Kohima is the capital city of Nagaland and is also the largest inhabited city of the state. Nagaland is the land of many indigenous tribes and Kohima is the abode of the Angami tribes. The city was originally named Kewhima after the Kewhi flowers that grow in the mountains. The British later renamed the city as Kohima. Situated at an altitude of 1500 m, the city offers splendid views of the Japfu Peak and the surrounding Naga Hills.
During the Second World War, Kohima was a seat of contention between the two forces. It was the site of an intense fight between the Japanese and the Allied Forces. One of the famous places to visit in Kohima is the War Cemetery where thousands of Allied forces soldiers are led to rest. Kohima is also very near the site of the Hornbill Festival, the most important and premier festival of Nagaland. The city with its exotic appeal is a beautiful destination and there is no dearth of things to do here.
Visit the World War II Memorial
The World War II Memorial is considered to be the most important landmark of Kohima. A visit to the cemetery will be a humbling experience as you will pass through 2337 graves and memorials of the British and allied soldiers. It is the reminder of the sacrifices made by the valiant British and Indian soldiers against the invading Japanese soldiers in the Kohima War in 1944. Many families of the martyr of the British soldiers still pay a visit to the War Memorial. The memorial is just in the heart of the city with well-maintained gardens and beautiful lawns. It is like an oasis in the middle of the city.
Head to the Keeda Bazaar
Travelling is not complete without knowing about the local cuisines. But this is not the place for vegetarians or the faint-hearted. The Keeda Bazaar is the Naga local market from where the locals get the meat, vegetables and a large share of insects and bugs. One will also find snails, silkworm larvae, woodworms, tadpoles, forest ferns, hornet grubs, larvae and fermented tofu. The market is indeed an interesting place to visit in Kohima.
Take a day trip to Khonoma
Khonoma village is located about 20 km from Kohima. The village is the abode of the warrior tribe of Angami Nagas and is believed to be 700 years old. The village is also known as Khwunoria named after the Angami term for a local plant. Khonoma is famous for its forests and its unique form of agriculture that includes some of the oldest terrace cultivation in the region. Khonoma was the last village where the Nagas fought fearlessly against the British and resisted then for 50 years from 1830 to 1850 before losing to them. Visit the Bara Basti
Bara Basti is the old settlement of the Angami tribe that eventually grew into the Kohima city. It is located in the old part of the city above the hilltop. The Bara Basti has residents belonging to four clans. The place has traditional Naga houses and you can see the natives weaving and making handicrafts.
Take a trip to the Kisama Heritage Village
Kisama Heritage Village is located on the outskirts of Kohima and it is the venue of the famous Hornbill Festival. It has a large complex with traditional houses having architecture related to the various Naga tribes. The Morungs (dormitories) of each tribe are present in the village and shows the difference in the architectural styles of the tribes. A visit to Kisama Village would definitely give an insight into the lifestyle of the Naga tribes.
Visit the beautiful Reconciliation Cathedral in Kohima
The Reconciliation Cathedral is situated on the Aradura Hills and is the largest church in Northeast India. The architecture of the church is quite impressive. It contains many elements of the Naga architecture including the façade that resembles a traditional Naga House. Inside the cathedral, there are beautiful life-size murals of scenes depicting events from the Bible.
Climb Mt. Japfu
Mt. Japfu is the second highest peak in Nagaland. You can go for trekking in the Dzukou Valley, Nagaland’s valley of flowers and climb Japfu Peak. Kigwema village is the base point for the trek. You can hire a guide to trek to the top and once you reach the top, you will be mesmerized by the panoramic views of the valley below.
Visit the State Museum
The State Museum is an informative place that showcases the life and culture of the 16 Naga tribes. The Museum also exhibits tribal artefacts like folk arts, crafts, traditional attires, ornaments and weapons. The museum will surely give you an insight into the lives of the Naga people.
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