GLIMPSES OF NAGALAND

Nagaland situated of 1495 meters,kohima the Capital of the State is a pretty town which attracted worldattention during the Second World War in the battle of Kohima. It was here thatwhere the British forces halted the advance of the Japanese forces. The warcemetery in the heart of the town is a symbolic memorial of the supremesacrifice made by the war heroes.

The State of Nagaland was formallyinaugurated on December 1, 1963, by the then President, Late. Dr. SarvapalliRadha Krishna, as the 16th State of the Indian Union. Nagaland liesapproximately between 25.68 N and 27.48N Latitude and between 93.208 E Longitudes situated in theextreme Northeast of the Country. Nagaland is bounded by Arunachal Pradesh inthe North, Assam in the West, Manipur in the South and Burma (Myanmar) in theEast.

Nagaland presenting the exquisitepicturesque landscapes, the vibrantly colourful sunrise and sunset and lush.  This State, predominantly a tribal State, isblessed with great valleys, meandering streams, high mountains, deep gorges anda rich variety of flora and fauna. It is only in Nagaland, that one can see themulti-colour spear, ceremonial daos, and bracelets worn by many as 15 groups ofthe Tibeto Burman tribes whose arms are colourful and varied as their dresses. TheNagas are wonderful musicians, singers and dancers, with a great sense ofrhythm, which dominates traditional and contemporary music.

Chumukedima is the gateway where innerline permits are checked. For the adventurous and the intrepid Nagaland is anideal place for trekking, rock climbing, jungle camping and offers limitlessexploration possibilities in its lush and verdant rain forests which are also atreasure trove of plethora and medicinal plants.

TheNagas have a saying that dawn is the time when the clouds still sleep in thevalleys. Come share in the gentle waking of the clouds in beautiful Nagaland.

 

DISTRICT

HEADQUARTERS

Kohima

Kohima

Mokokchung

Mokokchung

Dimapur

Chumukedima

Mon

Mon

Phek

Phek

Tuensang

Tuensang

Wokha

Wokha

Zunheboto

Zunheboto

 

INTERESTINGPLACES OF NAGALAND

Dimapur: Situated at an altitude of 145 metersabove sea level, it is the gateway of Nagaland. This fast developing town isalso the commercial centre of the State, which connected with the main broadgauge railhead. Dimapur is the only Airport in Nagaland and the NationalHighway 39 passes through the heart of this commercial centre of the state.Kohima is just 74 Km from Dimapur, which covers in just two and halfhours.  Dimapur is derived from a Kachariword “Dimasa” after the river which flows through it.

Chumukedima: It is situated just above 14 Kmfrom Dimapur on the National Highway No. 39. This place served as the first headquartersof the then Naga Hills District of Assam State under the British rule in early19th century. The Department of Tourism, Nagaland is constructing aTourist Village on the top of the hill. From this spot one can get a bird’s eyeview of Dimapur and other surrounding places. The Tourist Village is at adistance of 8 Km from the National Highway. Few waterfalls are also located in thisarea which is an added attraction.

WarCemetery: TheKohima War cemetery was constructed in memory of the officers and men who madethe supreme sacrifices during the World War II. On each grave there arebeautiful epitaphs engraved in bronze. The is an inscription inside thememorial which reads:

HERE AROUND THE TENNIS COURT

OF THE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER

THE MAN WHO FOUGHT

IN THE BATTLE

KOHIMA

IN WHICH THEY AND THEIR COMRADES

FINALLY HALTED

OF INDIA

BY THE FORCES

OF JAPAN

IN APRIL 1944.

Another popular epitaph of this Cemeteryis;

WHENYOU GO HOME

TELLTHEM OF US

ANDSAY FOR YOUR TOMARROW

WEGAVE OUR TODAY

WEGAVE OUR TODAY.

StateMuseum, Kohima: TheState Museum has a rare collection of artifacts in varied forms. One must seefor getting an idea of the people’s lives.

Sales emporium: The Sales Emporiumof Nagaland Government is in the heart of Kohima. It has the numbers ofcollection of Naga Handloom and handicrafts. There are also a number of privateshops nearby where one can buy handloom items.

Cathedral: The Catholic Cathedral at AradurahHill is an important landmark in Kohima. ITIS THE LARGEST CATHEDRAL IN THE WHOLE NORTHEAST and quite and sereneambience is conducive for meditation and prayer. It has blend of the indigenousand moderns architectural styles.

KohimaVillage: Whileentering this village, one can see a number of traditional wooden gates withthe scimitar of horns of mithun. These motifs indicate the bravery and valourof the Angami - Nagas. In this village, one comes across wooden carvingslooking like horns atop some houses. One can also see relics of stone erectionshere and there in front of the houses which are memorial symbols of the grandfeasts offered by their ancestors.

Theruins of Medieval Kachari Kingdom:  The ancient Kachari capital of Dimapur is oneof the most important sites of megalithic culture. Most of the ruins appear tobe contemporaries with the Kachari civilization. Established before the Ahom invasionin the 13th century AD. Besides the monolith, Dimapur contains otherruins of temples, embankments and tanks. The entrance gateway has beenbeautifully executed and is in good preservation till the present time. Thereare still scattered blocks of stone and brick pieces with various designs.

IntangkiWildlife Sanctuary:The Sanctuary lies at a distance of 37 Km from Dimapur, is an exotic sanctuary,Intangki is the home for hillock baboon, the only gibbon found in India. Otherwildlife includes elephant, mithun, barking deer, goral, flying squirrel, wilddog, tiger and sloth bear, among the birds are kaleej and common pheasant,hornbill and black stroke. The sanctuary is under the preservation of Wildlife Sanctuary.

TripleFalls: Themost   breathtaking falls cascading milkywhite in captivating steps from a great height, is a cool getaway from Dimapur.

ZoologicalPark: It is builtinto a green hillside, this is a caged zoo of the old menagerie type with avery few open enclosures. A glimpse of the fauna of Nagaland is found here, thepark is situated in Kohima. Visitors can see some rare species of animals andbirds. Keen ornithologists might also want to see the Bltyhe’s Tragopan-a-rarespecies of pheasant found in Nagaland.

KhonomaVillage: Its only 20Km towards the west of Kohima, the village has its own traditions of valour andcourage. History reveals that Khonoma provided protection to several villagesin the good old days. The terraced fields which produce 20 types of paddy atdifferent elevations present a beautiful view. The Khonoma gate tells the storyof the British infiltration into Naga Hills.

DzukouValley: 25 Km fromKohima, at the elevation of 2,462 meters, this interesting valley, behind Japfupeak, appear like a mown lawn, watered by serpentine stream which becomesfrozen winter. In summer, wild herbs sprout along the river banks and hundredspecies of flowers adorned the valley in varied colours. Rhododendrons ornamentthe hills surrounding the vale, come July and Dzukou blooms in colours. Thereare also interesting caves in the low hillocks that cluster inside the valley.This is one of the best trekking spot in the northeastern region.

JapfuPeak: It issituated at an altitude of 3048 meters above sea level,  15 Km south of Kohima, it is the secondhighest peak in Nagaland. It is ideally suited for trekking and scaling fromNovember to March. The peak presents a panoramic view of the hills below, anexcellent view of Kohima town and of distant, snow clad Himalayan peaks.

MolungVillage: Thisvillage has the distinction of having the first American Baptist Missionestablished in Naga Hills in 1872 and the earliest Mission Building is stillintact and well preserved in the village premises. An ancient LEECHI TREE,supposedly planted by Dr. E. W. Clark, the first American Missionary, stillexists.

ShangnyuVillage: It is oneof the prominent villages in Mon district. There is a wonderful wooden monumentmeasuring 8 feet in height and 12 feet in breath, believed to be constructed byheavenly angels. Carving of human beings and other creatures are engraved onthis monument. Memorial stones are also found in front of the Angh’s palace.

Longtrok: Six stones are located atChungliyimti 57 Km from Tuensang. According to Ao legend and beliefs, the firstAo ancestors had emerged from Longtrok (meaning six stones). This spot offers abeautiful view of the towns on hilltops scattered over the distance horizon.

SaramatiPeak: Situated atan altitude of 3841 meters above sea level, it is the highest peak located atKiphire in Tuensang district. It remains snow-capped throughout winter.

MountTiyi: It issituated at an altitude of 2969 meters above sea level. Trekking, rock climbingto the mountain top is an adventurous experience. Legend has it, that it is theabode of the departed souls. Local folklores said that there once existed anorchard which could be traced by the lucky ones only.  Colourful Rhododendrons adorned the cliffsand the steep slopes. The Mountain peak offers a panoramic view of the valleydown below.

ShilloiLake: It is alsoknown as the Lachem Lake lies on the lower slopes of the hills ranges runningalong the Myanmar border in Phek district. The lake has the shape of afootprint. The average depth of the lake is likely to be four meters. The lakeis believed to be the abode of spirits, and woven eerie tales around it.Therefore, the lake is left untouched. The water is dark grey, perhaps becauseof the large amount of silt, adding to the mystery. Shilloi is about 300 Kmsfrom Kohima.

LiphanyanGovernor’s Camp: Itlies on the foothills and its 43 Km from Dimapur and can be approach fromWokha. From here, Doyang can be seen flowing through hills  and vales in a zigzag pattern. It is asplendid sight. It’s an ideal spot for rafting, angling, picnics and rivercamping. It is in Wokha District.

DoyangHydro Project: Itis located in Wokha district, and also a new addition to the tourist spots inthe State of Nagaland. This dam is visible from many hilltop villages in thesurrounding areas. Water spots can be introduced in this dam.

Borjan: It is near Naganimora, which is theonly coalfield in Nagaland, founded by the East India Company.

MountTotsu: Situated atan altitude of 1,250 meters above sea level, is an ideal place for rockclimbing. Mount Totsu has many legends behind it. The mountain is also said tobe guarded by a giant snake and a crab. There are small lakes and other waterbodies at the foothill of the mountain. One of these lakes was the refuge of alegendry man called Nsanthung who lived off the fished of the lake, he alsomarried the lady spirit of the lake, believed to be a kind hearted lady. She savesher husband from his enemies.

GhosuBird Sanctuary:Situated 8 Km from Zunheboto, this bird sanctuary is solely maintained by thevillage community. It is the habitat of more than twenty species of endangeredbirds, migratory birds can also be sighted from the month of June to September.Rampant habit of hunting and poaching in this area is strictly prohibited.

FESTIVALS

DISTRICT

TRIBE

FESTIVAL

PERIOD

Kohima

Angami

Sekernyi

February

Kohima

Rengma

Ngada

November-December

Kohima

Zeliang

Nga-Ngai

December

Kohima

Kuki

Mimkut

January

Phek

Chakhesang

Tsukhenyi

March - April

Phek

Pochury

Nazu

July - August

Mokokchung

Ao

Moatsu/Tsungremmong

May/August

Mon

Konyak

Aoling

April

Tuensang

Phom

Monyu

April

Tuensang

Khiamniungan

Tsukom

May

Tuensang

Chang

Nkyanyulum

July

Tuensang

Yimchunger

Metemneo

August

Tuensang

Sangtam

Amongmong

September

Wokha

Lotha

Tokhu-emong

November

Zuneheboto

Sumi

Tuluni

July

Peren

Zeliang

Hega

 

Longleng

Phom

Monyu

 

Kiphere

Pochury

Yemshe

 

 

NgadaFestival of Rengma

            Thisannual festival is observed to offer ZU (Ricebeer) to the spirits of the dead and to renew and consolidate friendship andrelationship. All the villagers assemble in their traditional costumes and performtheir cultural activities such as dance, traditional games and merry-making.

SekrenyiFestival of Angami

The festival follows a circle ofritual and ceremony, such as “DZUSEVA”(touching the sleeping water) to assures them that all their ills andmisfortunes have washed away by the purified well water. “THEKRAHIE” is the best part of the festival where the young peopleof the village sit together and sing traditional songs throughout the day

TerhunyiFestival of Chakhesang

Terhunyi is a very solemn festivalwhich is celebrated after the harvest is brought home. Bountiful collectionprovides a chance to an ambitious rich man to throw a grand feast called “Feastof Merit” in order display his generosity and fellow-feeling as also to acquirea distinct status of respect in the society.

MoatsuFestival of Ao

Aos observe Moatsu after the sowingis done and the mother earth begins to show the sign of fertility. Parties ofyoung and old wearing their colourful costumes sing songs and perform vigorousdances, merry making and fun.

AolingFestival of Konyak

 Aoling festival marks the end of winter andheralds New Year beginning with spring. The festival provides themanifestations of the rich cultural heritage of Konyak. During the Aoling, songparties are led by morung leaders.

AmongmongFestival of Sangtam

The main feature of the festival isthe worship of the god of the house and the three cooking stones in thefire-place. In the evening all the villagers gather together in the open fieldand enjoy traditional games and sports. Wearing colourful costumes, sing songsand perform rhythmic dance.

MetemneoFestival of Yimchunger

Yimchunger celebrate Metemneofestival after the harvest of millet, it is also connected with praying for thesouls of the departed ones. The main feature of the festival is songs anddances with the theme of victory over head-hunting.

TsokumFestival of Khiamniungan

Tsokum is associated withharvesting. After the grain are collected and the farmer is satisfied with hislabours. To share his pleasure with his friends, he holds feasts and enjoyslife. The festival is something like an out door feast or picnic for a week.The villagers go to their fields and cook and feast there. The children intheir gayful dresses roam in the harvested fields where they sing and dance.

MonyuFestival of Phom

Soon after the sowing season isover, Monyu festival is organize to marks the end of winter and the beginningof summer or rains. This is the time when new bamboo mugs replace the old andnew clothes are woven. Villagers spent in community feasts, amusements, danceand music and devoted to social welfare.

NaknyulumFestival of Chang  

Chang-Strong, hardly and handsomeChang celebrate Naknyulum festival to offer prayer for the dead ones. Duringthis festival, they decorate their house with a special kind of tree called“Ngunam”.

TokhuEmong Festival of Lotha

Tokhu Emong is the harvest festival.Friends are invited, mithuns are sacrificed, past rancors are forgotten and newties are forged. Young boys and girls engaged during the year are happilymarried after Tokhu.

TuluniFestival of Sema

The most important festival of Semasis Tuluni to offer prayers to Kitsaba-deity. Drinking rice-beer indispensablyforms a part of the feast. Rice-beer is served in goblet made with the leaf ofPlantain. This wine is calling “Tuluni”. This mid-year festival is the greatestand most fervent moment for the Sumi Community.

YemsheFestival of Pochury

Yemshe is the festival of welcomingthe new harvest and blessing which celebrate with great pomp and gaietyanticipating a good harvest. Dances of harmonious movements accompanied bysongs of different tunes and beats are special attraction of this festival.

HegaFestival of Zeliang

The Hega festival is one of the mostimportant and biggest festivals among Zeliang. It is a festival invoking theAlmighty god to shower his blessing upon his people with richness, luck andcoverage.

ART FORM

DANCES

TRIBE

DANCE

Chakhesang

Kukuiphetho

Chang

Changsang

Phom

Monyu Asho

Konyak

Aoling-Lokpu

Angami

Melo Phita

Ao

Nokinketer Tsungsang

Zeliangrong

Meleyingyi

Rengma

Ngada

Lotha

Rukhyo-Sharu

Khiamniungan

Langnyu-Khiamtsangshe

Sangtam

Akok-Khi

Yimchunger

Kulu-Tsen

Sumi

Angushi Kighelhe

Pochury

Khupielili

 

Changsang

This dance is performed during thefestival of Puanglem/Maknyulum which in praise of the place of birth ofmankind, that is the earth, and prayers are offered  to propitiate the sky god as it is believedthat thunder storms symbolizes misfortune. Vigorous songs and dance incolourful costumes accompanied by matching songs and full-throated “Yo-hoo” ofjoys are indispensable ingredients of these festivals.

Kukuyiphetho

Melodious songs are sung in differentoctaves by the dancers themselves while dancing, this particular dance is notedfor its excellent choreography. The dance has very fast and complex foot workwhich keeps changing as the dancers move round in a circle.

MonyuAsho

The Phom Nagas observe a festivalcalled Monyu and the dances they perform are called Monyu-Asho. Asho meansdancers proudly wear brass replicas of human heads as mementos of head-hunting,and like to carry guns to the dance and to infuse more enthusiasm in the dance,they occasionally fire off blank shots.

Aoling-Lokpu

This particular dance is the maledance of the Konyaks and generally performed during their Aoling Manyu. Thisfestival marks the end of winter or the old year and heralds New Year,beginning with spring. They also dance wearing warrior dresses with brassreplicas of human heads as mementos of head hunting, and carry their guns toinfuse more enthusiasm in the dances.

MeloPhita

The Angami Nagas celebrate Sekrenyifestival in the month of January-February. During this festival “THEKRAHEI’ isperformed. The different age groups, both boys and girls dressed in fulltraditional attire sit and sing folk songs/traditional songs for 3 days. MeloPhita dance is also performed during this occasion and also in other importantoccasions.

NokinketerTsungsang

This particular dance is regarded asone of the most solemn dances among the Ao Tribe of Nagaland. The dance isgenerally performed, led by the warriors who bought the enemies heads as wartrophies as well as by bringing fame for the village by defeating the enemies.In this dance, condemning the enemies is shown by thumping the feet of thedancers on the ground which means the enemies are crushed at their feet. Thedance is noted for fast and complex feet work. The word “Nokinketer” means“War-Hero”.

Meleyingyi

Zeliangrong people celebrate almostevery month with a festival. But Meleyingyi is considered the most important.Meleyingyi is celebrated to herald’s spring. It relates to prayers for avigorous, prosperous, healthy life of the living human beings. On theconcluding day, when evening comes, the youth, gather in the morungs where theyhave their drinks. While they are holding their cups, bevy of girls approachthem singing and ask them to join in dance. Their dance is romantic and iscalled the butterfly dance.

 

Ngada

This dance is performed in the Ngadafestival. The fifth day of the festival is especially devoted to culturalactivities. On this day all the able-bodied of the village dress up intraditional costumes and go dancing round the village. And as they proceed fromKhel to Khel, and visit each Renis (morung) with dance, the whole populationsof the village turn out to cheer them.

Rukhyo-Sharu

Victory is the theme of this danceof the Lotha people of Nagaland. They call it Rukhyo-Sharu which literallymeans victory dance. The cock fight dance called Shanta is an integral part ofthe victory dance. It is a mock Demonstration of the repulsion of the enemyattack.

Langnyu-Khiamtsangshe

Khiamniungan have two beautiful festivals MIUand Tsokum. Miu is the festival before the sowing of the seeds while Tsokum isassociated with harvesting. After the grains are collected and the farmer issatisfied with his labours, he offers his gratitude’s to God with songs anddances.

Akok-Khi - Sangtam

Men and women join hands whiledancing the Akok-Khi on their ceremonial festival like Amongmong. During thisfestival they worshipped the God of the house and three cooking stones in thefireplace. All the villagers in their dancing costumes gather together in theopen field and join the dancers.

Kulu-Tsen

In the Yimchunger language Kulumeans head and Tsen means dance. This is thus a head-hunting dance. Thoughhead-hunting dances are favorites of almost all the Naga Tribes, each dance isdifferent from each other, women do not participate in this dance.

AngushiKighelhe

The Sumi men’s dance for the sameTuluni festival is unmistakably a war dance called  Angushi Kighelhe. Angushi means War andKighelhe means dance. Meticulous care is always taken in wearing cloth of onesown status and the ceremonies are punctuated by the vigorous war dance.

Khupielili

Nazu festival is one of the mostimportant festival of the Pochury tribe of Nagaland. This festival iscelebrated for ten days in February preparatory to sowing of seeds for theyear. Many songs and dances are performed during this occasion. Khupielilidance is one of them performed by the women folk. It is more entertainingcompetitive than ritualistic.