With the state's only airport and a railhead, Dimapur (74km from Kohima) is the gateway to Nagaland, and its commercial centre. It was the ancient of the 13th century Kacharirulers, and is named after the Dimasa river that waters it. In the heart of town are the ruined monoliths representing the ferility cult of the Kachari kingdom. The Tourist Village Complex at Chumukedima is an interesting spot, and short ride up the hill affords a good view of Dimapur and its surroundings.
You can seen women weaving traditional Naga shawls on traditional looms at Ruth's and Haralu emporia in Dimapur. Near the town is Triple Falls, in Seithekima village. This three-tier waterfall is a beautiful destination for trekkers. Governor's Camp, 43km from Dimapure in the foothills by the Doyang river, is a lovely spot for picnicking, rafting, angling and camping.
The state capital, perched at 1444.12 m above sea level, is pretty hill station, with panoramic views of the rugged Naga hills. It is unspoilt and replete with interesting things to see and do. The history buff in particular will find much to whet his appetite, for Kohima was witness to some of the fiercest fighting of the Second World War-a fifty day-and nightnon-stop slogging match. You'll find a good account in The Campaign in Burmaby Lt. Col. Frank Owen.
The War Cemetery, Nagaland
One of the best-recognized features of the state capital is the War Cemeter-a serene, rose-filled stretch of green and graves, with two tall crosses. On the plaque of theseis engraved the famous epitaph, "When you go home / Tell them of us and say / For your tomorrow / We gave our today".
It was at the Battle of Kohima (April 1944) that the Japanese as sault on India was halted, when a garrison of 3500 made a stand against a besieging army of 15,000 for 50 days and nights. In the cemetery, there is also a cherry tree grafted from the stump of the old tree which was used as sniper's post. The Common wealth War Graves Commission keeps the cemetery perfectly maintained.
The State Museum, Nagaland
The Museum is essentially ethnographic, with dioramas of the various tribes. Naga architecture, social hierarchy and custom, costume and culture are all represented here.
Interestingly, many Kohima War Cemetery features of the ceremonial drum housed on the Museum grounds- its shape as a dugout, wave son the prow and paddle-like strikers-support and ancient Naga belief in asea-faring ancestry. The museum basement is given over to displays of birds and animals, especially those endemic to the region. The Museum is open from 10am to 3pm, and is closed on Sundays and holidays.
The Catholic Cathedral, Nagaland
The red roof of the Cathedral of Reconciliation at Aradurah hill is an important landmark in Kohima, the carved wooden crucifix in the cathedral is the largest in India.Its in auguration, on the day of the UN's Day of Reconciliation, was attended by war veterans who fought at the Battle of Kohima.
Barra Basti (Kohima Village), Nagaland
Naga legend has it that this, reputedly the second-largest village in Asia, was where Kohimabegan. The Big Village is a reminder of the grandeur of the Angamiacestors who built it, you will see a ceremonial gateway, typical of entrances to all naga villages, elaborately carved with warriors and weapons and the skull of the mithun, a symbol of prosperity.
The actual gate to Barra Basti still stands in its own shelter further up the road. In at he heart of the villageis a house built in traditional Naga style with crossed horns above the gable, carved mithun heads to indicate the owner's exlated status, an enormous basket granary in the verandah, and a trough in which rice beer is made for the entire community.
Famous Excursions from Nagaland
Khonoma This village, which lies 20km west of Kohima was known for its fighting prowess in the past. It is also known for the fallow management of its alder trees which balances nature in the surrounding area. The beautiful terraces which are carved out of the hill slopes surrounding the village aea sight to behold. These terraces grow over 20 types of paddy at different elevations. The British infiltration to the Naga Hills began at Khonoma from 1879 onwards when their resistance fell. In order to conserve the Blyth's Tragopan, ane endangered pheasant of the State and other wildlife in its natural habitat Khonoma Nature Conservation and TragopanSancturay (KNCTS) was set up in 1998 by the ecologically conscious people of Khonomavillage.The sanctuary which covers an area of over 70sq.kms is privately owned and managed by the Village Community of Khonoma. This sanctuary is also the habitat of many other endangered and rare specis of plants and animals. The sanctuary is also an ideal place for adventure and nature study.
Tesminyu Headquarters and home of the Rengmas, Tseminyu is a distance of 55km from Kohima. It is at an altitude of 1,421.95 meters above sea-level. It is known for Nagada,a the popular year end festival which falls in November every year. It is famous for the Rengmadances and melodious folk songs.
Japfu Peak This is the second highest peak in Nagaland and stands 3048 meters above sea level. It is about 15km south of Kohima. The best season for climbing this mountain is from November to march. The sunrise from the peak is an experience to remember. From the peak one can have a bird's eye-view of the surrounding hills including parts of Dzukou Valley. In the Japfu ranges, one can find the tallest rhododendron tree which is featured in the Guiness Book of World Records. This tree,which was first discovered by two professional hunters of Phesama village is over 130 feet all and the girth at the base measures more than 11 feet. When it is in bloom, it is indeed a visual delight. It's quite an adventure to see this tree as it entails more than five hours of strenuous trekkingthrough steep inclines to have a view of this World Record holding Rhododendron arborea tree.
Dzukou Valley This valley otherwise called the valley of external charm has an irresistable appeal to all who behold it. Its emerald green rolling hills interspersed by gentle flowing streams are trekkers delight. It is tucked away at an altitude of 2438.4 meters behindtheJapfti ranges. It is about 30km south of Kohima, half of which has to be approached through rough trekking. The serpentine streams that flowleisurely through Dzukou freezes during extreme winter. In summer, wild herbs and shrubs sprout along the stream banks, Lilies in white and pink, Euphorbias, aconitums and hundreds of other species of flowers and plants invaried colors adorn the valley in monsoon. Though Dzukou is known for its biodiversity, the predominant plant is the tough bamboo brush because of which it looks like a fully mown lawn from far. Rhododenndrons in different colors ornament the hills surrounding the valley. This is the valley immortalized by Vikram Seth of Suitable Boy fame in his Beastly Tales From Here and there in the poem entitled "The Elephant and the Tragopan"whereDzukou has been described by a different name- Bingle Valley-for rhyming and from the conservationist point of view. This is one of the best trekking spots in the North -Eastern Region. In spite of the difficult terrain and non-availability of facilities, this is one of the most frequented trekking spots in the entire North East India.
Peren This is an important link between Halflong in Assam and Nagaland. It is situated at 1,445.36 meters and is 84km from Dimapur. It is home to the Zeliangs and Kukis. It is famous for Rani Gaidiliu's caves and sites where she took shelter during her resistance against the British Raj. Near Lalong village, not far from the tri-junction of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland border lies the site of her permanentheadquarters.
Tuophema Village This village which is 41 km from Kohima and is known for its model Village Development Board, for its effective execution of the village development programmes. This village has been chosen by the Tourism Department for the promotion of the common AngamiSekkrenyi festival celebrated during Feb'25-27 every year. Sekrenyi is a festival of purification and revolves roundrituals and ceremonies of cleansing the village well. It starts with allmen-young and old-going to the village well for bathing in the morning. At night the well is cleaned by two youths and to ensure that no one takes water from the cleansed well. A night vigil is kept by the youths of the village. The next morning according to the demands of the ritual, all menrise early and bathe in the well. It is believed that the purified water washes away the diseases and misfortunes. Thereafter begin the festivities of the celebration which include singing, dancing and feasting throughout the day.
A Tourist Village hare has been developed and maintained by the village community. In the Tourist Village, you will get all modern amenities in anethnic setting. You will also have the experience of living in a village with the rural people. The village is open to tourist throughout the year.
Wokha This picturesque town lies in the eponymous district, 80 km from both Kohima and Mokokchung. The area is famous for its superb oranges and pineapples.Wokha is set amid pretty hilltop villages, scattered with monoliths (longsus). This is the home of the Lothatribals, known for their vibrantdances and folk songs. If you visit Wokha in November you will enjoy the hospitality of the people during their principal festivals, TokhuEmong,which celebrates thanks giving, sharing, and reconciliation with grand feasting. Trekkers will experience pleasure in climbing Mount Tiyi, supposedly the home of departed souls.
Mount Tiyi It is a hill with mysterious legends. It is believed by all Nagas that it is the abode of the departed souls. In local folklores, it is said that there once existed and orchard which could be traced by the lucky ones only. Colorful Rhododenrons are found clasping the rocks and cliffs. The peak offers a panoramic view of the villages, hills and valleys.
Totsu It is a cliff about 25km from TseminyuviaPhiro village and lies at about 1250 meters. It is a chain of a rock which gets broken. It has a deep gorge in between. According to legend, in the fight between the two different sides of the hill one lost its right ear and the other lost its head.
Mokokchung This picturesque town is the headquarters of the Aonagas. It is situated at an altidue of 1325 meters above sea-level. One can have a beautiful view of Mokokchung town from the view point at the Town Park. The main festivals of the Aos are Moatsu and TsungremMong celebrated during the first week of May and August respectively.
Longkhum A vanguard village of the Aos in thedays of head-hunting is strategically situated at an altitude of 1846 meters above sea-level. The people of this village are hard working and one can find exquisite handicraft and handloom items in this village. On a clearday, one can view the eastern Himalayas of Arunachal and beyond and also the industrial smog bellowing from the industries in Assam. The Aos have a belief that Longkhum is the resting place of the spirits of the dead on their onward journey to paradise. Rhododendrons adorn the hilloccks and precipices surrounding the village. As the local legend goes-a single visit to Longkhum is not enough for you have to return to the village again to collect your soul, which had stayed behind on your first visit.
Ungma This is the biggest Ao village and looks like an adjunct to Mokokchung town. According to legend, the early Aos settled here first after coming from Chungliyimti. This village is many centuries old and can be of interest to people who have a desire to peep into Ao folklores, customs and traditions.
Tuensang Just as Nagaland is miniature India, with so many communities and languages. Tuensang is small Nagaland with six different tribes: Changs,Yimchungers, Khiamniungans, Shagtams, Phoms and Semas. It is located at1371.60 meters and at a distance of 269 km from Kohima via Wokha and Mokokchung and 235km via Zunheboto. It is connected by State Highways N.S.T.buses ply on this route regularly. The tribes inhabiting the district are rich in cultural heritage and their dreses are very colorful. Tuensanghasits own old World charm and there are nearby villages where one can get a glimpse of the cultural tradition of the changs in whose land Tuensang falls.
Longtrok Which means six stones in Ao and Sangtam-is located Chungliyimti 57 km from Tuensang in Sangtam area. According to Ao legend and beliefs, the first of the Ao ancestors hademerged from Longtrok. This spot also offers a beautiful view of the towns on hilltops scattered over the distant horizon.
Kiphere It is situated at an altitude of 896.42 metres above sea level and is 254 km from Kohima. It is home to the Sangtams, Yimchungers and Semas. Saramati, the highest peak in Nagaland, at 3841 metres is situated in this division. It is snow clad throughout winter.
Pungro The circle headquarters is only 36 km from Kiphere. From here it takes three days of trekking to reach Saramatipeak, a part of which falls in Myanmar (Burma). However, since Pungro is out of the way, one can proceed to Salumi straight, and then, trek to Thanamir village and halt there (or to Fakim through another route). The next day,one can trek up to the Base Camp(the last water point) and rest there. On the third day, one can climb Mt. Saramati.
Mon Mon brings pictures of chiefs, tattooed faces of Konyaks and muzzle-loadingguns which the ingenious Konyaks manufacture. It is 357 km from Kohima via Dimapur and 280 km from Dimapur, 275km from Kohima via Mokokchung, Tamlu and Wakching. Mon headquarters, home of the Konyaks, was established at Chen and Mon villages land, being centrally located for the coronation of Anghs (Chiefs). Here, one see the tattooed faces wearing feathered headgears andtraditional dresses. Konyaks are adept artisans and skilled craftsmen. Here you find excellent wood carvings, daos, guns, gun powder, headbrushes,headgear, necklaces etc., made by these artisans and craftsment. It is an exciting experience to pay a visit to Angh's house at Chui, Mon Tangnyu, Sheangha, Chinyu, Wackching and Japoka. Konyaks are ruled by hereditarychiefs known as Anghs and the institution ogAnghship is only prevalentamong the Konyaks. The most colorful festival of the Konyaks-AolingMonyu is observed during the first week of April and is a spectacle worth a watch.
Shanghyu village This village, ruled by the Chief Angh is a prominent village in Mon district. There is a wonderful wooden monument measuring 8 feet in height and 12 feet in breadth-believed to be constructed by heavenly angels. Human beings and other creatures are carved on this monument. Memorial stones are also found in front of the Angh's palace. History records that good and friendly relationship existed between the Shangnyu and the Ahom Kings of Assam. ShangnyuAngh used to collect taxes from all the villages under his domain-extending from Sibasagar in Assam to the Wanchos in Arunachal Pradesh.
Longwa Village It is among the biggest village in the district. As the village straddles the international boundary line,one half of the Angh's house falls within the Indian territory and the other half lies in Myanmar. However the whole village is controlled by the Anghand the Village Council Chairman. An interesting feature of this village is that the Angh of the village has 60 wives and his jurisdiction extends up to Myanman and Arunachal Pradesh