Nagaland is a state in Northeast India, bordering Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Myanmar, and Manipur. It is one of the smallest states in India with an area of 16,579 square kilometers. It has a great variety of flora and fauna and deep and rich heritage. If you’re planning to travel to Nagaland (and you should!), it’ll be nice to remember these cool facts before you go. It’s such a wonderful place that knowing a bit more than every other tourist will add another level of enjoyment to your road trip.
Five Things You Should Know Before You Travel to Nagaland
1. You need an Inner Line Permit to enter
Nagaland is one of the few states in India for which you need a permit to enter. Nagaland is very welcoming of visitors, and all you need to do is to get an Inner Line Permit from the government. The Nagaland government provides these permits to tourists to allow them to stay there temporarily. However, you can visit Dimapur, the largest city in Nagaland, without an ILP (Inner Line Permit). So when you travel to Nagaland, make sure you get an Inner Line Permit from the Nagaland government if you want to see all that Nagaland has to offer. It will make for a wonderful road trip!
2. One of the World’s Hottest Chilli Peppers originate here
Do you know what one of the hottest chilies in the world is called? It’s called Bhut Jolokia, or ghost pepper, It was once considered the hottest chilli ever according to the Scoville Scale. In 2007, the Guinness World Records certified that it was the hottest in the world. This comes out to over 1 million Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville Scale. It was overtaken by new strains in 2011, but it remains one of the hottest in the world even now. It is approximately 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. Do try it – if you dare – when you travel to Nagaland!
3. One of the largest indigenous celebrations – The Hornbill Festival
Nagaland is a wonderful destination for a road trip. In fact, December is a great time to travel to Nagaland, as you will be able to experience the Hornbill Festival, one of the biggest festivals in the state. It is named after a bird species, the Hornbill, one of the most honored in the region. They celebrate the importance of this bird in their fiestas and performances.
This festival, held in the first week of December, is the initiative of indigenous warrior tribes. In fact, all of these tribes even have their own unique festivals and celebrations. It is rightly said that Nagaland is the Land of Festivals. At least once a year for the Hornbill festival, all the tribes come together to celebrate and it is a great example of the unity and peaceful coexistence they share. In fact, the Hornbill Festival has contributed greatly to the influx of tourism in Nagaland. It has led to a year-on-year increase in tourism revenue for the state.
4. There are over a hundred tribes native to Nagaland
When you travel to Nagaland, you will see a variety of tribes. Each of these tribes has their own languages, customs, dialects and traditional clothing. Out of these, 17 tribes have been recognized by the government.
These tribes are – Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Khiamnuingan, Konyak, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sumi, Yimchunger, Zeme-Liangmai (Zeliang), Dimasa Kachari, Kuki and Rongmei [Kabui].
On a road trip across Nagaland, you’ll be able to see different tribes in their native regions, which they take a lot of pride in. In fact, all these tribes have their own festivals happening, so whenever you travel to Nagaland, you are likely to come across at least one festival happening. It is surely heartwarming to see people respect and love their heritage and culture in this day and age.
5. Longwa village is in two countries!
The Longwa village in Mon district is located on the border of India and Myanmar. It is one of the biggest villages in Mon district, located around 42 km from Mon town. The village has the home of the chief, Angh. One half of the Angh’s house is in Indian borders and the other half in Myanmar territory. So even though the village is in two different countries, it is ruled by the Angh. All residents of the village have dual citizenship. The Angh, accompanied by the Village Council Chairman, rules over more than 60 villages of the Konyak tribe, which extends to Arunachal Pradesh as well as Myanmar.
It is a place of great natural beauty as well, with four rivers flowing through the village, two in Indian territory and two in the Myanmar side.
What’s your favorite fact out of these? Are you looking forward to soaking in the culture, visiting the Hornbill Festival, or trying some spicy Bhut Jolokia dishes? Or do you have another fun fact about Nagaland? Maybe it’s something we haven’t heard of before! Do share them with us in the comments below. If you want us to help create a wonderful journey for you, feel free to reach out to us on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram.