Nagaland is an alluring state of India that has distinct cultures, festivals, attire, and food choices. Covering a total area of 16,579 square kilometers, this region is, therefore, amongst the smallest places in India. Endowed with the abundant natural beauty of enchanting mountains and mesmerizing hills makes for the spell-binding vistas that are considered to be the major tourist attractions of Nagaland. What makes this landlocked state truly unique is the mystical culture and the native people. This beautiful state in northeastern India offers a truly inexplicable travel opportunity that must be explored on any tour to India. Witness the history of World War II in the capital city Kohima which is located in the southern part of Nagaland.

History of  Nagaland

The early references to Nagaland can be found in Mahabharata as a few characters are said to have dwelt here. The state has no written history, apart from those mentioned in the medieval era chronicles of the Ahom Kingdom from Assam. Before the colonial era, the state was a part of Manipur under the Thibomei and Thimbong districts. In 1816, following an invasion of Assam by Myanmar, the state came under the Burman rule in the year 1819. This period of Burman rule was known for the oppression and the disruption it created. In 1826, the Britishers took control over Assam and slowly expanded their domain over Nagaland as well. In 1892, the East India Company was successful in taking control of modern Nagaland except for the Tuensang area in the northeast. Thereafter, the area was included with Assam and was a part of the Bengal province.

Even after independence in 1947, the area remained part of Assam. However, a strong nationalist movement arose among Naga tribes which demanded a union of the native groups. The area witnessed a lot of violent turmoil and hence, in 1955, the Indian army intervened to restore order. In 1957, under the agreement between the tribe and the government, Naga Hills in the district of Assam along with the Tuensang frontier were united into a single political entity governed by the Central Government. However, the agitation continued mostly in the form of civil disobedience, refusal to pay taxes, and attacks on the army. In July 1960, at the Naga People's Convention, an agreement was proposed to declare Nagaland as the self-governing state in India. In 1963, the statehood was finally granted to the region and Nagaland became the 16th state of India. However, the resistance continued in the area even after the declaration by the government of the ceasefire in 1997.

Culture of Nagaland

Nagaland is known for its vibrant tribal culture. The land of tribes houses almost 66 tribes, out of which 16 are major tribes. All the tribes have different languages but are similar in their zest for life, attire, and traditional rules. The festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm by each tribe of Nagaland and their food habits are akin to each other that displays the spirit of brotherhood despite belonging to different communities. Famous festivals of Nagaland include the Hornbill festival, Moatsu festivalSekrenyi festival, and many more that depict the cultural vibrancy of different tribes dwelling in the state.

The majority of the population in Nagaland follows Christianity as a religion. The state is also known as the most Baptist state in the world, with almost 75% of its population being baptized. The other resident communities include Nepalis, Marwaris, Bengalis, and dwelling mostly near Dimapur city. The language spoken here is called Nagamese, which is a combination of Bengali and the Assamese dialect. The inter-village raids and headhunting have been prevalent in Nagaland for years. People in Nagaland have a warrior background and are ardent followers of their tradition. Despite that, hospitality and warmth displayed by the natives will leave you astonished. The culture of Nagaland is also exhibited in the folk dance and music of the place. Nagaland with its flamboyant culture and traditional values is a wonderful tourist destination in India that is nurturing under the wings of Indian Tourism.

 Art and handicraft of Nagaland

The artisans of Nagaland are known for their proficiency in the art of jewelry making with metals like iron, brass, and tin. The beautiful hand-crafted jewelry also features beads of different colors making them visually appealing. Knitting and weaving is another popular craft in the region. Traditionally, the people in Nagaland made their own woven cloth, headgears, and raincoats.

The skillfully made Shawls, table mats, bags exhibit a perfect blend of traditional motifs with contemporary patterns. The most striking feature of the shawls is the use of vibrant colors. The shawl is initially woven in three different parts, which is later stitched together to form a single shawl, called Mekhala. The art and handicraft of Nagaland are not only limited to jewelry and knitting, but also includes wooden carving, making of baskets, pottery, metalwork, and bead-work.

Food of Nagaland

The flavorsome food of Nagaland offers a large variety that is worth exploring. Rice is the staple food of Nagaland and is often served with homemade spicy sauces and meat either smoked, dried or fermented. The cuisine is known for its authenticity and includes a lot of typical regional ingredients like bamboo shoot, dry fish, and fermented soybean. Fermented soybean, also known as Akhuni or axone, is a staple ingredient in curries. 

Akhuni comes in powdered or cake form. It is used either in stews with other vegetables or with dried river fish. Contrary to popular belief, people in Nagaland love vegetables as much as they love meat. Some delicious dishes from Naga cuisine include Hinkejvu, Akibiye, and Galho. The famous fermented beer from Nagaland is called Zutho and is quite popular among Angami Nagas.

Places To Visit In Nagaland

Blessed with flora and fauna, Nagaland is a picturesque location with a variety of exotic plants and animals. The house of dandiest birds is also known as the Falcon capital of India. Nagaland tourism offers a lot of tourist opportunities. We are hereby listing a few things to do in Nagaland.

  • Learn about the culture of Nagaland in the Naga state museum.
  • Go camping in the Kohima mountains.
  • Experience boating in the Doyang river.
  • Indulge in the adventure of mountain biking in Rain Forest Trail.
  • Take A Wild Safari at Ntangki National Park.
  • Go trekking in Mount Saramati.

  • Enjoy the nightlife in the capital city of Kohima.
  • Attend the Hornbill festival in Dzukou valley.
  • Stay in traditional Naga homes and enjoy authentic cuisine.
  • Pay homage to world War II martyrs in Kohima war cemetery.
  • Visit the Nagaland zoological park in Dimapur.

Well known for its stellar beauty and warm-hearted hospitality, Nagaland is a must-visit travel destination in India for the amazing travel experience.  

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