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Home>>East India>>Nagaland



Location: Tucked in the north eastern corner of India, close to Myanmar (Burma).
State Capital: Kohima
Best Time to Travel: Through out the year.
Official Language : English
Tribes: Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Khiamniungan, Kuki, Konyak, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sumi, Sangtam, Yimchungru, Zeliang.

The beginning of winter is marked by a steep fall (almost 5 degree Centigrade) in temprature during December. January is the coldest month. In February, the temprature starts rising gradually. The monsoon lasts for five months from May to September with June, July and May, being the wettest months. The annual rainfall varies from 100 cm to over 300 cm.

(2001 est. pop. 2 million). Since 1963 a state in India's northeastern corner bordering Myanmar (Burma), Nagaland has an area of 15,579 square kilometers and is inhabited by sixteen major and twenty minor ethnic groups, all called Nagas. Most are fiercely independent, each with their own dialect, customs, and culture; most live in politically sensitive areas all but closed to foreigners, in the starkly remote terrain of villages high on the mountain ridges of the Naga Hills, at the extremity of the subcontinent. Only in reaction to external encroachment—by the British, Christians, Japanese, the Indian government—did the Nagas gain a sense of common identity. After Indian independence in 1947, the Nagas did not wish to join the Indian Union, but in 1960 an agreement led to statehood. In 1975 Nagaland agreed to accept the Indian constitution and surrender arms, but clashes continued, and in 1995 India declared Nagaland a disturbed area. In 1997 a cease-fire agreement was announced, but conflict continues.

The History
The ancient history of Nagaland is very obscure. Little is known about what is now Nagaland, including the origin of several large sandstone pillars at Dimapur. British rule was established over the area by the 1890s, and headhunting, then a traditional practice, was banned. The Naga territory remained divided between Assam and the North East Frontier Agency after Indian independence in 1947, despite a vocal movement supporting the political union of all the Naga tribes; one faction called for discord from India. The Indian government established a single Naga administrative unit under Indian rule in the year 1957, following the violent incidents. The Naga people replied by refusing to pay their taxes and by conducting a campaign of sabotage. In 1960, in the face of civil unrest, the Indian government agreed to make Nagaland a self-governing state within India. The state was officially inaugurated in 1963. However, the Naga separatists continued to demand autonomy and a single administrative unit comprising all the Naga-inhabited areas spanning some of the north-eastern states. A long history of insurgency has been painstakingly stemmed with talks and ceasefire agreements between Naga rebels and the Central Government, and today the state is relatively free of conflict.

The Physiology of Nagaland

The state is divided into seven districts - Kohima, Phek, Mokokchung, Wokha, Zunheloto, Twensang and Mon. The terrain is hilly, rugged and mountainous. The highest peak is Saramati in the Twensang district which is 3840 metres above sea-level. The average height of the peaks is between 900 and 1200 metres.

The main rivers that flow through the state are Dhansiri, Doyang, Dikhu, Tizu and Melak. There is no waterfall in Nagaland. The only lake well known is Lacham to the east of Mehiri. The hill sides are covered with green forests. In the Angami region, the terraced fields are a feast to the eyes.


  • Formally enrolled in as the 16th state of the Indian Union, in 1963, Nagaland shares borders with Assam, Myanmar, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.

  • Spread over an area of 16,527 sq km, its population resides mainly in the rural area. Kohima, its capital, Dimapur and Mokokchung are its most important towns.

  •  Nagas have evolved into a generic term for many tribal communities in the North East. Of the 32 such tribes, 16 major and numerous sub-tribes spread over Nagaland's seven districts; primary amongst them are the Angamis, the Sema, Konyak, Aos and the Rengmas, each with their own distinct culture and lifestyle.

  • Though they were animist by tradition, almost 98% of the population embraced Christianity under the influence of English missionaries.

  • The Nagas were also exposed to western culture when the English recruited them as a labour corps to serve in France during the Second World War. They were highly commended for their loyalty and bravery

Climate Weather Conditions in Nagaland Rains are heavy in Nagaland. The average rainfall is between 175cm and 250 cm. Most of the heavy rainfall is during the 4 months from June to September. The rains during April to May is low. Strong winds blow from the north west in February and March. The climate is pleasant.

Language :
All the major Naga tribes have their own language. In actual practice, the language, even within one tribal area, varies from village to village. There are about thirty languages. The multiplicity of Naga languages is mainly because of the living condition in the past, when villages were isolated and there was little of friendly inter-communication between them.

Naga languages in the Tibeto-Burman family is divided into three groups; the western sub-group, the central sub-group and the eastern sub-group. The western sub-group comprises Angami, Sema, Rengma and Chakhesang languages; the central sub-group include Ao, Lotha and Phom languages; while the eastern sub-groups is made up of among others, Chang and Konyak languages.

It is interesting to find that some Naga tribes have borrowed Sanskrit words in their Assamese form.

The tribal groups, who do not understand one another’s language, converse in Naga-Assamese or Nagamese. It is a hybrid mixture of Assamese and Naga languages but serve as the lingua franca of the Naga people. It does not follow any strict rules of grammar and is easy to pick up. Nagamese has no script. The missionaries rendered signal service to the Naga languages. They wrote the first grammar books and compiled vocabularies. The missionaries used the Roman script.

Hindi is well understood in Nagaland - even in the interior areas. The state Assembly, in a resolution adopted on18 September 1967, recommended that English be used for all official purposes within the state of Nagaland indefinitely, and that English be included as one of the languages in the VIII schedule of the constitution. But, only a fraction of the population in the state speak or write English with some degree of accuracy.


By Air : The only airport of the state is at Dimapur, which connects Nagaland with Guwahati and Calcutta by regular flights.

By Rail : The major railhead is at Dimapur, which lies on the main line of the Northeastern Frontier Railway.

By Road : The Nagaland State Transport Corporation plies regular buses from Dimapur and Kohima to Guwahati, the gateway of northeast India and Shillong.


More Attractions in Nagaland  

>> Tuensang

>> Phek

>> Mokokchung

>> Kohima Village

>> Dzukou Valley

>> Dimapur


More Information About Nagaland........

>> City >> Cuisine >> Arts and Crafts >> Fairs and Festivals



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