Nagaland - A Travelers' Abode - Travel in India

Travel in India
Is the usual summer vacation to Kulu, Manali, Shimla or a detour to Khandala driving you out of options for a holiday destination? Tourists flock to places like Kodaikanal, Ooty, Coorg, and Yelagiri for a weekend getaway but definitely not like they did in the yesteryears. So try Nagaland, the tourist haven in North East India. A treat to your eyes, a luxury to a traveler- a visit to the North-east state of the brave warriors will simply take your breath away. Being protective about their guests comes naturally to the Nagas and you can be rest assured no harm could happen to you while you are in Nagaland. Though still a developing state, Nagaland has been untouched by maddening tourism and remains beautifully intact with what Nature has provided in abundance.

"Though Nagaland is a hilly region, it's not just another hill station but a haven to explore for ecologists, backpackers and researchers. The government has identified and marked certain places that have put Nagaland on the tourism chart and a visit to this unscathed beauty is simply awe inspiring! Nagaland is a place that's least known even to Indians.

Climatic Conditions: Being a hill station the climate in Nagaland is extremely pleasant throughout the year except for a small part on the foothills. It is best to pack thermals as the evenings could be colder and perhaps wind cheaters and mackintosh for the sudden drizzle.

Tourist season: The best time to visit Nagaland is between May and October. It is during this period that the 16 different festivals of the officially recognized 16 different tribes, spread across the months, are celebrated. However the weather conditions are completely unpredictable in Nagaland with sudden downpours on and off.

Places to visit:

What is little known about Nagaland is the massive usage and benefits of the Bamboo that Nagas completely rely on. Right from houses to alternate medicines, substitute for timber to eating bamboo shoots, this grass is used in every form across Nagaland. The village houses of Nagaland are not thatched but beautifully carved and stand strong with bamboo pillars. The houses depict the various art forms oftribal culture.

Intaki Wildlife Sanctuary: Home for many endangered species, the sanctuary is a habitat for Hoolock Baboon, the only gibbon found in India.

Mokukchung: A drive to the oldest town of Nagaland, Mokukchung, through the steep roads will give you a distinct feeling of elation. Watching the forest stretches while driving will thrill you completely. You'd best enjoy the Maotsu festival of the Ao tribe with a sip of rice beer amidst all the singing and dancing.

Khonoma Village: Depicting the valor of the Nagas and ecological diversity, Khonoma village boasts of some rare flora and fauna. The village also brags about its terrace cultivation methods and to reach the highest point of the village one has to pass through several traditionally carved ceremonial gates and steep stone steps.

Kohima: With a history of stopping a battle and preventing Japanese entry in India in 1944, Kohima is the capital of Nagaland with several awe inspiring hamlets. The World War II war cemetery, the state museum and the Bara Basti village are a few places worth visiting. Bara Basti is one of the original villages of Kohima presenting the agricultural skills of the people and the beautifully carved gateways of the community residing. It's been touched by modernism though, yet the true tribal touch still exists.

Wokha: Famous for its oranges and pineapple, Wokha is the district headquarters that's 80 km away from Kohima.

Dimapur: The commercial center of Nagaland, Dimapur is the hotspot for businesses and travel. The only airport in Nagaland is in Dimapur.

Things to do: Take a trek and rest assured you'll come across a rivulet or stream. Nagaland has many of these flowing around. Kohima can serve as base camp for the tourists as it has many lakes in the middle of the mountains making your picturesque stay all the more beautiful. Just watching the untouched beauty of Nagaland would take you through a peaceful journey that you've been longing for.

How to reach: Within Nagaland it is best to rent a car, and it would work easy on your pockets.

By Air: Nagaland has its airport in Dimapur. It is regularly serviced by major airlines and is well connected with major cities like Guwahati and Kolkatta.

By train: Dimapur is the major railhead, linked to Guwahati which in turn is linked to the rest of India by important trains.

By road: Nagaland covers a good road network. The capital Kohima is linked with Shillong and Guwahati, the most important cities in northeastern India.

Entry formalities:

Foreign Nationals have to obtain a permit which can be availed from the Home Ministry, Government of India a few other offices in Nagaland or Indian missions abroad. The permit is issued with restrictions to certain areas, for a period of ten days. You need to be in a group of 4 or be a married couple. An extension of ten days more can be obtained.

Indian Nationals: An inner line permit is issued, which can be obtained by the liaison officers of Nagaland at New Delhi, Guwahati, Shillong, Kohima, Dimapur.


Author: Sherley Pothen
Editor: Thilaka Ravi
Technical: Lingaraj
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