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Things To Do In Nagaland
The northeastern state of Nagaland is an enigma for the rest of the country. Over the years, improved communication and transportation along with infrastructure has brought it closer to the rest of India. The state appeals to every curious traveler who is looking for something new and exciting. Their unique lifestyle, culture, festivals are truly overwhelming and manage to draw a large number of people every year. It has a lively and colorful way of life that is intoxicating and rubs off on the tourists. Let us take a look at the activities that tourists can indulge in during their stay in the magical land.
Take Part in Festivals
Nagaland is popularly referred to as the Land of Festivals. Home to a fair number of indigenous tribes Nagaland boasts of a number of traditions and customs that are colorful and interesting. There are celebrations almost throughout the year. The tribes have festivals that are celebrated around elements like soil fertility, rejuvenation, purification, community bonding, spirits etc. No matter which time of the year you visit Nagaland there will be some festivals going on which you can be a part of and witness the unique celebrations of the tribal people. There are several harvest related festivals as agriculture is the primary occupation of the people here. Some of these are Mimkut celebrated by the Kuki tribe, Bushu by Kachari tribe, Yemshe by Pichury tribe etc. Among these, the Hornbill Festival is the most popular which brings all tribes together.
Go on a Pilgrimage Tour
Tourists can choose to go on a pilgrimage tour in Nagaland in their search for their true selves. There are a large number of religious memorials here to seek God. Prior to the spread of Christianity, people used to worship natural phenomena and inanimate objects. Today almost 90% of people follow Christianity. There are several churches in the state and every district has almost three to four churches. Cathedral of Kohima, Mary Help of Christians Cathedral are some of the most popular ones. Apart from churches, one comes across a number of temples as well like the Kalibari Temple in Dimapur, built in 1956; Jain Temple in Dimapur built in 1947 and a few more here and there.
Go Trekking, Camping & Motorbiking
An unexplored and offbeat destination, Nagaland has emerged as an adventure hub for those wanting to experience an adrenaline rush. There is a good opportunity for those interested to indulge in adventure activities like trekking, motorbiking, camping and more. Trekking is highly recommended for tourists as it is the best way of exploring the hidden gems of the Nagaland. Dzukou Valley is the best place to go for trekking as it is a magnificent landscape. It offers a fascinating view of the rhododendron and lily covered hills. There are more trekking trails like trek to Saramati Peak in Twensang district, Mount Tiyi, Mokokchung Range, Satoi Range, Japfu Peak, Patkai Hills etc. The Governor’s Camp at the foothills near Doyang River is the perfect spot for camping. Motorbiking is also exciting way of exploring the unexplored and remote corners of the state.
Like most of the state of India, Nagaland too boasts of rich flora and fauna and wildlife sanctuaries albeit few as compared to the others. Though few, wildlife is truly attractive. In Nagaland there are more than 350 species of wild orchids that are grown every year. Among wildlife sanctuaries, Ntangkii National Park or Intanki Wildlife Sanctuary is the most prominent one spread across 202 sq. km. Here tourists can come across a range of species like Tiger, Python, Wild Dogs, Sloth Bear, Golden Langur, Palm Civets, Monitor Lizard etc. It is a great place for wildlife and bird lovers and photographers. Ghosu Bird Sanctuary is a must-visit for birders and is home to varied species like Spot-breasted Scimitar, Scimitar Babbler, Slaty-bellied Tesia and Rufescent Prinia.
Witness Folk Dance
When in Nagaland tourists must take time out to enjoy the beautiful traditional dance of the land. Music and dance are an intrinsic part of the colorful Naga culture. All celebrations are accompanied by folk dance. The interesting part of the Naga culture is every tribe has its own unique dance forms, language and customs. The folk dances of Nagaland include Agurshikukula, Aaluyattu, Butterfly Dance, Kuki Dance, Modse, Changai Dance, Mayur Dance, Leshalaptu, Rengma, Khamba Lim, Kukui Kucho, Moyashai, and several more. War Dance and Zeliang Dance are among the most prominent dance forms in Nagaland. Dances are accompanied by clapping, chanting, thumping of feet, shouting of words, and the men wear traditional clothes and headgear and make for a colorful and bright sight.
Nagaland has a number of districts and each of them is unique and special. They are endowed with stunning landscapes and gorgeous surrounding beauty. The gorgeous hills, blooming flowers, mesmerizing valleys, and gentle slopes are worth every visit. Some of the districts are developing urban centers and are worth exploring. Nagaland is truly a paradise and every corner holds something truly special and exciting for the touring people. Dimapur, Kohima, Phek, Tuensand, Mokokchung are some of the popular districts of the state.
Visit War Memorial
During Second World War the then non-independent India became embroiled in war tussles. It came as close to Nagaland where British Allied Forces clashed with the Japanese forces in a fiercely fought battle that lasted days. Several British soldiers lost their lives in this encounter on the battleground of Garrison Hill and were later buried in the capital city of Kohima. Kohima War Cemetery is a war memorial that was set up dedicated British soldiers who lost their lives in WWII in April 1944. There are estimated 1420 Commonwealth burials here. There is also a memorial built in memory of the additional 917 Hindu and Sikh soldiers who died and were cremeted as per their faith. The memorial was inaugrated by the Commander of the14th Army in Burma, Field Marshal Sir William Slim.
Visit Nagaland State Museum
Nagaland State Museum lies half km north of the city of Kohima. Those who are interested in museums can pay it a visit as the museum displays the rich cultural heritage of the state. There are different collections of articles belonging to various tribes exhibited here. Pictures of every tribe can be found here and tourists can gain an insight into the rich taditions, customs, costumes, social hierarchy and lifestyle of each tribe. Items on display include jewellery, ceremonial drums, statues, gateposts, pillars, and several other artifacts. The basement of the museum displays the different animals and birds that are found in the northeastern hill states of India.
Eating in Nagaland
Like its culture and customs, Nagaland cuisine too is quite unique from the rest of the country. There are a plethora of dishes on offer here which may appear bland but are bursting with flavors. Non-vegetarian consumption in the state is quite high and if you are a non-vegetarian lover you are sure to have a great time here. Pork is extremely popular here. Pork infused with spices, smoked pork and smoked pork stew, pork made with dry bamboo shoots is mouth-watering dishes in this part of the country. Vegetarian dishes made with cabbages, beans, melon, peas etc. are equally delicious. An assortment of chili sauces is used in the preparation of the meals like Eel chili sauce and Crab chili sauce etc. Naga style steamed fish is just as mind-blowing. Bamboo shoot is regularly used in Naga cuisine.
Shopping in Nagaland
No trip is complete without a visit to the local shops and markets. It is no different in Nagaland. They boast of skilled craftsmanship and fashion sense. Bamboo mugs, cane carpets, woven Naga shawls, silk mekhela are popularly found here. Local artisans spend considerable amount of time to produce some of the best products which can be carried back as a memento of your visit to the land of the Nagas. Cane baskets, shawls, home décor items, ornaments are found aplenty. Handicraft and Handloom Emporiums are great places where you can pick up some traditional and handcrafted items. When it comes to clothing and ornaments, there is a deep influence of Korea on Naga fashion that is distinctly visible.