So much of the beauty in travel lies in the diversity of cultures that one can come across in a journey. With 17 major tribes and many more sub-tribes, Nagaland proves to be one of the most culturally diverse states in India. A region with an incredibly rich treasure trove of natural and cultural heritage filled with stories passed down through folklore- stories of love and war, of gains and losses and of kingdoms and tribes- all waiting to be heard and passed down generations.
With each tribe having their own unique set of dialects, customs, food and attire, we would say it would take a few years, if not decades, to claim to have travelled and experienced all that Nagaland has to offer. Join us in one of the chapters in what could be an ongoing journey of exploring Nagaland over time as we take you through some of the most beautiful destinations in the state.
The major tribe that you will be exposed to in this belt is the “Angami” tribe – Historically, a community of warriors with an efficient understanding of land usage which is seen through the terraced farming practiced majorly in the region. Experts of their primary occupation, agriculture, the green fingers that people are blessed with in this region show their results as you pass by households and farms filled with colours of nature. Prepare to be fascinated with this short journey to the Naga hills of the Eastern Himalayan Range.
Meet with our team in Dimapur in the morning before you make your way up to the Naga Hills. Your drive to your stay in Khonoma will take you around 3 hours. Upon arrival, settle into your rooms and grab a quick lunch before you set out to explore the village on foot. Popularised as “Asia’s first Green Village”, a walk around Khonoma is indeed a charming experience. Learn more about terraced farming and bask in the freshness of flowers and vegetables grown by every household (maybe even harvest some vegetables for your host to cook for dinner). Carry some tea and walk to the nearby stream but make sure you make your way back home by sunset- there’s a meal to cook with those vegetables. Try an authentic Angami meal for dinner and maybe even learn a few tips from your host. We promise you won’t be disappointed. Evening at leisure.
Stay at a homestay in Khonoma
A day in Khonoma starts very early in the morning with locals getting done with their breakfast by 4 am. You don’t have to be as early, of course but we do recommend you start your day by 7 am. Post an early breakfast, set out on a heritage walk with our local experts and learn more about all the history this village has seen. This walk proves to be a great exposure to the culture of the Angami tribe as you learn more of the local customs. Woodwork and bamboo weaving are a huge part of the local culture and handicrafts from the region are gaining popularity across many spaces. Learn more about “morungs” and other forms of vernacular architecture in the process.
Bid goodbye to your hosts and make your way to another one of our favourite villages in this circuit- Dzüleke. Within an hour’s drive, we reach a quaint, idyllic village fit to be the setting of a dreamy fairy-tale. Meet your hosts, owners of one the 35 households in the area and check into your stay for the night. Set out to explore Dzüleke after checking in. Watch the hours fly by as you absorb the beauty of your surroundings. Whether it be forest bathing or hiking to the waterfall nearby for a dip, Dzüleke feels like it’s straight out of a dream. In the evening, make sure you try some traditional brews to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Stay at a homestay in Dzüleke
This day has been kept aside to explore the hilly capital of Nagaland- Kohima. Post breakfast, start your day by visiting the only World War II memorial in the region. Learn more about how the Naga people were involved in the war and how the locals were affected at the time. Thereafter, the capital is yours to explore. The town has a great selection of eateries (we can give you a list once you book). Bring out the foodie and shopper in you as you take to the streets of the bustling township of Kohima. We have a trek to go on the following day so if there is anything you want to prepare yourself with, this day would be a good time.
Post lunch, make your way to Jakhama, a small village 45 minutes away where you will be camping at a site overlooking the paddy fields of the village. Let life slow down as take a short walk with our local team to familiarize yourself with the village before calling it a night. Spend the evening at leisure.
Stay at a homestay/ camp in Jakhama
Gear up for your most challenging day in the journey. It’s time to embark on the strenuous trek to the mystical Dzükou Valley. A valley shared by Nagaland and Manipur, be sure to witness some of the most stunning landscapes the state has to offer. Often compared to the “Valley of Flowers” in Uttarakhand, the rolling hills of Dzükou are a sight of a lifetime, no matter which month you visit it. Make sure you start early as the first four hours of the trek will only get you to the basecamp. Once there, make your way into the valley till you find an ideal spot to pitch your tents for the night. Help the local guides set your camp up and start prepping for dinner. Spend the evening listening to stories of the spirits of the valley while you keep yourselves warm to some alcohol around a bonfire.
Stay at Dzükou base camp
Wake up early to a cold valley and get yourself a cup of tea to awaken your senses and actually absorb the view you are waking up to. You may need to pinch yourself to be convinced that it’s all real. Spend some time to yourself sunbathing and realising how small and insignificant we as individuals are when you see the vastness and expanse of all that is around you. Once your soul and body is recharged, make your way back to Jakhama to grab a bite and bid farewell to your hosts before making your way to Kohima. Spend the evening at leisure reminiscing on all that you experienced over the last few days.
Stay at homestay in Kohima
After breakfast, make your way back to the plains of Dimapur and then carry on home with memories to look back to and people to miss. With that, this chapter of Nagaland comes to an end by when we should have piqued your interest for many more trips to come.