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Nagaland State Information

Capital : Kohima

Districts :11

Languages: English, Konyak Angami, Ao, Seema & Loth

Introduction to Nagaland

Nagaland as state of the India was born on 1st December 1963. Nagaland is situated on the easternmost region of India. One of the seven sister states of India, Nagaland is covered mostly by high-altitude mountains. The hospitability of the people, culture and tradition simply touch the heart. Moreover, the Nagaland is an ideal destination for trekking, rock climbing and jungle camping.

Geography of Nagaland

Nagaland is located on the extreme northern east just below Arunachal Pradesh. It has on its long eastern strip the neighboring country Myanmar. The north is bounded by Arunachal Pradesh, while on its west lies the state of Assam. Manipur borders it on its south. Rains are heavy in Nagaland. The average rainfall is between 175 cm and 250 cm. Most of the heavy rainfall is during the 4 months from June to September. The rains during April to May is low. Strong winds blow from the north west in February and March. The climate is pleasant. The terrain is hilly, rugged and mountainous. The highest peak is Saramati in the Twensang district, which is 3840 meters above sea level. The average height of the peaks is between 900 and 1200 metres. The hillsides are covered with green forests. In the Angami region the terraced fields are a feast to the eyes.

Brief History of Nagaland

The early history of Nagaland is largely undocumented. The chronicles of the neighboring kingdom of Ahom in Assam notes the customs, economic activities of the Naga tribes.

The Naga tribes had socio-economic and political links with tribes in Assam and Myanmar - even today a large population of Naga inhabits Assam. Following an invasion in 1816, the area along with Assam came under direct rule of Myanmar. This period was noted for the oppressive rule and turmoil in Assam and Nagaland. When the British East India Company took control of Assam in 1826, they steadily expanded their domain over modern Nagaland. By 1892, all of modern Nagaland except the Tuensang area in the northeast was governed by the British. It was politically amalgamated into Assam, which in turn was for long periods a part of the province of Bengal.

The British noted that the Naga tribes were often engaged in internecine warfare, and the practice of head-hunting - decapitating captives and civilians for religious ceremonies. The British stopped inter-tribal conflicts, and put an end to the practice of head-hunting by the use of force and diplomacy. But it was largely due to the work of Christian missionaries in the area that transformed Nagaland. Many Naga tribes embraced Christianity, in particular the Baptist faith. A small group of tribes continue to practice the animist religious traditions that existed before the arrival of the British. After the independence of India in 1947, the area remained a part of the province of Assam.

In 1957, the Naga Hills district of Assam and the Tuensang frontier were united in a single political entity that became a Union territory. Statehood was officially granted in 1963 and the first state-level democratic elections were held in 1964.

Districts of Nagaland

Nagaland has 11 districts: Kohima, Dimapur, Phek, Wokha, Mokokchung, Tuensang, Mon, Zunheboto, Longleng, Peren and Kiphere

Nagaland Travel Information

Nagaland is mainly land of the Naga tribes, It is famous internationally due to World War II, because it was here that the Japanese advance was halted by British and Indian troops. Some destinations for tourism in state are World War II Cemetery, State Museum and Kohima Village (BARA BASTI). The nearest airport and railhead are at Dimapur, Nagaland's gateway and commercial center.

Economy of Nagaland

Agriculture is the main important economic activity in Nagaland. More than 90% of the population employed within it. Principal crops include rice, corn, millets, pulses, tobacco, oilseeds, sugarcane, potatoes and fibers. However, Nagaland still depends on the import of food supplies from other states. The widespread practice of jhum - clearing for cultivation - has led to soil erosion and loss of fertility. Only the Angami and Chakesang tribes in the Kohima district use terracing and irrigation techniques. Forestry is also an important source of income. Cottage industries such as weaving, woodwork and pottery are also an important source of revenue. Tourism is important, but largely limited owing to the state's geographic isolation and political instability in recent years.

Rivers of Nagaland

The main rivers that flow through Nagaland are Dhansiri, Doyang, Dikhu and Jhanji.

Education in Nagaland

The literacy rate in Nagaland is 67.11% as per census of 2001 with male literacy at 71.77% and female literacy at 61.92%. The major university in the state is Nagaland University, which has three campuses at Kohima, Lumami and Medziphema. There are many Colleges, High Schools, Middle Schools and Primary Schools.

Food of Nagaland

The main food of the Naga tribes is rice. It is taken with meat or vegetables. The Nagas are very fond of chillies and the Semas eat them with the greatest delight. Meat could be beef, pork and chicken. Nagas also eat mithun, dogs, cats, fish, spiders, birds, crabs - in fact almost any living thing that he can lay his hands on. Even the elephant is eaten and is considered a delicacy. No part of the animal is wasted. Even the skin and intestines are eaten. The skin is spared only if needed for making a shield. Sometimes the meat is smoke dried and preserved for a long time. Meat and vegetables are usually cooked together. The food is generally boiled. Rice beer is the main drink. It is generally of three kinds, Zutho, Ruhi, and Dzutse and may be taken at any time. It is nutritive in content and if hygienically prepared is a desirable drink.

Arts & Culture of Nagaland

The Nagas belong to the Indo-Mongoloid family. The fourteen major Naga tribes are the Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Khemungan, Konyak, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sema, Yimchunger and Zeliang. Each tribe has their own languages and cultural features. The important handicrafts of the Nagas are woodcarving, bamboo work, pottery and blacksmithy.

Music of Nagaland

Music is an essential accompaniment to any Genna or festival. The themes have a wide range of variety. They may glorify a tradition, extol a specific act of heroism, narrate an important event of the recent past or relate to a love story. A common musical instrument played by the Nagas is Petu. It is a string instrument. The Angamis and Chakhesangs are particularly fond of it and it is used to give the desired accompaniment to one's voice. Another popular string instrument is Theku. Of the wind instrument, the flute is quite common.

Festivals of Nagaland

The festivals are mostly related to agricultural operations. The important thing about the Naga festivals is their corporate character. The community as a whole participates in the celebrations.

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