There are no two ways about the fact that agriculture means everything to the people of Nagaland. Since the maximum population of the state is dependable upon agriculture alone, the local people of Nagaland consider their occupation worthy of worshipping and celebrating. And, for this reason only, they celebrate the Hornbill festival, which is a joyful manifestation of the same thought.
Hornbill Festival of Nagaland has been named after the bird that goes by the same name. The picture of the bird hornbill has, for long, been used as a symbol to depict the tribal festivals in India.
The main motive of this festival is to encourage engagement among different tribes and also to promote harmony among diverse cultures. The celebrations are marked by tempting food, folk music, handicrafts, rice beer and so much more to entertain the participants and the tourists.
This annual festival is organized by the State Tourism and Art and Culture department of Nagaland. The first time the festival was organized was in 2000 and since then its a regular event in Nagaland.
In all these years, the festival became such a huge success that people from all parts of the country arrive here to experience the festivities.
Usually, the festival is celebrated between December 1 and 10 annually in Naga Heritage Village which is 12km away from the capital city, Kohima. The local people participate in the festival with the aim of reviving and displaying their unique culture and tribes through the festival.
1. Sneak Peek into the Tribal Art Through Exhibition. The week-long festival has a lot of stuff that will grab your attention. Paintings, sculptures, wood carvings, handicraft items and much more are displayed in the exhibition. A lot of stuff is also displayed to be sold which travelers may buy for their personal use or as souvenirs.
2. Fun Activites and Cultural Performances. Apart from the awareness and traditional culture promoting activities, the festival has a lot more in store for you. Many folk dance performances, and folk music performances are scheduled to entertain the guests from across the country. Apart from the cultural performances, the festival also displays traditional sports and ethnic food to grab the eyeballs.
Surrounded by natural beauty, majestic hills and serene views, Kohima is the best place for a relaxing vacation. Some most visited tourist destinations in Kohima are Shilloi Lake, Naga Heritage Village, Kohima Zoo, Kohima Museum, and Khonoma Village.
From Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru, Kohima is approximately 2,200, 3,100, 1,300, and 3,200 km away respectively. You can reach here easily by multiple transportation modes and some of the best routes and modes have been listed below.
By Road. If road trips excite you or if you are interested in exploring the highways and the byways of India then traveling to Naga Heritage village by road for the Hornbill Festival can be a memorable experience. Following is an estimate of the distance in kilometers and the best route that you may take to reach the city.
Another comfortable and budget-friendly way to reach here is via inter-state tourist buses. There are regular buses from Dimapur and Guwahati to Kohima.
By Rail. Dimapur Railway Station is the nearest station to reach Naga Heritage Village. From the station, one is required to travel another 80km via bus or a taxi to reach the venue of the festival.
Dimapur train station receives regular and frequent trains from Kolkata and Guwahati hence one may consider traveling by rail route as well. Kamrup Express from Howrah Junction to Dimapur can be considered.
Direct trains such as Jan Shatabdi Express, Nagaland Express, and Avadh Assam Express can be given a thought to if arriving from Guwahati.
By Air. Dimapur Airport is the only airport in the state which is approx. 75km away from the Heritage village. After checking out from the airport, tourists can take a taxi or a bus to cover the rest of the distance. For international flights, the nearest airport is in Guwahati.
You will find connecting flights too from Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru to Dimapur with a stopover at Kolkata airport. From Kolkata, you may consider traveling via AirIndia and IndiGo via a non-stop flight of approximately 100 minutes with a one-way fare starting from Rs.3800. You may also travel via a direct flight by AirIndia if arriving from Guwahati Airport.