Nagaland and the Hornbill Festival
14 days from £3780 per person
One of India's last remaining frontiers, travel to the eastern tribal state of Nagaland is challenging but hugely rewarding. A land of spectacular beauty and timeless history indelibly linked to the colourful indigenous tribal groups which form such an important part of the region, this itinerary visits Tuophema, Mokokchung and Mon stopping in many fascinating villages on the way. The highlight of this journey however is a two day visit to the Hornbill Festival - a grand celebration, held annually in December and attended by the sixteen tribes of Nagaland.
Kohima, the hilly capital of Nagaland, snakes along a high ridge, typical of Naga settlements. In 1944 the Battle of Kohima turned the tide of the Burma Campaign in favour of the British.
Mokokchung is the cultural hub for the Ao people and an important town in northern Nagaland. In the 19th century, the British built a stockade here, then expanded into remoter areas.
The town and district of Mon was once famous for headhunting. Peopled by ethnic Konyak and Ao tribes, these communities now inhabit land in both India and Burma.
Day 1 Depart the UK
Today depart the UK on the Emirates flight to Dubai. (N)
Day 2 Arrive Kolkata
Arrive into Dubai and connect onto the Emirates flight to Kolkata. Once in Kolkata you will be met and transferred to the Oberoi Grand Hotel where you will stay overnight. Kolkata is the heart of Eastern India. One of the forward-thinking intellectual capitals of India, the city has long been noted for its wonderful architectural landmarks—many of which date from the period of the British Raj. Kolkata is also known as the 'soul of India', one of the most populous urban areas on earth and an intensely human city. (N)
Day 3 Kolkata to Dimapur – by air
Dimapur to Kohima
Today fly to Dimapur. On arrival you will be met and transferred to Kohima and the Vivor Hotel for a four night stay. The state capital of Nagaland, Kohima is a beautiful town with wide panoramic views of the surrounding region. Later visit the village of Kohima with its large traditional gate decorated with horns of buffalo which represents the bravery and valour of the local Angami Tribe. (B/D)
Day 4 Kohima – Hornbill Festival
Located in the North Eastern corner of India, Nagaland is made up of sixteen major tribes each with its own language, cultures and traditions. All Naga tribes celebrate their distinct festivals which are seasonal in nature and characterised by grand displays of colour, music and dance. During December the annual Hornbill Festival takes place in the village of Kisema—a grand celebration attended by all of the tribes of Nagaland. Later continue to the festival to soak up the atmosphere of this great event. (B/L/D)
Day 5 Kohima – Hornbill Festival
Today return again to the festival. By visiting on different days you get to see a good cross-section of the various tribes and their cultures. (B/L/D)
Day 6 Kohima
This morning visit the villages of Jakhama and Kigwema which are inhabited by the Angami tribe. Located south of Kohima, both villages are encircled by terraced paddy fields each with a traditional entrance gate and the customary Angami houses. Afterwards, continue onto the village of Khonoma. It was here that the Naga warriors made their last stand against the British in 1879. (B/L/D)
Day 7 Kohima to Touphema – 40kms
Today drive to Tuophema and stay overnight at the basic Tuophema Tourist Cottage. Home of the northern Angami tribe, Tuophema is situated deep in the central Naga Hills. Later visit the village inhabited by the Angami tribe and nearby Tsiminyu Village which is home to the Regma Tribe. (B/L/D)
Day 8 Touphema to Mokokchung – 120kms
After breakfast leave Tuophema and drive to Mokokchung. This picturesque town is the cultural centre of the Ao tribes who are famous for their colourful dances. In the evening visit Ungma village, the largest of the Ao villages and, according to legend, where the early Ao's first settled. The village is many centuries old and has much folklore, ancient customs and unique traditions. Stay for two nights at the Metsuben Hotel. (B/L/D)
Day 9 Mokokchung
This morning visit the tribal villages of Mopungchukit and Chuchuyimlang—both of which are inhabited by the Ao Nagas and are known for their festivals which take place at the start of May. After lunch, end the day at Longkhum. A vanguard village of the Ao's in the days of head hunting, Longkhum is today best known for the exquisite handcraft and handloom items that the villagers produce. The Ao's have a belief that Longkhum is the resting place of the spirits of the dead on their onward journey to paradise. (B/L/D)
Day 10 Mokokchung to Mon – 180kms
After breakfast drive to Mon the headquarters of the Konyak tribe who wear traditional dresses with feathered headgear and have tattooed faces. En-route visit Wakching, a typical Konyak tribal village. Stay for two nights at the basic Helsa Cottage or Paramount Guesthouse. (B/L/D)
Day 11 Mon
This morning drive to Longwa village. One of the largest villages in Mon district, Longwa straddles the international boundary between India and Myanmar with half of the Angh's houses falling within India and the remainder in Burma. Later in the afternoon return to Mon. (B/L/D)
Day 12 Mon to Dibrugarh – 130kms
Today leave Mon and drive to Dibrugarh stopping en-route to visit the village of Chui. Once in Dibrugarh continue to the Heritage Chang Bungalow. Dibrugarh is the starting point for all visits to the 'hidden land' of Arunachal Pradesh. (B/L/D)
Day 13 Dibrugarh to Kolkata – by air
After lunch you will be met and transferred to Dibrugarh Airport in good time to catch your onward flight to Kolkata. On your arrival you will be met and transferred to the Swissôtel Kolkata which is ideally located close to the international airport and where you will stay overnight. (B)
Day 14 Kolkata to the UK
Today transfer back to Kolkata Airport to catch the Emirates flight to Dubai. On your arrival connect onto the onwards Emirates flight to the UK. (B)
KEY: N = No meals B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner
- International flights from the UK
- Domestic flights
- Private car with English speaking driver
- Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
- Accompanying tour escort
- Hotel accommodation and taxes
What's not included
- Cost of visas
- Travel Insurance
- Expenses of a personal nature
Guide to Price
The price above is a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and season. If you wish to travel alone we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements and will provide a proposal on request
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