A travel Guide to Nagaland
One of the seven sisters, Nagaland is a picturesque location in the Northeastern region of India. It got the name ‘Switzerland of the East’ and once you visit the place, you’ll understand why. Nagaland is blessed with the best topography which is abundant with verdant landscapes, pristine water bodies, spectacular mountains and valleys. Every year numerous tourists set out on Nagaland tours to explore its tribal heritage. It is a famous tourist destination among adventure seekers and offbeat travellers. You can learn more about the art and culture of the tribes inhabiting Nagaland, indulge in adrenaline-pumping activities like trekking or hiking or simply rejuvenate and admire the beauty of nature in the pristine environment that the state is blessed with.
Some of the most popular Nagaland tourist attractions are Dzukou Valley, Japfu Peak, Shilloi Lake, the Commonwealth War Cemetery, Touphema Village and much more. You can even experience the Hornbill Festival where you can enjoy traditional dance performances, folk songs, and the cuisine of the Nagas.
Places to visit in Nagaland
4. Shilloi Lake
Things to do in Nagaland
From trekking in the enchanting valley to having the complete Naga tribal experience, there are a plethora of things you can do during your trip to Nagaland. Some of them are mentioned below.
Trekking to Dzukou Valley
One of the top Nagaland attractions, the Dzukou Valley which is also known as the ‘Valley of Flowers of the East’ is situated at an altitude of 2462 m above sea level. Trekking to this place mesmerises all its visitors by the pristine beauty of the valley. You can witness rare exotic Lilies in this valley which is situated on the border of Nagaland and Manipur. It is a major tourist attraction among adventure seekers and photographers who can capture some of their best works of nature photography at this place.
Hike to Japfu Peak
Situated at an altitude of 3084 m above sea level, Japfu peak offers the best view of the Dzukou Valley with the backdrop of the snow-capped mountains. The place is rich in flora and fauna which includes rhododendron and even makes up the perfect spot for birdwatchers. Because of the mesmerising experience one can have at this place, the hike to Japfu Peak is considered one of the top things to do in Nagaland.
Visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Kohima
The eminent War Cemetery in Kohima was built in 1944 to bury the soldiers who lost their lives in World War II. You can trek till Garrison Hills to reach this popular tourist spot where you can pay your respects to the commemorated British as well as Japanese soldiers who were trying to invade India from Burma. It is one of the best places to visit during winters as the verdant trail to the cemetery makes it a serene experience.
Take part in Hornbill festival
It is known as the festival of festivals organised by the Nagaland Tourism of Arts and Culture Department. The festival showcases Naga culture, music, folk dance and cuisine. During the Hornbill Festival, all 17 Naga tribes come together to encourage intercultural harmony. One can delve deeper into the ancient Naga tribal lives which are exhibited through their hutments and instruments like drums, gongs and many more which date back to the pre-medieval era.
Naga Experience at Touphema Village
Located 41 km from the capital city, Touphema Village illustrates the traditional Naga life in the best way possible. The village stands tall on the hilltop and has several hutments with basic amenities which were built especially for the tourists by the Nagaland tourism department. The intent behind this initiative was to give its visitors the complete Naga tribal experience. While you’re in Touphema Village, you can learn about the people of Nagaland, their culture and their lifestyle. You can enjoy traditional folk dances and folklore tell-a-tale sessions of the Naga lives.
Best time to visit Nagaland
The state receives heavy rainfall and has humid weather during the monsoon season. Nagaland is also very prone to landslides and roadblocks during these months thus we can say that the monsoon is not the best season to visit Nagaland. However, the summers in Nagaland are better than in the rest of the country because of its high altitude and is the perfect time to visit the various sightseeing spots of the state. Even the winter months witness low to moderate temperature. In short, the months of summer and winter are the best time to visit Nagaland.
How to reach Nagaland
If someone wants to visit Nagaland, Air India and Indigo operate flights to Dimapur, which houses the only airport in the state and is approximately 68 km from the capital city, Kohima. If you’re a foreign traveller, there are flights to Guwahati and Kolkata from where you can board an overnight bus or book a taxi directly to your hotel.
Dimapur Railway Station is only accessible from Assam. To reach Assam, the most convenient way is to take a flight but it is also accessible by major cities of the country through railways. Once you reach Assam, you can get on the train to Dimapur. From there, tourists can book a taxi to their hotels in Kohima or other cities of Nagaland.
The state is connected to major cities through an extensive network of National and State Highways so you need not worry about how to reach Nagaland. However, road journeys are only recommended for tourists from nearby states. If you still have a road trip on your mind, you can travel to any nearby city via flight or train and then rent a car for your journey ahead.