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Kohima: Mosaic of Multi-Ethnicity
Kohima: Mosaic of Multi-Ethnicity

Kohima: Mosaic of Multi-Ethnicity

Kohima, town, capital of Nagaland state, northeastern India. The town lies in the Naga Hills, 30 miles (48 km) southeast of the railroad at Dimapur.

Brief History

  • Kohima, situated in the south at an altitude of 1444m above sea level, occupies pride of place as the capital city of Nagaland. Sharing its borders with Dimapur and Peren District in the West, Zunheboto and Phek District in the East, Manipur State in the South and Wokha District in the North. One of the oldest among the eleven districts of the state, Kohima is the first seat of modern administration as the Headquarters of Naga Hills District (then under Assam).
  • When Nagaland became a full-fledged state on 1st December 1963, Kohima was christened as the capital of the state. Since then, parts of Kohima district have been carved out thrice – the first in 1973 when Phek District was created, then in 1998 Dimapur was carved out and declared as a separate district and it was in 2004 for the third time that Kohima district once again gave birth to one of the youngest districts in the state called Peren District. The name Kohima is derived its name from “KEWHIRA” which is the name of the village where Kohima town is located. Kohima village, also called ‘Bara Basti’ is the second largest village in Asia and forms the North-Eastern part of Kohima Urban area today.

State/District/Capital

Kohima, situated in the south at an altitude of 1444m above sea level, occupies pride of place as the capital city of Nagaland. Sharing its borders with Dimapur and Peren District in the West, Zunheboto and Phek District in the East, Manipur State in the South and Wokha District in the North. One of the oldest among the eleven districts of the state, Kohima is the first seat of modern administration as the Headquarters of Naga Hills District (then under Assam).

How to reach Kohima?

Air:

Kohima does not have an airport. Dimapur Airport, 70 kms away, is the closest airport, with daily flights to Kolkata and Guwahati. The nearest Domestic Airport is Dimapur Airport from Kohima city, roughly 74 Kms from Kohima. Dimapur Airport is well connected to major cities of India like Guwahati, Imphal, Kolkata and Dibrugarh. The second nearest Domestic Airport from Kohima is Imphal Airport, 145 Kms from Kohima. It has regular flights to the places such as Aizawl, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata and Silchar.

Train:

The nearest railway station is in Dimapur, 74 km away from Kohima. Daily trains to major cities in the country are available from here.

Bus/by road:

Kohima is well connected by road network to major cities of India. Kohima is 67 Kms  from Dimapur, 138 Kms from Imphal, 155 Kms from Manipur, 350 Kms from Guwahati, 399 Kms from Tinsukia, 501 Kms from Meghalaya, 535 Kms from Tripura, 560 Kms from Arunachal Pradesh and 656 Kms from Mizoram via Nagaland State Road Transport Corporation (NSRTC) on a regular basis.

When to visit Kohima?

October to May would be the best time to go on a holiday to Kohima. From April onwards, the weather starts getting a little hot, just the perfect time to go for adventure activities.

Official language

Nagamese is the most popularly used language by the people of Kohima. But, then also each of the tribes has their own dialects. The other main languages of Kohima are English and Hindi.

Among the religions in Kohima, Christians hold the majority of about 90%. This happened because of promotion of Christian missionaries during the British era.

Weather

Kohima features a more moderate version of a humid subtropical climate. Kohima has a pleasant and moderate climate – not too cold in winters and pleasant summers. December and January are the coldest months when frost occurs and in the higher altitudes, snowfall occurs occasionally. During peak summer months from July-August, temperature ranges an average of 80-90 Fahrenheit. Heavy rainfall occurs during summer.

Summer Season in Kohima

Kohima experiences hot and dry summers. The temperature ranges from 20°C to 36°C in the months of March to June. It is generally accompanied by rainfalls in the city.

Monsoon Season in Kohima

Kohima receive adequate rainfall during the months of July to October. The place remains drenched all through these months and is marked by greenery all around which makes the place look very beautiful during rainy season.

Winter Season in Kohima

The month of November marks the start of winter season. The temperature is comfortable and lies in the range of 5°C to 30°C. The winter last season lasts till February. Infrequent snowfall is a common sight during these months.

Fairs & Festivals of Kohima

Hornbill festival

An annual jamboree that sweeps the whole of Nagaland every December for 10 days is the Hornbill Festival. Hosted at the Kisama Heritage Village, on the outskirts of Kohima, it brings together the cultural variety of the tribes of Nagaland. The festival hosts almost 16 tribes of Nagaland along with thousands of visitors, who come to watch the grand tribal spectacle unfold in a mesmeric array of activities. one of the largest gatherings in the state, the festival sees a sea of tribal community members dressed in red and black hues, coronets, beads, cowries and kilts. Though from a distance they all look the same, at a closer look, one can distinguish the distinct features of each tribal ensemble.

Sekrenyi

It is a famous festival among the people belonging to the Angami tribe in Nagaland. If you want to visit the festival, you should visit Nagaland in February. It will be a life-altering experience for you if you get to witness the entirety of the festival. This festival is a 10-day long affair that involves food, fun, and festivities.

Aoleang

It is one of the essential harvest festivals in Nagaland. The festival is primarily celebrated by the people of the Konyak tribe in Nagaland. If you want to witness the festival, you should visit Nagaland in April. The festival happens around five days, and you will be able to observe different things each day. It occurs after the harvest of new seeds in the fields of the tribal people, and it also welcomes the new year during spring.

Transportation/stay to prefer

Once you arrived at Kohima of Nagaland, then no worries how to travel in Kohima as there are so many local modes of transportation are available. The most commonly used modes of local transport are Auto rickshaws, taxis and also rented vehicles. Walking through the lane covered with green grassy vegetation on bare foot is also great experience.

Auto Rickshaw

The fastest means of transport which is commonly seen in Kohima are auto rickshaws. The charges are also minimal and no extra charges are claimed for the night. It is advisable to negotiate the rent before hiring any auto rickshaw. Also, any place in Kohima is easily accessed with the help of auto rickshaw.

Taxis

Taxis are also seen in Kohima as local mode of transportation. Travelling to different parts of Kohima is quite sophisticated just because of taxis. The charges of taxis are also normal but bit higher than auto rickshaws. Taxis in Kohima are not metered, so one has to be more careful before hiring taxis.

Rental Vehicles

For the convenience of tourists, there are many shops that provide motor-cycles and bicycles on rent which makes the visit of the people in Kohima more comfortable.

On Foot

Walking leisurely on the bare foot across the roadside in Kohima is great excitement.

Places to visit in Kohima

Heritage sites

Naga heritage sites

Naga Heritage Village also known as Kisama Heritage Village is the only one in Nagaland. The place is wrapped in breathtaking scenic views at the foothills of the lustrous and evergreen hills on the borderline of this village. It is surrounded by all types of flora. Naga Heritage village is rich in its tradition and cultural activities. Being one of the prime tourist attractions, the village sees hundreds of tourists round the year.

War Cemetery, the final resting ground of the soldiers who lost their lives in the England-Japan war.

Another fascinating tourism place in Kohima is State Museum. Located right in the north of the bazaar, the state museum exhibits the excellent anthropological collection of Naga mask, textiles, jewelry, and totem pillars from all the 16 Naga tribes.

Spiritual sites

  • The Mary Help of Christians Cathedral or commonly known as the Kohima Cathedral is a prominent landmark in Kohima. The 16 feet high carved wood crucifix is one of Asia’s largest crosses. It is the biggest Catholic church in Nagaland and was constructed in 1998.
  • There are numerous Protestant churches in Kohima. Kohima Ao Baptist Church and Kohima Lotha Baptist Church are some of the biggest churches in Kohima. The Kohima Jain Temple, the oldest Jain temple in North East India was established in 1920.

Cuisines to taste in Kohima

The local cuisine in Kohima is majorly dominated by spicy, colorful, delicious and a bit adventurous non-vegetarian food. The state has a somewhat western dominated eating style. Pork, beef, mutton, chicken and also lots of jungle animals are consumed here.

  • Bamboo shoot is used as an ingredient in almost the whole of the North-Eastern part of India. It is majorly used in pork preparation. The Bamboo shoot is used in dried as well as fermented form. It adds a little sour flavour to the dishes.
  • Axone that is also known as Akhuni, is widely used by almost every household in Nagaland. It comes in powdered form and is also available in cake form. There are many uses for these fermented soyabeans.
  • Anishi is a name associated with Colocasia that is also known as Arbi in Hindi. It is an important ingredient as well. Aikibeye is another infamous dish that majorly comprises of Mustard leaf and Colocasia roots.

Things to do in Kohima

  • Nagaland tribal tour.
  • Nagaland cultural tour.
  • Dzukou valley trek.
  • Nagaland winter tour.

Souvenirs to buy in Kohima

  • Kohima is a great place to stock up on handicrafts like vibrant woollen Naga shawls with traditional tribal motifs. Choose from Angami tribal shawls with animal patterns.
  • Bone jewellery, black metal craft, bamboo curios and Phom Black pottery are some of the things one can take back from Kohima.

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