Nagaland, one of the Seven Sister States, is located in the Northeast region of India. Though it is one of the smallest states in the country, its unique landscapes combined with a lively tribal culture make it a one of the best travel destinations on the India tourism circuit. The state is inhabited by 16 tribes with each having its own distinct customs, languages, and dresses. A trip to Nagaland offers stunning views from the mountains along with an insight into the lifestyle of the tribes. Among the tribal festivals, the Hornbill Festival which is held every year in the month of December is the most popular one drawing massive locals as well as travelers from the world over. Listed are the 5 Best Places to Visit in Nagaland-
The commercial center of Nagaland, Dimapur is also its largest city. The state’s only civil airport is located in Dimapur and the city is the main entry point into the state. In the middle Ages, this city was the capital of the prosperous Dimasa Kachari Kingdom whose old relic, located in the heart of the city, is a popular tourist spot. The revered Dimapur Jain temple is an architectural masterpiece with intricate glass work. The glorious ruins of the fortress Kachari Rajbari are a national heritage site while ancient villages and waterfalls also add to Dimapur’s beauty. Other important tourist attractions include the Kali temple, Zoological Garden, Aqua Mellow Park, Science Center, Stone Park, Rangapahar forest, and Triple Falls. The villages in this city have bazaars where tourists can buy some impressive handicrafts.
The hilly capital of Nagaland and its second largest city, Kohima is a picturesque city located on the foothills of Japfu Range and an important part of Nagaland Tourism. The week-long Hornbill Festival is organized in Kohima where colorful performances, sports, art, games, etc are enjoyed by a large number of tourists as well as locals. Apart from the cultural displays, the festival also organizes eating competitions, motor and vintage car rallies among other things. Other attractions of Nagaland include the War Cemetery which is a tribute to the soldiers who fought against the Japanese army during World War II. Kisama Heritage Village, Touphema Village, Dzukou Valley and Japfu Peak, Kohima Zoo, and Shilloi Lake are other major attractions. Homestay options in the villages to experience tribal life from close quarters are a popular option in Kohima.
Home to the Ao tribe, Mokokchung is the third most important urban center in Nagaland. Known for its flamboyant Christmas and New Year celebrations, Mokokchung has scenic villages. The traditional Moatsu Festival, which is held annually in the first week of May, is an important part of Ao tribe’s celebrations. A visit to the Chuchuyimlang village, an hour and a half’s drive away from Mokokchung, is a must in this region. The village is located high on a hill and offers stunning views. Another way to absorb the tribal culture is by visiting the Mopungchuket village. Often regarded as one of the best villages in Nagaland, Mopungchuket has beautiful houses that open onto a garden. An amphitheater overlooking a lake is also picturesque. Travelers can stay in the village and interact with the friendly locals by staying in the tourist cottages offered by the tourism department.
Land of former headhunters, the Konyaks, the Mon district of Nagaland is a remote geographical location. A visit here offers a fascinating opportunity to get a glimpse of tribal life that is so different from ours. Nagaland’s densest landscape is in Mon and the plains of Assam can also be seen from the hilltops here. The week-long Aoleong Monyu festival, which is celebrated in April to welcome spring and pray for harvests, is worth attending. Shangnyu village, Chui village, Veda Peak and Longwa village that is situated on the India-Myanmar international border are worth a visit on Mon.
The land of the Lotha tribe, Wokha is described by the state government as ‘the land of plenty’ owing to its rich flora and fauna, mineral resources, and fertile soil. The ancient stone monoliths, erected by tribal elders on the hillsides, are among the important features of Wokha. Riphyim, about an hour away from Wokha town, offers a serene rural experience. An old colonial cottage, that housed horses during World War II, calls for a visit. The surrounding forests are a nature lover’s paradise. The tourist lodge in Riphyim offers magnificent views. Doyang River is another attraction in Wokha. A small hydroelectric project is built over it. Amur Falcons that fly to the banks of Doyang reservoir have made this area popular. These places thus make Nagaland a charming place on India tour packages worth exploring.