A travel Guide to Nagaland

Nagaland Tourism

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

1. Kohima

The capital city of Nagaland was originally called Kewhira because of the abundance of Kewhi flowers in the region. Kewhira was then anglicised to Kohima by the Britishers. The city is situated 1500 m above sea level and is famous for its exquisite and pristine environment. Kohima is blessed with a picturesque topography and is one of the top Nagaland attractions among adventure seekers who can indulge in trekking and camping activities in this region. It is the home of the Naga and Kuki tribe. The place also holds historical significance for being the battlefield of a 64-day long fight against the Japanese who were trying to invade India through Burma during World War II. This event led to the creation of the famous War Cemetery where thousands of British and Japanese soldiers have been buried. Some of the other famous Nagaland tourist places in Kohima are Japfu Peak, Kohima State Museum, Naga Heritage Village and Dzukou Valley.

2. Dimapur

Dimapur is considered the largest snowballing city of Nagaland. It is a tourists’ hub because it houses the only airport in Nagaland. However, that’s not the sole reason for the city being a crucial part of the Nagaland travel guide. It houses the Nagaland Zoological Park which conserves the flora and fauna of the Northeast. The topography inhabits several aquatic as well as other bird species of partridges, parrotbill and many more. It also houses the Kachari ruins which is a famous offbeat travel destination in Nagaland. The ruins have an array of mushroom-shaped pillars which were erected in the Dimasakachari Kingdom during the 13th century. It attracts numerous art and history lovers every year making it one of the popular Nagaland tourist places.

3. Phek

Phek is famous for housing the most number of Nagaland attractions. The mesmerising and scenic beauty of this place draws numerous tourists every year. It makes up the perfect spot for people who want to rejuvenate and have a relaxing vacation near the glistening water bodies of the state. Nagaland tourism offers the perfect cultural trip in the heritage village of Khezhakeno where you can even indulge in bird watching activities as well as explore your adventurous side by trekking or hiking during your trip to Phek. It is an uncommercialised spot of Nagaland which helps to preserve its pristine beauty.

4. Shilloi Lake

Nestled in the foothill of the Patkai range of Nagaland, this lake is shaped in the form of a human foot and makes a quaint destination with verdant valleys surrounding it from all sides. The lake is significant to the locals because of the folklore according to which the spirit of a holy child lies in the bottom of the lake. The inhabitants don’t fish here or use the water for any purpose whatsoever. Shilloi Lake is part of every birdwatcher’s Nagaland travel guide as this place receives numerous exotic birds.

5. Mokokchung

Mokokchung houses the Ao Naga tribe and some of the most popular places to visit in Nagaland like the District Museum which attracts several art and history buffs every year. You can also visit the Longkhum or Langpangkong caves during your trip. Being in Mokokchung somehow helps you discover yourself because of its astounding blend of the ancient and contemporary elements of the world. Since agriculture is the main occupation taken up by its inhabitants, they celebrate the sowing and harvesting seasons in their own unique Naga way, a wonderful experience you can be part of.

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

By Air

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.

By Railways

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.

By Road

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.

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