Nagaland

On the border with Myanmar, Nagaland is at the easternmost extreme of the Indian subcontinent. It is a remote state, largely unknown even to Indians. Almost cut off from the world, Nagaland's rich culture thrives in landscapes of great natural beauty. Permit restrictions for visitors have been eased in the last few years but still very few visit . Travel here is challenging but hugely rewarding.

Created in 1963, the state is home to some 16 Tibeto-Burmese tribes of around 2 million people whose simple villages are scattered over the hillsides and where you may find the inhabitants wearing traditional dresses with feathered headgear and have tattooed faces. Some tribes were once famous for headhunting.  Missionaries, many from the United States, have been hugely successful in turning Nagas into Baptists; the biggest buildings in the ramshackle towns are their churches.

For many the North East of India is synonymous with World War II and the battles of Kohima and Imphal which turned the tide of war in Asia and the cemeteries and museums are a haunting testimony to the loss of life here.

Nagaland's Hornbill Festival is a highlight of the year. Begun in 2000 by the government of Nagaland, the goal of the Hornbill Festival is to revive and protect the rich traditions of the Naga tribes. The festival brims with music, vibrant dances, games, and colourful ceremonial attire, including decorated spears, bead and ivory armlets, and elaborate headgear of woven bamboo festooned with flowers, boar's teeth and hornbill feathers.

The great hornbill, after which the festival is named, is known for its impressive size—up to 50 inches in length with a 60-inch wingspan—for its longevity—up to 50 years in captivity—and for the unique prominent and bright yellow and black casque atop its massive bill. In Naga culture, the great hornbill is revered for its beauty and alertness.

Hundreds of festival participants in their tribe's colourful traditional attire meet for warrior log drumming, re-enactment of heroic tales, folk dances and songs are performed, indigenous games are played, and contests—pork eating and King Chilly eating included, are waged. Much of the action takes place amid the thatched bamboo huts and morung-style structures in Naga Heritage Village. Ornately carved in the style of each tribe, they provide a glimpse into the Naga world. Delicious ethnic foods typical to each tribe are offered, along with the traditional rice beer. In the not too distant past, the morungs were tribal youth dormitories where warriors displayed their hunting trophies—including the skulls of their enemies.

TUTC-Kohima-Naga-weaving.jpg View slideshow

 

Start your journey...

Speak to one of our experts with extensive experience in travel, accommodation and culture.

Andrea Hulme Andrea Hulme
Take the first step

Nagaland's places to stay

Just some of the places we'd recommend staying in Nagaland

Top places chosen by Natural High

Deciding where to stay

These are the different styles of accommodation

Typical experiences

Whet your appetite for a once in a lifetime trip to India, Bhutan & Nepal

Why not talk to one of our experts?

Our team

Our experienced travellers include:

Andrea Hulme
Andrea Hulme

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary. All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

Natural High Brochure

Drop us an email if you'd like us to send you a copy our brochure. Or you can download a digital copy here

Natural High Brochure

Let us help you get started:

Ready to take the first step? Fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you.

Please sign me up for your newsletter
Please post me your brochure

 

Let the adventure begin.
submit