Nagaland is a misty and scenic mountainous state in the Northeastern part of India. Its breezy weather along with homely people makes it a popular place for tourists. The capital of Nagaland is Kohima and it is filled with major spots of tourist attractions. Nagaland, along with its neighboring states is widely regarded as one of the best vacation spots in India, especially during the winters. The population of the state is just 1.9 millions and it is one of the least populated Indian states. If you are planning to visit the state and want to know about Nagaland in depth, this travel guide will be a perfect pre-vacation read. It will also give you a glimpse of how incredible India is, given the peculiarities of each state.
History of Nagaland: The formation
Nagaland, the state of valleys and hills was found on 1st December, 1963. Although the ancient Nagaland history is not widely known, various tribes, and people migrated here before 1228 AD. The civilization happened after many years and it gave rise to a region belonging to people who believed in similar cultures and traditions. Kohima, the Nagaland capital, is also popular for the Battle of Kohima fought during the World War II in the year 1944.
Geography of Nagaland
Majorly, Nagaland is covered with mountains throughout the region. The state shares its borders with other Indian states such as Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. The Mount Saramati is the highest peak in the state with an elevation of around 3,814 meters. The total area of the state is 16,579 km2 which makes it one of the smallest states in India in terms of area. Along with mountains, there are rivers like Doyang, Diphu and Barak which run across the state.
Biodiversity of Nagaland
Around 20% of the state comprises of forests which is great for the flora and fauna in the region. You will also see sub tropical and evergreen topical forests located in the inner regions of the state. Some of the popular trees you will find in these forests include palms, bamboos, rattan and timber among others. There are many exotic animals to be spotted in these wild forests too. A few common animals which you can get a glimpse of in the forests of Nagaland includes pangolins, elephants, leopards, oxen and many species of monkeys.
Climatic Conditions of Nagaland
Monsoon is the primary season in the state of Nagaland and the climate will be along similar lines no matter when you choose to visit the place. Major rainfalls are experienced in the months of May to September which keeps the climate cool and breezy. Although summer lasts only for a few months, it is pleasant. However, the best time to visit Nagaland is from October to March as the months occupy the winter season which provides an ideal climate and boosts Nagaland tourism to a great extent.
Culture, rituals and traditions are deeply rooted into the people of Nagaland. The tribes and clans hold a significant importance when it comes to living the daily life. Folk dance as well as songs plays a huge role in Nagaland’s culture. The cultural songs are romantic and have a historical essence to them. Even tribal dances are quite popular which entertain tourists by giving a glimpse of Nagaland’s culture.
Interesting Facts about Nagaland
- State tree of Nagaland is Alder.
- State animal of Nagaland is Methun.
- State bird of the place is Blyth’s Tragopan.
- Nagaland was the 16th state of India when it was formed.
- The state’s economy depends a lot upon agriculture.
- Almost all the population of the state is tribal.
Nagaland Tourism: Best Tourist Attractions
This north eastern part of India has many attractive places to look for. Nagaland is an amazing place and travelers would surely get smitten by its beauty. With panoramic views of valleys, landscapes and rivers, you will have a gala time in Nagaland during your vacation which makes it one of the finest holiday destinations in India. Let’s see some of the famous Nagaland tourist places you must definitely visit.
- Temples: The temples are one of the most popular tourist attractions in India and it has given a huge boost to tourism in Nagaland. Christianity is the major religion practiced in Nagaland. Thus you can spot some iconic churches here. Nagaland has some renowned Hindu temples too including the Dimapur Kalibari, which is a Hindu temple devoted to Goddess Kali.
- National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries: Ntangki National Park, Pulie Badze Wildlife Sanctuary, and Fakim Sanctuary are some of the famous national parks and sanctuaries in the state. These are definitely among the places to visit in Nagaland. There are many rare species of exotic animals which you’ll get to explore exclusively as they are hard to find in other states of India. Animals like Tiger, Golden langur, hornbill, black stork, monitor lizard, sloth bear and python are some of the popular animals.
- Adventurous Activities: There are many trekking places such as Dzukou Valley where you’ll also get to see some rare exotic lilies. You can also enjoy hiking at Japfu Peak which is the highest peak in Nagaland. Due to the lack of beaches, there are no adventure sports being carried out. You can indulge in bike riding between beautiful hills and mountains. With breathtaking views through bike ride, you can also explore Nagaland villages like Sangtam, Angami and even the neighboring state of Assam.
- Natural Beauty and Sightseeing: Nagaland has some mesmerizing beauty surrounded by enthralling greenery. Looking at the beautiful picturesque landscapes, you will feel rejuvenated. Nature lovers can enjoy watching birds in Khonoma. The travelers can enjoy the arts and crafts which the tribal Nagamese offer. Places like Dzulekie Stream, Kohima Zoo, Triple Fall Museum and other popular ones are worth visiting. When you travel to Nagaland, do not miss the chance to visit Mokokchung, the town is also known as the cultural capital of Nagaland. The scenic and enticing beauty of Mokokchung gathers a lot of tourists.
The travelers who are travelling for the first time can easily find hotels and resorts to accommodate themselves. You wouldn’t face difficulty in exploring this beautiful place as you can also hire a local guide who would help you to look around the city. There are various hidden romantic places as well as many haunted places which you can explore if you stay there for a longer time.
People of Nagaland
The state has 17 major tribes and they differ from one another in terms of custom, religion and dressing style. Since the people largely belong to the tradition of tribes and live in villages, they are extremely welcoming and friendly. The literacy rate of Nagaland is a decent 80.11% which makes it rank in the 13th position in the most literate Indian states. Although there are many kind of regional language spoken by various tribes of the state, the official language is English.
The traditional cuisine of people living in Nagaland is known as Naga cuisine which majorly features fish and meat in different preparations. A chutney known as Tathu is quite popular in the daily meals here. Some of the famous dishes here are fermented bamboo shoot which can be had with fish and pork. Most of the dishes are prepared by smoking it over fire which gives the food an authentic Naga taste.
Major Festivals in Nagaland
Nagaland is known as a land of festivals mainly because its Aoling festivals which is hugely celebrated by Konyak Tribe during the arrival of the New Year. Since majority of the people are Christians there, they celebrate all the Christian festivals. You will also see people celebrating traditional tribal festivals which are on the theme of agriculture. To promote the cultural heritage of Nagaland and to boost the inter-tribal interactions, the government launched a festival known as Hornbill Festival which is celebrated every year since 2000.
Clothing Trends in Nagaland
Tribal clothing is very popular in the state and you would get a chance to witness locals wearing traditional dresses including ethnic headgears and clothes. Modern fashion is emerging at a rapid rate in the cities of Nagaland. You might notice youngsters wearing jackets and high boots which make them look fashionable.
Nagaland is quite famous for its handicrafts and people are actively contributing towards making it a bigger industry. Along with handicrafts, textile is one of the most growing industries in Nagaland at present. Although most people live in villages, there is an upward trend in their standard of living as compared to the past years which is a good sign. New industries are booming at a faster pace which is important for the betterment of the state.
Indian tourism has definitely got a huge boost due to the rich culture, heritage along with lovely tourist places in Nagaland. In the coming years, along with other jobs, a lot of focus will be given to tourism as an industry as the state has huge potential to attract tourists. If you are looking for a place with breathtaking scenic beauty and amazing locations to visit, Nagaland is a perfect place.
Districts of Nagaland