India is so diverse, massive and complex that it is impossible to sum up in a sentence, a mad rush to sum up in a paragraph, and yet difficult to describe in an encyclopedia. The state of Nagaland is one of the most unique places in India. The state is famous for its traditional tribes and for being a world apart from the rest of India.
India is a country like no other and is a place where first-time travelers have a lot to look out for. When you travel with the right expectations, India offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
What to know about the unique state of Nagaland in India
Nagaland is found in the northeastern region of India. With approximately 2 million inhabitants, it is one of the smallest states in India. The state came into being as the 16th state of India in 1963
- Population: 2 millions
- Cut: 16,579 square kilometers (6,401 sq mi)
- Capital: Kohima (largest city in Dimapur)
Nagaland is a mountainous state with excellent hiking in the Dzukou Valley. Nagaland is a lush land of rolling hills, natural caves, forests, wildlife and more.
It should be noted that the northeastern region of India is complicated for tourists. The region has little tourist infrastructure, there are security issues and there are travel restrictions in some parts of the region. Check with the Indian government before your visit to find out if there are any restrictions on foreigners in the area.
Nagaland – Discover a state dominated by traditional tribes
One of the key things that makes Nagaland unique is that it is almost entirely inhabited by Naga tribes. These are traditional tribes in India, and there are 16 Naga tribes in the state (plus four non-Naga tribes).
The sixteen tribes are Ao, Konyak, Sema, Chakhesang, Angami, Lotha, Sangtam, Phom, Chang, Kheimungan, Yimchunger, Zeilang, Rengma, Tikhir, Mokware and Chirr. The four non-Naga tribes are Kuki, Kachari, Garo and Mikir.
Nearly 90% of Nagaland’s population are Christians, but they still protect remnants of their animist culture and ancient traditions. It is one of the few places where India’s two main religions (Hinduism and Islam) constitute only a small minority (about 10%) of the population.
According to Top Tour Guide, the people of Nagaland are friendly. Nagaland is a “land of welcoming and warm Naga”.
Many languages are spoken in Nagaland. Most of the people are Naga whose languages belong to the Sino-Tibetan language family and have no connection with Hindi. No language is spoken natively by more than 15% of the population. The most common language is Konyak, spoken by around a quarter of a million people (12% of the population).
The official language of Nagaland is English.
Organized Nagaland Tribal Tour
Nagaland is not developed for tourism, and perhaps the best way to explore it is with an organized tour. One of the main attractions is its rich mosaic of tribes. Explore the tribes of Nagaland with the Nagaland Tribal Tour and explore the rich tribal culture and their unique way of life.
Learn about daily life in the area, sample local foods, see a bamboo water storage system, and perhaps attend traditional festivals (the Hornbill Festival is a must).
- Duration: 14 days and 13 nights
- Type of trip: road trip
- Price: Ask for a quote
Tour guests can live with the tribes and learn about their unspoilt way of life. Stay in traditional villages, walk through rice paddies, hike in mountains, and more.
Visit the Hornbill Festival
Nagaland is a cultural place with many festivals which are happily celebrated throughout the year, but one such event which makes every individual look forward to is the Hornbill Festival.
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Discover the culture of Nagaland with the famous Hornbill Festival. The festival is named after the famous Hornbill bird which is also prominent in the folklore of the tribes. The tour takes place every year and is celebrated in the first ten days of December in the state capital.
The festival lasts a week and brings together all the inhabitants of Nagaland. Visitors will be able to see colorful shows, crafts, food fairs, ceremonies, games and much more. Handicrafts include wood carvings, sculptures and paintings.
Explore the festival with the Hornbill Festival sightseeing package (6 days and five nights) or do it yourself. The tour also includes nature walks and overnight camping at Seikhakie, a visit to India’s first green village.