NAGALAND: There's beauty all around

Tripoto
Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around 1/3 by anila

A trip to remember not just because of the beautiful place but because of the beautiful company. If i use the word ‘beautiful’for more than 100 times in this blog it still would be less. The trip had one lesson for us ‘Life is Beautiful, you are beautiful, be beautiful’. There had been times when we enjoyed the music together, we laughed together, we walked together but this time it was all about being beautiful together, sharing the beautiful things together and just being together. 'Beautiful' is just a word and the definition just varies, as Smart is beautiful, Intelligent is Beautiful, Brave is beautiful, Talented is beautiful, Adventurous is beautiful, Crazy is beautiful, Professional is beautiful, Passionate is beautiful for everyone is unique and is therefore Beautiful.

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around 2/3 by anila

Journey begins:

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around 3/3 by anila

Ranchi to Howrah: The joy ride started with all the waiting and birthday celebrations in the railway station. All packed with warm clothes and ready for the unexpected we got on the train. No knowing that a lot of things will change during and after the trip. Train journeys are always fun and more than that being with your girl friends.

Day 1: morning 7:00 am we were at Howrah station.

Had our breakfast and took a cab for Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport.

Photo of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Dum Dum, Kolkata, West Bengal, India by anila

Flight was at 11:20 had sufficient time to move around the airport. At 12:30 we reached Dimapur.

Photo of Dimapur Airport, Dimapur, Nagaland, India by anila

Well it’s always better to keep up with old friends, so this was the time I called my junior at Dimapur and he helped us to get a cab to Kohima. Here we realized the cab rides are a little more expensive than any other place. So were soon on the roads of Nagaland, this ride was different from others because we knew it’s going to be hills and hills again. In 2016 this was my second North-east trip and fifth escape to the hills’ trip. But still every place has more to offer than one can think of. And this place has the appealing green hills i saw standing wide and tall with arms stretched. It was a life changing ride we had no idea that this trip will change so many things. It grew dark as we were close to Kohima and soon we realized it Christmas season as the roads were full of lighting decorations. The Santa Clause on the sledge with jingles around, the manger decorated with all compassion and warmth. Huge and colorful stars hanging at each house. What a magnificent feeling of Christmas. With all excitement we reached the New Bus stand at Kohima as the guest house we had booked was close it it. We had Kuku’s brothers to receive us there and leave us till the guesthouse. After settling things at the room we walked to the market area which was all full of Christmas colors.

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila
Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila
Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

Central guest house was the one we had booked; it was a last minute booking and more of a hostel style it was. Even though the room was comfortable but it had common toilets. Not a very fancy and classic one but a very simple guest house.

Day 2: Had a good sleep that night and planned to shift to another hotel/guest house whichever has a room available. The major problem we faced here was no geyser and the cold weather was not very kind to us. With a little help from the online information and local guidance we got the number of CBZZ Guest House. Lucky we were to find a twin bed room here where 4 of us could fit in very easily.

The rates were high due to the peak season and Hornbill Festival. Well for us comfortable and warm stay was important. After settling things we moved to the Kisama village or the Naga Heritage Village.

Day 2
Photo of Naga Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

This is the village where the Hornbill festival is organized. The festival is for 10 days only but the essence remains for the whole year. It was just a ride of half an hour from out guest house. Drove through the hills and huts, fields and forests. Again we were on an unknown land with unknown places to look for and unknown language. As we got down in front of the gateway and tried to analyze as to, are we in the right place. Simple and serene, quite and calm, cold yet bright. A huge gateway to welcome us, got the tickets and went in and walked to the uphill. We could hear the music and knew the event was on full swing. There we reached at the performance area. This was a view: all happy faces, music all around, colorful dresses. There were tourists from various parts of the world and enjoying the cultural fest there. It was the extravaganza of colors and culture.

Photo of Naga Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

This place showed how the tribes with the help of the government’s initiative. It’s the Hornbill’s festival. A photographer’s delight and a paradise for the cultural lovers on a bright sunny day. Nothing more I could ask for. When we reached the performance arena we were just too glad to be there. What a wonderful place to be it felt like the small patches of colors are scattered on my painting palette. We sat and enjoyed the performance sitting on the sunny side beyond the arena were the vast green hills. The pictures speak better than words.

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila
Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

This is the land of hills and people are really joyful, their stories say that the nagas are well known for being the warriors. This land has been invaded and seen many wars but peace is what they look for. They believe in the nature and ethics. Honesty is a religion for them, dance is a way of life and colors are what they are made of. There are huts made of different tribes and it reflects their lifestyle, their food habits, occupation and social life.

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

Every group which comes to perform stays in those huts made by them in their own typical style; there are information all around to go through. Their handicrafts, their typical food and folklore are depicted in the structures around. A beautiful day went by just wondering around in the Heritage village. We were all amazed to see so many colors around us.

the bamboo mugs

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila
Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

This is definitely a cultural fest and a feast for the lovers of culture. There were exhibition pavilions where one can have the picture of all the clothing and bamboo work. There were stalls of clothes, wood work, art and craft, bamboo work, accessories, metal tools, bamboo work, etc. it felt like the entire Nagaland was within that village.

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

the traditional earpiece

Photo of Naga Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

one with the very informative lady

Photo of Naga Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

It turns dark very fast, by 5pm it was almost dark. It grew chilling cold also and so after the evening cultural program we moved back to the city of Kohima.

Moving around the village these were the typical houses of various tribes:

Photo of Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Naga Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Naga Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Naga Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Naga Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

With a little information:

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

There were so many friendly people there who would describe the sculptures and the tell the folklore of their tribe.

the naga beauties

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila
Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

First thing first warm clothes and as we were informed about a Carnival was to be held close to the new taxi stand we went there. The street was full of lights and colors it felt like the next day is Christmas. There were carols being sung on the stage close to the street, there were balloons and bubbles, lights and smoke, variety of street shops and lots of street food stalls.

an evening here

Photo of Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

Day 3:

Morning we were ready to attend the festival. All dressed in ‘Bakhu’, the traditional dress of Sikkim.

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila
Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

Last day of festival and one wonderful day full of joy ahead. We reached the destination by a cab and happily moved to the arena, unaware of the fact that all 4 of us were really the eye catching girls there. The arena was full of audience and mesmerizing performances going on.

Day 3
Photo of Naga Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Naga Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

As the first part ended there were people around us asking for where we were coming from, as we were in the traditional attire which in itself is a beauty. It was the best part of the day when we would pose and photographers would flock in to click us. The dress was exceptional the occasion was perfect.

posing again

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

Again we moved around to the tribes and huts which we had left last day. We danced with various tribes, learning their steps and styles.

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila
Photo of Naga Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

In all this dancing and fun we didn’t realize how the day went by, soon it was dusk and the closing ceremony of the Hornbill festival was to begin. It was cold it was beautiful, there was music and there were the woods.

Photo of Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

lost in the moment

Photo of Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

The chief guest of the evening were the Governor of the state and the Chief Minister. As they reached the closing ceremony began with a prayer and followed by few of the most amazing stage performances and Christmas celebration. The song sung by 4 sisters was one of the most melodious voice I have heard so far, couldn’t understand the meaning yet I felt the music running in my nerves. To end the festival there is a culture of ‘dance of unity’ where all the tribes , all the performers hold their hand together in a circle and dance all doing the same step, and yes this is the unity. Even though different tribe, different belief, different taste but when it come to the land they are all together. They danced and the huge bonfire was lighted. Even the audience were asked to join them. Now this was amusing, the entire arena was empty and the audience as well as the performers were dancing around the bonfire.

the bonfire

Photo of Naga Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Naga Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

To add to it the best performance of the evening was , the awestruck performance by Bangalore Conservatory, the hand bell music school students. It made my day, never heard such a mesmerizing Christmas carol. We enjoyed every second there dancing with the local people, talking to other tourists, playing with little children. This is life and we were enjoying it. By the time we reached the room we were dead tired. Off to sleep was not we were in the mood. Went to the rooftop of the hotel sat there, with a little music and food we just enjoyed the night view of the Kohima city.

the night view

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

Day 4:

A lazy morning it was, we were just rolling over in our beds when one of my friends just pulled the curtain and of our amazement what a morning view it was, even though we didn’t had the direct view of the rising sun but it wasn’t even less. The clouds above the city and the hills was stupendous, it was nothing that I have seen before. It looked like the cotton balls which were all pastel colors of morning mist; it was a mix of coral pink, crimson, peach, shades of violet and what not.

Day 4

The other side of the sunrise

Photo of Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

With this mesmerizing view by the window we woke up and as it was Sunday we decided to visit the Catholic Church, Kohima which is one of the important landmarks in the city. We booked a cab and moved to the cathedral. It is located on Aradura Hill in Kohima and is considered to be the biggest cathedral in North-east India which has the largest cross made of wood in the country being 16 ft high.

following the typical Naga style roofing

Photo of Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

Being on the highest point in the city it is a marvelous piece or architecture, the shape of the facade is taken from the traditional Naga houses and the entire building. The structure work of the building surprised me it’s a blend of architectural beauty and details, strength of truss structure and the elegance of the traditional art. It reflects the creative and artistic and very thoughtful design.

the interiors

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

the greatness of the place

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila
Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

The location is such that it gives the perfect view of the Kohima city from one side and lush green mountains on the other side.

the city view

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

I'll always be around

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

at the great lawn of the Catholic cathedral

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

the city view

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

On a cold December day this was day perfectly spent between the heaven and earth for more than 3 hours. After lunch we reached Kohima War Cemetery which was closed as we reached after 3:30. It was seen that all the shops and markets are closed and even the tourist’s spots remain closed.

Note: Sunday, except for church service no other place can be visited, even the commercial centers remain closed.

So we were left with no options but to go back to the hotel so we decided to leave the cab near the Governor’s House and take a stroll to the hotel enjoying the sunset and the evening view of the city.

that evening stroll

Photo of Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

me and you

Photo of Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

Note: the days are too short and chilling. Morning the sunrises early and by 4 o’clock people start getting back to their residences and it gets dark by 5pm.

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

posing for the ladybird

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

posers as always

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

Well even this plan worked out well as we enjoyed the view moving around that hill top and capturing and posing around at every corner and spot that we got. The pictures explain the evening.

when the sun goes down to give way to the stars and moon

Photo of Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

enjoying the cold chilling sunset

Photo of Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

It grew darker and light was on and it was chilling cold so we moved into the hotel rooms and made ourselves comfortable and cozy in the warm bed.

Day 5:

One last day in Kohima and yet another cold morning. We had plans to visit Khonoma village, an Eco tourism village. As per my views it’s wrong to give the term ‘Eco-friendly’ or ‘Eco-tourism’ for a village. As the villages are known to be away from the urban areas and free from pollution with less technological help and with old yet strong knowledge of settlement and work, the villagers have been living amid the green fields and forests being one with nature.

Day 5

taking a walk in Khonoma village

Photo of Khonoma, Nagaland, India by anila

the paddy fields

Photo of Khonoma, Nagaland, India by anila

the young heart the happy legs

Photo of Khonoma, Nagaland, India by anila

road that lead to my destination is long and lonely

Photo of Khonoma, Nagaland, India by anila

There were hills all around and the paddy fields to look down.

the traditional dormitory

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

typical Naga style

Photo of Khonoma, Nagaland, India by anila

the cultural center

Photo of Khonoma, Nagaland, India by anila

The cobbled stoned roads, the small ethnic huts and dormitories, the traditional equipments hanging inside, the stone sittings, the innocent kids running around and the sun shining bright. This village is at a perfect location.

together to be

Photo of Khonoma, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Khonoma, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Khonoma, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Khonoma, Nagaland, India by anila

There is a stone fort which is very small it just has a little story connected. The major story is about the warrior who was one to settle at this place.

We spent around 3 hours here and then headed back to the town as we wanted to visit the War cemetery which would remain open only till 3:00 pm. We then reached the memorial and went around the hillock. A calm environment amid the town and one can have a good view of the town-scape. It was interesting to know about the story of the brave hearts. It was a dismay to see that there were young soldiers who died at the early young age of 23. They gave their their lives for our better future.

to the Redeemer

Photo of Kohima War Cemetry, Midland Colony, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila
Photo of Kohima War Cemetery, Midland Colony, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

ladies for the honour

Photo of Kohima War Cemetery, Midland Colony, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

who gave their lives with hope and for peace

Photo of Kohima War Cemetery, Midland Colony, Kohima, Nagaland, India by anila

Then we moved to Kohima museum which was a collection and display of the various tribes of the state. Colorful and informative just that we were running short of time.

a typical Naga warrior

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

the sculpture showing the weaving occupation

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

Note: the tourist spots also close down soon by 4:00 pm. So better plan for a early leave from hotel.

Day 6:

Time to head home so all packed up and called the cab and asked him to take us to the taxi stand. It was the worst part of the journey that we felt the cab charges a higher than normal here form any other city. So we asked the driver to drop us at the taxi stand and he took us to a different taxi stand that we had thought and due to the time crunch we could not negotiate the rates. Finally we were on road. The good thing was the driver was informative and told us a lot of stories and happenings around. We reached the Dimapur airport just 20 minutes before the departure ans we are glad we could make it in. The trip ended with all the fun and running and chasing and just being beautiful.

the so not me type selfie

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

holding unto each other is what friends do

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

walking together

Photo of NAGALAND: There's beauty all around by anila

Journey back home @Kolkata airport

Photo of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Dum Dum, Kolkata, West Bengal, India by anila

An evening which was special for all

Photo of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Dum Dum, Kolkata, West Bengal, India by anila

For Christmas... with Love from Kohima :)

Photo of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Dum Dum, Kolkata, West Bengal, India by anila

This is my story and it's the beginning.

Photo credits : Ladybird - Shweta Bara

you'll find her at : https://www.facebook.com/shweta.kumaribara

2 Comment(s)
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"Beautiful"....indeed is d key word for our dis trip....beautiful journey,place,people,experiences,everything around n yes beautiful us....n to perfectly wrap it up tie up with a bow - a beautiful writing from you...loved it!!!so.....what's our next destination?
Fri 02 17 17, 05:25 · Reply (1) · Report
have a long list.. we just need to decide n pack our bags!
Sat 02 18 17, 10:54 · Report
Anila.... You got some great shots of Nagaland and people. Enjoyed reading through your detailed itinerary.
Thu 02 02 17, 21:15 · Reply (1) · Report
Thank you so much Harish... It's my pleasure that I could convey my experience :)
Fri 02 03 17, 08:09 · Report