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NAGALAND GUIDE

 
Nagaland is physically and conceptually at the very extremity of the sub-continent. Many of its hills and valleys, home to the fiercely independent Nagas, were unchartered until recently, and the eastern regions remain far beyond the reach of the skeletal road network. The hospitability of the people here and their culture and tradition simply touch the heart. Moreover, the Nagaland is an ideal destination for trekking, rock climbing and jungle camping. The state consists of seven districts with sixteen tribes & sub-tribes inhabiting it.


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  NAGALAND INFORMATION

 
Nagaland North East India. It is a wild, forested, and undeveloped region bounded by Myanmar on the east and the Indian states of Manipur on the south, Assam on the northwest, and Arunachal Pradesh on the north. The region is inhabited by Nagas, a Tibeto-Burman tribe, who formerly practiced head-hunting. More than 80% of the population is Christian. The state is governed by a chief minister and cabinet responsible to a bicameral legislature with one elected house and by a governor appointed by the president of India. Formerly the Naga Hills–Tuensang area in Assam state, Nagaland gained full state status in 1961. The mid-1990s saw increased attacks by Naga guerrillas who favored extending the state of Nagaland to include Manipur and portions of the two other bordering states, as well as a portion of Myanmar. Talks with the guerrillas began in 1997.
 
   

  NAGALAND FACTS AND FIGURES

 

Nagaland at a Glance ...

   

  Area:    

16,579 sq km

  Capital:

Kohima

  Languages: 

Nagamese, Hindi, English,Chang
   Per Capita Income: 5,760
   Religion: Hindu
   Main Income: Tourism, Agriculture
   Altitude: 1495 meters above sea level
   Temperature: Max 31 0C & Min 4 0C
   Best Time to visit: September to April
 
   

  NAGALAND HISTORY

 
Little is known about the early history of what is now Nagaland, including the origin of several large sandstone pillars at Dimapur. British rule was established over the area by the 1890s, and headhunting, then a traditional practice, was outlawed. The Naga territory remained split between Assam and the North East Frontier Agency after Indian independence in 1947, despite a vocal movement advocating the political union of all the Naga tribes; one faction called for secession from India. In 1957, following violent incidents, the Indian government established a single Naga administrative unit under Indian rule. The Naga people responded by refusing to pay their taxes and by conducting a campaign of sabotage. In 1960 the Indian government agreed to make Nagaland a self-governing state within India; the state was officially inaugurated in 1963. Naga separatists, however, continued to show violent opposition; they have been demanding autonomy and creation of a single administrative unit comprising all the Naga inhabited areas spanning across some of the north eastern states. Naga rebels and the Indian government have agreed on a ceasefire and peace talks are going on.
 
   

  NAGALAND TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

 
Intangki Wildlife (Dimapur) » Japfu Peak (Kohima) » Peren (Kohima) » Khonona (Kohima) » Chumukedima (Dimapur)
 
   

  NAGALAND FAIRS AND FESTIVALS

 
The festivals are mostly related to agricultural operations. The important thing about the Naga festivals is their corporate character. The community as a whole participates in the celebrations. There is a definite programme stretching over a specified period in which all the village folk join.
MOATSU : Among the Aos, the most important festival is Moatsu, which is celebrated after the sowing is over. The festival last for six days. On the first night of the festival sexual intercourse was forbidden. Every man was required to wear a new belt, for hanging his dao. The unmarried men received belts as presents from their girl friends, the married men got from their wives. During this occasion, the restriction relating to dress and ornaments were relaxed. People could wear even the forbidden ones according to their will.
SEKRENYI : The principal Angami festival in the Sekrenyi. It is celebrated in February by the Western Angamis and in December by the Southern Angamis. The festival is to ensure the health and well being of the community during the coming year. It is an occasion of great merry making, enormous quantities of rice-beer, beef and pork are consumed. An interesting feature of the festival is that the men have to prepare a separate hearth and abstain from any sexual relation for the first two days.
SANKARNI : One of the major festivals of the Zemis is the Sankarni Puja which coincides with Shivaratri. Single boys and girls join in the Sankarni puja which lasts over a week. Chanting songs, they smoke, eat and drink to their hearts content. Contribution in money and kind is welcome from the participant families as well as visitors.
 
   

  HOW TO REACH

 
By Air: The only airport of the state is at Dimapur, which connects Nagaland with Guwahati and Calcutta by regular flights.

By Rail: The major railhead is at Dimapur, which lies on the main line of the Northeastern Frontier Railway.

By Road : The Nagaland State Transport Corporation plies regular buses from Dimapur and Kohima to Guwahati, the gateway of northeast India and Shillong.
 
   

  NAGALAND MAJOR CITIES

 
Kohima » Dimapur » Khonoma
 
   

  NAGALAND WILDLIFE AND BIRDS

 
The Fakim Sanctuary close to the Myanmar border receives high rainfall and is home to tigers and hoolock gibbons, and the tragopan pheasant. The Pulie Badze Sanctuary also lies near Kohima.Located at a distance of 8 km from the Zunheboto district headquarters, Ghosu Bird Sanctuary is maintained solely by the village community. It houses more than twenty species of endangered birds. Migratory birds can be sighted from June to September.a Turtle Project (1975-76), Project Elephant (1991-92), Aquatic Bird Project (1992-93) and Blackbuck Project (1994-95).
 
   

  NAGALAND ARTS AND CRAFTS

 
Wood Carving: The best wood-carvings are to be seen on the village gate, in the Morung, and in front of the house of a rich man or warrior. The working instruments for wood carving are simple. They include Dao, chisel, axe and adze. The figures generally carved are mithun head, hornbill, human figure, elephant, tiger etc. These figures have their usual symbolic meaning. The mithun head represents wealth; the hornbill, valour; the human figure, success in head-hunting; while elephant and tiger denotes physical prowess. In Konyak area, there are some carvings which have the Khajuraho touch about them; there are exotic motifs showing a dancing couple in an amorous posture. The Konyaks are in fact, the best wood-carvers among the Nagas. The log-drums or xylophones which are laboriously hollowed out of the trunk of a big tree are excellent specimens of the Naga's skill in wood-work. The drum has generally a carved prow showing mithun, buffalo or tiger's head. In recent years, with the suppression of head-hunting and the spread of Christianity, the art of wood-carving has suffered.
   

  NAGALAND ECONOMY

 
Nagaland depends mostly on roads for transportation. A national highway runs from Dimapur to Kohima and then on to Imphal in Manipur. Another main road links Mokokchung with Amguri in Assam. A short stretch of the Northeast Frontier Railway passing through Dimapur from Assam is the only rail link with the rest of India. Air service is available from Dimapur to Guwahati in Assam and to Calcutta in West Bengal.The state also possesses natural oil reserves. Infrastructure bottleneck has been an outstanding problem of the state – the CMIE index being 71 compared to the All India Average of 100 in 1992-93. It shares border with Myanmar and hence has huge potential to develop border trade .