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Nagaland Tour and Hornbill festival

Tucked away in the far north-east of India, wedged between the borders of Bhutan, Burma and Tibet, Arunachal Pradesh is India’s newest and least-known state. Before the region was elevated to statehood in 1986, Arunachal Pradesh, along with Assam, Nagaland and 4 other states was known as the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA). Except for occasional forays by administrators and anthropologists during the time of the British, nothing much was known about this area for most of the 20th century. The isolation of the North East Frontier Agency was legally safeguarded by India's own government; before laws permitting limited tourism were passed in 1995, even Indian citizens were not allowed to visit.

The North East Frontier Agency lands never belonged to ancient India. They were, and still are, inhabited by Mongoloid and Mon-Khmer austere stock, far removed from Aryan-Dravidian blood of the mainstream. The people here are animists (except the area of Tawang where they accepted Buddhism); in the Highlands, wild Burmese tribes enthusiastically practiced indiscriminate headhunting until as late as the fifties. To the north, Mongoloid tribals, bare-bodied in breech-clouts, today are still encountering “civilization".

Nagaland is almost entirely inhabited by 16 groups of Tibeto-Burmese tribes. Among them are Angamis, Aos, Konyaks, Kukis, Lothas, Semas and Wanchus.

The Nagas, who were once head hunters, have been known for their fierceness and the regular raids they made on Assam and Burma. The warring tribes believed that since the enemy’s animated soul, waha, was to be found at the nape of the neck, it could only be set free once beheaded. However, since the spritual soul, mio, resided in the head and brought good fortune, enemy heads (and those of dead comrades) were prized as they could add to a community’s own store of dead ancestors.

The hilltop villages are protected by stone walls. The morung, a meeting house, acts as a boy’s dormitory, and is used for storing weapons and once displayed the prizes of war i.e. the enemy heads. The huge sacred drum, which stands by each morung is hallowed out tree trunk carved to resemble a buffalo head.

  • Day 1: Mon - Dibrugarh (By surface approx. 240 Kms/07 Hrs)

    • Early morning start your drive from Mon for 7 to 8 hours. After going through checking formalities at the border of Nagaland, we enter the state. Visit the very first village at Phuktong village. It has two great Morungs (men's dormitories). Also visit Angh's (chief's) residence. On arrival, check in to the Typical Naga house or Kalsa Resort.
  • Day 2: Longwa Village

    • You get full day to witness the colorful tribal area of Konyak tribes who have been head hunters in the recent past. Visit Longwa Village, one of the biggest villages in Mon district, it is an interesting sight to see. As the village straddles an international boundary line, one half of the Angh's house falls within Indian territory, whereas the other half lies under Myanmarese control. However, the whole village is controlled by the Angh and the village Council Chairman. Another interesting feature of this village is that the Angh of the village has 60 wives and this jurisdiction extends up to Myanmar and Arunachal Pradesh. Also visit Sangha to see head hunting trophies and houses constructed in the true Konyak tradition with palm leaves roofing and the main pillars jutting out.
  • Day 3: Full days visit to Langmeing, Chaoha villages

    • Langmeing, one of the most interesting villages in the area, and has traditional Naga houses. One can find old people with tattoos on their faces and body (some of them with barely any clothes). A walk around the village is very amusing. The village has an old Morung with 2 log drums (the village boys can be requested to play the drum). The Morung also has fascinating artifacts. Langmeing is one of the very few villages that still have human skulls from the 'head hunting' days.
  • Day 4: Mon - Mokokchung (180kms/06-07 hrs approx.)

    • After an early breakfast drive to Mokokchung, a picturesque town which is the cultural center of the Ao tribes. The Ao Nagas is famous for their colorful dances. Enroute visit Chuchyimlang Village, also known as friendship village & Mopunchyukit Village to visit the oldest church in North East India. Continue drive to Mokokchung (35 kms/45 mins) and transfer to hotel or tourist lodge.
  • Day 5: Mokokchung - Kohima (180kms/6 hrs approx.)

    • After an early breakfast, Drive to Kohima enroute visit wakha village, lotha tribe. Overnight at hotel / local house.
  • Day 6: Hornbill Festival

    • Visit Hornbill Festival
  • Day 7: Kohima to Dimapur (75km / 2 hrs) drive airport fly to Kolkatta / Delhi by connected flight

    • Drive airport and fly to Kolkatta / Delhi by connected flight
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