The Hornbill Festival - Nagaland

India's North East has a charm that is unmatchable. This relatively unexplored region in the country offers some breathtaking sites, unique traditions and cultures, cleanliness, friendly people and delicious cuisines. The Nagaland Hornbill festival offers you everything in one place. So if you haven't visited this part, include it in your itinerary.

What is the Hornbill Festival?

A celebration held every year from Dec 1 to Dec 10 and also known as the 'Festival of Festivals'. Nagaland has many different tribes and almost 60% of the population depends on agriculture. Hence, most of their festivals revolve around Agriculture. 

To promote tourism and celebrate these different festivals of many tribes, the Govt. of Nagaland introduced Hornbill Festival in the year 2000. The festival is named after the Indian hornbill, the large and colourful forest bird that is displayed in the folklore of most of the state's tribes.

Pic Credits: Wikipedia

Pic Credits: Wikipedia

Where is it held?

It is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12km from Kohima. All the tribes take part in this festival with an aim to protect and promote the rich Naga tradition and culture.

Pic Credits: Wikipedia

What is there in the Hornbill Festival?

You name it and they have it! The festival provides a colourful mixture of dances, songs, food fairs, crafts, games and ceremonies. There is traditional art that includes wood carvings, sculptures and paintings.

The highlight of the festival is the traditional Naga Morungs exhibition and the sale of crafts, herbal medicines, flower shows, traditional archery, Naga wrestling, musical concert and the Miss Nagaland beauty contest.

Hornbill Festival
Rock Fest
Traditional Performances
Naga Performances

Other Places in Kohima

Besides the Hornbill Festival, there are many other places in and around Kohima to explore. 

2nd World War Cemetery

War cemetery that reminds of the warriors who gave their lives during the Japanese invasion at the time of WWII. The cemetery comprises of 1420 Commonwealth burials with commemorative inscribed bronze plate on every warrior. The cemeteries are of 1100 British burials, 330 Indian burials and 5 Canadian burials. 

Instagram Pic Credits: neyatradotcom

Nagaland State Museum

Museum that holds the exhibits of evolution of the Nagas. It has artefacts of all the Naga tribes that inhabit the state. One of the major attractions is the showcase of Naga Morung. Musical instruments made of bamboo and buffalo horns are also on the display.

Pic Credits: EasternMirronNagaland

Catholic Cathedral

One of the largest churches in North East India is one of its kinds. In 1948, Sisters of the Missionaries of Christ Jesus came to Kohima to facilitate services in one of the civil hospitals of the region. At the same time, the church begain to spread Christianity. 

The church is known for its architecture which reflects the blend of indigenous and creative art.

Pic Credits: TripAdvisor

Naga Bazaar

Market that attracts many visitors, it is famous for trading of livestock, especially Black dog that is an integral part of Naga cuisine. Various crafts, poultry and fishery products are also sold in the market.

Pic Credits: Pinterest

Khonoma Village

This village was the last base of the Naga warriors fighting against the British forces. It is about 20kms from Kohima and has carved terraces of hills used for cultivating 20 different varieties of Paddy. This is a beautiful and serene village to visit.

Instagram Pic Credits: apen.small_villageboy

I am sure you are excited to visit Nagaland and be a part of the Naga culture! Happy travelling!