ORIGIN OF NAGAS
There are different legends regarding the origin of the Nagas, as they vary according to the version of the Kheza-Kenoma legend believed by the Angamis, Sema, Rengamas and the Lothas. There was once a village possessing a large Stone Slab which had magical properties. Paddy (rice) spread on it to be dried doubled in quantity by evening. The three sons of the couple who owned the stone used it by the rotation. One day a quarrel broke out between the sons as to whose turn it was. Their parents, fearing blood-shed among the sons, set fire to the stone which then cracked. It is believed that the spirit in the stone went to heaven and the stone lost its miraculous property. The three sons left their parents and went in different directions and became the forefathers of the Angami, Sema, and the Lotha tribes. For a long period the Nagas were unknown to the outer world, and indeed often lived in separate villages with litlle contact between them.During the 19th century Christian missionaries came to this land and begian the story of its involvement in a broader civilization.
There is no written history about their origin. Now-a-days they use the Roman script to write their dialects. Some writers believe that they had in-migrated from three directions - North East, North West and South East: other writers say that they immigrated from South East through Burma. The Nagas are settled in Nagaland, four Districts in Manipur, one District in Assam and two Districts in Arunachal Pradesh. There are 13 main tribes in Nagaland, each of them are having its own cultural heritage.
Kohima is derived from the word "Kew Hi Ma" which means ‘the men of the land where the flower Kew Hi grows’. Situated at an altitude of 1444 m. above sea level, Kohima is the Capital of Nagaland. Like other Naga settlements, Kohima stands on top of a mountain range. In a very real way, a fusion of different cultures, added to a blend of modernism, makes Kohima a fast growing and very varied city.
Places of interests:
The Kohima War Cemetary:
“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”
Constructed in the memory of the officers and soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice during World War II, the war cemetery attracts hundreds of visitors every year including the relatives of those martyrs. Maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the cemetery bears witness to more than 2000 graves; and on each grave there are beautiful epitaphs carved in bronze.
Kohima village: Popularly known as Bara Basti (Big Village) the Kohima village is one of the largest villages in Asia. Inhabited mainly by the Angami tribes it is divided into 'khels' or localities.A large traditional wooden gate welcomes you to the village: the gate is elaborately carved with warriors and weapons and the skull of the mithun, a symbol of prosperity.
Khonoma Green Village: Located 21 kms away from Kohima town, Khonoma village is the first "green village" of Nagaland. The village is well known for the legendary leader Angami Zapu Phizo who was the founder of the Naga movement. It is in this place where the Naga warriors made their last stand against British aggression in 1879.'Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary' (KNCTS) was initiated to create environmental awareness among the inhabitants, and preserves about 70 sq km of its village forest. The village is also famous for the fallow management of its alder trees, a policy which balances nature in the surrounding areas
Tuephema Tourist Village: Lying between Mokokchung and Kohima highway, Tuephema is a unique village resort in the midst of blue hills. It is a good example of eco and rural tourism where one can experience modern and hygienic accommodation in traditional huts in an ethnic setting. The local villagers show-case their culture through traditional dances and ethnic foods - including rice beer.
Also known as “The Valley of Flowers”, the valley is situated at an altitude of 2138.4 meters behind the Japfu Mountain Ranges. The valley is the home of many varieties of flowers including Lillies, Euphorbias and Rhododendrons. The serpentine stream, shaped like the curves of Venus, flows through Dzukou and becomes frozen during winter. It offers one of the best trekking and bird watching trails in North-Eastern India. Despite, perhaps, the hard terrain and basic facilities, the valley offers the most unusual and fascinating trekking experiences
Trekking to Dzukou Valley and Japfu Peak
Day 01: Arr Dimapur / Kohima
Arrive Dimapur by flight. Meeting upon arrival and drive to Kohima. Arrive and check in at hotel Japfu. Overnight at hotel.
Day 02: Kohima / Viswema / Dzukou
Morning after breakfast drive to Viswema. Arrive Viswema and start walking towards Dzukou Valley.
Arrive Dzukou and check in at the rest house. Rest of the time free to explore the valley. Overnight at rest house.
Day 03: Dzukou / Viswema / Japfu Base
Morning after breakfast start return trek down to Viswema village and trek further to Japfu base.
Overnight at trekker’s hut.
Day 04: Japfu Base / Japfu Peak /Viswema / Kohima
Early morning start climbing to Japfu Peak, which rises to 3048 meters. From Japfu one can enjoy the fabulous view of neighboring valleys, including Dzukou. One can also see the tallest Rhododendron tree in world (109 feet).
Later return to Viswema village and drive to Kohima.
Arrive and check in at hotel.
Overnight at Kohima
Day 05: Kohima / Dimapur Departs
Morning after breakfast in time to transfer to airport for the onward destination.
Situated at an altitude of 4347 feet, Mokokchung is the home of the Ao Naga tribe. According to the legends the Aos sprung up from “Longtrok” which means “six stones”. In the past, Mokokchung was one of the important locations in the Naga Hills, where the British had established their presence in the late 19th century. Later on, arrival of Christian missionaries to Mokokchung had brought a different influence in the field of education: and today it has the highest literacy in the state with an average literacy rate of 84 %.
Places of interests:
Longkhum village: Situated at an altitude of 1846 meters, Longkhum village is a frontier village with a primitive history of headhunting. The Aos believe that Longkhum is the resting place of the dead spirit onward journey to the heaven. It is said that some people of this village still believe in the animistic religion and still worship their god “Longlanpa Tsungrem”. The villagers are very friendly in nature and they feel proud to showcase their rich handicrafts and handlooms to the visitors.
Mopungchuket Village: 20 kilometers from Mokokchung, Mopungchuket is a modern village and the center of missionary activities. The village is famous for the two lovers Jina and Itiben. A library cum museum has been constructed and maintained by the village youth. This has a good collection of books regarding the history and the culture of the Nagas. Efforts have been taken to re-construct the ‘Morungs’, the Bachelor’s dormitory, to carve and maintain the Time Pillar and to preserve cultural artifacts in the village museum.
The economic capital of Nagaland , Dimapur was once the capital of the Kachari kingdom. The name itself derived from the Kachari dialect; ‘di’ meaning river, ‘ma’ meaning great and ‘pur’ meaning city.The History of Dimapur dated back to the age of Mahabharata, where the second Pandava, Bheema while in exile, tied the wedding knot with the Kachari princess Hidimba. Thus the place became known as Hidimbapur. It was under the British that it got the present name Dimapur. It is a cosmopolitan town comprising Nagas, Assamese, Bengalis, Biharis and others, and is slowly developing along the banks of the Dhansiri river. Dimapur has the only airport in Nagaland and is well connected with the rest of the country.
Places of interests:
Ruins of Kachari Kingdom:Dimapur was the ancient Capital of the Kachari dynasty whose rule existed before 13th century AD. The ruins of Kachari dynasty which scattered all over the town is an evidence of a flourishing civilization, having elements of Hinduism, while being predominantly non-Aryan.
Dimapur Market: One of the landmarks of the town is the famous market near the railway station where one can buy goods imported from Myanmar and China.
Situated at an altitude of 897.64 meters, Mon is in the land of the Konyaks, once one of the fiercest tribes in the world. Even though there is a legal Indian administrative system, Mon is in fact ruled by tribal chiefs called Anghs (locally known as ‘Wang’), which means the ‘beginning of everything’. Mon is the only district in Nagaland to have this unique institution of Anghship. The word of the Angh is law in these parts. His succession is hereditary in nature. The Konyaks believe that they were direct descendants of Noah, for they have Biblical names like Mosa, Kaisa, Aron and so on. The Konyaks are famous for their tattooed faces , blackened teeth and, many years ago,, the barbaric practice of Headhunting.
Places of interests:
Longwa: Regarded as one of the biggest villages in Mon the unique feature of Longwa is it shares the international boundary of Myanmar and India: Half of the chief Angh's house falls in the Indian side and the other half falls in Myanmar. The Angh takes his food in India and sleeps in Myanmar’s territory! Even though there is a village council to administers the village, the Angh’s word is conclusive.
Chui village: Located about 8 kms away from Mon town on the Tuensang – Mon road, Chui village still preserves its old charm. One can see the Konyak traditional houses built with palm- leaves roofing, with the main pillars left to protrude. Chui is also famous for ethnic craftsmanship. The skill of the villagers is not confined only on bamboo and woodworks but they are skilled in gun and gunpowder making.
Shanghnyu: Regarded as one of the most prestigious village in Mon district, Shangnyu shares the unique feature of Mon – The Anghship. The main attraction of the village is the piece of woodcarving placed at the entrance of the Angh’s residence. The woodcarving is 8 feet in height and 12 feet in breadth. People believe that it had been constructed by two brothers with the help of an angel.
Tuensang is inhabited by five major Naga tribes - Chang, Sangtam, Khiamniungan, Yimchunger, Phom - as well as a small number of the Sumi. The district shares its border with Myanmar. It is the biggest district in Nagaland covering 25 % of the total area. Christianity is the main religion but they still believe in the traditional practice of their old but not totally forgotten days..
Places of interests:
Changsangmoko and Chilise: According to the Naga legend, Changsangmoko is the place where the first living creature appeared on the earth. However Chilise is famous for another reason. It was this very place where the last head hunting took place in August 1978.