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Nagaland - Quick Facts

Area: 16,579 Sq. Km


Altitude: 1444 meters

Capital: Kohima

Annual Rainfall: 70-100 inches

Max Temperature: 310C

Min. Temperature: 40C

Languages: Angami, Ao, Chang, Konyak, Lotha, Sangtam, Sema and Chakhesang

Best Time To Visit: July To January

Nagaland is a vibrant hill state Located in the extreme North Eastern End of India, bounded by Myanmar in the East; Assam in the West; Arunachal Pradesh and a part of Assam in the North with Manipur in the south. It offers rich incomparable traditional & cultural heritage. The distinctive character & identity of each tribe in terms of tradition, custom, language and dresses is clearly discernible to the visitors. The respective tribal festivals are celebrated at interval all over the State.

By Air
Dimapur is the only airport in Nagaland and it is well connected by flights from Delhi and Calcutta and the rest of the country.

By Rail
The important railhead in Nagaland is Dimapur on the North Eastern Railway Track.

By Road
The towns and villages of Nagaland are connected by the Nagaland State Transport Association. Buses are frequent from Dimapur to Guwahati, Shillong, and Mokokchung.

Nagaland Society and Culture comprises of the tribal and sub-tribal communities, their living patterns, festivals and beliefs. The people of Nagaland are divided into several tribes. These tribes have again many sub-sections. Commonly known as Naga people, the local inhabitants of Nagaland are said to belong to the Indo-Mongoloid clan. Most of the tribal groups of Nagaland earn their livelihood from agriculture. The ethnicity in Nagaland is a medley of many tribes and sub-tribes that have been living in the state, since time immemorial. Christianity is the widely followed religion of the various Naga ethnic groups of Nagaland. Besides, the communities other than Nagas living in the state are followers of Hinduism and Islam.

The Nagas belong to the Indo-Mongoloid family. Nagas are assiduous people with a strong inclination for their values, ethical mores and self esteem. They are courteous and cheerful and sanguine. You will easily confront the Nagas with a glee lit face. Nagas are of sub medium height with a low face indice, straight hair. You will find the Zeliang and Pochury tribes of Kohima very humble and rustic. The tusensang tribe is modest and natural.

The food of Nagaland comprises of plain rice, cooked vegetables and meat. The local indigenous tribal communities of Nagaland are non- vegetarians who savor meats of all the animals. Dogs, spiders, pork, beef, crabs, cats, chicken and even elephants are eaten with great enthusiasm. The alternative population of Naga tribes loves to add spices and chilies in their daily diet. The food habits reflect the unique cultural traits and traditional legacy of the local indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland who usually do not throw any part of the animal. The intestines and skins of the animals are considered to be a delicious dish among the alternative population of the state.

However, owing to their rich religious beliefs and customs, the Naga tribal community is not allowed to eat flesh of some animals lest the qualities of that particular animal are transferred. As per the traditional rituals, the majority of the restrictions are applied to the female folk. In some cases, the old men are not subjected to any kind of social taboo.

The Nagas have a rich tradition of art and craft rooted in a lifestyle that has always been harmony with the environment they live in. Skilled tribal craftsman and artisans have always been the pillars of a tribal society that had, for many centuries, been self-sufficient. They lent their skills to creating items of utility as well those with ritualistic and aesthetic value. To quote Dr. Verrier Elwin; “they have made their own cloth, their won hats and rain-coats; they have prepared their own medicines, their own cooking-vessels, their own substitutes for crockery “ Skilled craftsmen were employees to carve splendid village gates, house posts and Morungs in Naga villages. Fine storage baskets, wicker drinking vessels and containers were woven by craftsmen whose skills had been inherited from generations of skilled craftsmen.

It was these craftsmen, weavers and artisans who foraged the forest in search of wood, barks, dyes and other resources that were utilized to carve out fine works of art and weave colorful clothes that distinguished each Naga tribe.

Nagaland is a land of festivals. All the tribes celebrate their distinct seasonal festivals with a pageantry of colour and a feast of music. All the tribes have their own festivals which they hold so dear. They regard their festivals sacrosanct and participation in celebration is compulsory. They celebrate their distinct seasonal festivals with a pageantry of coulour and a feast of music.Most of these festivals revolves round agriculture, it being the main-stay of Naga society. Over 85% population of Nagaland is directly dependent on agriculture and lives in a thousand and odd villages situated on high hill tops or slopes overlooking verdant valleys humming with murmuring streams. In this blissful setting Nagas enjoy the blessing of Nature with rare gusto striking the onlookers with awe and admiration. In most of the places agriculture consists of monocrop.

Although some religious and spiritual sentiments are inter woven into secular rites and rituals, the pre- dominant theme of the festivals is offering of prayers to a Supreme Being having different names in different Naga dialects. At these festivals, the spirit of Gods is propitiated with sacrifices by the Village Shaman for a bountiful harvest either before the sowing or on the eve of harvest.

The important festivals of the district are the Angami Festival Sekrenyi (celebrated on the 25th February), the Rengma Festival Ngada (celebrated in the last week of November) and the Zeliang festivals Hega and Chega Gadi (celebrated during February and October).

Shopping at Nagaland Great idea indeed! As other tribes, Nagas also have their own expertise in handicrafts. The art and craft of Nagaland is clannish and chic. The Nagas have a knack of Bamboo Work, Wood Carving, Pottery and Blacksmitthy. So you have a wide variety of products to choose from. Go to the local bazaars and be a proud owner of these comely articles.

Dimapur | Kohima | Dzukou | Valley.

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