Named after a wild flowering plant Kewhi that grows abundantly in the mountainous region, Kohima is a buzzing town. The original name was Kewhima or Kewhira but theKohima City British could not pronounce the local Angami name and rechristened it as Kohima. It is a small but lively town inhabited by different Naga tribes such as the Aangamis, Ao, Sema. The town is perched high up on a ridge and therefore there are areas that involves steep climb.
Kohima has historical signiï¬cance dating back to the World War II where the British and the Indian fought against the Japanese. The famous battle of Kohima was fought around the town of Kohima and referred to as the Stalingrad of the East.
The war cemetery in the heart of Kohima for the Allied war soldiers is a testimony to that historic battle fought on this very ground. Kohima is one of the 11 fascinating districts in the state and promises an interesting combination of culture, soulful music, exotic food and adventure.
Kohima Hornbill Festival
Nagas from the interiors come early in the morning to sell their daily catch. It could be birds, animals such as deer, wild boar or even river ï¬sh. It's a noisy market that gives you a sense of what the Nagas love to eat. Make sure to carry home souvenirs made by enterprising Naga ladies and sold in any local market.
World War II cemetery which is in the heart of town is always a tourists' delight. The war cemetery for the Allied soldiers is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves commission and it lies on the slopes of Garrison Hill which was once the Deputy Commissioner's tennis court. It was here that an intense ï¬ghting, now termed as the Battle of the Tennis Court, was fought.
This is Asia's second largest and most populous village which is right in Kohima. The village is home to mostly the Angami tribes who live in beautiful cottage-type homes. The village is perched on a hill that overlooks the entire town. At the entrance of the village is a traditional wooden gate with elaborately carved motifs of skull of the mithun which is a symbol of prosperity.
Just 25 km from Kohima is a valley of ï¬‚owers known for its natural beauty. Between June and September, watch anemone revularis or white lilies in full bloom and covering the entire area like a carpet.
This is an interesting village that has taken upon itself to adhere to the green philosophy. Just 20 km away from Kohima, here, villagers are determined to protect the ecological balance of the area and the village is spectacularly clean and green. Historically, Khonoma is considered a Naga stronghold where they have once fought against the mighty British empire.
The Catholic Cathedral
The Catholic Cathedral at Aradura Hill is one of the main attractions in Kohima. It is one of the biggest Cathedral in the whole North East and has a very amiable atmosphere for praying. This place is worth a visit, for its blend of endemic architecture.
Come December and the Nagas are all set to welcome what's now termed as the festival of festivals, the hornbill festival. It is held for seven days (Dec 1-7) every year at a Naga Heritage Village in Kisama, which is 12 km from Kohima. All the 16 Naga tribes and sub tribes come together and bond over their traditional music, food and dance. Over the years, Hornbill has gained popularity and there are visitors from all over the world. During the festival, expect to be a part of any interesting activities such as chilies eating contest, music or rock contest, fashion show and many more traditional activities. It is organised by the State Tourism and Art and Culture Departments.