Nagaland - unexplored paradise!

Tripoto
6th Oct 2016

This is a story of my yet another quest in search of eternal peace and a place to converse with nature. Being a Bengali I have grown up watching the city of joy transform itself from a usual sluggish to an active one. The happiness in the hearts of the people seems to paint the horizon, the air and the whole city with its colors. This is just one side of the transformation, the other is the practical side, where each household empties its population on to the streets which are already preoccupied by mandaps causing immense traffic and chaos. And only to add to this pandemonium the speakers scream their chords out!! Being a sucker of solitude and tranquility, I left the city on the very initial day of puja...phew!!!

This is my first attempt to explore the northeastern part of India. To avoid tourists thronging hot spots, I selected Nagaland as my choice. Not much information is actually available about places to visit in Nagaland. One should visit this place purely for trekking purpose otherwise perceiving the beauty that this place has to offer would be rather difficult. Since this time I had my mother as my company, I had to be careful about the places I chose to visit. This was a relaxed family trip, no adventures attached! ;) 3 days spent here is only a part of the extended trip which I shall detail in another post.

We took a flight to Dimapur from Kolkata. This place is the commercial hub of Nagaland. It is a town mostly, the roads are lined by small buildings and open selling of meat (pork) is a common sight. From the airport you can book a cab to Kohima which is 74 kms from Dimapur. It will charge you around 2k. Other options include travelling upto the bus stop and getting a shared cab for 250/- per person.

Day 1

Truly speaking nothing to see in Dimapur. One can find a list of places to see like Kacharia Ruins, the zoo, triple falls and the Rangapahar Reserve. Being a short distance from the airport we visited only the Kachari Ruins. There is no sign board, no information or any person to explain what this is. This stands as a neglected park. The story is obscure, but it goes like this, the Dimasa Kachari Kings played a game similar to that of chess and the ruins depict the game. The portions that remain identifiable looked like pawns in the game of chess. One will find two blocks of the game, one on the right and one on the left separated by some distance.

Kachari Ruins

Photo of Kachari Ruins, Half Nagarjan, Dimapur, Nagaland, India by Ryokõ-shä

We departed for Kohima, the capital of Nagaland. First thing first - Beware of the hugeeeeeeeeeeeee traffic jam!! My goodness, its a real problem! The jam extends from the city main to the outskirts and you have to sit and kill time. A journey of 2 hours took us 5 hours to complete! The journey was quite soothing until the jam. Bizarre sights of food are available all along the way. The local sellers are seen trading live birds, bee-hives that are supposed to contains baby bees which forms edibles are some preparation, bamboo shoots, chillies, long and narrow brinjal etc.

Photo of Kohima, Nagaland, India by Ryokõ-shä

We stayed in Kohima for one night. (Hotel Blue Bayou and Hotel Orchid are among the good ones) Next morning we went out for some sight seeing. A cab can be hired for around 500/- after bargaining. Beware of the jam again.

The War Cemetery is a beautiful place signifying the Word War II contributions.

Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä
Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä

On the way we visited the Kohima Museum which showcases the tribes and their lifestyles. Kisama is a lovely place. One would require ample time to visit the whole place. It opens after 11am. Huts are built according to each tribal feature. The Garo, Sangtram, etc in total 16 tribes inhabit the Nagaland and Kisama beautifully represents the tribal habitats. Its also the place for celebration of Hornbill festival.

Naga Hut

Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä
Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä
Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä
Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä

There are other places like the Shilloi lake, the Tibetan market which you can go visit. But we ditched these places and headed to the next destination.

This was the place I have been waiting for. Touphema Tourist Village! Two points to consider before you visit this place. Most people are unaware of the route to Touphema. So hiring a cab is an issue. There is bus facility to Touphema which leaves the city from High School Junction around 11 am and there is also a return bus from Touphema to the city at 5.30am. Both have weird timings making it bit difficult to travel by it. Also this bus is supposed to bring you till a place called Botsa from where you have to walk up to the tourist village. The place itself is 41 km from Kohima and will take roughly 1.5 hrs to overcome given the poor road conditions. But this place is quite surreal!

Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä

the cottages!

Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä

Accommodations are styled depicting the original Naga habitats. They have been built by each distinct Khels. Electricity might be a problem sometimes but its there most of the time. There is geyser facility too. There is a small fireplace too in the from of the main accommodation.

the fire place

Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä

a sitting area

Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä

Local food is available for the meals. One has to order before hand for the meals to be prepared. One can take a look at the museum and the souvenir store built within the compound.

a chair made of bones at the museum

Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä

musical instruments at display

Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä

This place is quiet and gives a great view of the surrounding. Lack of tourist friendly approach of the whole of Nagaland makes things a little difficult. But the matter that these places are less explored gives a traveler the true feel of the beauty of nature and the people. We spent the night under a pitch dark sky, splendidly embellished by the twinkling stars! The chill in the breeze only added to the feel of the place!

Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä
Day 3

Next morning after a hearty feasting over boiled corns and bread we set out to exit the state and move towards Assam.

Photo of Khonoma, Nagaland, India by Ryokõ-shä

On the return journey we visited the beautiful village of Khonoma. There is an old British bridge and a British hut, lots of small streams and waterfalls and exotic scenery to indulge in the way. The terrace farming landscape and the the view of Shivji naturally carved on the mountain surface makes it a breathtaking sight! We also savored some locally made wheat breads, they were chewy and bit gummy to taste.

Khonoma

Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä

Squash!

Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä

A view

Photo of Nagaland - unexplored paradise! by Ryokõ-shä

Whole of Nagaland is converted to Christianity. There are tribes who still follow Hinduism but that is rare. People here are helpful, humble and honest. But they do seem to have lot of time for everything. One bizarre culture that I found most shocking the way they keep meat usually pork for years together. It is let to rot and only used in small portions, mixed with the normal meals to help heal many diseases! Unsure how far that is proven, but this surely is a place I would like to visit again for some trek to Dzoku Valley and Japfu too!

Contacts:

Tophema Lodge Manager: 09436832075

A helpful Cab owner: Arun : 09862116629

1 Comment(s)
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Visit Dzhukou Valley & Mokokchung next time. It shall be worth it!!!
Sun 03 12 17, 17:20 · Reply · Report