Kohīma, India

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Kohīma, India

Region: Nagaland


Geographic Coordinates: 25.670000, 94.100000
Climate: Climate and weather patterns in Kohīma, India vary throughout the year.
Population: 99039
Language: English

Kohima, The capital city of Nagaland in northeastern India, Is a fascinating destination that offers a unique blend of history, Natural beauty, And vibrant local culture. Nestled amidst lush green mountains at an elevation of around 1, 444 meters (4, 741 feet), Kohima provides breathtaking panoramic views and a pleasant climate throughout the year. One of the major attractions in Kohima is its rich World War II history. The Battle of Kohima was fought here in April 1944 during the Burma Campaign.

The Kohima War Cemetery stands as a poignant reminder of those who lost their lives during this historic battle. It is beautifully maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and serves as a memorial to over 1, 400 soldiers from various countries. Beyond its historical significance, Kohima also offers stunning landscapes and natural wonders for nature enthusiasts. Dzükou Valley is one such gem located just outside the city. Known as The Valley of Flowers, It boasts an incredible variety of colorful blooms during spring and summer seasons.

Trekkers can enjoy hiking through picturesque trails surrounded by rolling hills and pristine streams. The local Naga tribes are an integral part of Kohima’s cultural fabric. Visiting Kisama Heritage Village provides insight into their unique traditions and way of life. This village serves as the venue for the annual Hornbill Festival held every December—a grand celebration showcasing Naga culture through traditional dances, Folk songs, Handicrafts exhibitions, Authentic cuisine stalls, And indigenous sports competitions like archery. For those seeking spiritual solace or architectural marvels, There are several religious sites worth exploring in Kohima.

The Catholic Cathedral situated on Aradura Hill is known for its beautiful stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes while offering panoramic views over the city below. The state’s largest Baptist church—the Baptist Church at Jotsoma Village—is another notable landmark with its distinctive architecture. Food lovers will be delighted by Nagaland’s unique cuisine, Which is known for its flavorful and spicy dishes. Kohima offers a range of dining experiences, From local street food stalls serving traditional Naga delicacies like smoked pork with bamboo shoots to upscale restaurants offering fusion cuisine that combines local flavors with global influences.

Kohima is also an excellent base for exploring nearby attractions. Visiting the picturesque village of Khonoma, Known for its eco-friendly practices and community-based tourism initiatives, Provides an opportunity to learn about sustainable living and interact with the locals. Additionally, The state’s only zoo—The Nagaland Zoological Park—is located near Kohima and houses several rare species of animals and birds. Kohima is a captivating destination that offers a perfect blend of history, Natural beauty, Cultural heritage, And culinary delights.

Whether you are interested in delving into World War II history or immersing yourself in the vibrant traditions of Naga tribes or simply enjoying breathtaking landscapes—it has something to offer every traveler seeking an enriching experience in Northeast India.



Important Landmarks

  1. Kohima War Cemetery: A memorial dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives during World War II, particularly the Battle of Kohima. It is a beautifully maintained cemetery with well-manicured lawns and white tombstones.
  2. Kisama Heritage Village: This village showcases the rich cultural heritage of Nagaland through its traditional houses, indigenous crafts, artifacts, and performances. It is also the venue for the annual Hornbill Festival.
  3. Dzükou Valley: Located near Kohima, Dzükou Valley is known for its breathtaking beauty with rolling hills covered in lush greenery and colorful flowers. It offers excellent trekking opportunities.
  4. Naga Heritage Village: Situated within Kisama Heritage Village, this open-air museum displays various tribal huts representing different Naga tribes along with their unique customs, traditions, and handicrafts.
  5. Japfu Peak: The second-highest peak in Nagaland offers panoramic views of Kohima town as well as stunning sunrises and sunsets. It is a popular destination among trekkers.
  6. State Museum: This museum exhibits a wide range of artifacts related to Naga culture including traditional costumes, weapons, musical instruments, jewelry, handicrafts, photographs, and archaeological finds.
  7. Catholic Cathedral: Also known as Mary Help of Christians Cathedral or Kohima Cathedral Church lies on Aradura Hill offering a beautiful view of the city below it along with its magnificent architecture.
  8. Khonoma Village: Known for its rich history as one of the first green villages in Asia due to its conservation efforts and eco-friendly practices like terraced farming techniques that have preserved forests around it.
  9. Kohima Zoo (Nagaland Zoological Park): Located near Japfu Peak road; it houses diverse species including rare animals and birds indigenous to Nagaland.
  10. Kohima Market: A bustling local market where visitors can explore and purchase traditional Naga handicrafts, textiles, spices, fresh produce, and other local products.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: The region is known for its agricultural activities, with the cultivation of crops like rice, maize, millet, pulses, and vegetables being prominent.
  2. Handicrafts: Kohima is famous for its handcrafted products such as bamboo and cane crafts, wood carvings, pottery, textiles, and traditional Naga shawls.
  3. Tourism: The city of Kohima attracts a significant number of tourists due to its rich cultural heritage and historical significance. It offers attractions like the Kohima War Cemetery and the Hornbill Festival.
  4. Education: There are several educational institutions in Kohima that contribute to the city’s economy by providing quality education services.
  5. Government Services: Being the capital city of Nagaland state in India, various government offices are located in Kohima that provide administrative services.
  6. Retail and Trade: The city has a bustling retail sector with markets offering a wide range of goods including clothing, electronics, household items etc., contributing to local trade activities.
  7. Healthcare Services: With numerous hospitals and clinics catering to both residents’ healthcare needs; healthcare services play a significant role in the economy of Kohima.
  8. Banking Sector: Several nationalized banks have branches in Kohima providing financial services to individuals as well as businesses within the region.
  9. Transport Industry: Transportation plays an essential role due to connectivity challenges within Nagaland state; hence logistics companies operate buses/trucks connecting different parts within Nagaland or other states nearby.
  10. Manufacturing Industries: Small-scale manufacturing units producing items like candles or food processing units can be found contributing towards employment generation at local levels.

It is worth noting that while these industries contribute significantly to the local economy of Kohima; agriculture remains one of the primary sources of livelihood for many residents in surrounding rural areas.


Noteable History

Kohima

Significant Events

  • 1. Battle of Kohima (1944): One of the most significant events associated with Kohima is the Battle of Kohima, which took place during World War II. It was part of the larger Burma Campaign and marked a turning point in favor of the Allied forces against Japanese troops. The battle lasted from April 4 to June 22, 1944, and resulted in heavy casualties on both sides.
  • 2. Formation of Nagaland (1963): The statehood movement for Nagaland gained momentum after India’s independence in 1947. On December 1, 1963, Nagaland became the sixteenth state of India with Kohima as its capital.

Notable People

  • – Angami Zapu Phizo: He was a prominent Naga nationalist leader who played a crucial role in advocating for Naga self-determination and leading the statehood movement.
  • – Neiphiu Rio: A prominent politician from Nagaland who served as Chief Minister multiple times since 2003.
  • – Temjen Toy: An influential Naga social worker and politician who played an important role during Nagaland’s formative years.
  • – Dr. Talimeren Ao: He was an Indian footballer from Nagaland who captained independent India’s first national football team at the London Olympics in 1948.

These are just a few examples; there have been many more notable individuals associated with Kohima throughout history due to its cultural significance within Nagaland and its strategic location during World War II.


Museums and Things To See

  1. Kohima War Cemetery: A memorial dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives during World War II. It is beautifully maintained and offers a serene atmosphere.
  2. Nagaland State Museum: This museum showcases the rich cultural heritage of Nagaland through its extensive collection of artifacts, traditional costumes, weapons, and handicrafts.
  3. Kisama Heritage Village: Located near Kohima, this village is home to the annual Hornbill Festival where you can experience Naga culture firsthand through traditional dances, music performances, crafts exhibitions, and local cuisine.
  4. Japfu Peak: The second-highest peak in Nagaland offers breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and hills. It is also famous for hosting the tallest rhododendron tree in the world.
  5. Dzukou Valley: A picturesque valley known for its stunning landscapes and seasonal flowers like lilies and orchids. It is a popular trekking destination offering panoramic views of rolling hills covered with vibrant greenery.
  6. Catholic Church at Aradura Hill: This beautiful church perched on top of Aradura Hill provides a panoramic view of Kohima cityscape while showcasing unique architecture.
  7. Khonoma Village: Known as Asia’s first green village, Khonoma offers an eco-friendly environment along with opportunities for hiking trails amidst terraced fields and lush forests.
  8. Naga Bazaar: Explore this bustling local market to witness the vibrant colors, tastes, and smells of Naga culture through various food stalls selling traditional delicacies as well as shops selling handicrafts and textiles.


Sports Teams

  1. Kohima Komets Football Club: The Kohima Komets FC is a football (soccer) team based in Kohima. They have participated in various local and regional tournaments, including the Nagaland Premier League.
  2. Khriekesa Football Club: Another prominent football club from Kohima is Khriekesa FC. They have also competed in the Nagaland Premier League and other local tournaments.
  3. Tseminyu Town Club: Tseminyu Town Club is a cricket team based near Kohima, which actively participates in cricket tournaments within Nagaland.
  4. Naga Wrestling Association: Wrestling holds cultural significance among the Naga tribes of Nagaland, including those residing in Kohima. The Naga Wrestling Association organizes traditional wrestling events called Naga wrestling, which attract participants from various villages and towns across the state.

It’s worth noting that these teams may not be as well-known outside their respective regions or states but play an essential role within their local sporting communities.


Cultural Events

  1. Hornbill Festival: This is the most popular festival in Kohima, celebrated annually from December 1st to 10th. It showcases the rich cultural heritage of Nagaland with traditional dances, music performances, crafts exhibitions, and indigenous games.
  2. Moatsu Festival: Celebrated by the Ao tribe in May each year to mark the completion of sowing season. It involves traditional rituals, folk songs, dances, and feasting.
  3. Sekrenyi Festival: Observed by the Angami tribe in February as a purification festival before sowing seeds for agriculture. It includes traditional rituals like cleansing of ancestral stones, feasting on local delicacies, singing and dancing.
  4. Tuluni Festival: Celebrated by the Sumi Naga tribe in July as a post-harvest festival to offer thanks for a bountiful harvest. Traditional dances and songs are performed along with community feasts.
  5. Aoleang Monyu Festival: Observed by the Konyak tribe in April after completion of their most important agricultural activities such as clearing fields and sowing seeds.
  6. Tsungrem Mong: Celebrated by Lotha Naga tribe during August-September to seek blessings for a good harvest season with prayers followed by community feasts and cultural performances.
  7. Yemshe Festival: Celebrated primarily by Pochury Nagas during October-November to give thanks for a successful harvest season through various rituals including singing folk songs and performing traditional dances.

These are just some of the major cultural events and festivals celebrated in Kohima; there are many more smaller festivals that vary from village to village within Nagaland state as well.


Cuisine

  1. Naga Cuisine: The local Naga cuisine is known for its variety of smoked meats, fermented bamboo shoots, and spicy flavors. Some popular dishes include Axone (fermented soybean), smoked pork or beef curry, Eromba (a mashed dish made with boiled vegetables), and Galho (rice soup).
  2. Bamboo Tree Restaurant: This well-known restaurant in Kohima specializes in serving authentic Naga cuisine. They offer a range of traditional dishes like smoked pork curry, roasted chicken with bamboo shoot, and various chutneys.
  3. Café Umbrella: Located in the heart of Kohima town, Café Umbrella is a cozy café offering both local and continental cuisines. Their menu includes delicious Naga delicacies like Axone curry, smoked pork rice bowl along with other international dishes.
  4. Dream Café & Restaurant: Popular among locals and tourists alike, this restaurant serves a mix of Chinese, Indian, and Naga cuisines. Their menu features items such as chicken momos (dumplings), stir-fried noodles/rice with meat or vegetables.
  5. Mezoma Village Restaurant: Situated near Kisama Heritage Village (venue for Hornbill Festival), Mezoma Village Restaurant provides an opportunity to savor traditional Naga food while enjoying cultural performances during festivals or events.
  6. Tribal Table: Known for its warm ambiance and excellent service quality, Tribal Table offers an array of regional cuisines including popular Naga dishes like smoked pork ribs served with sticky rice or steamed vegetables.
  7. Meriema Café & Bakery: This quaint café located on the outskirts of Kohima is famous for its freshly baked cakes/pastries along with light snacks such as sandwiches and coffee/tea options.

These are just a few examples of the popular local cuisine and restaurants in Kohima. Exploring the local markets and street food stalls can also provide an opportunity to taste various Naga delicacies.


Parks and Recreation

  1. Indira Gandhi Stadium: This multi-purpose stadium hosts various sporting events and is a popular spot for jogging and walking.
  2. Naga Heritage Village: Located near Kisama, this open-air museum showcases the traditional culture and lifestyle of the Naga tribes. Visitors can explore the heritage village, participate in cultural events, and enjoy local cuisine.
  3. Japfu Peak: Adventure enthusiasts can embark on a trek to Japfu Peak, which is the second-highest peak in Nagaland. The trail passes through lush forests and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys.
  4. Kohima War Cemetery: A significant historical site from World War II, this cemetery pays tribute to soldiers who lost their lives during the Battle of Kohima. It serves as a peaceful place for reflection and remembrance.
  5. Kisama Heritage Village: This village hosts the annual Hornbill Festival, showcasing Naga traditions through music, dance performances, crafts exhibitions, food stalls, and more.
  6. Dzükou Valley: Situated at an altitude of 2,438 meters above sea level, Dzükou Valley is known for its picturesque landscapes with rolling hills covered in vibrant flowers during springtime.
  7. Khonoma Green Village: Known as Asia’s first green village due to its sustainable practices, Khonoma offers opportunities for eco-tourism activities like nature walks and birdwatching amidst its lush forests.
  8. Tuophema Tourist Village: Located about 40 km from Kohima town, this traditional Naga village provides visitors with an immersive experience of rural life through homestays or cottages while engaging in farming activities or exploring nearby nature trails.
  9. State Museum Kohima: This museum showcases artifacts related to Nagaland’s history including tribal costumes, weapons, handicrafts, and archaeological finds. It provides insights into the state’s rich cultural heritage.
  10. Kohima Zoo: Situated near the State Museum, this small zoo houses various indigenous animal species like the Himalayan bear, barking deer, and golden langur. It offers a pleasant environment for families to spend time together.

Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions or other factors, some of these activities may be temporarily unavailable or have limited access.


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