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Things To Do In Mokokchung
Mokokchung is a leading town and district in the northeastern state of Nagaland and the epicenter of Ao tribe. Considered to be the birthplace of the Ao people, the tribe is scattered across different villages of the district preserving their heritage, culture, customs and way of living. Mokokchung has a number of beautiful villages for tourists to visit, a number of tribal festivals celebrated with much pomp and show which tourists must experience and few scenic spots to soak in the essence of Mokokchung. Tourists will not have multiple things to do during their stay in the district but there are few attractions which must not be visited. Let us take a quick look at few of the activities they can indulge in while in Mokokchung.
Visit Vegetable Capital of Nagaland
Longkhum is a village in Nagaland that boasts of a scenic beauty that captivates the soul and has to be revisited to retrieve your soul. The highest altitude village here offers a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. Apart from its sheer beauty today Longkhum is more popular as the Vegetable Capital of Nagaland. Almost every corner of the village has vegetable farms where a variety of vegetables are cultivated particularly tomatoes and cabbages. It is a leading producer of tomatoes which is a major commercial crop and is sold off to neighboring cities like Kohima and Dimapur and even Assam.
Visit the Birthplace of Ao People – Ungma
Ungma is held to be the birthplace of Ao people from where they migrated to different places to set up their own villages. Much care has been take and efforts taken to preserve the cultural heritage, the custom, traditions and festivals of the Ao tribe. Ungma village celebrates Moatsu and Tsungremong the popular festivals of the Ao tribe with much fervor. The festivals are marked by merrymaking, dancing and singing and are a great opportunity to study and learn more about the Ao people.
Moatsu is celebrated by the Ao people of Nagaland every year in the first week of May. The festival takes place once the sowing season is over and is hence accompanied by a number of rituals. Post the sowing season there is a period of rest and recreation and this is enjoyed in the form of Moatsu festival. Lasting for only 3 days the festival is marked by lots of singing and dancing. The woven adorn themselves with beautiful traditional tribal garments and ornaments and join their men in the merry making.
Witness Tsungremong Festival
Tsungremong is another festival that is celebrated on the eve of the harvest and this takes place from 1st to 3rd August. Prior to the festival the village gate is closed and entry is restricted to only people of that particular village. These festivals are a great time to visit Ao villages and an opportunity to learn about their way of life. In some of the Ao village this festival also marks the transfer of powers from one generation to the next. The ceremonies related to tsungremong festival differ in every Ao village.
Go Picnicking on Banks of Dikhu River
Dikhu River is the primary river that flows through Mokokchung. They are the source of water for the people of the area and fishing in the river comprises an important activity. The water is also used for irrigation purposes as cultivated is the primary occupation here. Apart from the practical benefits of the river, it is surrounded by serene natural beauty and a great picnic spot for tourists. Strolling along the banks of River Dikhu while soaking in the calmness and serenity of the place is a truly rejuvenating experience and highly recommended.
Visit Molung Village to Trace Root of Christianity
If you want to trace the roots of Christianity in Nagaland then you must make a trip to Molung village which is located in the Jangpetkong range of Mokokchung. It is believed that the seeds of Christianity were planted here before they spread to other parts of the Naga state. There is also a very old leechi tree that was planted by the first American Missionary to Naga Hills, Dr. E W Clark. You can combine Molung village with other tourist attractions like Langpangkong caves and Mongsenyimti.
Visit the Langpangkong Caves
These caves are part of the Langpangkong range of mountains in Mokokchung. While the caves lack aesthetic appeal and beauty they are nevertheless a frequently visited tourist destination in Mokokchung. The tourists have the option of taking a cab to reach the caves from Mokokchung town and the more enthusiastic ones can even trek up to the caves. For exploring and touring the caves taking the help of a guide is recommended. They will help you located the cave where the Ahom king had taken refuge while fleeing from Sivasagar.
Visit Mokokchung Museum
If tourists are enthusiastic to learn about the lifestyle, customs, culture and festivals of the Ao people they are recommended to visit the Mokokchung Museum. In fact it is preferable that tourists make the museum their first stop before they head off to explore the different tribal villages. The museum tells a beautiful story about the history of the Ao people and visiting the museum will make people better informed and understand the Ao tribe better. There are artifacts, swords, jewelries of the Ao people displayed in the museum for public viewing.
Witness Rhododendrons and Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom in Longkhum
Longkhum is a beautiful village that tugs at the soul of any visitor. The best time to visit Longkhum is in spring when rhododendrons and cherry blossoms are in full blooms. While rhododendrons gorgeously adorn the hill slopes, the cherry blossoms line the streets and roads. They are a sight to behold and cherish for a lifetime. They present a stunning sight and nothing can get more romantic than this. Once you visit Longkhum in spring you keep coming back for more.
Mokokchung has its own share of restaurants. Tourists can experience different varieties of cuisine like Indian, Chinese, Continental and local. Some of the popular eateries in Mokokchung are Café Lil Star, Hungers Heaven, Black & White, Marigold Restaurant and few others. Non vegetarian dishes are widely consumed. Pork, beef, crabs, chicken regularly features in their preparations. Food is spicy but delicious. Dried and smoked items are very popular in this part of the country. Vegetarian options are limited and lack the variety of non-vegetarian items.
Shopping in Mokokchung
Mokokchung is often referred to as the fashion capital of Nagaland by the locals. Tourists will find latest fashion clothes, bags etc. at reasonable prices in the markets here. Being extremely close to the Myanmar border there are many stuff that are exported from Myanmar. The clothes bear a strong influence of Korean and Japanese pop-culture. Interested tourists can make a tour of the markets and shops and pick up goods that are appealing.