The land of Naga - the great snake, Nagaland's beauty is visible in the most mundane things. The houses are made of wood and decorated with ornaments and the villages are situated bang in the middle of beautiful valleys surrounded by majestic hills promising natural bounty. The state's location on the border of the country means that political disturbances are expected, so it's better to be aware of the current situation before visiting the state.Famous for: The Naga Tribes and the Hornbill Festival.
Hornbill festival which was started in 2000 can be termed as one of the most famous festivals of NE. You get to experience the rich culture of Nagaland in a week long festival held every year in the first Week of December in Kisama Heritage Village in Kohima district. The mix of several tribes of Nagaland showcases an extravaganza of cultural performances along with other interesting events such as sports, games and even religious ceremonies. You can bring back home beautiful and interesting souvenirs from numerous exhibition counters of arts and crafts. In addition to this, varieties of interesting food stalls are also set up where you can relish the local delicacies.The branding is done very cleverly for this festival which uses the backdrop of mating season of Hornbill which is one of the famous birds of Nagaland.2. Brahmaputra beach festival, Assam
Drive to Nagaland On Your 5th Day In The Northeast IndiaNagaland is the crown jewel of India's tribal heritage and a shining testimony to North east India's whirling diversity. The drive from Ziro to Dimapur should take 10 hrs and will pass through Jorhat as well. Dimapur is an ideal base to cover most of the places to visit in Nagaland on this itinerary, and then continue on to Meghalaya in the next leg. Kohima, Nagaland's state capital is an hour and a half away from Dimapur.
2. Naga TribeAs per 1991 Census of India, listed 35 Naga tribes. The tribes have similar cultures and traditions, and form the majority ethnic group in the Indian state of Nagaland (recognized 17 Naga tribes), with a significant presence in Manipur (recognized 15 Naga Tribes), and Arunachal Pradesh (recognized 3 Naga Tribes). The Naga tribe speaks Nagamese Creole in order to communicate with other tribes. However, every tribe has its own dialect to communicate among themselves, which fosters a strong sense of social solidarity within the village.The Naga tribes have an egalitarian society and traditionally,they live in villages. The people of the village are held together by social, economic, political and ritual ties. Initially, the Naga tribes were used to practice the ritual of headhunting, where they used to take the heads of their enemies to take on their power and preserve them. But now, they no longer practice this ritual.The Naga tribes are expert craftsmen. Each tribe has its own unique way of constructing their huts. A common practice among all the tribes is decorating the entrances of their dwellings with the heads of buffaloes. In addition, a weaving of colorful woolen and cotton shawls is a central activity for women of all Naga tribes. Folk songs and dances are essential ingredients of the traditional Naga culture. Folk dances of the tribes are mostly performed in groups in synchronized fashion, by both men and women, depending on the type of dance. Indigenous musical instruments used by the people are bamboo mouth organs, cup violins, bamboo flutes, trumpet, drums (made of cattle skin), and log drums. To promote their inter-tribe interaction, the government of Nagaland has started organizing the annual Hornbill Festival since 2000.
Experience the celebrations in the north-eastern state of Nagaland and be a part of this week-long extravaganza. From the fantastic Naga bands, dance, food to the Naga chilly eating competition, in her travelogue, Deepti Asthana tells you all about this week-long celebration and the places to visit in north-east India.Read Deepti's story of the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland.