Nagaland state was inaugurated as the sixteenth State of India on 1st Dec, 1963. It is bounded by Assam in the West, Myanmar (Burma) on the East, Arunachal Pradesh and parts of Assam on the North and Manipur in the South. The State consists of eleven Administrative Districts, inhabited by 16 major tribes along with other sub-tribes. Each tribe has its own customs, language and dress. It has an oral tradition, which has been handed down the generations. It is a land of .song and music where you can hear folk songs praising the brave deeds of warriors and folk heroes; love songs immortalizing, tragic love stories, gospel songs and modern tunes.
Each of the sixteen odd tribes and sub-tribes that dwell in the exotic hill state can, easily be distinguished by the colourful and intricately designed costumes, jewelery and beads that they wear. The present generations of Nagas have ventured into fashion designing in a big way, reproducing fabrics that represent the ancestral motifs blended with modern appeal. Indeed, it is a beautiful mix of the past with the present ... a paradise for those who are into fashion designing. This is a rich fashion center of the North East. The traditional ceremonial attire of each tribe is an interesting sight to see. The multicoloured spears and daos decorated with dyed goat’s hair, the headgear made of finely woven bamboo interlaced with orchid stems, adorned with boar’s teeth and hornbill’s feathers, ivory armlets. In the olden days, warriors had to prove their valour to wear each of these items.
Nature could not have been kinder to Nagaland, sometimes referred to as the ‘Switzerland of the East’; the exquisitely picturesque landscapes, the vibrantly colourful sunrise and sunset, lush and verdant flora- this is a land that represents unimaginable beauty, moulded perfectly for a breathtaking experience.
The inhabitants belong to the Indo Mongoloid stock, whose ancestors lived off nature’s abundant gifts, blessed with friendly dispositions. Above all, the people here are warm hearted and extremely hospitable! You will feel it in the air.
Nagaland is blessed with a salubrious climate through out the year and one can visit it anytime. If one is looking for a quiet getaway from the hectic city life, it provides the right ambience; for life here is laidback and slow- providing a tension free life. For the adventurous and the intrepid, Nagaland is an ideal place for trekking, jungle camping and offers limitless exploration possibilities in its lush and verdant sub-tropical rain forests, which are also a treasure trove of a plethora of medicinal herbs and plants. Nagas, by nature, are lovers of fun and festivities and here life is one long festival!
As stated, Nagas with their joie de vivre, dance and song are a part and parcel of all their festivities. Most of their dances are performed with a robust rhythm.
FESTIVAL OF NAGALAND
There is a saying, Nagaland is a state where life is one long festival! As there are sixteen tribes in the state, there is one tribal festival or another every other month. These festivals revolve around the agricultural cycle. Many of these festivals are connected to spring, sowing seeds, first crop, harvest, body sanctification, end of the year.. These festivals are occasions of great significance usually celebrated with fervour and gaiety.
Festivals are a time for sharing and giving. Gifts of meat and other items are exchanged. Everyone celebrates it in a communitarian spirit. It is also a time when new relationships are formed and old ones are renewed and to know one’s own kith and kin. Age-old values, such as generosity, hospitality, valour, bravery, camaraderie and loyalty are passed down through these festivals. These value systems are nurtured, inbuilt and inherited through the generations and become hereditary in the long run. That is why, ever today Naga sense of hospitality is unsurpassed and Nagas are generous even to a fault.
Each tribe, even today, celebrates its tribal festivals with gay abandon to keep a date soft their traditions.
The Nagas follow the lunar calendar for the celebrations of their festivals in their traditional animistic religion. Watching the phases of the moon, the animist village priest chooses the days between the half moon and the full moon to celebrate their festivals. He announces the days of the festival at the top of his voice after the villagers have completed the mandatory agriculture operations for the celebration such festivals.
Domestic tourists visiting Nagaland require to obtain Inner Line Permits issued by the Deputy Resident Commissioner at Nagaland House, New Delhi, Kolkata and Assistant Resident Commissioner, Guwahati, Shillong; Deputy Commissioner, Dimapur, Kohima and Mokokchung. A permit fee of Rs.5.00 is realized from each applicant.
Foreign Tourists are allowed to visit the eleven districts headquarters and specified places for a period of ten days which is extendable for another ten days provided they are in a group of four or more or married couples.
Dimapur the only airport in Nagaland is connected by air to Delhi and Kolkata and the rest of the country.
Dimapur, the important Railhead in Nagaland, is on the main line of North-Eastern Frontier Railway.
All important towns and villages in the State are connected by the Nagaland State Transport services. Nagaland State Transport also operates night deluxe bus services from Dimapur and Kohima to Guwahati, Shillong and also to other towns of Nagaland.
Permits to visit these places are issued by:
Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, New Delhi, All Indian Missions abroad, FRGS, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai,
The Chief Immigration Officer, Chennai,
Home Commissioner, Govt. of Nagaland, Kohima, Commissioner & Secretary Tourism, Govt. of Nagaland, Kohima,