North East India

Nagaland Travel Guide – The Dialogues Diaries™

India’s North East is opening up to host an increasing number of travelers. The Dialogue Diaries™, an interview platform by Backpacking Series, is delighted to feature opinions of residents from the region. In this interaction, Motsuthung Yanthan, a proud young resident of the state, shares his candid thoughts and sticky anecdotes, and leaves you with compelling recommendations in this Nagaland travel guide.

What stands out for you about Northeast India?

Well, I hope it counts that I have lived in Northeast India, my entire life. Though I haven’t gone around in every part of the region, you would know something about your neighborhood without visiting or even asking for it. So, here are my top three things on this list.

The Greens

Northeastern states are usually more green than concretes. For most part, you don’t come here expecting sky-scrappers and bright lights everywhere. You come here with the hope to reunite with nature, experience the ongoing shift from traditional livelihood options to modernity, and explore various kinds of cultures and traditions all packed in a small region.

One thing anyone can guarantee you in this part of the world is green. Everywhere you go, green follows you. No wonder, the top 3 Indian states with the highest percentage cover of forest are Northeastern states.

For instance, check out the view of Doyang river (above), the largest river in the Nagaland, which lies mainly in Wokha district. It is the famous resting area for the migratory Amur Falcons which comes from Siberia (in the first week of November every year) and leaves for Africa.

Diversity of People

Skin color may differ from state to state ranging from rosy cheeks to yellow to dark, languages may differ from state to state ranging from a more Hindi-like to ‘Khalang-Phalang’ to ‘Ching-chong’, taxi drivers’ attitudes may differ from person to person ranging from “Give me the actual fare” to “Aww you are so nice. Just give me only actual fare multiplied by 100” to “I don’t care if you miss your flight, I want 10 times the fare“, but Green is guaranteed and You. Will. Love. It.:)

Style Factor

The fashion sense among majority of the Northeastern youths is really impressive, compared with rest of the country (please don’t accuse me of losing modesty – my fellow Indians keep saying that themselves).

We sort of inherit our clothing sense from the east Asian countries like South Korea and Japan, and you know how they are. Being able to get half of what they are is still very impressive. I literally feel like a clown here and when I go to places like New Delhi, I feel like a fashion model, walking down the dusty streets with no money under the gray jeans (that looks great!) with a brown leather shoe.

There are many more things that stand out about India’s Northeast, but what’s anything without a suspense. Even life itself is. I have lived my entire 23 years in Nagaland. My state ranks 3rd in percentage cover of forest among states in India. So, as I said earlier, green is your goggles!

How’s the culture and lifestyle of Nagaland, your home state?

Helpful People

This is where I drop all modesty and wear my pride hat! If you have been to this part of the world, you’d know a thing or two about the people and agree with me. Yes, every society has the good ones and the bad ones, but if it’s about the average, they are kind and ready to help you – just ask. People are generally, very hospitable.

Proud People

We don’t walk around half naked in our traditional attires with spears and machetes and head gears and ornaments, like they show you on the internet when you google about tribal people in the northeast. On the contrary, we dress-up with modern clothes and, as I said before, are even considered stylish by our fellow Indians.

There are very rich people earning lakhs (hundreds of thousands) and there are very poor people earning nothing. But, I can say this with 99.99% confidence that you won’t see a local beggar. As any tribal community, we are very proud of our traditions and practices (except headhunting!), and we are always ready to flaunt these on occasions and events.

What About Naga Headhunters, You Ask?

I met a backpacker a couple years back. Me and my friends were traveling from Delhi to Dimapur on a very shitty train and a foreigner was in the same cabin. We became friends. He said he was going to Nagaland (where we were / are from) in order…to meet…the headhunters there. LoL We were like “dude..don’t tell me you read a 17th century documentary thinking it was that day’s newspaper!” haha..no we didn’t tell him that.

We just kindly informed him that the practice had been done away with since centuries. Yet he was persistent to know more. So we advised him to visit Mon, a remote corner of the state, and see if anything worthy enough could be found, because Konyaks (the tribe inhabiting Mon district) were the last ones who practiced headhunting. Oh and, before saying goodbyes at Dimapur station, he tried Guthka (chewing tobacco) for the first time with us and he just loved it. Haha!

What are some popular food and drinks from Nagaland, Northeast India?

The Taste of Pork

Pork is popular. Very popular. If you ask around: “What’s special?”, you will probably get “Pork with this” and “Pork with that” everywhere. Every tribe has its own recipe of making curries and offers a peculiar pork delicacy – example pork with Anishi by The Ao tribe, pork with Axone by The Sumi tribe, and so on. In fact, daily staple food of the Naga includes rice, boiled veggies, hot chili, and pork curry!

Fermented Flavors

If you go to a Lotha tribe’s restaurant, for example, you are most likely get pork with bastenga (a soft bamboo offshoot either smashed or sliced or both); and if you go to a Sumi tribe’s restaurant you are most likely to be served with Pork cooked with axone – almost decayed wet beans that might smell horrible initially but, as you start to “embrace” it, eventually becomes heavenly.

Zutho

I have been waiting to say this, you have to try what we call “Thutse” (served in bamboo tumblers) and “Zutho”. These are local brews that not only taste wonderful but gives you wings way bigger than the wings redbull has ever given you. But you won’t find these drinks easily. Not many people know how to source these.

If you listen to me and come to Nagaland during December (and January too), you will find yourselves in the midst of Hornbill festival celebrations or “night bazaars” or other social gatherings and that’s where you will find them. Note by Backpacking Series: At the time of this interview, except for the traditional brews offered during festivals, Nagaland is a prohibition state. Beware of carrying alcohol on you when visiting. Know more about faux pas in northeast India.

Last year during Hornbill festival, we had a tourist who had passed out on a footpath after drinking too much Zutho. I felt sad for her but I didn’t go and pick her up – because I saw her only as an image on my phone. That picture probably went through thousands of other phones before it reached me. Poor lady. I’m sure somebody must’ve helped her get back to her hotel and warned her not to drink so much again and she probably didn’t listen because damn, those brews sure are addictive.

Nevertheless, if you can handle yourself (i.e. if your cerebellum is strong enough to keep in the right balance), these drinks don’t harm your body. On the contrary, we consider these good for health. Angamis are the healthiest people in Nagaland. I don’t know why but Zutho and Thutse have their origins from them, so go figure it yourself.

What is it that a first-time visitor might notice about Nagaland?

Nagaland has few of the most beautiful places on earth – some of which are chronicled here. But. Let me play the devil’s advocate. How? Let’s see. The first thing you would notice as you enter the state is the road (and the bridges – featured). The roads here are like a paddy field in the summer and a rocky desert in winters! I guarantee you would say, “Wow God bless these roads”, as you bump and turn and roll inside your vehicle. Haha

A couple years back, a European cyclist who had been traveling the world for the last 2 years on her bike, went through the state and commented that Nagaland has the worst roads in the world, and hey, who could be a right-er person to say that! It’s not a good thing but what’s the point if all you hear from me are nice things and the first thing you come and witness is a no-go.

But there’s good news: the government has started developing the wonderful 4 lane highways. Even at it’s half-way completion-mark, the infrastructure is starting to look beautiful and we are really excited about it. For now, enjoy the bumpy rides.

What is the best time to visit Nagaland and why?

The best time to visit the state is December-January. Because summer could be a little harsh in Nagaland. Besides, winter is filled with festivals and events and parties. 90% of the population is Christian so December and January are the only months where decorations fill every corner and people are in a celebratory mood.

More reasons? Well, Nagaland is called “The Land of Festivals” and even within these festivals, is the biggest, most colorful, most exotic, most anticipated, popular worldwide, THE HORNBILL FESTIVAL, aka Festival of Festivals which is held from 1st to 10th December every year. The festival is organized at The Heritage Village of Nagaland called Kisama (see above), which is about an hour’s drive from Kohima, Nagaland’s capital.

Nagaland has 16 recognized tribes and each of them have at least one tribal festival each. Each of them are hugely celebrated and people give their time and money and energy to make every event huge. Okay now think about if all of them are combined and made into a single event – that’s Hornbill festival. It features all the tribes, plus western and East Asian cultures.

As you enter the venue of Hornbill, you’ll see “Window of Nagaland” written on the gate. That’s the most accurate line – because you get to peek into each and every tribe of Nagaland, their dances, their songs, the food, their sports, their attires. They also organize competitions like Naga King chili (once considered the hottest in the world) eating competition, bamboo climbing (while both the climber and the bamboo are covered in mustard oil) and also pork-fat eating competition.

Come and witness one of these, you’d be surprised. Thousands of tourists attend the festival all around the globe. You are welcome too.

What would a helpful Nagaland travel guide look like?

Guided Tours vs Backpacking Nagaland

If I were a tourist visiting Nagaland, I would opt for guided tours in order to have more fun. Backpacking might get a little difficult sometimes. The roads are not in good condition, hitch-hiking doesn’t usually work (unless it’s on trucks), and you may miss out on the best tourist spots in Nagaland, because there’s good distance between them.

You don’t want to be backpacking without proper plans going to and fro between places that could’ve been all visited as a circuit. Dorms or hostels aren’t popular yet. Probably because there aren’t many tourists here round the year. A guided tour would sort things for you.

But that’s the case everywhere – guided tours are awesome and you have fun but you always end up following someone’s back. That’s not adventurous. If you don’t want that, go backpacking and enjoy the few places that you visit to the fullest extent!

Of course, besides the adventure, backpacking can be budget friendly – be it public transport, local food, or guest houses. Let’s say for instance you have landed in Dimapur, and to go to Kohima by bus it’ll cost you a mere INR 120. The bus stops in the middle of Kohima, and so, if you want a hotel, it’s right there. A cheap yet good enough meal (rice, dal and meat) will again cost less than INR 200.

So if you manage to find a hotel in Kohima that costs INR 500 (budget guest houses are available but may not be in very good condition) and you eat two meals a day, you spend only INR 900 on basic needs in THE CAPITAL of Nagaland.

Travel Permits to Nagaland

If you are not from Nagaland, you would need a travel permit (Indian nationals) or a police registration on arrival (foreigners). Permits are a legacy since 1873. It’s relaxed for Dimapur district but not elsewhere (in the state). You can acquire one easily. Note by Backpacking Series: Know more about travel permits to Nagaland.

Getting to Nagaland and Getting Around

You don’t have much of an option here. Nagaland has only one airport which is in Dimapur, and one railway station which is also in Dimapur. Also, if you are coming by road from anywhere west of Sikkim, you reach Dimapur first.

Travel Hack: FYI, Dimapur is the commercial district of the state – things couldn’t be cheaper elsewhere. Now, you would want to move on to other parts of the state after buying all your stocks and supplies you can get from Dimapur.

I know many travelers love to get to a colder region, soon! So, the next place you will go is Kohima, the capital district. There are beautiful places to visit in and around Kohima – Khonoma the green village, Dzukou valley, Dzulekie spot, Pulie Badze National Park, Mt. Japfu, Kisama – The Heritage Village, etc. To travel in Nagaland, you can either take a taxi or bus. There aren’t any rental cars or bikes available as of now. It’s basically only buses and taxis from anywhere to everywhere else.

I don’t think hitchhiking usually works here, especially in private cars. There have been many incidents of people forced with ill fate after meeting strangers like this. Trust factor is weak now. But I have seen tourists hitchhiking trucks- they just hop onto the back of the trucks and go – maybe because the truck driver too wants to be nice and feel safe at the same time!

Travel Tip: When you take a ride on a taxi or bus, don’t forget to ask other passengers how much the rate is before you ask anything to the driver or the ticket dealers.

Identify Local Contacts in Nagaland

One thing I would suggest tourists is to have a trusted local person to negotiate things for you when visiting Nagaland. I don’t know why but considerable number of small or big business people think tourists always have lots of money and may charge you more. So, let a local do the talking – whether it be for transportation or lodging or food at a restaurant.

However, prices for many things shoot up during festive seasons for everyone irrespective of “We live in the same neighborhood man!” or tourists.

Is Nagaland Safe for Travel?

Obviously, no place is perfect. And, I do not like to sugarcoat things. If it’s not a major town you are in, remember that villages and the smaller towns are usually separated by jungles or not-so-populated roads. It would be better if you avoid traveling around here at night. Why? Because Nagaland and few other northeast Indian states are still faced with insurgency problems and you never know what may happen to you until it does and you wont have no chances no more. Be safe.

That said, I do not intend to scare you off. It’s more of a precaution. Otherwise, Nagaland has been ranked as one of the safest states in the entire country in terms of crime rates. Remember that people here live with virtues, dignity, and pride. You would feel safe and protected even if you are traveling solo. Note by Backpacking Series: Know more about travel safety in northeast India.

What are the dos and donts for visitors in Nagaland?

Don’t Ask for Money

Don’t just ask money, we don’t trust you (anymore). It’s definitely not you that we don’t trust but…there have been many frauds that act as tourists to take money from others.

I have experienced a variation of such potential scams: me and my friends were hanging out one evening when two guys, carrying huge backpacks, came up. They sure looked like travelers. They said their wallets have been stolen and don’t have even a single paisa to go back. They kept saying they aren’t getting any kind of help and, after talking for few minutes, requested for a small, a tiny amount.

We said we didn’t have money on us and wondered how a piddly sum (what they requested for) would help them get back anyway. Then my friend suggested them to consult a police station really nearby and we offered to guide them there…because, for stolen wallets, what’s a better help than the police? They were like totally firm on not going there. When we insisted on the police, they fled like we were zombies. The neighborhood was abuzz with such stories for some time and, we had doubts early on, and eventually they proved us right.

If you really do need that kind of help, I’m sure you would seem genuine. Note by Backpacking Series: Know more about faux pas in northeast India.

Do Interact with Locals

Speak with the locals. You can ask as many questions as you want and people would still take out their time to talk to you and help you. Most people understand and speak English. In fact, English is Nagaland’s official language. But many would shy away from the language because we don’t usually use English for our day today conversations, and it sure would get them nervous to try it on fluent speakers.

Anyways, I hope you find a young person to talk to, because they probably speak as good as native speakers now.

What’s your bucket list for North East India?

  • Cherrapunji, Meghalaya: This was considered the wettest place on earth. Who wouldn’t wanna be somewhere that holds an exclusive distinction .. But it’s not just that, it also has the living root bridge – a sight to see, and of course, a bridge to walk, made by mother nature herself.
  • Kaziranga National Park, Assam: This is a national park famous for its one-horned rhinos, a vulnerable species. And since it’s huge, going around here is a full holiday in itself. Sure deserves a line in the bucket list.
  • Dzukou Valley, Nagaland: What’s a bucket list without a point for trekking in Dzukou valley in Kohima. The serenity is like nowhere else, the vast valley of greens and flowers. It’s awesome. Recently, someone organized hiking in the valley at INR 999 per person per night. Quite reasonable.

What’s a message you want to leave your readers with?

The Northeast Indian region has so much to teach you in it’s own ways. You can’t come here and leave without feeling wiser in some way. The northeastern people have so much to show you that no amount of reading on the internet (many thanks for reading this interview though! Haha) can educate you even half of it.

Whether it is a good or a bad thing that you have read or heard somewhere about India’s Northeast, don’t just sit back and buy it (not even from me). Be a part of it and form your own opinions. You are always welcome here:)

Instagrammer , Motis Beck
I am an enthusiastic youth living in a small town of Nagaland - one of the beautiful and green eight northeastern states of India. I have dreams and aspirations to make the lives of the people around me a little better and so I first wish to become a civil servant. At the same time, I want to make my life interesting each day! That's where traveling-the-world kicks-in...starting with the 7 Wonders. Wish me luck - I just might see you in your part of the world:) Meanwhile, follow what I write on Quora.

Think North East India

For those who do not know, North East India comprises of eight states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. The Himalayas and its waters define the region’s terrain, climate, rich biodiversity, and the peculiar indigenous lifestyles her people follow.

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That North East India is bound by Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet to the north, Bangladesh to the south and west, and Myanmar to the east hints at the eclectic mix of cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity. This is where elements of Asia come together to do what they do best – cast a spell.

The region’s innate charms have remained under-explored. Travelers, who figure out how to backpack in Northeast India, find gems such as Dzükou Valley all to themselves. Importantly, the hospitable people of the region make sure that visitors take back the choicest of memories.

Meanwhile, pick up a copy of Backpacking North East India: A Curious Journey. It covers over two dozen places and attempts to answer the question – what is it like to travel in the region? Give it a read and make your own choices.

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Have you been to or live in India’s North East? Come, let’s talk about your experiences and help someone follow your footsteps! Click The Dialogue Diaries™ for details and to get started.

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90 thoughts on “Nagaland Travel Guide – The Dialogues Diaries™

  1. Wow. Yes I totally agree with you on the style factor. I just love the way everyone carry themselves in any outfit. And also that the Northeast is blessed with Mother Nature’s innate touch and the natives too respect that. Just love the simple aura of the places. ❤️❤️

  2. This is a great guide and I just love the way you get locals to talk about their states. Gives us such a broader perspective. I have never been to Nagaland but would love to visit once. Hopefully, when the roads get nicer. Haha. And that bit with the fashion sense. Well, that is so true!

  3. These places look so simple and beautfiul. I am sure you are right about the kind people, I believe it’s an experience like no other. Thank you for mentioning how to get there, that can be very helpful.

  4. I visited Nagaland last year and had a blast. I absolutely loved the Naga pork, it’s one of the tastiest things I ever tried! The people were so warm and welcoming too. I would definitely want to visit again. Thank you for sharing this article, it brought back a lot of nice memories.

    1. Wow, glad to hear someone with an experience in the region. Thanks for commenting. We hope you are making plans to visit again in the near future.

  5. I have never visited Nagaland. So interesting to learn more about it through the stories and anecdotes of Motsuthung. I am fascinated by this lush and green region of India and the people who live there, and how the local fashion has references to South Korea and Japan, that’s very surprising!! Funny about the backpacker looking for headhunters! For me, I’m interested in the landscapes, the people and definitely the food.

  6. I am in love with this north east india series. I wish I had been to this part of India and could pour in my thoughts too. This is probably the first blog I read about Nagaland, even among the enderexplored north eastern states, this remains the most unexplored. I agree the comment about fashion sense of north east people. I think they bring in all the cool hairstyles to the rest of India!

    1. haha yes hairstyles. Fun fact: Even just a few decades back, our forefathers used bowls to cut their hair and all the men had the same hairstyle 😉 some older folks still do that.
      Thank you for your comment. I hope you remain interested in knowing about this part of India more.

  7. I have lived in India for sometime but never had the opportunity to travel to Nagaland. Indeed every where you go there is a lot go greenery and one of the reasons I would love to visit now as there is not many places like this left in India the food is another reason why I would like to visit. I like the way you have described the diversity in the land from rosy cheeks to yellow to dark and the best is the different languages you say has an array from more Hindi-like to ‘Khalang-Phalang’ to ‘Ching-chong’. would love to make it to Nagaland on my next visit to India

  8. I really enjoyed learning so much about Nagaland. I’ll admit that I didn’t know very much about this part of India, and it sounds absolutely lovely! I was surprised to learn that 90% of the population is Christian and that the official language is English. This sounds like a great destination for a unique cultural experience. I would love to visit!

  9. This was a great read. I love your description of the fashion styles of Nagaland and how you feel walking around in Delhi, very funny. A great way to introduced lots of concepts to your readers about what to expect when visiting Nagaland. Very cool.

  10. I took my maiden trip to the North East last year, and fell in love with it. There is a uniqueness in the whole region, something quite uncommon elsewhere. Be it the cultural diversity, or the yummy food, or the mesmerising nature, its completely out of the world.

  11. Is this one area of India I really want to go to and explore as the region looks beautiful but this is a great guide about what to expect from the locals which I will take in knowledge for when I do go. I really do want to check out the nature here and hike some trails.

  12. What a comprehensive post on Nagaland (and NE India in general)! I’ve never been to India before but am definitely a lot more intrigued about NE India after reading your post! I’m a big outdoorsy/nature person so I love that Nagaland is so green. I also love how diverse the region is. I’d love to meet some locals and learn more about the culture there.

  13. I absolutely love learning about destinations through the eyes of locals. No one can do a place more justice than a resident who knows it inside out which is why I really enjoyed Motsuthung’s interview so much! I’ve never been to NE India but he’s got me curious about this region, I hope to visit one day!

    1. I also hope you visit Nagaland one day(soon) 🙂 It’s a small region and budget friendly. So, not much planning required. Just be at the right time and right places, both of which are already mentioned in the interview. Thanks for the valuable comment.

  14. Thank you for introducing me to Northeast India. I’ve never heard about the Nagaland before. It’s refreshing to hear about the greenery and the diversity of people and culture in this area. I would love to visit Kaziranga National Park and the Dzukou Valley for trekking.

  15. I’ve never been to India, but this blog always get me dreaming about it and hoping it will happen soon. I always learn something new here, and I’m curious to one day get to experience first-hand all that Nagaland has to offer.

  16. I’ve yet to visit India, but the way you describe Nagaland makes it high on my wish list to visit! I love how you’ve described the green and also the food, always important!

  17. Nagaland sounds like an interesting state to visit! I love reading this interview with a local because it shows from their perspective what they think are the best places to visit rather than any kind of marketing campaign! I’d love to visit Nagaland for 3 main reasons (and the interview has confirmed those are the three most important ones) – the food (I’ve never heard of Zutho but would love to try), the landscapes and the lovely people. Oh and yeah, people from Nagaland DO have a great fashion sense, no doubt!

    1. Thank you Medha, for the fusillade of compliments 🙂 I hope your possible visit to Nagaland is as interesting as you found this interview to be.

  18. Such a great and detailed guide to Nagaland! I had never even heard of it before but it sounds like a great place to explore, try new foods and talk to locals. Definitely adding it to my bucket list!

  19. This is a really great summary of Nagaland, especially the cultural aspects. You can tell that it is an area you really know and love. I like that you provide a lot of helpful hints for those not familiar.

  20. I love reading information about countries I didn’t know too much about that manage to surprise me. I love how versatile India is and learning about Nagaland proved just that! It’s definitely a place I’d like to visit someday especially if there are any group tours to join in!

    1. There’s not many tourists in Nagaland round the year. The main tourists season is winter- November- January is when they flock in. Travel agents should organize the groups. Best wishes.

  21. Great article, a good friend of mine married a girl from here and it seems like a fantastic place to visit. We will have to take them up on the offer to go over.

  22. I loved learning about the Hornbill Festival. The one festival for all 16 tribe that lasts for 10 days. Yup, that sounds like a very efficient trip. Maybe I could even try some Zutho and Thutse when I’m there. Great stuff.

  23. As a chef who specializes in global cuisine, I have done a lot of research and presented recipes from the northeast states and when I did, it intrigued me so much to learn about this little known corner of the world. Your post has made me want to visit and experience the culture even more so.

  24. The view of the Doyang River is great! And best of all there’s hiking in Dzukou Valley! That is our kind of travel and adventure. We would love to visit there. 🙂

  25. Great! Experience of the place through the local. What else one could need? Reading your articles increase my desire of visiting North-East regions of India. And definitely, your blog would be of great help to me. Thanks for sharing such first-hand experiences. Keep the good work.

    1. Thank you Subhasan. Comments like yours are motivating. We hope you make visit to this place someday soon. Good luck.

  26. Northeast India sounds right up my alley…beautiful natural scenes, authentic regional foods, and cultural diversity. Thanks for sharing your insider’s perspective. In my experience, the best information about a travel destination almost always comes from the locals!

  27. I have to see many regions in India. I just been to Uttarakhand and wanna travel all sides of India one by one. This a very helpful guide indeed.

  28. Reuniting with nature is a good idea. With the usual daily grind and stress, it would be awesome to take a break from all the skycrapers and bright lights.

    Would definitely love to visit the Northen states. The green surroundings would be a wonderful change.

    1. The vast areas of cities where the sky scrappers and concretes stand today were all once green and beautified by nature. We don’t know what the future of our green here holds- because fate can also contradict our wishes(the wish here to keep it green forever). You noticed a beautiful part of the entire article, and therefore I urge you to do what it says and be with nature even for a while no matter where it is.

  29. Im loving this, Backpacking Series. It’s always nice to hear about a place from the locals themselves. Usual traveler blogs can be inaccurate especially when describing the people. Thank you for featuring this. Now we know how to act when we travel to this place.

  30. Nagaland is a place I want to explore next in India. It’s such an interesting read from the perspective of a local in Nagaland. I would love to check out the hiking trails there. Bookmarking this for my future reference. Thank you!

    1. Wow. Your words are achievements for us. All the best for your plan. I’ll be pleased to help you with any kind of questions you might have before or during your visit in Nagaland. I’m here.

  31. Northeast India is a very interesting place, where Indian and Southeast Asian civilizations meet together. It is in my bucket plan since long time. Actually I have included this area as a part of a long South Asia on land route, passing through India and proceeding to Myanmar. Waiting for the time to enjoy this green place with unique people!

    1. You are right Krasen. This region is also regarded as a bridge between the mainland India and the ASEAN countries in political and economic as well as social perspective.
      Fun fact: the house of the Angh(village head) in Longwa village of Mon district(of Nagaland) is literally right in the border of India and Myanmar, such that his living room and the kitchen are separated by an international border. Lol. very interesting how he lives in two countries at the same time.
      Best wishes for your plans.

  32. These are some great first hand tips from a local resident! NE has been on my wishlist for a long time now and this article only increases that itch. I love how green everything there is and it’s so good to hear about the infrastructure being developed. Thank you for sharing such a useful resource of information, I’ll make sure to pass this on to anyone who’s visiting this side of India!

  33. I have never been to north east part of India and after reading your post I regret of not touring it. I really like the way people in Nagaland carry themselves and I have heard many good stories from my aunt who lived there for many years . Truly, Nagaland is blessed with Mother Nature and nicest people I have ever known

    1. Thank you so much Aareeba. I hope you could take some time out in the near future to undo what’s making you feel regretful. 🙂 Best wishes.

  34. This is so interesting – another part of India I’ve never heard of before and that looks like it’s not to be missed. I especially love the main picture with the greenery – it looks like a super-soft carpet I’d love to lay down on. Thanx for this very inspiring and informative post.

    1. The main picture you are talking about is Dzukou valley in Kohima, the capital district of Nagaland. We’re glad now you know about this place, that too very well. Thank you for commenting.

  35. I have been aiming to visit Northeast and I did have my first tryst with Arunachal Pradesh. I wanted to come for Hornbill but things dint fall in place. However, it was lovely getting introduced with Nagaland through your post. I totally agree when you say that greens is everywhere and fashion sense of Northeastern people is unique and different. As far as Nagaland is concerned, I want to explore Kohima and trek to Dzoukou Valley.

    1. Well you are going in the right direction Manjulika. Kohima has so much more tourist spots and trekking Dzukou while visiting Nagaland is like going to Machu Picchu while visiting Peru- you have to 😉 Thank you

  36. What a refreshing, honest introduction to Nagaland. You had me hooked when you mentioned how green the states are. Always green, with a smaller population. That sound great to me. And pork is used in most dishes. Sounds perfect to me. I would enjoy visiting the Hornbill Festival or visiting any time during December and January, when so many decorations are on display.

  37. OMG! I’ve been to the north of India and it was one of my favorite place of ALL TIME! Really, he said it, you can’t come to india without leaving wiser! I did not go to Nagaland, but now you make me want to go back to india and add this reagion to my itinerary!!!

    1. Yes, and I ask you to come back to India and add this region in your list Julie 😉 Thank you. All the best. See you soon..hehe

  38. North East India is so appealing. The Dzukou Valley of Nagaland sounds fascinating to me. How does it work for people who prefer softer half day-hikes instead of serious trekking?

    1. I guess it’s neither but in between- because after getting to the last point a vehicle can go, you gotta trek for 4-5 hours. It’s steep but it’s just steps, which are in good condition. It’s not very tough. Camping there is the best part.

  39. We’ve never heard about Nagaland and it really looks very green (almost like our home country Luxembourg! haha…) It’s good to know that roads are not good and that there are jungles between villages (again like here: lots of forests between villages and cities). And it’s really interesting to see that people from the Northeast of India actually look more like Chinese or SE Asian than the locals from Southern India. If you hadn’t said that Nagaland is in India, we would have thought that it’s somewhere in China!

    1. Yes, we get that alot. Most of the Northeastern Indians are of the Mongolian race and the rest are mostly either Indo-Aryan or Dravidian race(the latter being the southern Indians you talked about). Nevertheless, we are all united by our Constitution and our nationality, making India shine through the pool of diversity and variation.

  40. It sounds like a wonderful place, thank you for providing such an in-depth detail of the style, the people and even the faux pas. I sometimes think of crowded cities when I think of India. This sounds so peaceful and your photographs are very enticing.

    1. You are not wrong about what you think- Mumbai has a population density of 31,700 people per square kilometer, New Delhi has a density of 11,297 p/sKm. Nagaland has a density of only 119 p/sKm and it’s capital Kohima also has only 183 p/sKm. So, like I said, reuniting with nature is what a tourist can expect. Thank you for your comment Drew. Best wishes.

  41. I didn’t know how green it would be! For being so far north, especially, I didn’t expect that. But that sounds beautiful, and a wonderful way to escape those big city skycrapers. Also interesting how diverse it is, particularly the strong Asian influence. And pork! I’m sure there are other parts of India where it would be very rare to find pork as such a big staple in the local diet.

    1. Every single word of your comment emphasizes on how diverse the country is, and it is so beautiful that way.
      Speaking of Asian influence(btw we are asians too Lol), some K-pop celebrities are in Kohima to attend the Hornbill festival this time. The girls are dying for them- poor guys like me have only to sit here and tell about it to foreigners.
      Thanks for your beautiful comment Juliette.

  42. Wow! I’m loving this series. North Eastern states have always been fascinating and now reading through each and every post in your series, this is just pushing me to plan my trip.
    Of all the NE states, I indeed have a peculiar fascination for Nagaland. Its the place I learnt about way too many tribes, their textiles, their ornaments and even the traditional babywearing etc.

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