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Visit Nagaland: The Switzerland of the East

Situated in the north-east side of India, Nagaland, one of the most beautiful states of Seven Sister is delimited by Burma, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The fascinating exquisiteness and tranquillity of Nagaland has already crowned this state as ‘The Switzerland of the East’. Holidaying in Nagaland thus could be a brilliant idea for the tourists in exploring its untouched splendour. A blend of mountainous expanse and a salubrious ambience makes Nagaland an idyllic place for undergoing various audacious activities like rock climbing, rafting, jungle camping and trekking. The soothing climate of Nagaland plays a key role behind the footfalls of several visitors to this tranquil state of north-east India.

The People and Culture of Nagaland

Apart from its serene climate, what pulls the touristy most to this beautiful state is the historic culture of Nagaland. During your visit to ‘The Switzerland of the East’, you can get a glance of the racial cultures of the Naga community, which will positively make your visit an unwind one. The ancestors of the Naga inhabitants are remembered as the brave warriors. The Nagas are generous by nature; and the key sources of their livelihood are agriculture and handloom. The inhabitants of Nagaland are mostly involved in woodcarving, pottery and bamboo work.

People and Culture of Nagaland

There are 16 various tribes in Nagaland. Some of the popular categories of tribes in Nagaland are Sema, Phom, Chang, Angami and Rengma. Majority inhabitants in Nagaland are Christians and they follow various festivals based on agriculture. One of the famous festivals of Nagaland is Hornbill, which is celebrated here in the month of December every year. Just like their diverse tribe categories, the locals of Nagaland also speak different languages like Nagamese, Khiamniungan, Kuki and English. The capital city of Nagaland is Kohima, and its name is derived from ‘Kewhi’ plant.

naga baskets

The food trend in Nagaland is quite spicy. The Naga people relish the cuisines cooked with lots of chillies. Most of the residents here love to eat boiled organic leaves along with rice and chutney. However, by any means the Nagas are not a complete vegetable freaks. They eat smoked pork, fish and beef with equal enthusiasm. One of the specialities of Naga dishes is that they use a unique spicy ginger along with varieties of chillies (Naga jholakia) that are only found in Nagaland. This makes their dishes more spicy and lip smacking. In addition, they also love to eat fermented bamboo shoot with meat. In Kohima, there is a popular ‘keeda market’ where some unique dishes are served that are made of snail, spiders, dried frogs, freshwater eels etc. The local people relish the tang of such dishes to a large extent.

Climate

Nagaland is a state that experiences a warm sub-tropical climate. During summer, the state experiences a humid temperature with around 320C. Monsoon hits the state in the months of May and it lasts till September. During monsoon, Nagaland experiences a heavy rainfall, which curbs down the temperature to a great extent. Average annual rainfall in Nagaland is 200cm. During winter the temperature comes down till 40C or less. This is the time when the natural abandonee of Nagaland can be revealed the best. For tourist, the convenient time to visit Nagaland is from the months of October to May when they can enjoy a salubrious atmosphere here.

Places to Visit in Nagaland

It is quite a difficult task to portray the impeccable culture and breath-taking beauty of Nagaland unless one plunge into region of this isolated hill station. The state of Nagaland has lot many attractions to please an avid traveller and make their vacation just a unwind one. Here comes the list of key places that you must visit during your voyage to Nagaland:

#Dimapur

Dimapur

Being the entry point to the state, Dimpaur is the heart of Nagaland. The city of Dimapur offers you a galore of natural serene with relics of ancient Kachari. For a true nature lover, Dimpaur is a spectacular match in the entire state of Nagaland. Another reason that makes Dimapur well ahead of other locations in Nagaland is the availability of state’s only airport. Dimpaur is well-connected to its nearby cities, which pulls several visitors here to witness the natural beauty of Nagaland. Some of the key tourist pullers in Dimapur are Kuki Dolong Village, Chumukedima, Sethekima Village, Medziphema etc. Lack of too much hustle-bustle and tranquil environs make this place an idyllic tourist hub in Nagaland. The popular shop in this location is Ruzaphema where you will get to see some finest artefacts of Nagaland state. Some other tourist pullers in Dimapur are Nagaland Science Centre, Intaki Wildlife Sanctuary, Zoological Park, Shiv Mandir etc.

#Kohima

Nature of Kohima

The commercial hub of Nagaland, Kohima is known as the capital of this state. The scenic vista of Kohima makes one feel that the entire landscape is portrayed using the most luring colour combination by an artist. Located amidst the lush bush and tranquil mountain, Japfu Peak and the Pulebadze Peak are the key tourist pullers in Kohima. Besides, existence of some prehistoric leftovers, graveyards, Kohima War Cemetery, Kohima zoo, Kohima Museum, birding and deserted village areas equally witnesses a good number of visitors here round the year. Despite of being the commercial hub of Nagaland, Kohima never fails to welcome the visitors with its ever charming natural abundance.

#Mokukchung

Mokokchung

This place carries a tales of its rich tradition, great generosity and electrifying festivals. Mokukchung is predominantly known for its hillocks and immaculate surroundings that make this place a paradise for all the nature lovers. The main inhabitants of Mokukchung are of Ao tribes.  An interesting site in this district is Ungma, which is known to be the first place discovered by the Ao tribes during their entry to this state from Chungliyimti. There is also a beautiful village in Mokukchung district called Chuchuyimlang, which is often visited by many tourists. This village is known as the festival village for celebrating the Moatsu festival of Ao tribes. In addition, visitors can also explore some other attractions here like the District Museum, Mokukchung Park and Changtongya. During your visit to Mokukchung, don’t forget to purchase some sparkling ethnic handlooms and handicrafts which the place is identified for.

#Khonoma Green Village

Khonoma Green Village

As the name suggests, situated around 20Kms away from Khonoma, Khonoma Green Village is known for its green agriculture lands.  This village houses mostly the Angami tribes who make their living by practicing agriculture. Prior to such agricultural habits, the Angamis were mostly involved into hunting. The local inhabitants of green village now also involve in basket weaving and handloom work. Some of the key attractions in Khonoma Green Village are Zulekie and Intangki Wildlife Sanctuary. Visitors can reach this location via National Highway 61 by hiring a taxi from the capital city.

#Dzukou Valley

Dzukou Valley

Positioned around 30Kms away from Kohima, Dzukou Valley is an ultimate site for the trekkers. A wide range of colourful flora and several ravines make this vale a must visit in Nagaland. According to tourists, Dzukou Valley is a pasture which is similar to the Valley of Flowers situated in Uttarakhand. The best time to visit this valley is during spring when the entire dale blossoms with flowers and represent a picturesque panorama to the visitors. The nearest railway station to this valley is Dimapur and from there one needs to hire a taxi to reach Kohima. If you are a trekking freak then Viswema Village is the place from where you should start your trek. From here it will take two days to reach Dzukou Valley.

#Tuensang

Tuensang

This is the homeland of Chang tribes in Nagaland. Situated at the extreme eastern side of Nagaland, Tuensang is the place where you can see a blend of various tribes and their mix cultures. The villagers here mostly involve into handlooms and craft activities. Therefore, Tuensang is popular for various luring artworks, jewelleries and handlooms. Some of the interesting sites in Tuensang are Tsadang Village, The Living Stones of Tuensang and Tsadang. Tuensang is well-connected to Dimapur via NH155.

#Tuophema Village

Tuophema Village

Situated within a mere 41Kms reach from Kohima, Tuophema Village is predominantly known for its genuine delicacy, traditional relics, captivating jewelleries and traditional huts. Existence of souvenir museum in this village highlights the actual tradition of the Naga tribes. If you happen to be here in the month of February, don’t miss the Angami Sekrenyi festival. This festival is quite popular amongst the local villagers, and the same is celebrated between 25th and 27th February every year. The best way reach this village is by hiring a taxi from Kohima.

#Longleng

Monyu festival in Longleng

Visiting this place will let your explore the skilled works of cane, pottery and spinning by the Phom tribes. In addition, Longleng is also known for practising adventurous activities. The Dikhu River is one of the key attractions here in Longleng where people flock for picnic purpose in cold winter. If you walk around the market place in Longleng, you will come to see the way people here are still carrying their ancient tradition with honour and majesty. The Phoms are quite religious and they pay true respect to their customs by celebrating their prime festival ‘Monyu’. This 6 day long festival is signals the beginning of summers after the end of winter season. Tourists also find this place quite beautiful in terms of natural serenity. This beautiful site is connected via NH61 from Changtongya. Various regular buses and private taxis are there to reach Longleng from Changtongya.

#Peren

Mt. Pauna village in Nagaland

Having said that Nagaland has a galore of unmatched natural exquisiteness with diverse culture, Peren is just an example of that. Peren is the homeland of two prime tribes of Nagaland called Kuki and Zeliagrong. The internal splendour of this place can best be revealed when one come across the Mt. Pauna village and Benreu village. Mt. Pauna village delights the visitors by offering them an eye-catching vista lush valley. One of the amazing experiences of visiting this place is staying in the traditional huts facing the mesmerising nature. The level of your excitement reaches to a different feat when you try the luscious tribal food here known as ‘Kennie Nku’. In addition, Puilwa Village caves, Mt.Kisa and Ntangki National Park are some other key attractions in Peren. Visitors can reach here from Dimapur by hiring a taxi.

#Kiphire

Kiphire

This is one such district in Entire Nagaland, which helps you in emerging out your daring persona amidst the natural magnificence. Kiphire is an idyllic site where adventure enthusiasts can perform a blend of rafting, canoeing and trekking activities. The highest peak of Nagalnd is Saramati, which is also situated in Kiphire. Presence of its 3841m areas, allows you a great trekking opportunity in Saramati. Here, you can enjoy 3 day long trekking passing through its adjoining villages and lush bush areas. In addition, some of the attractions in Kiphire are the virgin lands of Mimi and Salumi villages, animated cascades, Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary and some thrilling caves.

This place is well-connected to the nearby places like Mokochung, Dimapur and Kohima via NH 155. Hence, tourist can hire a private taxi or get into the State Transport buses to reach Kiphire.

#Meluri

Meluri

Surrounded by undulating mountains and epitome of untouched exquisiteness, Meluri comes under the Phek district of Nagaland. This is the homeland of Pochury tribes who are known for their brilliant hunting proficiencies. Apart from its traditional tales and stony formations, Meluri has two vigorous lakes called Shilloi and Dzudu. According to the local villagers, these lakes are highly supernatural and are avoided by them. Nevertheless, over the periods of time, these lakes have gradually grabbed the attention of visitors. Meluri can be reached by railways from some of the adjoining locations like Dibrugarh Town (225kms), Dimapur (104kms) and Rangapahar CRS (104kms).

#Wokha

Wokha in Nagaland

It is said that nature showers all its blessings to this beautiful place of Nagaland. Carpeted with colourful flowers and encircled with elevated hills and free-flowing rivers, Wokha is the homeland of Lotha tribe. An amazing experience to have amidst the parade of north-east is staying in the lodge at Riphyim, which is known for offering an awe-inspiring vista of a dam on Donyan River. During you stay in Wokha, you can get into a close interaction with the Lotha tribe that will let you explore many interesting tales about their religion, culture and craftworks. In the month of November, the Lotha tribes celebrate Tokhu Emong Festival. This festival runs for 9 days. In addition, Mount Tiyi, Vankhosung town, Liphanyan Governor’s Camp and Water Pool are some other attractions in Wokha. From Kohima, visitors can reach Wokha by road in 4 hours. Additionally, this place is well-connected to Dimapur via NH-39.

#Mon

Mon

The more you plunge into the natural gorgeousness of Nagaland, the greater you come to know about this beautiful state of north-east India. Known as the native soil of Konyak tribes, Mon lets you explore a different culture and lifestyle altogether. The people here are known as the successors of great worriers, and this can be observed in their gesture. The villagers are mostly observed here tattooing their bodies and with blackened teeth. In addition, various animals’ skull can also be noticed at the entrance to their residence. In the month of April, the local tribes celebrate Aoleong Monyu Festival here.

Besides, an amazing tourist puller in Mon is the biggest village Longwa, which shares the border of Myanmar. It is said that the moment you step into this interesting village, you will have the opportunity to have half of your body in India and the rest part of your body in Myanmar. One more attraction in Longwa is the chief’s residence accommodating the chief along with his 60 wives.  In addition, Chui Village, Shangnyu Village and Veda Peak are some other key attractions of Mon.

The best way to reach Mon is via Sonari, which is around 65kms away from Mon. Regular buses are there from Sonari towards Mon.

Things to Purchase in Nagaland

The rich culture of Nagaland gets reflected through the handlooms and handicrafts of the Naga inhabitants. The thick forestland of the region gives rise to plenty of woods and bamboo products. Therefore, you will get to see lots of products here that are made by utilising the natural abundance of Nagaland. Be it wood carvings or Naga shawls, visitors can feel the expertise and creativity that the Naga people exhibit in their crafts. Some of the products that you must try during your trip to Nagaland are cane-made pen stand, wooden ash trays, baskets, bags, eye-catching wall hangings, decorated lampshades, tablemats, wall panels, sculptures, furniture, floor mats etc.

naga shawls in nagaland

Apart from trying the beautiful strips of bamboo and cane, the people of Nagaland do weave striking shawls, bazaars and comfy jackets. Though, you cannot expect a multi-storeyed shopping mall here in Nagaland, but number of small shops and Government Emporia are the fantastic options for shopping in Nagaland.

Getting there

Nestled at the base of the Himalayas, reaching Nagaland is quite convenient in all aspects of transportation. Being one of the popular holiday destinations in the north-east India, Nagaland is known for its unmatchable airways, railways and roadways services. Let’s have a look into the means of transport to reach Nagaland:

By Air: Located around 5Kms away from the Dimapur city and 75Kms from Nagaland, the nearest airport to reach Nagaland is Dimapur Airport. The other two adjoining airports to reach Nagaland are Gawahati and Kolkata airports. Dimapur Airport is the arrival and departure point of some key Airlines. Once you reach Dimapur Airport, plenty of roadway services you will find that will take you to various important regions and tourist sites of Nagaland.

By Train: The nearest railways station to Nagalnd is Dimapur railway station. Guwahati being the threshold to the north-eastern part of India, travellers can reach Dimapur by boarding a train from Guwahati, which is well linked to the major cities of India. From Dimapur railway station, visitors can hire a taxi to reach some other parts of Nagaland. Share taxis are also available from Dimapur railway station.

dimapur railway station

By Road: One of the key reasons behind the mounting footfalls of tourist in Nagaland is its hassle-free road connectivity. The capital city of Nagaland, Kohima is in good touch with its adjoining places like Dimapur, Lumding, Guwahati, Shillong and Jorhat. A good network of road makes travelling in and around Nagaland quite convenient for the tourists. The buses that run under the State Transport from Dimapur will reach you to Kohima in 4 hours time. In addition, you will find many private taxis and mini-coaches from various adjoining cities to reach Dimapur. Because of smooth road conditions, there are many night buses as well that run from Guwahati and Shillong. If you are hiring a cab from Guwahati, it will take around 6 hours to reach Kohima. A blend of picturesque environs and overwhelming climate makes the roadway trip more comfortable.

If you are planning to commute within Nagaland, Nagaland Taxis are the best option that you can avail during your stay there. Taxis in Nagaland play a crucial in helping the travellers to reach around different adjoining sites of Nagaland. The taxis in Nagaland are popular as Nagaland Jeep. In addition, Yellow coloured shared taxis and the full taxis are also hired by the tourists.

Places to Stay in Nagaland

hotels in nagaland

Being one of the tranquil and isolated hill stations of the Seven Sister States, Nagaland is not endowed with any swanky hotels that you often come to see in other popular hill stations. But it doesn’t restrain you from enjoying a delightful stay in Nagaland. Known for their rich culture and degree of great hospitality, many good hotels are established in Nagaland over the periods. These hotels not only facilitate you with a comfortable stay, but also cater you quality food and other basic amenities. By spending around INR 1000 to INR 4000, you will get some well-maintained and hygienic staying options in Nagaland. Some of the hotels are listed here for your convenience:

#Hotel Acacia

Address: Opp. East Police Station, Near Dimapur Railway Station,

Dimapur, Nagaland 797112

Charges: INR 1261 (approximately)

#Hotel Tragopan

Address: Circular Rd, N.S.T. Colony,

Dimapur, Nagaland 797112

Charges: INR 1469 (approximately)

#Hotel Vivor

Address: NH-61, Near Kohima Bible College, Indira Gandhi Stadium Road.,

National Highway 61, High School Colony,

Kohima, Nagaland 797004

Charges: INR 4413 (approximately)

#Hotel Pink City

Address: MP Rd, Police Colony,

Dimapur, Nagaland 797112

Charges: INR 848(approximately)

#de Oriental Grand Hotel Kohima

Address: Themezie, High School Road, National Highway 61,

Upper Bayavü Hill, Kohima, Nagaland 797001

Charges:  INR 5883 (approximately)

#Hotel Pine

Address: NH 61 Hotel Pine midland,

Kohima, Nagaland 797001

Charges: INR 1271 (approximately)

Travel Pointers:

  • Carrying a travel guide will be much helpful during your stay in Nagaland. It will guide you in showing the various ways to reach Nagaland from various places. Also, the travel guide will let you know about the popular tourist sites in Nagaland.
  • The inhabitants of Nagaland are quite hushed, so never practice any such thing that hurts their sentiments and ethics.
  • Depending on your time of visit carry the suitable cloths. In summer, carrying some light outfits is advisable. In winter on the other hand, do not forget to carry some warm and woollen winter clothes.
  • Visitors outside India need to carry their passport throughout their vacation in Nagaland, which may be asked anytime as their proof of identity.
  • For adventure freaks, Nagaland is a nice place to stop by. Hence, do not forget to carry your trekking kits and necessary equipments.
  • Though Nagaland is an isolated hill station, but in winter the state experiences a good number of tourists from various part of the sphere. So, booking hotels in advance is a smart way of ignoring unwanted rush and delays.
  • Some of the key sites that you must explore in Nagaland are Dimapur, Kohima, Mokokchung, Tuensang and Zunheboto.
  • Things that you can’t miss here are buying the handicrafts, going for trekking, rafting and rock climbing.
  • Alcohol consumption is not permissible in Nagaland.

If exploring the Seven Sister States is still your dream, plan your trip now and let Nagaland be the first state in chasing your dream.

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