Nagaland, India

Nagaland is a state in Northeast India. It borders the state of Assam to the west, Arunachal Pradesh and part of Assam to the north, Burma to the east and Manipur to the south. The state capital is Kohima, and the largest city is Dimapur. It has an area of 16,579 square kilometres (6,401 sq mi) with a population of 1,980,602 per the 2011 Census of India, making it one of the smallest states of India.

The state is inhabited by 16 major tribes - Ao, Angami, Chang, Konyak, Lotha, Sumi, Chakhesang, Khiamniungan, Dimasa Kachari, Phom, Rengma, Sangtam, Yimchunger, Kuki, Zeme-Liangmai (Zeliang) and Pochury as well as a number of sub-tribes.Each tribe is unique in character with its own distinct customs, language and dress.Two threads common to all, are language and religion - English is in predominant use. Nagaland is one of three states in India where the population is mostly Christian.

Main Attractions in Nagaland

Mokokchung

Mokokchung is one of the commercial districts of Nagaland and home to Ao Nagar tribe. Apart from the scenic beauty this place has to offer, it is also known as the cultural and intellectual capital of the state of Nagaland. The popular places to visit in Mokukchung include the District Museum, the Town main park, Unman village, the Ao village. In addition to these, the tourists can explore nearby places like Longkhum, Langpangkong, Mopungchukit and Chuchuyimlang located within the district. The picturesque village of Changtongya, which is situated on the Langpangkong Range, the Tsula river and Melak river that flows through the town are other destinations. The panoramic view of the region from the top of the hill is splendid and also it is paradise for the bird lovers. It is a perfect place for relaxing and rejuvenating.

Kohima

The capital city of Nagaland has been one of the most mesmerizing and culturally rich places to be visited in North East India. The fact that it has not been touched and hence spoilt by the tourism makes it a perfect break from the hustle bustle of the big city. This place is majorly inhabited by the Naga tribe and hence remains isolated from the rest of the world.Kohima offers many blissful mountain sightings and portraits of scenic beauty. The State Museum, the Kohima Zoo, Jafu Peak, Dzukou Valley are swarmed by the visitors during peak season. Nearby excursions like Naga Heritage village, Khonoma Village, Kisama Heritage village, Pulie Badze, Shilloi Lake etc are great places to spend the day. Kohima War Cemetery, where hundreds of soldiers have been laid to rest, stands witness to the World War II battles that were fought here, like Battle of Kohima and Battle of Tennis Court. Kohima’s Catholic Church, which is one of the biggest and most beautiful churches in the India is an important touristic destination. Hornbill Festival organized in the first week of December is celebrated with grandeur and enthusiasm.

MON

Mon is the land of the captivating Konyak Nagas, whose culture and traditions are an attraction by themselves for the visitors. The forefathers of the Konyak believed that they were direct descentdents of Noah, for they have biblical names like Mosa, Kaisa Aron and so on. It is also believed that they crossed the historic gate known as Alemkaphan which is interpreted in Konyak as the gate of the sun. The rulers of the villages still use the word Wang (Angh) for themselves, meaning ‘the beginning of everything’. The Angh still enjoys considerable power over his people, acting as an autocrat and a democrat. His house is a demonstration of tribal power and glory, flashing both human and animal skulls on the porch. The Konyaks are known for their tattooed faces, blackened teeth and head hunting prowess, the last thankfully being in the past. When they come out to the markets to sell their agricultural produce, the Konyaks cut an impressive figure among the uninitiated.

Dimapur

Dimapur is on the northwestern edge of Nagaland and is known as the gateway city to the state. Known as the "city of river people", it is just 74km northwest of Kohima. The city is Nagaland's largest and most industrialized town and is the only one that is not up in the hills. So it is the most deforested, most polluted and most encroached upon town in the state of Nagaland. The Khacharis are Tibeto-Burmese people who ruled over this area till the end of the 16th century, when they were attacked by a tribe called the Ahoms.

HORNBILL FESTIVAL

First week of December sees Nagaland, the land of fascinating and hospitable tribes, organize its biggest jamboree, the Hornbill Festival that is held annually. This Festival of festivals is organized at Kisama Heritage Village in Kohima which is converted into a spectacle of sorts. Various Naga tribes come together for 10-days of cultural, dances and sporting festivities in their full traditional costume. Where at one place, the tradition of Nagaland is exhibited in the Hornbill festival, at the other end of the spectrum lie headbanging metal rock bands making it one of the liveliest festivals in India. The zest and enthusiasm in this festival is infectious and the inter-tribal rivalry is more like revelry.

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