Kohima - an off-beat travel destination that may leave you asking for more
Nagaland is still an unexplored territory for travelers. The name Nagaland is associated with mainly political unrest and violence in the mainstream media of India. But for a long time, the mainland India was unaware of the beauty of Nagaland. It’s only recently that Nagaland is getting its due from travel-enthusiasts.
How to reach Kohima
Dimapur is the largest city of Nagaland and is well connected with rest of India. In order to visit Kohima via air, you first need to take flights- either from Kolkata or Guwahati or Imphal (the capital of Manipur)- to Dimapur. From Dimapur Airport (DMU) - Kohima takes approx 2hrs by road.
Alliance Air and Air Deccan mostly operate these flights. Indian Airlines have a twice-a-week flight from Kolkata to Dimapur.
Kohima doesn’t have any rail line yet, so you have to reach the Dimapur railway station first, as it is the largest railway station in the region. The closest to it is Guawahati-Dibrugarh railway station. Dimapur is connected by train to metros like Kolkata, Guwahati, Delhi and Chennai.
Once you reach at Dimapur by train or place, you can take taxi from there to Kohima. Its 2-hours long drive and the fare is around Rs.200 per passenger.
You can also travel to Kohima from Dimapur by bus. Kohima is connected by bus-service with major cities of North-Eastern region like Imphal, Dimapur, Tinsukia, Guwahati etc. the bus journey can take up to 4 hours – depending upon the quality and speed of the bus.
Places of tourist attraction at Kohima
There are no such tourist spots in Kohima that you can call fancy. The nature is serene and calm, the forests are breathtakingly beautiful especially during spring and winter, and there are many nice falls where you can go for picnic, a short trek and have a romantic time close to nature.
It’s the beauty of Kohima that is its main tourist attraction. Besides that, there are-
1 Kohima war Cemetery - a serene place where 1420 brave souls’ who were killed at the battle of Kohima during World War-II, had been lying here. Its heart wrenching experience of going from one grave to another and reading the epitaph of each dead- written by their near and dear ones. Visit this place to remind yourself that nothing justifies war.
2 Catholic Church- the biggest church in North-East Region that can give an awesome of the city.
3 Other Attractions - Apart from these, Kohima Museum, Kohima Zoo, Bara Basti (Asia’s second largest village), and Khonoma Village are some of the other interesting places to see at Kohima.
What to eat at Kohima
Nagaland can be the place-to-be for non-vegetarian people around the world.
Eat pork, chicken, beef, and mutton at your heart’s content and cooked in a unique way that is a blend of Naga – cum-Western fusion.
Don’t forget to taste the spicy home-made chutneys and various pickles (especially beef pickle) of Naga-specialty - that is made from world’s hottest chilies that can be found in this region.
Home-brewed rice beer is another popular beverage to drink. Except that- there are Tibetan momo, thukpa, noodles are in abundance in the local restaurants.
Where to shop !
The local bazaars are flooded with Naga handicrafts, artifacts, shawls, vests etc. You can also visit the emporiums in the city to get some authentic deals.
Where to stay
Orchid Boutique hotel is one of best hotels in Kohima but it belongs to slightly expensive category.
For the mid-range budget travelers- there are hotels like - Razhu Pru, Japfu Ashok, and Holiday Inn are available.
- Visit Kohima during the annual Hornbill festival during the first week of December. It’s an unforgettable week-long festival that blends in pop culture with local Naga culture beautifully.
- Trek to the Dzukuo valley at the top of the mountain for its breath-taking beauty, waterfalls and rivers.
- Roam around the city by foot to understand its pulse.
- Don’t hurt the sentiment of locals.
- The bus route from Dimapur-to-Kohima can be dangerous at times due to terrorist insurgence, especially during night. So be aware of that.
Some useful info for travelers
- The whole city is prone to massive power-cuts during any time of the day.
- Take with you enough warm clothes if you are planning for trekking.
So next time, if you are planning to visit an off-beat destination, do visit Kohima. It’s nothing like you have seen anything so far.
Jheelam Dutta Roy lives in Kolkata.Being born in a Bengali household it’s in her genes to like anything in printed words.Reading fictions, watching Hollywood thrillers are her hobbies.She loves writing and is glad to do what she likes best for earning.