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About Kohima

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 one of the three Nagaland towns with Municipal council status along with Dimapurand Mokokchung.

Kohima, the state capital of Nagaland, is a beautiful city on a hill. The mystic hill station is located 12m above sea-level is simply interesting with nature’s beauty scattered all over with generous extravagance. And the weather simply adds to the spirituality that this city offers. The winding roads, the lush green fields decking up on the sides of the hill, the lively local markets all represent in bits and parts the amusing experience one can get in Kohima.

The main town of Kohima is busy and crowded with shops and the hustle activities simply reminds you of a subdued hectic lifestyle amidst an otherwise marvelously relaxed and quiet life. And you can surprise yourself at the various displays of traditional Naga jewelleries, clothes, and artifacts among other things ultra modern.

Kohima is the place where you can kick your shoes off lying on the bed as you soak up the beautiful panoramic views of nature alongside a hill and consider over the felicities of nature. Its interesting culture, a leisurely pace of life, quiet and calm environment with its fresh and unpolluted air makes a welcome change away from the life in a mean crowded city. The weather of Kohima is fairly subtropical with dry and bitterly cold winters. Cafes and coffee houses are spread all over the city. The streets of Kohima are just perfect for a quiet leisurely walk.

Known for its juvenile beauty and the wonderful views of the Naga Hills, Kohima also holds historical importance as the site of the battle fought between the British and Japanese troops during World War II. There are also a number of beautiful villages in and around Kohima which are of traditional and cultural amusements.It’s simply wonderful that there are a lot places to visit in and around Kohima and a lot of interesting things to do in Kohima.

Kohima will simply amaze you with what it has to offer; from a walk down the rich Naga heritage to the modern music in a café overlooking a remarkable view of the Naga Hills. Kohima is much more than what meets the eye.

Kohima is the land of the Angami Naga tribe. The name, Kohima, was officially given by the British as they could not pronounce the Angami name Kewhima or Kewhira (Tenyidie for "the land where the flower Kewhi grows"). It is called after the wild flowering plant Kewhi, found in the mountains. Earlier, Kohima was also known as Thigoma. Kohima is situated at 25º40'N 94º07'E 25.67ºN 94.12ºE. It has an average height of 1261 metres (4137 feet).Kohima town is situated on the top of a high ridge and the town serpentines all along the top of the surrounding mountain ranges as is typical of most Naga settlements.

History of Kohima

The British invasions into the Naga territory begins in the 1840s met with stiff resistance from the independence loving Nagas who had never been dominated by any empire before. The rigidity of the resistance can be measured 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 Headquarters 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 1 December 1963, Kohima was named as the state capital.

In 1944 during World War II the Battle of Kohima along with the simultaneous Battle of Imphal was the turning point in the Burma Campaign. For the first time in South-East Asia the Japanese lost the idea to the Allies which they then retained until the end of the war. This hand-to-hand battle and slaughter prevented the Japanese from gaining a high base from which they might next roll across the wide flatlands of India like a juggernaut.

Kohima has a large cemetery for the Allied war dead which was maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The cemetery lies on the slopes of Garrison Hill, which was once the Deputy Commissioner's tennis court which was the scene of intense fighting, the Battle of the Tennis Court. The epitaph carved on the memorial of the 2nd British Division in the cemetery “ When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today ” has become world-famous as the Kohima poem. The stanza is attributed to John Maxwell Edmonds (1875–1958), and is thought to have been motivated by the epitaph written by Simonides to honour the Greek who fell at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC.

Geography and climate

Kohima lies north of the Japfü Barail intersection. Due to its height, Kohima features a more moderate version of a humid subtropical climate. Kohima has a pleasant and moderate climate - not too cold in winters and pleasant summers. December and January are the coldest months when frost occurs and in the higher altitudes snowfall occurs occasionally. During the height of summers, from July–August, temperature ranges an average of 80-90 Fahrenheit. Heavy rainfall occurs during summer.

Hornbill Festival

The Hornbill Festival was started by the Government of Nagaland in December 2000 to encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote the cultural heritage of the state. Hornbill Festival is Organized by the State Tourism and Art and Culture Departments, Hornbill festival showcases cultural displays under one roof. The festival takes place between the 1st and the 7th of December every year.

The week long Hornbill Festival is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 km from Kohima. All the tribes of Nagaland take part in this festival. The aim of the festival is to stimulate and protect the rich culture of Nagaland and display its traditions.

The festival is named after the Hornbill, which is mentioned in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes. People enjoy the colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies. Traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, and sculptures are on display. Most Prominent Festival highlights of the festival include Naga Morungs exhibition and sale of arts and crafts, food stalls, herbal medicine stalls, flower shows and sales, cultural medley - songs and dances, fashion shows, beauty contest, archery, Naga wrestling, indigenous games and musical concerts.

Additional attractions include Konyak fire eating demonstration, pork fat eating competitions, literature fest, Hornbill Global Film Fest, Hornbill Ball, Choral Panorama, North East India Drum Ensemble, Naga King Chilly eating competition, Hornbill National Rock Contest, Hornbill International Motor Rally and WW-II Vintage Car Rally.

Tourist Attractions in Kohima

1) Khonoma Green Village- Khonoma is situated about 20 kms from Kohima and is famous for its pristine natural beauty. Considered a virgin territory it decorated with tall alder trees and attractive terraces carved out of hill slopes, this place is a amusement for nature enthusiasts, bird watchers, and animal watchers. The Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary is an ecological paradise.

2) Dzulekie- Dzulekie is situated about 40km from Kohima at a height of 2133.6m. The hilly landscape with lush green sub-tropical forests are simply charming and the gorges and streams add a hint of spirituality. It is also home of the wonderful Mithun, the Naga Bison and a rare species of the rainbow trout.

3) Tseminyu- Tseminyu town is situated about 50 km from Kohima.It is the ancient migration route of Naga tribes heading northwards on the lookout for new settlements and is of great historical and archaeological importance. It is Home of the Rengma Nagas, the town is full of ancient Naga heritage in the form of abandoned villages, broken pottery, age-old graveyards and gravestones.

4) Dzukou Valley- Dzukou Valley is well-known for its wonderful view of abundant natural beauty full of beautiful flowers, orchids, rolling hills, and meandering streams. Also known as the valley of flowers, it is a trekker’s delight and believed to be one of the best trekking circuits in India.

5) Japfu Peak- Japfu Peak is at a height of 3048m above sea level.It is the second highest peak in Nagaland. It is situated at 15 km from Kohima, this peak is a scenic paradise with delightful view of the sunrise and the surrounding hills including parts of the attractive Dzukou Valley. The world’s tallest Rhododendron tree is found in the Japfu range.

6) Touphema Tourist Village- Tuophema Tourist Village is situated in Tuophema which is about 41 kms from Kohima. This is an ethnic tourist village with traditional huts and kitchens in an ethnic setting with modern facilities available at disposal where tourists can enjoy the ethnic Naga culture with the best local brew and food on the menu.

7) Naga Heritage Village, Kisama- The Naga Heritage Village, Kisama is situated about 12 km from Kohima and hosts the biggest annual Hornbill Festival in December every year. The main attraction is the beautiful morungs (Naga boy’s dormitories) constructed with the tribal architecture designs of each of the Naga tribes.


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