Arrive in Dibrugarh, Assam by flights and trains. Cabs will be sent according to flight or train arrival timings. Flights into the city are available from all major cities. Most of them have a short layover at Kolkata. Drive straight from the airport to Namphake Village (56km/2 hours), where you spend a night at a home stay. The village lies at the edge of the Assam-Nagaland border and is a glimpse into the lives of the Tai Phake community. Their origins can be traced back to Thailand and China, and the lineage of Ahoms. It is believed that they migrated from Burma in the 19th century, but chose to make Namphake their home, on the banks of the River Burhidihing.
This morning we drive from Namphake towards Mon district on the easternmost edge of Nagaland. The drive takes almost 5-6 hours. Enroute, enjoy the scenic drive and small hamlets. We even cross the main Mon village.
We arrive in Mon town, home to the Konyak tribe of Nagaland, and settle into a homestay. Village life and the common traditions and lifestyle can be seen at close quarters. Many of the elder tribal’s can be reticent. If you want to photograph their face tattoos, take the help of your guide. Ask permission and thank profusely. At night, it’s time for a bonfire and an early dinner, so we can start the journey into the rest of the state in the early hours of the morning.
Today, we visit the Hunpoi village chief, after driving an hour out of Mon. Consider yourself extremely lucky to be in the company of a village chief (Angh) with facial tattoos.
With the help of the guide, find out more about the head hunting practice, tattoos and the ancient Morungs of the Konyak lifestyle. Cherish this interaction, as these are the last headhunting tribes of India. Close the day in a guesthouse in Mon. This means that you can roam the village at your own leisure. Close the day in a guesthouse in Mon. This means that you can roam the village at your own leisure. Days close early in Nagaland as it lies on the far east. Spend time in the local kitchen, which is the centrepoint of the house where everybody congregates around the fire at night.
Another hour’s drive lands you in Longwa Village of the district. This is distinguishable with a long ridge on which the village is propped. Half of Longwa lies on the edge of India and Myanmar.
Roam the village and see the Angh’s home, half of which lies in India, and the other in Myanmar. In fact you can walk a short distance onto the Myanmar side. In the evening, a cultural programme and relaxing by the bonfire closes the day. Stay overnight in Mon Village.
This morning, leave Mon to visit the Chingmoho village. Today’s another day of cultural immersion in one of the villages that is not treaded by the tourists.
While Mon and Longwa are popular amongst some tourists, hardly any travellers set foot in Chingmoho. This makes the village even more interesting to photograph and spend time in. Spend the night in Chingmoho village in a homestay.
On this day, you travel back to Mon, through the local hamlets, watching life in the tribal villages closely. The mountains keep you company. The Mon district also has a number of tea plantations, which offers a change in topography. Spend the night at Mon.
There is a last trip into the villages of Mon. Visit Wangla or Shanyu villages close to Mon. One can never get enough to seeing tribal life. Walk into homes, where animal heads and corn hang on the doors for good luck. Return to Mon for the last day in the town. Overnight in a homestay in Mon.
Leave for Dibrugarh for your onward flight.
Nagaland has a pleasant climate throughout the year with no extreme conditions. Maximum temperatures in the summer months of June, July and August are around 24 degrees, with the lowest going to 4 degrees, but only in the upper reaches in some parts. Average temperature is about 16 degrees in the day when you’re travelling. The only exception is the Dzukou Valley, which lies 2438 mt (8000 feet) above sea level; the temperature drops here by a few degrees.
Duration : 08 Days | Season: Oct-Feb | Moderate |
Day 1: Dibrugarh – Namphake Village (Drive/ 56 km/ 2hrs)
Day 2: Namphake Village – Mon (Drive/ 5-6hrs)
Day 3: Mon – Hunpoi Village ( Drive/ 11km / 1 hr )
Day 4: Hunpoi Village – Longwa Village ( Drive/ 42 km/ 2-3hrs)
Day 5: Mon – Chingmoho Village (3.5 hours)
Day 6: Chingmoho Village – Mon (3.5 hours)
Day 7: Mon – Wangala/ Shanyu ( Drive/11 km/ 1 hr )
Day 8: Mon – Dibrugarh ( Drive/121m/ 4-5 hrs )
The northeastern states of India form the final frontier on the eastern edge of the country. Amongst these, Nagaland holds sway in offering a peek into the culturally rich tribal life – there are 16 major tribes that are firmly rooted in their traditions. In fact, the Konyaks, one of the major tribes of the state, were headhunters till as recent as 6 decades ago. Startling natural beauty of hills stacked one behind the year, and tribal villages fragmented by their distinct heritage propped within them, make for an intriguing adventure for the offbeat traveller. The state is wedged between Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, and even Burma across the border – in fact, a couple of villages lie non-chalantly on both sides of the Indian and Burmese sides. If India were to have its very own Shangri-La, Nagaland would lie on top of the list. The state is the intriguing home to animism, where headhunting was practiced till the late 60s. Finding tribals decked in feathered, beaded and horned headgears is not uncommon. Proud locals occupy magnificent hilltop villages that might have looked the same many hundreds of years ago.
As the uncontested untamed part of the northeastern states, Nagaland offers a peek into the traditional lifestyle of the tribes. While the southern part of the state is relatively better developed, the northern parts are still a shadow of how life used to be eons ago. For the traveller, the annual Hornbill Festival in December is a veritable hook to see all the tribes on one cultural platform. Apart from tribal history, modern events shift your gaze to the World War II, during which, British and Indian troops in Nagaland successfully stopped the Japanese soldiers in the Battle of Kohima. A war cemetery and museum house poignant remnants of the British soldiers and Angami warriors who fought at their side.
For the wildlife enthusiasts, the green cover and humid climate of the state is ideal for tropical extravaganza. The ‘Great Indian Hornbill’ is mentioned repeatedly in the state – a fascination for it’s interesting plumage perhaps - though numbers have dwindled over the years. The evergreen forests host a formidable number of fauna, amongst which, the Blyth's tragopan is the most striking. It is a species of pheasant and the state bird of Nagaland. A hike in the Dzuko Valley is likely to award a sighting.When talking of sightings, also keep your eyes peeled for the Amur falcons. When talking green, you cannot miss the first ‘Green Village’ of the country, Khonoma, also known as Khwunoria. The signature terraced fields and lush forested lands are the legit introduction to this village. The moniker comes from the community conservation efforts made by the village. Since the Nagas are hunters, the early part of the 20th century saw rapid killings of birds and animals for meat. In 1998, the Khonoma village council declared 20 sq km of the village as the Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary (KNCTS), thus starting a revolution to safeguard its natural wonders.
A trip to Nagaland does not promise the razor sharp edged mountains of the Himalayas or dramatic cloudy views of Meghalaya, but it has a prodigious amount of cultural wealth that will keep bringing you back to the state.