Kohima - first seat of modern administration-Headquarter of Naga Hills

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Kohima - Quick Facts

Area: 20 Sq. Km.
Population: 99,039
Altitude: 1444 meters
Clothing: Summer - Cottons, Winter - Woolens
Rainfall: 2500 mm
Best Time To Visit: October to April
Languages: Angami, Ao, Chang, Konyak, Lotha, Sangtam, Sema and Chakhesang

Kohima, situated in the south at an altitude of 1444 m above sea level, occupies pride of place as the capital city of Nagaland. One of the eleven districts of the state, Kohima is the first seat of modern administration as the Headquarter of Naga Hills District (then under Assam) with the appointment of G.H. Damant as Political Officer in 1879. When Nagaland became a full fledged state on 1st December 1963, Kohima was christened as the state capital. Since then, parts of Kohima have been carved out twice - once in 1973 to create Phek District and in 1998 when Dimapur was declared as a separate district. The total area of the district is 1041 Sq. kms including Dimapur, as territories are yet to be clearly demarcated.

By Air
The nearest airport is at Dimapur. Indian Airlines operates Boeing services from both Calcutta and Delhi every alternate day. Guwahati and Imphal are also connected to Dimapur by air.

By Rail
The nearest railhead too is Dimapur, and the Northeast Frontier Railway runs a number of trains from Dimapur to Guwahati. Guwahati is in turn well connected to the rest of the country.

By Road
Nagaland State Transport runs buses from Dimapur to Kohima and the journey takes around 4 hours. From Guwahati, one can find a number of luxury private buses. Taxis and mini-coaches are also available, albeit at slightly exorbitant rates, from Dimapur. The capital town of Kohima is at a distance of 339 km from Guwahati (Assam), 145 km from Imphal (capital of Manipur) and 74 km from Dimapur. The National Highway 39 connects it to both Dimapur and Imphal.

Sales Emporium
The Government Sales Emporium is in the heart of the town. It has a collection of Naga Handloom and Handicraft items. There are also a number of private shops nearby where one can buy handloom items. There are also a number of Private shops nearby where one can buy handloom items. Some of the more prominent outlets where mementoes can be purchased are GURTEL near the war cemetery and Belho Weavers near Assam Oil Company (AOC). There are many shops dealing with Naga cultural items in the Super Market area as well.

The Catholic Cathedral at Aradurah Hill is an important landmark at Kohima. It is the largest Cathedral in the whole North East India and its quiet and serene ambience is conducive for meditation and prayer. It has a blend of indigenous and modern architectural styles.

The Hornbill Festivals
The Hornbill Festivals of Nagaland which is a yearl feature in the first week of December is a cultural extravaganza showcasing Nagaland's traditional and cultural heritage in all its diversity. It is the coming together of all the elements that make up Nagaland and is a collaborative effort of various tribal unions and concerned NGOs/Organisations. The Hornbill Festival is a cultural festival to revive, protect and preserve the richness and uniqueness of the Naga heritage. For the visitors and tourists, this event is a means for closer understanding of the Naga people, their land and culture. You can see a mélange of Naga cultures on display in one place. If you are a tourist with keen interest in people, their customs, food habits, sports, dances and songs, you will be more than satisfied.

This festival is a”must see. This festival is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 km from Kohima and is permanently created for celebration of this festival. Here, typical Naga boys dormitories (morungs) of each tribe are constructed in their respective tribal architectural designs to simulate a real village scene.

Dzukou Valley
Untouched by civilization and resplendent in its beauty, this Valley otherwise called the valley of eternal charm has an irresistible appeal to all who behold it. Its emerald green rolling hills interspersed by gentle flowing streams are a trekker’s delight. It is tucked away at an altitude of 2,438.4 metres behind the Japfu ranges. It is about 30 kms south of Kohima, one third of which has to be approcahed through rough trekking. The serpentine streams that flow leisurely through Dzükou freezes during extreme winter.
Spring is the time when there are different endemic species of rhododendrons of different colours in bloom. 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 in varied colours adorn the valley in monsoon.

If you are looking for an ideal getaway from the tensions and rat race of an urban existence, this is an ideal place for you. The lush evergreen sub-tropical forests are a feast for the eyes. Here, you can spot Mithuns (Bos Frontalis) grazing gently on the way side. This place is 40 km west of Kohima and is at 2,133.6 metres above sea level. Another interesting feature of Dzülekie stream is that it flows through a deep and narrow gorge making it look as if the stream has gone underground at places. A rare species of rainbow trout is found in this stream. A tourist rest house and some cottages have been constructed here.

Japfu Peak
This is the second highest peak in Nagaland and stands 3048 metres aabove sea-level. It is about 15 km 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 Dzükou Valley.In the Japfü 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 109 feet tall and the girth at the base measures more than 11 feet. When it is in bloom, it is indeed a visual delight. It is quite an adventure to see this tree as it entails more than five hours of strenuous trekking through steep inclines to have a view of this World Record holding Rhododendron arborea tree.

Dimori Cave
China Town restaurant at Dimori Cove run by an entrepreneur is about 13 km from Kohima on NH 39 towards Imphal. They serve both Indian and Chinese dishes. Naga dishes are also served on advance order. It has a mini-swimming pool, a children's park and a collection of both local and exotic orchids, flowers and plants. A souvenir shop is also attached to the unit. Paying Guest accommodation is also available nearby on advance booking.

Tuophema Village

This village which is 41 km from Kohima, 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 promotion of common Angami Sekrenyi festival celebrated during February 25-27 every year. A Tourist Village here has been developed and maintained by the village community. In this Tourist Village, you will get all modern amenities in an ethnic 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.

Naga Wrestling
The Naga style of wrestling is popular among the Angami, Chakhesang and Zeliang Naga tribes. Traditionally, the toughest and the strongest were chosen by bouts of wrestling. It was also used for settling disputes as well. In such cases, the winner takes all. These days, under the aegis of Nagaland Wrestling Association (NWA) which is affiliated to the Wrestling Federation of India, it is being held every two years, in an organized competition from village to state level. December to March are the wrestling season. Whereas the village level tournaments are held in December, area, district and state levels are held in January, February and in the first half of March respectively.
Wrestling evinces a lot of spirited enthusiasm in the local populace and is held in a festive mood. This is a record crowd pulling sports event, and brings people together from far and near to witness it.

Khonoma Village
Located close to Kohima, offer an opportunity to see local lifestyles and meet people.

Wokha and Mokukchung Ao and Lotha Tribes
Reached by a 80 Kms roar journey from Kohima, Wokha is at the hub of the habitat of the Lotha tribe. It can also be approached from Jorhat airport in Assam. The picture post card, hill top villages are worth exploring.

Mokokchung Town

Mokokchung town is located 162 Kms from Kohima It can also be reached from Jorhat airport in Assam. This town is the cultural hub of the Ao tribe. Main attractions are the villages located close by These are -

Sema Nagas at Zunabotu
Located 150 kms from Kohima and 70 Kms from Mokokchung, Zonubotu is the home of the Semas- the martial tribe with ceremonial war costumes.Satoi Range with its virgin forests, and Rhododendrons is ideal for camping and trekking.Ghosu bird sanctuary is an example of community preservation. Maintained by the village community. The sanctuary is home to 20 species of endangered birds and migratory birds.

Tuensang – Changs, Yimchungers, Khiamungans, Sangtams, Sema and Phom Tribes
Located 269 Kms from Kohima the tribes of this area have a rich cultural heritage, colourful attire and heart warming song and dance. Saramati Peak, 3841 meters- the highest peak of Nagaland is located in the district. .Two days of trekking from Pungro village is required to reach the peak. Longtrok village offers lovely panoramic views.

Phek & Pfotsero - Chakasang Habitat
145 Kms for Kohima, Phek is the center of Chakasang culture. Home of colourful orchids and the rare Blythe’s Tragopan, Pfutsero, is coldest township in Nagaland located at 2133 meters elevation. Grows apples. Believed to be the originating place for the southern tribes.

The handloom and handicraft products of Nagaland are unique. Some of them like the Naga shawl and decorative spears are among the best buys. The items shall be available in all markets of Kohima.

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