On the far North Eastern Region of India, at 1,444m above sea level, lies Kohima – a small hill station, blanketing a bunch of hillocks. Often referred to as the ‘Land of Warriors’, Kohima is also the capital city of Nagaland. The city is inhabited by a pot pourri of Naga tribes, and welcomes any travellers looking for adventure, solitude in the arms of nature, to immerse in rich indigenous culture, or all, may be even more.
Kohima offers a safe, pleasant, and a hospitable environment for travellers, including women travelling solo. Yeah!! Nagaland recently topped the list of the safest states for women in India (2015).
Interested to learn more? Here are five little known facts about Kohima:
- The Battle of Kohima: Fought during the WWII (1944), this battle is considered as one of the most important battle ever fought during the war. The battle was fought between the British and the Japanese forces, and is referred to as the turning point of the Japanese U Go offensive into India.
- Fashion and Music: The two permanent glue, assimilated in the life of the youths, fashion and music trends high in the city. Street fashion would captivate your eyes, while the sound of music would keep you hum as you walk the streets. Music remains the main highlight of the numerous events held here.
- Socially Conscious Youths: Though the state is poisoned by corruption, groups of socially conscious youths are setting an example in taking responsibility towards addressing various issues by way of voluntary cleaning of the city, street art, fitness, eco-friendly mode of transports (cycling), ‘Clean Election Campaigns’ etc., very often mobilized through social media forums.
- Land of Festivals: Nagaland is called the ‘Land of Festivals’, and being the capital city, Kohima keeps witnessing a number of events (small gigs, to big festivals). In fact, the city hosts:
- The annual ‘Hornbill Festival’ (December 1-10),
- The biggest Cosfest in the region (second weekend of July),
- International Hornbill Rock Contest (during the Hornbill Festival),
- Tribal festivals, sports tournaments, among numerous others.
- Protected Area: As with most areas of Nagaland, Kohima comes under the Inner Line Permit (ILP) Regulation Act – an Act passed by the GOI to safeguard the identity of the indigenous people from exploitation. The restriction has been lifted for foreign tourists in recent years to promote tourism. Foreign tourists are only required to register themselves at any Foreign Registration Office (FRO) within 24 hours of their arrival. Nonetheless, domestic tourists need a special permit to visit the city, which can be applied online and submitted to the local Deputy Commissioner (DC), or at either of the Nagaland House at Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, or Shillong.
More coming up in my next piece about the places to visit in Kohima! Watch out!
About the writer:
Nokho Nyekha is a coffee addict, a nature lover and independent researcher of indigenous traditions.
Featured image photo credit: Betoka Swu