Thursday, 10 January, 2008

nagaland trip, december 07








december of 2007 saw me going to nagaland on an office tour. now i usually go to rather boring places for my office tours so i was really excited about this trip. three people went from delhi. first we had to get inland permit from resident commissioner in delhi for this travel...
before going to nagaland i didnt know much about the place except briefly about naga politics. so the first thing i did was to read up about nagaland from the internet.
we travelled from delhi to kolkata and from kolkata to dimapur...there are one or two flights from kolkata, some from guwahati and none from delhi!!!
dimapur is a dusty, not so interesting place...one of those non descript small towns of india...with lots of fumes and dirt...
kohima, the capital of nagaland is beautiful...dimapur is in the plains while kohima is located much higher up...dimapur to kohima is about 3 hrs drive up the hill...usually i dont get virtigo but this time round the drive up and especially the drive down was pretty bad....local oranges which were extremely sweet really helped.....the road is pretty bad at places but the view is terrific...it is a typical hilly drive...hills on one side covered with deep forests
and valley on the other....in the distance you can see the naga ranges...naga ranges look really picturesque...
while going we tried to be economical and shared the cab with veggetables...tomatoes were rolling all over my feet, cauliflowers were popping up at times! in regular intervals there are fruit and vegetable stalls run by local women's organizations! there were stall after stall of pineapples...i have never seen so many pineapples in one place ever before in my life...
...sadly i never got the chance to go around kohima, not even the war cemetry which is the main tourist attraction of kohima...
...because christmas was just round the corner....there was festive mood all over the place...all the shops were lighted up and people were shopping like mad...which i could not do at all because i was with two men who were least interested...when i used to leave for meetings in the mornings i used to see all these shops on my way and then by the time we used to get back to our bunglow the streets were desserted and empty...
it was peaceful, i was expecting heavy army and police presence...there were army patrols but in the highway not in the cities...the autodrivers told me that while things are peaceful they can change within a second and army comes down and there is a lot of violence and then curfew is imposed....... shops and everything close with sundown which is around 5/5.30...then the whole place looks deserted and forlon...
in dimapur we stayed in hotel saramati which is the government run hotel there...in kohima we stayed in a heritage naga bunglow which was a beautiful wooden structure called the razhu pru... this is a new place, run by a young woman, spic and span and beautifully done with traditional naga artefacts and local cane and bamboo furniture... it even had some paintings by local artists for sale...every evening there used to be a roaring fire in the sitting room where we used to warm ourselves...each room in that bunglow was named after a naga village and my room was named 'jotsoma' and while comming down from kohima to dimapur i saw a sign board for jotsoma village and i felt like i already know this village...
naga soceity at least superficially looks very westernised...majority of the population are christians...naga women look beautiful and i cant praise them enough! people are very friendly and nice...
all in all it was a good trip and we got some good work done. maybe next time i will go as a tourist and just discover the place!




1 comment:

  1. I liked your Kohima account, but how is it possible that you could not go to the WW II cemetery?

    Maybe next time.

    Romesh Bhattacharji

    ReplyDelete

Hey there, thanks for your comment, let me take a peek and I will soon post it. Cheers!