KOHIMA WORLD WAR-II CEMETERY :

Overlooking Kohima amidst scenic environs, the Kohima War Cemetery is a memorial in honor of those officers and soldiers killed during the World War II. Formerly known as Garrison Hill it is designed as a series of terraces with magnificent stone steps, bearing testimony to one of the most stubborn, close and bloody fighting in the whole of the Second World War.

On the 18 plots of the cemetery, there are 1421 slabs erected in memory of soldiers who were killed in the battle of Kohima. Of these, 1070 were from the United Kingdom, 5 from Canada, 3 from Australia, 33 from undivided India, 2 from East Africa, 1 from West Africa, 9 from Burma and 1 non-war grave. Each grave is supported by a bronze plaque with an apt epitaph. The cemetery is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Historians have called Battle of Kohima “one of the bitterly fought battles of the Second World War” and a “battle of Attrition” involving “fierce hand-to-hand combat”. The reasons are many. The most bitter battle ever fought lasted for three months. Only 20,000 of the 85,000 Japanese who had come to invade India were left standing. The cost of the allies has been 17,857 British and Indian troops killed, wounded and missing. Before leaving Kohima the British erected a moving memorial in memory of their fallen comrades:

 “When you go home, tell them of us, and say: ‘For your tomorrow, we gave our today.’

 The Battle of Kohima may have ended, the cemetery erected, but the scars still remained. Kohima since then has become a place for pilgrimage and reconciliations in the center of the cemetery had paid a special pilgrimage to the Kohima War Cemetery to remember fallen comrades.

 ”HERE, AROUND THE TENNIS COURT OF THE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LIE MEN WHO FOUGHT IN THE BATTLE OF KOHIMA IN WHICH THEY AND THEIR COMRADES FINALLY HALTED THE INVASION OF INDIA BY THE FORCES OF JAPAN IN APRIL 1944."
 

KOHIMA CATHEDRAL (Biggest in Asia):

 Nagaland has had a very turbulent and extremely violent past, so many shots fired here and too many lives lost which is why this Cathedral in Kohima stands out. She is like a falcon spreading out her wings standing guard over the city. She is also a beacon of hope and peace, providing a lot of faith to the people of Nagaland and her visitors. 

Located at Aradura Hill, the Cathedral dominates the landscape of Kohima. It has become an important tourist destination and is the largest cathedral in the Asia. As one enters the Cathedral, one can’t help but notice a slab on the right hand side-

  “when you enter in here, bring before the Lord, all those who gave their life and all those who will give their all for your better and safer Nagaland”.

This was put up on the request of the Japanese who contributed towards the building of the church. In the spring of 1944, Japanese, British and Indian forces fought for the Garrison Hill during the Battle of Kohima. Thousands were killed. The Japanese survivors of the battle and bereaved families collected contributions towards the making of the Cathedral so that prayers could be offered in the memory of their loved ones. Spread over an area of 25,000 sq feet, it can accommodate 3000 seated and 20,000 if all areas are occupied. A permanent Olive wood crib from Bethlehem’s Olive wood has also been installed. For those wanting to experience an architectural treat of the modern and the indigenous, the Kohima Cathedral is the place to visit!!!
 

STATE MUSEUM: 

Though the Nagas cannot boast of any written documentation of how they came about, a look at the Nagaland Museum in the state capital can give the visitor an idea about the legacy of the Nagas. Located at Bayavü Hill, about 1½ km from the main town, it houses a rare collection of artifacts of each Naga tribe. The State Museum also has authentic Naga precious stones on display. Here one can see the most valued and expensive necklaces used by the Nagas. They are an assortment of precious stones which include cornelian, tourmaline, coral, core of xancus, ivory and other beads, brass and silver bells. Another interesting display is the Naga Morung/hut models. One can make out that the villages were located on hilltops. Perhaps it was to survey/watch the valley below for approaching friends or foes. The variations in architecture among the different tribes are just amazing. Musical instruments are also displayed. The various instruments give an insight into how music formed an integral part of

Naga life. Log drum, Tati, a single stringed instrument, and other instruments made of bamboo and buffalo horns are used during festivals and other social gatherings. For the art lovers the state museum has an art gallery which houses collections of paintings by different local artists. The themes vary from traditional to modern.

Visiting Hours : Timings: 10 A.M. - 4 P.M. (Closed on all Holidays and Mondays except Sundays.)
 

SALES EMPORIUM:

The Government sales Emporium is in the heart of the town. It has a collection of Naga handloom and handicraft items. Some of the more prominent outlets where mementoes can be purchased are GURTEL near the war Cemetery and Belho Weavers near Assam Oil Company (AOC). There are many shops dealing with Naga cultural items in the Super Market area as well.
 

NAGA HERITAGE COMPLEX KISAMA-KOHIMA: 

The Naga Heritage Complex was inaugurated by the Government of Nagaland on 1st December 2003, where the HORNBILL FESTIVAL is celebrated annually. It is a permanent site at KISAMA situated 12 kms away from Kohima on NH-39. The Naga Heritage Complex serves as “Window to Nagaland” (WTN), aims to showcase the state in a single platform, through which one can have a peep into the Naga Heritage. The complex will also house the “World War II Museum”.

 The WTN houses the traditional houses or “Morungs”, representing the 16 recognized tribes of Nagaland. Each of these units display the distinctive aspects of each tribe, in terms of crafts, cuisine, cultural activities, etc., as well as provide the market outlets for the many unique local products of all the tribes in the state. It also have a commercial complex for leasing out to local entrepreneurs for handloom and handicraft products, souvenir outlets, amphitheatre, PCOs, internet cafes, restaurants and other entertainment outlets. An added attraction are the “Flower Garden”, for display, sale and exhibition of flowers and plants, Trekking Route to the peak for the birds eye-view of the Heritage complex and her vicinities, Rope-Ways and the Amusement Park are off the offing. The Complex on completion will be opened through out the year, with various activities, shows, exhibitions, displays, cultural events, competitions, eateries etc., which can be enjoyed by all. The facilities at the WTN can also be hired out to interested parties/persons.
 

KOHIMA VILLAGE:

Considered as the point of origin of Kohima, it is believed to be one of the largest and populous villages in Asia. According to legends, Kohima village was established by a man called Whinuo hence Kewhira, the original name. Legend has it that after his selection of a place to settle down, Whinuo had a strange dream. He dreamt of an empty habitation but heard sounds of children laughing, playing and of mourning. He was greatly disturbed by the dream. He knew mourning implied death and sorrow but at the same time sounds of children were good omen. The villagers believed that he chose to believe in the good omen and decided to settle down in what is presently called Kohima Village. With a population of 13,705 people, 3965 households (2001 census) Kohima village is divided into four khels – Dapfütsuma [D Khel], Lhisema [L Khel], Pfuchatsuma [P Khel], and Tsütsonuoma [T Khel]. Khel is a distinct Naga institution that brings together several clans within the village community. Membership of a khel is either decided by birth or heredity. This is the most important and effective institution in village governance. No village decision can be taken without a consensus from all Khels in the village.  

Kohima Village is an admixture of the past and present. In the olden days it was believed that Kohima Village had seven lakes and seven gateways. Till today a huge gate still stands at the entrance of the village, which is engraved with traditional Naga art and adorned with buffalo horns at the top. Stones of varying sizes and shapes implanted within the compound or skulls of buffaloes and Mithuns adorning the portico reminds the glorious status of the great ancestors who had performed grand feasts of merit.
 

DZUKOU VALLEY: 

Situated 30 km south from Kohima, Dzükou Valley beckons the intrepid trekkers. At an elevation of 2483m, it provides a panoramic view of the mountains, wild flowers, mountain streams and the surrounding landscapes are second to none. There are two facets to Dzükou - During spring, Dzükou comes alive with wild herbs, flowers of varied hues and species dominates the landscape. Adorned with lilies of varied colors, aconitum, euphobias, wild flower, white, red, yellow and pink rhododendrons, yellow Caltha Palustris and white anemones!!!! Since all these various species of flowers bloom at different times every colour enjoys monopoly during different seasons. It is believed that 360 varieties of orchids grow on the hillsides. Dzükou reveals her other face during winter. With brown dominating the landscape Dzükou seems like a featureless desert.

 The serpentine stream that provides nourishment to everyone who treads here also becomes frozen in time. One gets the feeling that nature itself is seeking illumination. This is also the valley which has been immortalized by Vikram Seth, an eminent Indian writer of A Suitable Boy fame in the poem entitled “The Elephant and the Tragopan”. Here Dzükou has been described by a different name- Bingle valley- for rhyming and from the conservationist point of view. There are also interesting caves in the low hillocks that cluster inside the valley and are a trekkers’ paradise. Though half of the route has to be approached through trekking of difficult terrain, it is one of the most frequented trekking spots in the whole of North East. A few tourist rest houses are constructed for trekkers.
 

JAPFU PEAK: 

Japfü Peak, at 3048 meters above sea level, is the second highest peak in Nagaland. Located about 15 km south of Kohima, it makes for an exhilarating scaling and trekking experience. Watch the sun- paint fascinating pictures over the entire sky, as it travels slowly beyond the horizon. Marvel at the ocean of mist at the crack of dawn. October- March is the right time to try this out. The Blythe Tragopan and other hill birds can also be found here. The vegetation type is sub-tropical, broad leaf on the slopes and temperate broad leaf on higher altitudes. Interestingly, the tallest rhododendron tree featured in the Guinness Book of World Records is found in the Japfü ranges. This tree is over One Hundred and Nine feet tall and at the girth of the base measures more than Eleven feet.  Enroute to Japfü and Dzükou, for a true off the beaten track experience one can take a sneak into some Southern Angami villages such as Jakhama, Kigwema, Viswema, and Phesama to get a taste of Naga culture. Also, the terrace fields carved out of the hills while passing through the National Highway 39 will make every trip worth the visit.
 

TSEMINYU

Tseminyu town is the headquarters of the Rengmas and is situated 50 km from Kohima in the same district. It lies in the ancient migration routes of many of the Naga tribes such as Lothas, Semas, Sangtams.. as they head northwards looking for new places to settle and cultivate. It is also the area from where some of the present day Pochuries in Phek District and the western Rengmas in Assam migrated to their present day locations. There are still some old sites of abandoned villages with tell-tale signs of graveyards, gravestones, broken pottery pieces, which needs to be archeologically examined and studied before they are completely destroyed by successive cycles of Jhumming cultivation.

The Rengmas are hardworking and good agriculturalists in the traditional sense of the term and they practice both Jhum and terrace cultivation. As their whole countryside is sited on gentle slopes without much difficult terrain almost the whole area could be put to use for cultivation, which ensures for the inhabitants food and security and the farmers are by large, self-sufficient though they may not have much surplus for sale or export. There is certainly more potential for improvement with modern technology and better methods of cultivation. It may be noted that in the last few years large chunks of the area has been put to tree plantation by individuals and clans and one can also see this along the road as one traverses through national highway 61 for Wokha, Mokokchung, Tuensang.
 

KHONOMA VILLAGE:

Located 20 km west of Kohima is Khonoma village. Reputed for their courage and valor, it is the village of A. Z Phizo, Father of Naga Nationalist Movement. It has its own share of brushes with history. It was here that the Naga warriors made their last stand against the British in 1879. A simple white pillar commemorates G H Damant, major C R Cock, lieutenant H H Forbes and Sub-major Nurbir Sai, who died fighting the Nagas in Khonoma. The Khonoma gate tells the story of the British infiltration into Naga Hills. The village referred to as “Khwünoria” by the residents is estimated to be around 700 years old and is surrounded by hills that are as high as 9000 ft. It runs along a ridge which is a characteristic of Angami Villages and its domain extends from the terrace rice fields in the valley immediately beneath the ridge into the uplands of the Barail range all the way southwards till the border with Manipur, Senapati district. One of the outstanding features of Khonoma village is the presence of the fort called Kuda which literally means “a place of defense”. There is one fort in each of the three khels (Locality). It is believed that in ancient times the strength of the Khel is measured by the condition of the kuda and the presence of young warriors. Even today each khel takes responsibility for the maintenance of their khel fort. The terrain is hilly - from gentle slopes to steeply rugged crags and the hills are covered with lush forests, with numerous perennial trees. The Village is named after a plant locally known as “Khüno” that grows in the area. The alder tree (Alnus Nepalensis) is found in abundance in this region and Khonoma is famous for its management of jhum fields with alder trees, which fixes nitrogen in the soil and checks soil erosion.

In an effort to conserve the Blythe’s Tragopan, an endangered pheasant of the state and other wild life in its natural habitat, Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan sanctuary (KNCTS) was set up in 1998 by the ecologically conscious people of the village. This sanctuary which covers an area of over 70 sq km is privately owned and managed by the village community in Khonoma. It is also the habitat to many other endangered and rare species of plants and animals. The sanctuary is also an ideal place for adventure and nature study. With its mission” Green Khonoma”, it has become the Model Village for eco-tourism. The Village Council has made it mandatory for every household to have dustbins. Once in a month, sanitation drive is carried out and the community’s garbage is burnt. The ashes and the residue are then used as manure. The combination of rich bio-diversity and stunning landscape makes Khonoma habitat an excellent candidate for eco-tourism that ranges from the “active”- 2 or 3 day treks into the Dzükou uplands, wildlife spotting camps to The “passive” – walks through the village “myths and legends” trails, through megaliths and the terrace rice fields which produces 20 varieties of rice. Known for its beautiful natural landscape, Khonoma is a destination which truly makes for a tribal travel experience!!!!
 

DZULEKIE: 

If you are looking for an ideal get away from the tensions and rat race of an urban existence, this is an ideal place for you. The lush evergreen subtropical forests are a feast for the eyes. Here, you can spot Mithuns (Bos Frontalis) grazing gracefully on the wayside. This place is 40 km West of Kohima and is at 2,133.6 meters above sea level. Another interesting feature of Dzulekie stream is that it flows through a deep and narrow gorge making it as if the stream has gone underground at places. A rare species of rainbow trout is found in this stream. A tourist rest house and some cottages have been constructed here.
 

TUOPHEMA TOURIST VILLAGE:

Located 41 kilometers away north from the state capital on NH 61, Tuophema is an Angami tribal Tourist Village. In 2001, the people of the village instigated the creation of a tourist village to develop a sustainable destination. Established in 1431 AD, Tuophema village was originally named after the Erithrina tree. They believed that the tree’s presence will bring them victory. What’s interesting about this Tourist Village is that each khel <locality> from the village has set up an ethnic house with modern facilities for tourists to lodge. Totaling to 12 lodges, it is managed and staffed by a team of young local people, overseen by the elected Village Council. Well planned tourist accommodation, multipurpose hall and a museum. To cater to the palate of the visitors, locally grown organic food is prepared in a traditional Naga kitchen and even the visitors can participate in it. Angami Sekrenyi festival is also celebrated here during 25- 27th February every year. Around 1000 tourists have been visiting and staying at Tuophema every year since 2001.

 Amenities available: Fully catered accommodation in traditional Angami Naga house, hot & cold water, room service, guided walks to nearby peaks or rice fields, cultural expeditions and visits to village homes – including sampling of typical Angami hospitality, local dishes and home brewed rice beer, fascinating insight into the ancient myths & legends and folklores recounted by local guides and villagers. A recently refurbished museum of traditional artifacts, jewelries, clothing and souvenir out- let.

 
 
 
 
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