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Nagaland and the Hornbill Festival

13 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.

Route: Kolkata – Kohima – Mokokchung – Mon – Dibrugarh – Kolkata

Itinerary Highlights

Each December the town of Kohima hosts the colourful Hornbill Festival. A spectacular celebration of the region’s identity, the festival is attended by tribes from the entire state.

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.

Itinerary: Nagaland and the Hornbill Festival

Today depart the UK on the Emirates flight to Dubai. (N)
Arrive into Dubai and connect onto the Emirates flight to Kolkata. 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)

Accommodation in Kolkata: Oberoi Grand Hotel (or similar)

Today fly to Dimapur. On arrival you will be met and transferred to Kohima. 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)

Accommodation in Kohima: Vivor Hotel (or similar)

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)

Accommodation in Kohima: Vivor Hotel (or similar)

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)

Accommodation in Kohima: Vivor Hotel (or similar)

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)

Accommodation in Kohima: Vivor Hotel (or similar)

Today drive to Tuophema. Home of the northern Angami tribe, Tuophema is situated deep in the central Naga Hills. Visit the village which is inhabited by the Angami tribe then continue by road 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. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Mokokchung: Metsuben Hotel (or similar)

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)

Accommodation in Mokokchung: Metsuben Hotel (or similar)

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. (B/L/D)

Accommodation in Mon: Helsa Cottage 

Alternative accommodation option: Paramount Guesthouse

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)

Accommodation in Mon: Helsa Cottage 

Alternative accommodation option: Paramount Guesthouse

Today leave Mon and drive to Dibrugarh stopping en-route to visit the village of Chui. Dibrugarh is the starting point for all visits to the 'hidden land' of Arunachal Pradesh. (B/L/D)

Accommodation in Dibrugarh: Heritage Chang Bungalow (or similar)

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 your accommodation ideally located close to the international airport. (B)

Accommodation in Kolkata: Swissôtel Kolkata (or similar)

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

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • 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 above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

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