DESTINATION - Nagaland
The undulating state of Nagaland India is extremely charming and lovingly beautiful. A home to as many as sixteen tribes, the state has much to explore. The virgin terrains of the state are breathtakingly enchanting. You must visit Naga City to experience the panorama of nature, the warmth and hospitality of people, lavish blossoms and coy rivers making their way through the rugged terrains. If you are the victim of hectic monotonous lifestyle and then Nagaland tourism is for you.
How to Reach
By Air: Dimapur is the only airport in Nagaland India and it is well connected by flights from Delhi and Calcutta and the rest of the country.
By Rail: The important railhead in Nagaland India is Dimapur on the North Eastern Railway Track.
By Road: The towns and villages of Nagaland India are connected by the Nagaland State Transport Association. You can travel by buses which are frequent from Dimapur to Guwahati, Shillong, Mokokchung.
Cities of Nagaland
Kamaleswari TempleDimapur: This “City of River People”, is the biggest and most advanced industrialized city of the state. The District derives its name from a dialect of Kachari in which ‘di’ - means river, ‘ma’ - means great or big, and ‘pur’ - means city, together denotative as ‘the city near the great river’. You can enjoy sightseeing in Dimapur at Chumukedima (the first headquarters of the erstwhile Naga Hills District of Assam State when there was reign of British in early 19th century), Ruzaphema (for frolic and shopping of handicrafts), Triple Falls (a three tier waterfall), Governor's Camp (picnickers, rafters, anglers and campers delight) and Itankagi Wildlife Sanctuary.
Kohima City: The capital city of Nagaland India is a home to Angami, Rengma, Kuki and Zeliang Naga tribes. It is the most travel destination and ideal for making holiday tour amidst the green valley. The city is remarkable for the history of World War II. For tourists it has religious, monumental, museums and village attractions. Must visit tourism places covered by Naga Travel Department are The Cathedral of Reconciliation (a modern church), War Cemetery, State Museum, Zoological Park and two beautiful villages of Bara Basti and Khonoma.
The Dzukou Valley in Kohima is extremely beautiful. The hills, the cliffs, the landscape, the brooks, are ultimately vibrant. The valley is all the more beautiful and fragrant in the season of spring with blossoms all around. The herbs, the flowers like white, red, yellow and pink rhododendrons, yellow Caltha Palustris and white anemones. Different flowers dominate different seasons. Surprisingly 360 varieties of orchids grow in the hillsides.
Kiphire City:This tourist hot spot has many travel attractions like Saramati Peak (the highest peak of Nagaland), Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary, Cave at Salomi, Cave at Mimi, Sukhayap (Lover's Paradise),
Wawade Waterfalls, Twin Stones, Village of Siphi, Mikhi (the river of salt) and Yingphi or Yingphire (absolutely rich in historical spots, legends and traditions).
Mokokchung City: If you visit Mokokchung, do check out the tourist spots and places of interest like caves of Fusen kei and Mongzu Ki, Longritzu Lenden and Tangkum Marok (springs), Ungma ( oldest and the largest Ao village) and Chuchuyimlang (festival village of Ao).
Peren City: This tourist village destination is abound with ethnicity and traditions. The famous tourist attractions of the distrisct are Benuru (rich in traditional values), Mt. Pauna Tourist Village and Mt. Pauna (the third highest peak of Nagaland).
Festivals of Nagaland
Nagaland India is a place where fairs and festivals are celebrated round the year. Various tribes and village observe diffent festivals. Among the famous ones are:
Festivals of Angami: This tribe celebrates SEKRENYI in the month of February to seek health and welfare of the whole community. People are all glad and happily celebrate by boozing, and eating pork.
Festival of Ao: The Ao tribe observe MOASTSU MONG for three days in the month of May after completing sowing. The festival tour is occasion of celebration, dancing, singing and frolicking. 'Sangpangtu' is one of the symbolic celebrations of this festivals where men and women sit around a big lit fire. Another festival of Aos is TSUNGREM MONG in the August. This festival is for upcoming generation and village youths to exhibit their intellectual dexterity and physical prowess.
Festival of Chakhesang: This community celebrates seven festivals in whole year which are SUHKRUHNYE - 15th January, NGUNYE - 1st February, TSAKRONYE - 1st Sunday of March 4, TSUKHANYE / TSUKHENYIE - 6th May, KHUTHONYE - 15th July, TURHINYE - 25th August, THURINYE / KHILUVATU - 1st December. SUHKRUHNYE is the most important festival of this tribe.
Festival of Chang: This tribe observes six major festivals annually namely POANG LEM, JEINYU LEM, KUDANG LEM by Haongang community, and MOUNG LEM, NAKNYU LEM and MONYU LEM. These festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm till date.
Festival of Zemi: SANKARNI is the most important festival of Zemis. It is celebrated at the same time when Sivaratri is celebrated. A week long festival is for smoking and boozing for merriment.
Festival of Sumi: The sumis celebrate a post harvest festival AHUNA which bespeaks the manifestation of thanks giving spree. TULUNI another festival which is celebrated in mid July. People drink wine named Tulini a rice beer.
The Hornbill Festival: It is not a traditional festival of Nagas but a showcase of of Naga culture, cuisine and handicrafts. Different tribes display their own unique cultural assets. Musical gigs and various entertainment programs keep the tourists and the participant occupied with conviviality.
Tribes of Nagaland
Tribal People NagalandMajor Tribes
The inhabitants of Nagaland destination in North East India are called 'Naga' which has incepted from 'Nagna' means naked. It is so because the Nagas are known for avowed for their sparseness of clothes. There are fourteen major Naga tribes namely the Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Khemungan, Konyak, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sema, Yimchunge and Zeliang. All these tribes live happily with each other. They have different traditions, languages, occupations and lifestyles.
The People and Their Life style
The Nagas belong to the Indo-Mongoloid family. Nagas are assiduous people with a strong inclination for their values, ethical mores and self esteem. They are courteous and cheerful and sanguine. You will easily confront the Nagas with a glee lit face. Nagas are of sub medium height with a low face indice, straight hair. You will find the Zeliang and Pochury tribes of Kohima very humble and rustic. The tusensang tribe are modest and natural.
Social and Cultural Ethos
Some cultural customs of the tribes are same like head hunting, common sleeping house for unmarried men which are taboo to women, a sort of trial marriage, or great freedom of intercourse between the sexes before marriage, disposal of dead on raised platforms, the simple loom for weaving cloth.
There is absence of any caste sysytem among Naga and non Naga tribe. Rather the tribes are asundered into twelve totems based on the great forefathers. Recent advent of Gotra system among tribes is remarkable. Marriage in the same totem is restricted but modernization has impacted it and hence now young people do not abide by it.
Wildlife Holiday Tours of Nagaland
The state has two wildlife sanctuaries. Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary and Intanki Wildlife Sanctuary.
Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary Tour
The Fakim Sanctuary in Nagaland India is nearby the border of Myanmar. It is full of numerous flora and fauna. You will find the trees of Bonsum, Bogipoma, Khasi Pine, Oaks, Amari, Gamari, Hollock, Nahor, Uriam, Alder, Kachnar, Sasi here. As the foprests here receive plenty of rains, the woods are brimmed with undergrowth shrubs, Dalchini and Tejpatta. If you will go in the months of March and April, you will gte to see blooming Rhododendrons, varieties of Bamboo and Cane.
The fauna of the sanctuary is packed with Tiger, Hoolock gibbons, Panther, Jungle Cat, Himalayan Bear, Bison, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Slender Loris. Some beautiful birds that are found in this sanctuary are Indian Horn Bill, Tragopan Pheasant, Grey Pheasant, Jungle Fowl, Green Pigeon, Doves etc are the important birds of the region.
Intanki Wildlife Sanctuary
A wildlife holiday safari in the Intanki Wildlife Sanctuary in Nagaland is preserved by the Forest Wildlife Department. It is a shelter to various animals including some rare species of birds. The sanctuary boasts of having rich and varied treasure of flora & fauna. This Sanctuary is a home to Hoolock Gibbon (the only Gibbon found in India), Elephant, Mithun, Sambar, Barking Deer, Goral, Flying Squirrel, Wild Dog, Tiger, Sloth Bear. The birds you can locate here are Kaleej and common pheasant, Hornbill and Black Stor.
Adventure Holiday Tours in Nagaland
Nagaland is a pleasantly charming land with avant garde trekking routes. Nagaland hills are archetypal ones where trekking and campaigning will be absolute fun. Adventure holiday sports are extremely thrilling here because of azure hills and clichéd expanses. You can enjoy trekking in the state traversing through vestal and uninfluenced terrains. From the month of November to March Japfu Peak in Kohima is a trekkers delight. Another trek for you is Dzukou Valley. It is a marvelous valley for trekking expeditions. It has a roving rivulet and in the spring season you will see wildflowers and pink and white rhododendrons.
Shopping in Nagaland
Bamboo Work NagalandAha !!... so you are interested in shopping during Nagaland tourism. Great idea indeed ! As other tribes, Nagas also have their own own expertise in handicrafts. The art and craft of Nagaland is clannish and chic. The Nagas have a knack of Bamboo Work, Wood Carving, Pottery and Blacksmitthy. So you have a wide variety of products to choose from. Go to the local bazaars and be a proud owner of these comely articles.
As the state has forests abundant of Bamboo and Cane, Nagas are adept basket creators. This art is limited to the males of the village. The baskets which they make are for multiphasic. One basket is for domestic purpose, for storage and the other basket is for outdoor purpose like carrying it for daily usage. These baskets are of different shapes. These are triobe specific, for instance, a conical shaped basket is representative of Aos, a cylindrical shaped basket is of Angamis. Apart from these baskets Nagas also make mats, shields, drinking cups – Chungas-, necklaces, armlets, and leggings of cane.
The affluent family of the village have the best wood carvings on their houses. They use simple wood carving instruments and motifs are equally simple and symbolic like carving of mithun head (denoting wealth), hornbill (denoting valor), human figure (denoting success in hunting), elephant, tiger (denoting physical aptitude).
Pottery is not that popular and but hence practiced in very few villages. Without using a revolving wheel the Nagas make the pots by their hands only. Limited to women folk of the village it is not very profitable.
It is a recent but popular craft. The blacksmiths make the everyday use article for the villagers like Dao, axe, sickle, knives, spear points, muzzle loading guns and butts. Different tribes have their own perspective about the trade of blacksmithy.
Fundamentally both the sexes are fond of wearing and adorning themselves with colorful ornaments. Naga soldiers wears a miniature trophy masks as a pendant in a chain or necklace symbolizing their valor as headhunters. You will like to see the Naga bracelets and bangles. Nagas make ornaments of shells which have a aesthetic quality.
Art of Nagaland
Naga women are dexterous weavers and make chromatic and jazzy shawls, bags and jackets. They use back strap and fly shuttle loom for weaving. Different tribes has set types of motifs, patters, designs and colors according to the folklores of the tribes. These weaved clothes are adorned with beads, shells and hair of goat to for ostentation of wealth.
This is also performed by Naga women. Till recent times every maiden should know spinning to get married. Usually the procedure of spinning is nothing but primordial.
While dyeing the Nagas use vibrant colors like red, blue and less often yellow. Dyeing is prohibited before harvest believing that process of dyeing can perish the crops.
Tribal Dance NagalandThe folklores and music is passed down from one generation to the other and so the Nagas has music inbred in them. They play a common musical instrument 'Petu', Theku a string instrument and a wind instrument – flute. Trumpet is used by the people to keep away the wild animals. Guitar is gaining popularity and is in vogue in Nagaland today. The songs of Nagas can be classified into different categories like:
Heliamleu or dancing songs: these are romantic love songs composed and sung by both young and old people.
Hereileu or war songs: Sung by the old people to commemorate the triumphs and forfeit at wars, to relive the bygone glorious days.
Neuleu or legendry songs: These are composed by the old people of the village to solemnize their important and remarkable events.
Hekialeu or songs about self: Old people compose these songs to narrate their achivements in their career when they were young and strong.
Hekialeu or a duet: Generally it is sung by the young lads and lasses of the clan. These songs are composed by both young and old people.
You can get an acumen of the taciturnity of the Nagas through the tribal dances. These dances are tribe specific and people wear vibrant attires, gaudy jewelery and of course a sweet smile. The dances are named after the hand and leg gestures and movements of the dancers. Be it a festival or a ceremony, harvest or recreation, Nagas always have a reason to celebrate and rejoice by dancing. Their dances full of liveliness and they use props generously.