25 April, 2019
In most parts of India, the summer has fully set in by now, and the temperatures are soaring. If you are exploring options to escape the heat and look for cooler havens, then think of North East (NE). This part of India is still much of unexplored territory for most Indians. But, it also happens to be one of the most beautiful, scenic, relaxed and calm places.
A lot of tourism operators have started operating NE tour packages, especially considering the summer holiday season. The amount of natural beauty, the richness of culture, the beautiful people and the wildlife, and the serene nature, all make this area a much-coveted tourist destination. You could start by looking up the Moatsu festival that is coming up on the 1st of May, just around the corner, in Nagaland.
One of the main attractions of the North East happens to be, the rich tribal culture that is not seen elsewhere in India. As part of developing tourism in this region, the states hold a whole host of festivals, interlinked with the tribal customs. You may have heard of the Hornbill festival held every year in Nagaland, that attracts thousands of tourists.
Another such festival happens to be the Moatsu festival, which the people of the Ao tribe, belonging to the region, celebrate after they have sown the seeds in their fields. As part of the celebrations, people decorate their homes, and then come out and celebrate together as a community.
Large outdoor fires are lit, and the whole community performs traditional tribal dances around it. Their costumes and their moves, and the togetherness and the syncing movements to warrior songs, all make it a real sight to watch. The festival usually goes on for a week starting from the 1st of May. The big bonfires that are lit up are called Sangpangtu, and people drink rice beer, along with lots of traditional dishes cooked for the occasion. It is an intimate celebration only meant for the community. Notably, the ladies who adorn themselves with tribal weaves and ornaments look wonderful. This festival usually takes place in the Ao town of Mokokchung, situated about 150 km from the capital city of Kohima.
The other attractions in Nagaland which you can club with your Moatsu festival visit are, as given below:
Dimapur: A scenic place filled with a lot of villages and for those who like a slice of history, you also have the 13th-century Kachari Ruins. It is one of the most sought after attractions in Dimapur. The ruins here are the evidence of Ahom invasion, and history beckons those who would like to go round. A whole host of tribes, namely Angami, Lotha, Chakehsang, Sumi, Sangtam, Ao, Rengma Pouchury and Zeliang can be seen in Diphuphar here. If you would like to carry some memoirs and artifacts, then you can also visit Ruzaphema, famous for shopping. Dimapur also has a craft village, zoological park, science center, wildlife sanctuary and more.
Kohima: The capital city of Kohima, is another world that waits to be explored! Absolutely charming with a mix of the ancient as well as the modern, Kohima, opens up a perfect combination of history, culture and breathtaking landscapes. You could choose to visit from among abandoned villages, ancient ruins, war cemetery, zoo, museum and so on.
Wokha: This place is an absolute delight for nature lovers, dotted with colorful flowers, and orchards, hills, rivers and more, giving it a multi-hued look. This also happens to be the place of the Lotha tribe, and you get to see their culture, and customs, apart from their lovely craft artifacts.
Dimapur happens to be the only airport in Nagaland, and hence the place is also called as the gateway to Nagaland. Daily flights from Delhi, Guwahati, and Kolkata are operated here, and you can plan your trip to other places from here. Direct trains are available to Dimapur from major metros as well as a few other cities across India. Tourists can also avail state transport buses to reach Kohima if desired and it is well connected by road to the rest of the country.
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