Nagaland is the land of rich culture and tradition. 16 major tribes live here and they add to the vibrant and colorful spectrum of India. Though Nagaland is a predominantly Christian state, the ethnic identities of the different tribes are still intact here. If you want to explore the cultural North East India, you should plan a trip here. The best time to visit Nagaland is during the Hornbill Festival. Entry to Nagaland is restricted under the Protected Area’s Act and it is mandatory for tourists to obtain the Inner Line Permit. You can get the ILP from the Office of the Deputy Commissioners of Dimapur, Kohima and Mokokchung. You can also get the document from the Nagaland House in New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati or Shillong.
Kohima is the capital city of Nagaland. Its enchanting beauty is yet untouched by modernization. Kohima was once inhabited by the Angami tribe but today all tribes live here. There are several scenic spots in Kohima such as the Jafu Peak, Dzukou Valley and the Dzulekie stream. You must also visit the Kohima Catholic Church, one of the biggest and most beautiful churches in the country.
Dimapur is a city situated on the banks of River Dhansiri. Once a flourishing capital, today Dimapur is the largest city in Nagaland. While in the city you should visit the Triple Falls, which is a three-tier waterfall ideal for trekkers and adventurers. Chumukedima, located in the outskirts of the city, offers a kaleidoscopic view of the city. The best time to visit Dimapur is during the Hornbill Festival, a cultural extravaganza showcasing the tribal lifestyle of the different Naga tribes. It is held in the first week of December.
Mokokchung is the cultural and intellectual capital of Nagaland. Home to the Ao tribes, Mokokchung is a picturesque town bestowed with Nature’s benevolence. The Mokokchung village, close to the town, is a living evidence of the rich Ao culture. You should definitely visit the village. When in Mokokchung, you should also visit Changtongya, an idyllic village perched up on the Langpangkong Range.
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Mon is an anthropological hotspot in Nagaland. It is a quiet, sleepy town yet is considered to be a cultural paradise for tourists. However, Mon is better known as the land of the Konyaks, the tattooed warrior tribes of Nagaland. Make it a point to visit the Veda Peak, a viewpoint from where you can see the mighty Brahmaputra and the Chindwi traversing along valleys and plains. You can also visit Longwa village which is situated literally halfway through the international border with Myanmar. One half of the chief’s house is in India while the other half across the border. The villagers of Longwa have dual citizenship as they live in Myanmar and India at the same time! How cool is that?
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Phek is Nagaland’s closely guarded secret. Why? Because it’s beautiful. Phek is surrounded by three rivers – Tizu, Lanye and Sedzu. The major tourist attractions here are the lakes of Shilloi, Chida and Dzudu.
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