|City : Kohima
Location :East India
Language : Nagamese, Hindi, English, Angami, local dialects.
Best Time To Visit : October to April.
Kohima, the capital town of Nagaland in the north eastern part of India is a picturesque town, situated amidst lush green wealth of the nature. Kohima in Nagaland, a typical Naga town is a pretty hill station, with panoramic views of the rugged Naga hills, displaying the exotic tribal culture of the northeast. The home of the brave and daring, yet simple and innocent, Naga tribes, Kohima Nagaland is unspoilt and replete with some attractive sites to see and do. Sheltered in the eastern frontiers of the Himalayan mountain range, Kohima in Nagaland is noted for its unhurried pace of life, calm and serene environs and fresh, unpolluted air, which make a welcome change for a exhausted city sniffers.
The British incursions into the Naga territory beginning in the 1840s met with stiff resistance from the independence loving Nagas who had never been conquered by any empire before. The stiffness of the resistance can be gauged by the fact that it took nearly four decades for the British to conquer a territory that is less than 10,000 square kilometres( the eastern region was left free). Kohima was the first seat of modern administration as the Headquarter of Naga Hills District (then under Assam) with the appointment of G.H. Damant as Political Officer in 1879. When Nagaland became a full fledged state on 1st December 1963, Kohima was christened as the state capital.
In 1944 during World War II the Battle of Kohima along with the simultaneous Battle of Imphal was the turning point in the Burma Campaign. For the first time in South-East Asia the Japanese lost the initiative to the Allies which they then retained until the end of the war. This hand-to-hand battle and slaughter prevented the Japanese from gaining a high base from which they might next roll across the extensive flatlands of India like a juggernaut.
Geography and Climate
District map of Nagaland with Kohima cityKohima 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 the height of summers, from July-August, temperature ranges an average of 80-90 Fahrenheit. Heavy rainfall occurs during summer
Kohima is located at 25.67° N 94.12° E. It has an average elevation of 1261 metres (4137 feet).
The town of Kohima is located on the top of a high ridge and the town serpentines all along the top of the surrounding mountain ranges as is typical of most Naga settlements.
Journey to Kohima
Airport : The nearest airport is at Dimapur. Indian Airlines operates Boeing services from both Calcutta and Delhi every alternate day. Guwahati and Imphal are also connected to Dimapur by air.
Railhead : The nearest railhead too is Dimapur, and the Northeast Frontier Railway runs a number of trains from Dimapur to Guwahati. Guwahati is in turn well connected to the rest of the country.
Road Transport : Nagaland State Transport runs buses from Dimapur to Kohima and the journey takes around 4 hours. From Guwahati, one can find a number of luxury private buses. Taxis and mini-coaches are also available, albeit at slightly exorbitant rates, from Dimapur.
Staying in Kohima, Nagaland
Kohima offers very few choices as far as lodges are concerned. A few good private hotels and the Tourist Lodge are the few places to stay.
Sightseeing in Kohima
The state capital, Kohima, is located on National Highway No.39, less than three hours drive from Dimapur. Kohima is a picturesque hill station perched at an altitude of 1,495 metres above sea level. The Japanese beat a retreat from Kohima during the Second World War, and the War Cemetery is a symbolic memorial raised to commemorate the supreme sacrifices made by the officers. The Catholic Cathedral at Aradura Hill is an important landmark, as it happens to be one of the largest cathedrals in the entire north-east and houses the biggest cross in the country, made of wood.
Nagaland State Museum
The State Museum in Kohima treasures a rare collection of articles of different tribes which speak about the history and traditions of the Nagas.
Located in the heart of Kohima, the emporium sells a variety of Naga art and handicraft items.
The zoo in Kohima has some rare species of animals and birds, including the rare Blythe's Tragopan.
Intangki Wildlife Sanctuary
Located at a distance of 37 km from Dimapur, this sanctuary has some rare species of birds.
Around 10 kms from Kohima, lies the village of Khonoma, that is steeped in tales of valour and gallantry. The Khonoma gate relates the story of British infiltration into Naga Hills.
Situated at an altitude of 2,438 m, it is 30 km to the south of Kohima. Lilies in white and yellow and a hundred of other flowers in varied colours adorn the valley. This is one of the best trekking spots in the north-eastern region.
Located at an altitude of 3,048 m above sea level is the second highest peak in Kohima, Japfu Peak. Apart from providing a fabulous view of Kohima, Japfu is also ideal for trekking and scaling.
Mokokchung and Zunheboto
located 160 and 150 kms respectively from Kohima, are picturesque towns, worth a visit. Mokokchung is a major cultural centre of the Ao Nagas.
Perched at a height of 195 m above sea level is Dimapur, a major commercial centre of Nagaland. Dimapur is the only airport in the state and is well connected with the neighbouring states by National Highway No.39. In the very heart of the town can be seen the relics of the ancient Kachari Kingdom. Just 5 kms away, on the Dimapur-Kohima Road is ruzaphema, a place tailor-made for tourists, with its vibrant bazaars and plethora of unique tribal handicrafts.
Also known as the Lachem Lake, it lies on the lower slopes of the hills running along the Myanmar border in Phek district of Nagaland. Spread over 0.25 to 0.30 sq. km, the lake has the shape of a footprint.
Situated at an altitude of 1250 m, it is in the district of Wokha, which is 80 km form Kohima. It is an ideal place for rock climbing.
Liphanyan Governor's Camp
Located at a distance of 43 km from Dimapur, this place with the river Doyang flowing nearby is an ideal spot for rafting, angling, and picnics.
One of the only few remaining virgin forests left in the Zunheboto districts, it is a place of pristine beauty. This place is the natural habitat of the Blythe's Tragopan, a rare bird on the verge of extinction. With rare rhododendrons adorning the hills, it is an ideal place for outdoor camping and trekking.
The Fakim Sanctuary close to the Myanmar border receives high rainfall and is home to tigers and hoolock gibbons, and the tragopan pheasant. The Pulie Badze Sanctuary also lies near Kohima.
Located at a distance of 8 km from the Zunheboto district headquarters, Ghosu Bird Sanctuary is maintained solely by the village community. It houses more than twenty species of endangered birds. Migratory birds can be sighted from June to September.
Air: Dimapur is the only airport in Nagaland, and is connected to New Delhi and Calcutta.
Rail: Dimapur is also an important railhead, on the main line of the North-eastern Frontier Railway.
Road: Buses of the Nagaland State Transport ply regularly from Dimapur to Guwahati, and Shillong.