Tales of tribes and their unique customs, green rolling hills in the most unlike terrains, heritage villages holding a lot that other parts of India don’t know and so much more, Nagaland makes my heart sing. It’s got an element of adventure to pump you up, it has traces of culture to keep your curious soul intrigued and of course, it is undeniably beautiful. A visit to Nagaland makes you feel as if you have truly travelled to a far-off land and if you’re planning on exploring this state (that I’m clearly obsessed with!), then here are some suggestions of places for you to see there. But first things first,
Best time to visit: April to mid-June, September to October end (Click here for more details)
How to reach: To enter the heart of Nagaland, i.e., Kohima, the closest airport to fly down to is Dimapur from where you can use local taxis. (Click here for further information)
Now let’s dive into what one ought to see in the deliciously colourful state:
Visit India’s first ever green village! Home of the headhunting Angami tribe essentially, it wasn’t easy to switch to this green status. However, in a community that greatly prides itself for their culture’s preservation, the elders mentioned how the next generation may not get a chance to see a number of the creatures mentioned in their folklores. Thus, the villagers were persuaded to give up some forms of hunting. The heritage village is home to forts, places where young boys imbibe the tribal customs and wonderous flowers and plants. If you’re in luck you might even spot some of the last surviving head hunters!
In case you’re curious about the mysterious tribes of Nagaland, read more over here.
Ntangki National Park
Tigers, leopards, gibbons, elephants and a lot more species including the sloth bear can be spotted at this national park! For wildlife lovers, this national park offers relatively lesser crowded safaris than other parts of our country. Drive into the jungle in an open jeep to not only see the exotic animals living here but also the flora and fauna. Mahogany, palms, bamboos and rattans droop over making a canopy over your head. A day visit here is a trip into the grooves of nature as the silence lets you hear the birds and insects, see the living beings and plants all around.
Click here to read about Pfutsero, a quaint town in Nagaland!
Hugged amidst the lusciously green Patkai Hills, lays the lake by the name of Shilloi. Along with the lake pay a visit to the nearby Latsum village whose residents regard this lake to be sacred. Shilloi makes for the ideal nature walk as you tread through the green foothills surrounding it. Sit and let your thoughts dip into the water. This is for when you want your holiday to smile at the simple joys of the slow life.
If your idea of a vacation is gazing at some mighty peaks as they twist and turn into their crevices where clouds come to rest, then go on to catch a glimpse of Mount Saramati. At an altitude of approximately 12,601 ft it is the tallest mountain in the state of Nagaland. A 2-3 days long trek from the village of Thanamir allows you to go appreciate this view in person. Standing tall near the Myanmar border, it is adorned with orchids and rhododendrons seasonally. Snow capped in the winters the white ice layers eventually melt to feed the Likimro River.
You know how you save the last of your pastry or chocolate for the end of the night? That same way I’ve saved the place that I adore the most in all of Nagaland for the very end, Dzukou Valley! A trek to Dzukou is unlike what you’d expect trekking somewhere in say Himachal and that’s the beauty of how different parts of our country can allow us to have such varied experiences. Dzukou literally means “cold waters”. This name was coined because myths narrate that a young scout came to see if this land may be used for the settlement of his tribe. But he found it to be so chilly that they would say that staying here might chill one’s soul! Haha no, don’t worry, the myths make it sound more treacherous. The truth is that there are green rolling hills one after the other for as far one can see. It’s unlike the usual terrains that one might otherwise see. And the sunrise…gosh…its as if the clouds come to float below you, like a thick blanket hugging those green hills.
Here’s an account from Dzukou that may help paint the picture even more widely in your mind.
And if like me you too enjoy interacting with locals while visiting a place then here’s a small story for you from a trip in 2019.
Lastly, for our foodie friends, a blow-by-blow of the Naga dishes to hog on ! Click here.