Introduction: Kohima is the hilly capital of India's north eastern border state of Nagaland which shares its borders with Burma. It lies in Kohima District and is also one of the three Nagaland towns with Municipal council status along with Dimapur and Mokokchung. History: The British incursions into the Naga territory beginning in the 1840s met with stiff resistance from the independence loving Nagas who had never been conquered by any empire before. The stiffness of the resistance can be gauged by the fact that it took nearly four decades for the British to conquer a territory that is less than 10,000 square kilometres( the eastern region was left free). Kohima was the first seat of modern administration as the Headquarter of Naga Hills District (then under Assam) with the appointment of G.H. Damant as Political Officer in 1879. When Nagaland became a full fledged state on 1st December 1963, Kohima was christened as the state capital. Description: Kohima village' called 'Bara Basti' or 'large village',which is the largest village in Asia forms the northeastern part of Kohima urban area today. The Bara Basti is divided into 'khels' or localities. There are four of them, namely - Ts�tuonuomia, Lhisemia, Dapf�tsumia and Pfuchatsumia. They are termed shortly as T, L, D, and P Khel respectively.
Kohima Quick facts
Kohima Geography and Climate
Kohima is located at 25.67� N 94.12� E. It has an average elevation of 1261 metres (4137 feet). Kohima has a pleasant and moderate climate - not tool cold in winters and pleasant summers. December and January are the coldest months when frost occurs and in the higher altitudes snowfall occurs occassionally. During the height of summers, from July-August, temperature ranges an average of 80-90 Farenheit. Heavy rainfall occurs during summer and Kohima receives an average annual rainfall of 2000 mm.
Best time to visit Kohima
Through out the year, though best is between November to March. The summers are tropical, winters are dry and bitterly cold. Kohima experiences around 250 cm of annual rainfall.
The capital town of Kohima is at a distance of 339 km from Guwahati (Assam), 145 km from Imphal (capital of Manipur) and 74 km from Dimapur. The National Highway 39 connects it to both Dimapur and Imphal.
How to reach Kohima by Road
Buses of the Nagaland State Transport ply regularly from Dimapur to Guwahati, and Shillong.
How to reach Kohima by Rail
Dimapur is also an important railhead, on the main line of the North-eastern Frontier Railway.
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How to reach Kohima by Air
Dimapur is the only airport in Nagaland, and is connected to New Delhi and Calcutta.
Kohima Festivals and culture
The important festivals of the district are the Angami Festivl Sekrenyi (celebrated on the 25th February), the Rengma Festival Ngada (celebrated in the last week of November) and the Zeliang festivals Hega and Chega Gadi (celebrated during February and October).
A typical Naga town, it depicts the exotic tribal culture of the northeast and offers a panoramic view of the neighboring hills. The Nagaland State Museum, about 1� km north, is a one-stop treasure trove where one can get a glimpse into Naga culture through history. Kohima in Nagaland, a typical Naga town is a pretty hill station, with panoramic views of the rugged Naga hills, displaying the exotic tribal culture of the northeast. The Nagas belong to the Indo-Mongoloid family. The fourteen major Naga tribes are the Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Khemungan, Konyak, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sema, Yimchunger and Zeliang. Each tribe has their own languages and cultural features. The important handicrafts of the Nagas are woodcarving, bamboo work, pottery and blacksmithy.
Kohima Religious Places
The Catholic Cathedral: The church at Aradurah Hill is an important landmark at Kohima. It is the largest Cathedral in the whole North East India and its quiet and serene ambience is conducive for meditation and prayer. It has a blend of indigenous and modern architectural styles.
War Cemetery: A symbolic memorial erected as citation for the supreme sacrifices made by the officers and men during the World War II. Each grave is supported by a bronze plaque with a moving epitaph -" When you go home / Tell them of us and say / For your tomorrow / We gave our today." Kohima Village (Bara Basti): Naga legend has it that, this is the second largest and the most populous village in Asia. The Big Village is a reminder of the grandeur of the Angami ancestors, who built it. At the entrance of the village you will find a large traditional wooden gate, elaborately carved with warriors and weapons and the skull of the mithun, a symbol of prosperity. Naga stones raised here and there in front of the houses are memorial symbols of the grand feasts organised by their great ancestors
Kohima Entertainment and Night Life
Mount Totsu :Situated at an altitude of 1250 m, it is in the district of Wokha, which is 80 km form Kohima. It is an ideal place for rock climbing. Satoi Range :One of the only few remaining virgin forests left in the Zunheboto districts, it is a place of pristine beauty. This place is the natural habitat of the Blythe's Tragopan, a rare bird on the verge of extinction. With rare rhododendrons adorning the hills, it is an ideal place for outdoor camping and trekking. Longkhum Village: renowned for its head hunters in the past is just 17 kms away.
The Nagaland State Emporium is near the bus stand and one can buy colorful shawls, bags, decorative spears, wood carvings, bamboo baskets and other handicrafts from here. Each Naga tribe has its own distinctive design on its shawls and the most famous one is the red, black and white Tsungkotepsu of the Ao Nagas. There are also super markets where one can buy handloom and handicrafts.
Famous To Eat at Kohima
Meat and vegetables are usually cooked together. The food is generally boiled. Rice beer is the main drink. It is generally of three kinds, Zutho, Ruhi, and Dzutse and may be taken at any time. It is nutritive in content and if hygienically prepared is a desirable drink.
Kohima Museum and Hill Stations
Nagaland State Museum : The State Museum in Kohima treasures a rare collection of articles of different tribes which speak about the history and traditions of the Nagas. Khonoma :Around 10 kms from Kohima, lies the village of Khonoma, that is steeped in tales of valour and gallantry. The Khonoma gate relates the story of British infiltration into Naga Hills. Dzukou Valley :Situated at an altitude of 2,438 m, it is 30 km to the south of Kohima. Lilies in white and yellow and a hundred of other flowers in varied colours adorn the valley. This is one of the best trekking spots in the north-eastern region. Japfu Peak :Located at an altitude of 3,048 m above sea level is the second highest peak in Kohima, Japfu Peak. Apart from providing a fabulous view of Kohima, Japfu is also ideal for trekking and scaling. Museum: The State Museum treasures rare collection of articles of different tribes which speak about the history and traditions of the Nagas. Dzulekie Valley located 40 Kms from Kohima at elevation of 2133 m has a river flowing through deep gorge, with rainbow trout. It is surrounded by green hills, waterfalls, and grazing domesticated bison.
Gardens and Parks at Kohima
Zoological Park : The zoo in Kohima has some rare species of animals and birds, including the rare Blythe's Tragopan. Intangki Wildlife Sanctuary :Located at a distance of 37 km from Dimapur, this sanctuary has some rare species of birds.
Lake at Kohima
Shilloi Lake :Also known as the Lachem Lake, it lies on the lower slopes of the hills running along the Myanmar border in Phek district of Nagaland. Spread over 0.25 to 0.30 sq. km, the lake has the shape of a footprint.
Kohima Travel Tips
Pack light cotton clothes for summer with a light wrap for the evenings. Winter is quite cold with the mercury dipping to 4�C sometimes. None of the accommodation will provide central heating so do carry warm clothes. Rainwear is a must if you are visiting between June and September.
Kohima Tourist Offices
Kohima Directorate of Tourism, Kohima Tel : ( 0370 ) 22214, 21607 Nagaland Tourism, 29 Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi. Tel: 3010455.
Must do at Kohima
Trek to the beautiful Dzukuo Valley. Trek to the top of Japfu peak, the 2nd highest in Nagaland. And also Pulebadze Peak overlooking the suburb of Jotsoma. The views from atop these peaks are out of the world.