The State of Nagaland the uncontested ‘wild east’ of India was formally inaugurated on December 1st, 1963, as the 16th State of the Indian Union. It borders the state of Assam to the west, Arunachal Pradesh and part of Assam to the north, Burma to the east and Manipur to the south. The state capital is Kohima, and the largest city is Dimapur. The State inhabited by 16 major tribes - Ao, Angami, Chang, Konyak, Lotha, Sumi, Chakhesang, Khiamniungan, Dimasa Kachari, Phom, Rengma, Sangtam, Yimchunger, Thadou, Kuki, Zeme-Liangmai (Zeliang) and Pochury along with other sub-tribes.
Each tribe is distinct in character from the other in terms of customs, language and dress.It has an area of 16,579 square kilometres (6,401 sq mi) with a population of 1,980,602 per the 2011 Census of India, making it one of the smallest states of India.
It is a land of folklore passed down the generations through word of mouth. Here, music is an integral part of life; folk songs eulogising ancestors, the brave deeds of warriors and traditional heroes; poetic love songs immortalising ancient tragic love stories; Gospel songs that touch your soul (should you have a religious bend of mind) or the modern tunes rendered exquisitely to set your feet a-tapping.
Each of the 16 odd tribes and sub-tribes that dwell in this exotic hill State can easily be distinguished by the colourful and intricately designed costumes, jewellery and beads that they adorn. The present generation of Nagas have ventured into fashion designing in a big way, reproducing fabrics that represent the ancestral motifs blended with modern appeal. Indeed, it is a beautiful mix of the past with the present,a paradise for those who are into fashion designing. This is an affluent fashion station of the East.
The traditional ceremonial attire of each tribe is in itself, an awe inspiring sight to behold; the multicoloured spears and daos decorated with dyed goats hair, the headgear made of finely woven bamboo interlaced with orchid stems, adorned with boar's teeth and hornbill's feathers, elephant tusk armlets. In days of yore every warrior had to earn each of these items through acts of valour, to wear them.
Nature could not have been kinder to Nagaland, sometimes referred to as the Switzerland of the East; the exquisitely picturesque landscapes, the vibrantly colourful sunrise and sunset, lush and verdant flora, this is a land that represents unimaginable beauty, moulded perfectly for a breath taking experience.
Its people belong to the Indo-Mongoloid stock, whose ancestors lived off nature's abundant gifts, blessed with sturdy formidable dispositions. Above all, the people here are warmhearted and extremely hospitable.
Nagaland is blessed with salubrious climate throughout the year and one can visit it anytime. If one is looking for a quiet getaway, from the hustle and bustle of city life, it provides the right ambience; as life here is laidback and slow - providing a tension free life.
For the adventurous and the intrepid, Nagaland is an ideal place for trekking, rock climbing, jungle camping and offers limitless exploration possibilities in its lush and verdant sub-tropical rain forests which are also a treasure trove of a plethora of medicinal plants.
Nagas, by nature, are lovers of fun and frolic and here life is one long festival.
The Nagas with their joie de vivre, dance and songs are a part and parcel of all their festivities. Most of their dances are performed with a robust rhythm.
Language and religion - English is in predominant use. Nagaland is one of three states in India where the population is mostly Christian.
How to Reach Nagaland :
Travel to Nagaland by Air: Dimapur, the capital city of Nagaland has a domestic airport, which is regularly serviced by major airlines. The city is connected to the important cities like Kolkata and Guwahati by air.
Travel to Nagaland by Rail: Dimapur Railway Station is well linked to Guwahati, which is in turn connected to all major cities of India by important trains.
Travel to Nagaland by Road: A good network of roads connect Kohima to Shillong and Guwahati, which are important cities in Northeastern India. Other cities and towns of Nagaland are linked to Kohima by road.
Travel in Nagaland :
Nagaland State Transport operates regular buses from Dimapur, to Kohima. Many private travel agencies run luxury buses connecting all the state capitals of North Eastern region. Mini Coaches, Jeeps, and unmetered taxies are also available at negotiable rates depending on the distances traveled.