. The Nagas with their joie de vivre, dance and songs are a part and parcel of all their festivities. Most of their dances are performed with a robust rhythm. This is an affluent fashion station of the East.

Blessed with salubrious climate throughout the year, one can visit it anytime. If one is looking for a quiet getaway, from the hustle and bustle of city life, it provides the right ambience, as life here is laid-back and slow.

Nature could not have been kinder to Nagaland. Sometimes referred to as the 'Switzerland of the East' it has exquisite picturesque landscapes, vibrant colourful sunrise and sunset, lush and verdant flora. This is a land that represents unimaginable beauty, moulded perfectly for a breath taking experience.

For the adventurous and the intrepid, Nagaland is an ideal place for trekking, rock climbing, jungle camping and offers limitless exploration possibilities in its lush and verdant sub-tropical rain forests which are also a treasure trove of a plethora of medicinal plants. The major tourist attractions in Nagaland include the Second World War cemetery, State Museum and Zoo that are located in the capital city of Kohima.

 

Main Cities / Towns

 

Kohima , the capital city of Nagaland

 

The capital city of Nagaland with the magnificent view of the rugged Naga Hills offers interesting things to do. It was a witness to the fierce fight during the Second World War and the war cemetery; a serene stretch land of manicured greens carries an engraved epitaph, which says, “When you go home/ Tell them of us and say/ For your tomorrow/ We gave our today”. Interesting is the next most important place in Kohima, Barra Basti, the second largest village in Asia. Typical of a Naga village it has the gateway decorated elaborately with warriors and weapons and the mithun skull, a symbol of prosperity. In the middle of the village is a house built in the typical Naga style with crossed horns, carved mithun heads, a huge grain basket and a manger containing rice beer. The State Museum and the Catholic Cathedral are the other important tourist attractions in Kohima.

 

Tourist attraction in Nagaland

 

Khoma - Situated at an altitude of 1495 m above sea level is the capital of Nagaland. Kohima hosts the five days Hornbill Festival, which showcases the cultures of all of Naga tribes from December 1-5 every year. The State Museum has a rare collection of artifacts of the different tribes which inhabit the state. A must see for getting an idea of the people’s lives.

 

War Cemetery - The well maintained War Cemetery was constructed in memory of the officers and men who made supreme sacrifices during World War II. On each grave there are beautiful epitaphs engraved in bronze. Khonoma Village - This Angami village, which lies 20 km west of Kohima was known for its fighting prowess in the past. It is also known for the fallow management of its alder trees, which balances nature in the surrounding areas. The beautiful terraces that are carved out of the hill slopes surrounding the village are a sight to behold. These terraces grow over 20 types of paddy at different elevations.

Tuophema Village - This village which is 41 km from Kohima is a model village for common Angami Sekrenyi festival which is celebrated during February 25-27 every year. Sekrenyi is a festival of purification and revolves round rituals and ceremonies of cleansing the village well.
Mokokchung - This picturesque town is the cultural center of the AO Nagas. The main festival of the Aos are Moatsu, celebrated during the first week of May (1-3) every year. There are Ao villages near Mokokchung which is worth visiti.

UNGMA the biggest Ao village, according to legend the early Aos settled here first after coming from Chungliyimti. This village is many centuries old and can be interest to people who have a desire to peep into Ao folklores, customs and traditions.

Longkhum - Situated at an altitude of 5500 ft. above sea level. The Aos have a belief that Longkhum is the resting place of the spirit of the dead on their onward journey to paradise. As the local legend goes a single visit to Longkhum is not enough……for you have to return to the village again to collect your soul, which had stayed on your first visit.  Mon - The headquarters and home of the Konyaks, old Konyak men often have elaborate facial tattoos and wear adornments made from boar teeth and animals horns. Konyaks are ruled by hereditary chiefs known as Anghs and the institution of Anghship is only prevalent among the Konyaks. The most colourful festival of the Konyaks is ‘Aoling Monyu’ which is celebrated in the month of April (1- 6) every year. Longwa Village - The village straddles the international boundary line, falls within the Indian Territory and the other half lies in Myanmar. However the whole village is controlled by the Angh and the village council chairman. Kiphire  - Home to the Sangtams, Yimchungers and Sumis. It is situated at an altitude of 896.42 meters above sea level and is 254 km from state capital Kohima. Saramati the highest peak of Nagaland at 3, 841 meters is situated in this district. Tuensang - It is mini Nagaland, home to six different tribes. The tribes inhabiting the district are rich in cultural heritage and their dresses are very colourful. Their dances are rhythmic and songs are heartwarming. This area is also known for its handicrafts and handloom products.  Permits - Permits are essential for traveling to Nagaland. Indian tourists wishing to visit Nagaland require an Inner Line Permit (ILP) valid for 10 days and Foreign Tourists require Protected Area Permit (PAP) valid for a maximum stay of 10 days. Permits can be extended.   

Fairs and Festivals of Nagaland

Nagaland have been known to the other states and outside India by their ethnic tribal culture. All the distinctive features turns into a feast whenever the religious, spiritual and musical aspects of each festival comes into play. The variety of festivals is due to the existence of various tribes in the state.

Sekreyi (February) - The festival of Sekreyi is celebrated in the month of February by the Angami tribals. The ten-day festival is also called Phousanyi by the Angamis.

Aoling Monyu (March) - By the end of March, Aoling Monyu festival is celebrated by the Konyaks tribe and it stretches for six days. The festival marks the end of winter of the previous year and heralds the New Year beginning with spring.

Moatsu - The Aos observe Moatsu after the sowing is done. Stretching over a period of six days, the festival is marked by vigorous merry-making after the hard labour of farming.

Naknyulum (July) - Celebrated during the first week of July, Naknyulum is the festival of the Chang Nagas celebrated for a period of six days. The Chang decorate their houses with a special kind of tree, the Ngunam.

Tuluni (July) - The Tuluni is held in the month of July and is the most important festival of the Semas. The festival is marked by the prayers and offerings to Litsaba - the deity of fruitfulness who gives life and protection to the crops.

Hornbill Festival (December) - The Hornbill festival is celebrated every year at Kohima from the first to fifth of December.

Metemneo (December) - The Yimchungers celebrate the Metemneo festival after the millet crop is harvested. This festival is dedicated mainly for the souls of the departed.

Tsokum(October) - The Khiamgans celebrate the festival of Tsokum in the month of October, which is also associated with harvesting.

Amongmong (September) - The Sangtams celebrate Amongmong in the first week of September when the new crop is ready for harvesting. The main feature of the festival is the worship of the God of the house and the three cooking stones in the fireplace.

Tokhu Emong - Tokhu Emong is celebrated by the Lothas once the harvesting is over and the granaries are full.

Ngada (November/December) - Ngadaisan annual celebration of the Rwengma Nagas observed towards the end of November / December. It is believed that during this festival, the spirits of the dead visit their graves and the homes of their relatives.

Monyu (April) - Monyu is celebrated by the Phoms after the sowing of paddy every year, from the first to third of April.

Christmas (December) - Christmas is celebrated throughout the state as almost all of the people are Christians. This is definitely a pleasant time of the year as the people gather in churches, sing gospels and rejoice on everything. Though the Christmas is on 25th of December, the whole month exudes pomp and festive spirit.

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