A hardcore traveler knows that the true essence of any place lies in its local customs, traditions, and everyday lifestyle, as opposed to the fancy and glittery part, showcased to the world from the outside. One such place is the state of Nagaland which truly glorifies its traditions, customs, and varied ethnic groups.
Rightfully named the “Land of Festivals” you will be astounded by the ways the locals celebrate festivals and life in general around here. Apart from that, the high mountain ranges in the state offer breathtaking views that would make just about anyone drool in awe. So, to give you some more inside information about this beautiful northeastern state, keep reading this Nagaland Travel Guide.
Unlike other states in the country, the history of Nagaland is somewhat different and a bit unclear, which makes it even more interesting to know more about and unravel hidden secrets. If we were to give you a brief summary of all the important historical events associated with the state, it would go something like this:
The Naga tribes were originally part of the state of Assam which was invaded by Myanmar (formerly Burma) and thus began a quest for power. This treachery came to an end when the British took over Assam and peace was somewhat restored in the region. When the rule of the British reached its expiration in the state, various tribes started demanding a break away from the country but that didn’t see the light of the day. Finally, at a Naga People’s Convention in the 60s, it was decided upon to consider Nagaland as a separate Indian state going forward, and ironically, the rest is history!
The state of Nagaland also has a vast culture with various ethnic groups calling this beautiful northeastern region their home. The residents of Nagaland are called Nagas and the majority of them are Christians. If you feel like filling your travel slam book with information about the locals, then getting yourself acquainted with some of the renowned ethnic groups should be an ideal start. Yimchunger, Pochury, Konyak, Chakhesang, Kuki, Chang, and Zeliang, to name a few.
It won’t take you long to decipher that the Land of Festivals celebrates festivals like no other! Every tribe, every ethnic group brings their own festival, their own celebration into the mix which is a sight to behold. Despite every tribe having a language of its own, the unity and harmony between them are what has kept the state’s culture alive and kicking for so long. The famous festivals around here that you might not want to miss are Hornbill, Aoleang, and Sekrenyi among others.
If you are taking the aerial route, the nearest airport is the Dimapur airport which is also the only airport in this north-eastern state. It is at a distance of about 75 km from Kohima city. It connects cities like Guwahati and Kolkata and you can avail yourself of the services of buses and cabs to reach there.
Again, Dimapur is the city that connects the state of Nagaland to the rest of the states in the country. The Dimapur station lies on the mainline of the North-East Frontier Railway. The cities of Guwahati and Kolkata are important junctures that connect with Dimapur and have multiple trains running to and fro between them. A few trains you might wanna keep in mind while traveling to Nagaland are New Delhi Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express, Kamakhya Dimapur BG Express, Avadh Assam Express, and JAN Shatabdi Express.
Cabs and buses are going to be your travel buddies if you take the road routes. The Nagaland State Road Transport operates buses regularly between Kohima and Dimapur. Taxis follow suit with connectivity between these two cities of the northeastern state. You can also avail of the Night Deluxe bus services connecting Dimapur to Shillong, Guwahati, and Mokokchung.
Northeastern states in general are blessed with pleasant climatic conditions all year round which is why it is no surprise that a trip to the North is on the bucket list of numerous travelers. Speaking of Nagaland in particular, the summers are the shortest season in the state with bearable temperatures throughout. Despite its short stint, summers here see a large number of people flocking here to enjoy sightseeing and comfortable temperatures.
Nagaland receives special treatment from the rain gods as the state experiences moderate to heavy rainfall during the months from May to September which is quite a long span. Though the state sees relatively fewer travelers around this time of the year, the greenery and picturesque scenery blossoms out the most when the raindrops work their magic. So, if you don’t mind traversing the state while it pours, you won’t be able to erase the breathtaking views that you’re going to experience here.
Probably the best time of the year to visit the state of Nagaland is during the winters. The tourism industry sees a huge spike in revenue as the perfect cold weather conditions attract a large crowd of tourists looking for outdoor activities. You will also find a hoard of festivals being organized by the state during this time of the year. Even the thought of adrenaline-filled activities as the snow caps your beanie makes one want to rush to this place immediately!
Also read: 11 Best Winter Tourist Destinations In India
Nagaland depends on roadways heavily but is often subjected to poor road conditions due to the state’s position with mountains surrounding it. Though you will not find readily available bus services across the state, there are still a few operators making it easier to get around in Nagaland.
Speaking of cab services in Nagaland, you can choose from 3 prominent types i.e. the Sedan, Hatchback, and SUVs. The Nagaland Car Rental service is also one of the popular choices for sightseeing and touring around the state.
The heart and soul of the state of Nagaland is the city of Dimapur. The city is very rightly considered the Gateway to Nagaland. It is home to the only airport in the entire state and is in a way connects the state to other parts of the country through its rail routes. Dimapur also has its massive historic significance to boast of. If you are a nature and a history lover, the 13th-century Kachari Ruins should be the first place you must visit and feast your eyes on its glorious beauty.
Despite being the prominent connecting route of the entire state, Dimapur has its fair share of quiet and tranquil spaces for tourists to enjoy a serene and pleasant time away from the commotion. Some of these places include Kuki Dolong Village, Nichuguard Village, and the Triple Falls among others. Bordered by the Dhansiri river on the east and lush forests on the west, Dimapur is one of the prime locations you must visit when in Nagaland.
Look up any picture of Kohima on the internet and ask yourself why you haven’t been to this place yet. Its lush green trails feel like stairways to heaven at times. Though the city is marching towards a cosmopolitan rise, it still manages to keep in touch with the historic roots that have given it an identity of its own. There is no place in the entire tiny town that doesn’t have a story to tell about a particular tribe. As in the case of Kohima, you will get a lot of insights about the Angami tribe once you visit this part of the state.
The deafening buzz about the Hornbill festival finds its origin in Kohima as it hosts this festival every December when there is the highest number of tourists present in the city. The festival was initiated in the early 2000s with the intention to attract tourists and boost the tourism industry. Look how well that has turned out for them.
Also read: 7 Unique Things To Do In North-East India
A through and through fantastic naturesque place in the state is Wokha. You can feast your eyes for hours with astounding views of hills and rivers playing their never-ending medley. The flora and fauna in this district are unmatched as you will find plenty of distinct colorful flowers and orchards enhancing its overall value. A few tourist spots which you can enjoy in Wokha are Vankhosung, Doyang Hydro Project, and Liphanyan Governor’s camp.
The Wokha district is also home to the largest tribes in Nagaland, the Lotha Nagas. This tribal group celebrates the Tokhu Emong Festival usually in the month of November and it lasts for about 9 days in total. It is a famous harvest festival and people make contributions of all sorts to ensure a good harvest. It is a great atmosphere of people coming together and praying to the Lord Almighty for prosperity and good fortune. A celebration of such a grand scale just cannot be missed, which is why you need to mark your presence here during this time of the year.
Looking to have a short picnic at a well-manicured park? Then head straight to Stone Garden NEZCC in Dimapur. It most certainly is the most peaceful spot to get your kids to pass time. You also get a window into the world of how locals of Nagaland spend their time.
The Cathedral is an architectural wonder and a must-visit in Nagaland. It’s a marvelous structure with a history. It was built to commemorate Japanese soldiers that lost their lives during the Second World War. You should definitely make a visit here to escape the noise of the city. It is a 2 and a half-hour drive away from Dimapur city center.
The Nagaland State Museum has a treasure trove of information about the culture of the land. So if you would love to get an understanding of the key cultural aspects of the way of life of Nagas, this museum must have incorporated into your itinerary. It is the one spot in the state that draws history buffs to it like moths to a flame. Make sure you dedicate at least 2 to 3 hours to explore the entire space to give justice to all the pieces exhibited here.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Nagaland?
Blessed with pleasing winter climatic conditions, Nagaland is best explored in the months from October to February when the festivities and recreational activities are at their peak.
What Is Nagaland Famous For?
Nagaland is famous for its vast culture and historic essence which has been preserved beautifully for such a long time.
Is Nagaland Good For Tourists?
With numerous landscapes, a plethora of recreational activities, and places of historical significance, Nagaland has something for tourists looking to explore an offbeat and unseen side of India.
Do I Need A Permit To Visit Nagaland?
To gain entry to Nagaland, an Inner Line Permit (ILP) is required for Indian tourists.
What Is The Speciality of Nagaland?
You will find the hottest chili peppers in the whole wide world right here in Nagaland.
What Language Is Spoken In The State Of Nagaland?
Being a state with a vast majority of Christians, English is the most common and widely spoken language in Nagaland.
What is the famous food of Nagaland?
Nagaland's food is primarily made up of rice and veggies found in the surrounding forests. Some of the famous dishes of Nagaland are Bamboo shoots, Zutho, Hinkejvu, Bushmeat, Samathu, Akini, Fish in Bamboo, Aikibeye, and Black Sticky rice pudding.
What type of climate does Nagaland have?
Nagaland sees a monsoon-type climate with wet and humid weather. The annual rainfall of the region averages between 70 and 100 inches, especially during the months between May and September.