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Dimapur: Land of an Ancient Tribe
Dimapur: Land of an Ancient Tribe

Dimapur: Land of an Ancient Tribe

A typical North-Eastern city in the state of Nagaland, Dimapur has always had a thriving tribal culture. It began with the Kachari tribes, who made Dimapur their capital back in the 13th century, and continues now with the Naga tribes who make up the majority of the city’s population. The ruins of Kachari, scattered throughout the city, remain a favourite among most travellers to Nagaland.

Brief History

Dimapur is the ancient capital of the Kachari tribe, whose rule existed before the 13th century AD. Reminiscences of the glory of this kingdom can be found in the ruins that are scattered in and around the town.

These ruins give evidence of a culture that probably had a touch of Hinduism, but were predominantly Non-Aryans. Besides monoliths, Dimapur contains other ruins of temples, embankments and baths.

The District draws its name from the Kachari dialect; ‘di’ – meaning river, ‘ma’ – meaning great or big, and ‘Pur’ – meaning city, together connoting ‘the city near the great river’.

That the Kachari kingdom flourished in Dimapur in the days of old is evident from the existence of the Kachari Rajbari Fort ruins, housing the ancient stone monoliths, and the many excavated tanks dug by the royalty known even today as the Rajpukhuri, Padampukhuri, Bamunpukhuri, Jorpukhuri etc. to name a few. The monoliths represent the elaborate rituals of the cult of fertility.

State/District/Capital

The gateway to Nagaland, Dimapur is an irresistible part of the Northeast and a must-visit travel places. Dimapur in Naga means the ‘the city near a great river.’

Dimapur is a district of Nagaland state in India. Its headquarters is the city of Dimapur.

How to reach Dimapur?

Dimapur connects major cities In India like Kolkata and Guwahati with Nagaland. While it is not very easy, the route to Nagaland is a very picturesque one and worth the effort. Here is how to reach Nagaland:

By Air

Dimapur, at distance of around 75 km from Nagaland, is the closest domestic airport. Dimapur is well-connected to Guwahati and Kolkata. International travelers have to take connecting flights from Kolkata to Dimapur.

By Train

Nearest railway station is Dimapur, which is well-connected to Kolkata and Guwahati.

By Road

One can take a share taxi from Dimapur railway station (Rs 200) and reach Kohima. Direct buses also run daily between Guwahati and Kohima.

When to visit Dimapur?

October to June are the best months to visit Dimapur. Being a hilly place, the weather of Dimapur remains moderate throughout the year. However, the most suitable time to visit Dimapur is October to March which does not receive heavy rainfalls.

Official language

In 1967, the Nagaland Assembly proclaimed Indian English as the official language of Nagaland and it is the medium for education in Nagaland. Other than English, Nagamese, a creole language based on the Assamese, is widely spoken.

Weather

SUMMER (MARCH TO APRIL) – 28°C TO 38°C

Summers starting from March can be a good time to visit the Dimapur. The weather is not so cold, and not hot, just the perfect to go for a sightseeing tour.

MONSOON (MAY TO OCTOBER)- 25°C TO 35°C

With monsoon comes the heavy shower that ultimately adds up to the coolness and breezy winds of this place. Monsoon is not a good time to visit Dimapur as there are more chances of landslides.

WINTER (NOVEMBER TO DECEMBER)- 13°C TO 18°C

Winter is the best time to go for a holiday in Dimapur. Winters are cold here and the temperature can go down to 10°C in winters.

Fairs & Festivals in Dimapur

Amongst the most popular festivals of Nagaland is Hornbill, which is one such festival where almost every tribe of that state takes part. Since agriculture is an important part of Nagaland, one can expect several pre-harvest, harvest, post-harvest and sowing celebrations like Mimkut (by the Kuki tribe), Bushu (by the Kachari tribe), Tsukhenye Festival (by the Chakhesang tribe) and Yemshe (by the Pochury tribe).

Apart from these, the Rengma tribe of Nagaland is known to celebrate thanksgiving and the popular Angami tribe is famed for their purification festival of Sekrenyi.

Transportation/Stay of prefer

Local state transport buses are readily available for getting around Dimapur. Do keep in mind that these buses only travel on certain routes, so do confirm before you plan to board one. Or you can also hire private minibuses or vans for a day trip of sightseeing in Dimapur and even around the city.

Taxis/Cabs

Local taxis are readily available to travel within the city. These taxis don’t come with a meter installed, so the rates are negotiable but be sure to bargain hard as tourists are often quoted higher. Autos are not as common as cabs in the city, but they can be found to take you around for shorter distances, like to the local markets.

Rentals

Mostly you get to hire a car with a driver in the city, as self-driven car/bike rentals are not common in Dimapur. Rental cabs are one of the best modes of transportation within the city for day trips, tours and making your way around its local markets and nearby mountains.

Places to visit in Dimapur

Heritage Sites

  • The kachari ruins is a beautiful place to visit when one goes for a dimapur trip.
  • Diezephe craft village is another beautiful place one should not miss.

Natural Sites

Dimapur is the gateway to Nagaland and is one of the fastest-growing cities in the Northeast region of India. The Dhansiri river flows past the city. The word Dimapur is derived from the Dimasa word, ‘Di’ meaning water, ‘ma’ signifying big or great and ‘Pur’ meaning city. Thus, Dimapur means the city by the great river. 

  • Pere- Peren is the eleventh and the newest district of Nagaland, formed as a result of the bifurcation of Kohima District. It is situated at an altitude of 1446 metres and is the homeland of the Zeliang and Kuki tribes
  • LIPHANYAN GOVERNOR’S CAMP- Situated on the foothills and is 43 km from Dimapur and can be approached from Wokha and offers a splendid view of the river Doyang. It is an ideal spot for rafting, angling, picnics and river camping.
  • INTANGKI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY- The sanctuary is a habitat of animals like elephants, sambars, barking deer, leopards, tigers, sloth bears, rhesus monkeys, wild boars, ghorals, flying squirrels, wild dogs, civet cats, hoolock and wild mithuns, etc. Some rare species of birds are also found here.

Spiritual Sites

  • Sumi town Baptist church. Dimapur Jain temple is very well built and has an impressive structure. So visiting it is a must. Kuzhami Baptist church is yet another beautiful spiritual site in Dimapur.

Cuisines to taste in Dimapur

  • Dried pork is a very popular and staple food there.
  • The same goes for smoked pork stew.
  • Bitter melon is another.

Things to do in Dimapur

Dimapur is unexpected with a wonderful contrast of the stillness that occupies the mountains around it. Bound on one side by the dazzling Dhansiri River, the city is a perfect place to rest for a couple of days before you continue your exploration of Nagaland.

Since Nagaland’s best attraction is its untarnished natural beauty, the treks around Dimapur are a hiker’s delight. You can simply roam the mountains at will- exploring curving mountain roads, clambering up rocks, and taking mud paths to remote villages.

You can also engage in direct trekking routes that take you up to sites like Nichuguard Village, Kuki Dalong Village, Chumukedima, Sethekima Village and Medziphema. Not only is the trek in itself quite magical, the locals are so pleased that it is a pleasure to interact with them. The Rangapahar Reserve is also located near Dimapur and is a fantastic place to explore the natural diversity of Nagaland. Taking a knowledgeable local guide along will not only double your enjoyment of the Reserve but also prove to be an educational experience.

Evenings can be spent looking for interesting products made by the Naga tribes in the local markets. These products are all handmade and give you a good way of taking back memories of the best things to do in Dimapur when you leave.

Souveniers to buy in Dimapur

  • Woven Naga shawls, bamboo mugs, cane carpets, silk mekhela are just a few mentions. Besides, these are some obvious items tourists look for as a takeaway memento.
  • Handicraft and Handloom Emporium is a great place to do some round up’s for something traditional. Here, you can shop for aforementioned items such as different tribal shawls, handmade items, silk clothing’s and ornaments

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