Things to know about Nagaland Hornbill Festival tour
Nagaland’s Hornbill festival is celebrated in unique style every year in the month of December on a large scale and with full zeal. If you are unaware of this festival, let us tell you it is one of the largest celebrations organized by native warrior tribes of Nagaland. During this festival, they dance, sing, enjoy and celebrate their heritage culture. The festival name originates from the name of the bird, hornbill-the sacred and highly respected bird of Nagaland tribes. They are very dedicated to their customs and hence participation of everyone is quite obligatory. That’s why the travelers from different corners of country and world visit Nagaland in this month to endeavour the uniqueness of Hornbill festival and know more about their ancient culture and traditions.
After a one year gap, the Nagaland Government has geared up to organize this event from December 1, 2021. Hornbill Festival is an internationally recognized festival and promoted by tourism department to keep live the colourful culture and encourage inter-tribal harmony.
Why to visit Hornbill Festival in Nagaland?
Imagine hopping into different tribal groups activities, watching war dance followed by a harvest dance with sipping rice beer from bamboo mugs. If you are fond of this kind of unique celebration experience, watch something different, must visit Hornbill Festival for it’s uniqueness and traditional charm. You will not see only cultural meets, folk dance forms, and ethnic traditional attires while a whole heartedly dedication towards their culture is visible seamlessly. The Nagaland is known as land of festivals where people are very fond of celebrating the deeds of their brave warriors and ancient heroes. Experience Nagaland tour with slurping local drinks and enjoying at local eateries. Dazzling night carnival and shopping of extraordinary handmade souvenirs will be unforgettable experience. Watch the local tribes wearing fascinating headgears and ivory armlets, Dao’s with dyed goat’s hair and multi-coloured spears. You will also observe the importance of the Hornbill bird in several cultural presentations, expressions, folklores, songs and dances.
How to reach Nagaland Hornbill festival Venue?
Nagaland is not connected with other states through airways or railways. So you can plan a Nagaland road trip by car or motorcycle. Motorcycle tour to Hornbill festival will be an adventurous experience with riding in nature trails. Nearest developed station from Kohima is Dimapur where you can get access to train or flight from other states. The 13 days Nagaland Hornbill festival tour begins with Guwahati and then proceed towards Kohima via Cherrapunjee, Shillong, Kaziranga national park. Visit Mokokchung, a bustling township of Nagaland, Jorhat in Assam and then return to Guwahati.
You can opt campsites near festival village or homestays as per your budget and convenience. There are different types of camps with varied facilities and they charge as per them.
History of Hornbill festival
Visitors must be thinking of- Why this event is celebrated as a grand festival? As the name indicates, this festival is associated with Hornbill bird. Nagas use to wear headgear of feather of this bird previously, but excessive hunting keep these birds in the extinct bird species. The festival initiates in year 2000 for the first time and today it has become a grand affair and talk of international tourists as well. This grand festival is organized at the Naga heritage village in Kisama. Geographical location of this village is 12 kilometres from the Nagaland’s capital, Kohima. To reach the festival venue, you can hire a car, motorcycle or private transport means. You must have to carry the valid vehicle pass and purchase the entry tickets. Security check is very strict, so try to follow all guidelines to enter into the festival.
This famous festival is attended by almost all major tribes of Nagaland where they present various arts, folk songs, dances, games, multi-cuisine food stalls. Rock concert in end days of festival is an important highlight of the celebrations where many music bands from country and abroad take part in competition.
Highlighted activities to do at Hornbill Festival
- Explore and enjoy the traditional arts, attires, folk dances, folklores and tribal games.
- Pen down with amazing experience of tribal life, their simple lifestyle, their home made of wood, wooden carvings and different music instruments beats
- Enjoy the delicate food at various stall and local beer.
- Naga Chilli eating competition that will definitely blow-off your mind.
- Get a chance to meet performers at Morungs, the place where they get dressed up in unique attires. You can click pictures with them after seeking a humble permission.
- Interface with different tribes as this will be an extravagant affair with live conversation with various tribes at one place.
- Enjoy the local dance forms and cultural performances by trained performers
- Visit to first green village of India, Khonoma
- Enliven the well preserved rich tradition at 10 days long converge of culture, music and dance.
- Participate in the night carnival
Important tips for travelers visiting the Hornbill Festival
- Weather of Nagaland in month of December is cool and also expect rain sometimes. So, travellers are advised to carry woollen clothes and rainy wear to enjoy at the fullest.
- As the festival is world recognized, book your tour with trusted tour operator in India to ensure trip hassle-free.
- You can indulge in shopping with full bargaining style to get the best deal.
- Foreign tourists must ensure their registration process for entering permit.
- Acquire the latest updates and information about festival events, nearby attractions to save time and money.
For a short duration trip to Kohima and Hornbill Festival tour, you can plan a 6 days trip that will be mix of flight trip up to Dimapur airport and then road trip to Kohima and Hornbill Festival. On this trip by car, you may see local women selling various indigenous products, organic fruits & vegetables. Nearby place to visit is World War 2 cemetery. On observing by close, you will read the famous inscription written on the War Memorial stone "WHEN YOU GO HOME TELL THEM OF US AND SAY, FOR YOUR TOMORROW WE GAVE OUR TODAY".
3 days spend in Hornbill festival will be accompanied with visit to various adjacent villages as Jakhama village, Khonoma village, Phesama Village. Enjoy the village tour and know more about the village lifestyle. Khonoma is an Angami-tribe warrior village that is known for its battles with the British forces and for its leading role in the Naga freedom struggle. In recent years Khonoma is known as the first green village of India for its community-based conservation projects and eco-friendly tourism initiatives. It has reserved 27 sq kms of its territory for Khonoma nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary. Jakhama Village is best place to witness the multifaceted Naga tribal life. As you will proceed with your road trip, you will come across the paddy fields and the riverbanks. Here you can locate the Angamis fish and farming techniques they are using from several years. On this village tour, spot the marks of bullets on walls of houses at the time of World War 2, various fisheries and pigsties.
Nature walks and camping opportunities in Seikhakie is also an important part of the trip. On nature walk toward the Seikhakie, watch the Jhum cultivation practised by local farmers. Witness the beautiful flora & fauna of state. Go further to see Nagaland Mithun which is said to be state animal of Nagaland.
Besides these villages tour, you can go to Dzuko valley which is located very close to kisama. If your return trip is planned through Assam, then must visit Majuli Island to explore the tribal life of people residing near Brahmaputra River.
Hornbill Festival is an important tourist attraction of North East India and wonderful platform for the folk performers to present their unique art forms. So get a vibrant snapshot of wonderful state and mind blowing event-Hornbill Festival.