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.
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.
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
Formally enrolled in as the 16th state of the Indian Union, in 1963,
Nagaland shares borders with Assam, Myanmar, Arunachal Pradesh and
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
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
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.
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
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
HOW TO REACH
By Air : The only airport of the state is
at Dimapur, which connects Nagaland with Guwahati and Calcutta by
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.