Kohima (Capital of Nagaland)
Cemeteries are generally gloomy places.
Kohima's second world war cemetery, however, is not such a place. No place so beautifully situated, so superbly maintained, and dedicated to the memories of those who sacrificed their fives regardless of race, nationality or religion can be gloomy.
The Kohima war cemetery is serene and beautiful. Roses bloom in season, the grass is always billiard-table smooth and two tall crosses stand at the lowest and highest points of the cemetery overlooking Kohima. between them, and stretching all the way across this gently rising hill in the centre of the town, are stone markers with shining bronze plaques. Each commemorates the name of a single man who gave his fife for freedom.
At the base of the upper cross there is an inscription which says : "Here, around the tennis court of the deputy commissioner he men who fought in the battle of Kohima in which they and their comrades finally halted the invasion of India by the forces of Japan in Aprd 1944".
To one side of this memorial cross, and often n-dssed by visitors, there is a tree with a small plaque on it.
The plaque says
This flowering cherry tree is of historical interest.
The original tree was used as a sniper's post by the Japanese and was
destroyed in the fighting which raged round the tennis court and marked
the limit of the Japanese advance into India. The present tree is from a
branch from the old one. And at the base of the lowest cross, an
inscription reads When you go home Tell them of us and say For your
tomorrow We gave our today.
This Zeliang village is 52 kms from Kohima and can be approached via Dzulekie.It has the remnants of the old culture such as the Morung or Men's Dormitory. Big wooden beds carved out from large trunks of the tree can still be seen here.
This is the second highest peak in Nagaland and stands at 3048
meters above sea-level.
It is about 15 kms south of Kohima.
The best season for climbing this mountain is from November to December.
The sunrise from this peak is an experience to remember.
From the peak one can have a bird's eye view of the surrounding hills including parts of Dzukou valley.
In the Japfu ranges, one can find the tallest Rhododendron tree which is featured in the GuinnessBook of World Records. This tree, which was first discovered by two hunters of Phesema village is 109 feet tall and the girth at the base measures more than 11 feet. When it is in bloom, it is indeed a sight to behold. It's quite an adventure to see this tree as it entails more than five hours of strenuous trekking through steep inclines to have a view of this World Record holding Rhododendron arborea tree.
Southern Angami villages
While en route to Dzukou valley, Japfu or on the way back one can also sneak into some Southern Angami villages such as Jakhama, Kigwema, Viswema, Phesama. These villages are near the National Highway-39 and still have the remnants of the ancient culture in certain pockets of the villages.
Pine Court Restaurant at Dimori Cove is about 6 kms from Kohima on NH-39 towards Imphal.
They serve both Indian and Chinese dishes. Naga dishes are also available on advance order. It has a mini swimming pool and children's park in addition to a collection of both local and exotic orchids, flowers and plants.
Personal touch, a Handloom and Handicrafts shop, is also attached to the unit. Paying Guest accommodation called the Shurho Rustic Retreat, is nearby.
This village is 39 kms from Kohima and is known for its model Village Development Board and effective execution of the village development programmes. This village has been chosen by the Tourism Department for the promotion of the common Angami Sekrenyi festival celebrated on 25th,26th & 27th February every year. The village organization here has also set up a tourist village, with 15 traditional ethnic huts with all modern amenities.
Tourists can stay in these huts and explore the surrounding areas around Tuophema.
Journey to Kohima, Nagaland
Air : The nearest airport is at Dimapur. Indian Airlines operates Boeing services from both Calcutta and Delhi every alternate day. Guwahati and Imphal are also connected to Dimapur
Rail : The nearest railhead too is Dimapur, and the Northeast Frontier Railway runs a number of trains from Dimapur to Guwahati. Guwahati is in turn well connected to the rest of the country.
Nagaland State Transport runs buses from Dimapur to Kohima and the journey takes around 4 hours. From Guwahati, one can find a number of luxury private buses.
Taxis and mini-coaches are also available, albeit at slightly exorbitant rates, from Dimapur.