Nagaland, a land of vibrant cultures, lush landscapes, and warm hospitality, is a hidden gem in northeastern India. This charming state offers a unique blend of traditions, natural beauty, and adventure, making it a perfect destination for travellers seeking an offbeat and unforgettable experience. If you're planning a trip to Nagaland, here are five activities that should be on your must-do list.
The Hornbill Festival, held annually in the first week of December in Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, is a vibrant celebration of the state's rich cultural heritage. Named after the hornbill bird, which holds significant cultural value for the Naga people, this festival showcases traditional music, dance, art, and crafts from various Naga tribes. Visitors can witness colourful performances, taste local cuisine, and engage with locals in traditional attire. The festival provides an immersive experience of the diverse and fascinating Naga culture
Visit the Dzukou mountain valley, an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure lovers. Positioned between Nagaland and Manipur, the valley is a trekker's paradise. The trail leads through thick forests, involving a challenging terrain that can be slippery. Covering around nine kilometres, the trek usually takes five to six hours to complete. Many choose to spread it over two days, with accommodation options including dormitories, private rooms, or camping, falling on the way.
Khonoma Village stands as an inspiring example of sustainable community-led conservation efforts. This village was the first in Nagaland to ban hunting and logging, leading to the revival of its ecosystem. Today, Khonoma is celebrated for its lush forests, terraced fields, and commitment to preserving nature. Travellers can engage in eco-tourism activities, nature walks, and birdwatching while contributing to the conservation initiatives of the village.
Opting for a boat ride on this river is the right way to enjoy the scenic beauty along its banks. The tribals at the banks often catch visitors' attention due to their trial-and-error attempts at fish hunting. Plan your visit between November and April for a comfortable boating experience.
Exploring Kohima's nightlife is a must-do activity. With eateries offering a mix of traditional and local cuisines, the food options in Kohima offer a gastronomical ride. For the liveliest nightlife, time your visit during the night carnival and don't forget to try the traditional rice beer.
You can rent bikes in Kohima for both day trips and daily use. The top biking trails include Lugsad, Rain Forest Trail, and Bakahan. The roads in Nagaland are well-maintained, making them suitable even for those new to mountain driving. Having a biking route map on your travel app or carrying a physical map for your chosen route is a good idea.
For a truly immersive cultural experience, attending a traditional Naga wedding can be an unforgettable highlight of your trip. Naga weddings are grand celebrations that involve elaborate rituals, traditional attire, feasting, and lively dance performances. Witnessing the unity of families, the vibrancy of customs, and the sense of community during these weddings offers a deeper understanding of Naga society and its values.