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By Kito Achumi
Nature could not have been kinder to Nagaland, the exquisitely picturesque landscape, the vibrantly colourful sunrise and sunset, lush and verdant flare. This is a land that represents aberrant beauty, moulded perfectly for a breath taking experience referred to as “Switzerland of the East”. Nagaland tourism resources are immense. Its history, culture and mysticism associated with the customs and ways of its hill tribes has been the source of great curiosity to not Indians but the people all over the globe. It is a land of charm, diverse in landscape and culture and offers opportunities for a whole range of tourism activities.
Nagaland has immense potential be it in resources, flora and fauna or culture and traditions attracting more and more tourists. The potential and diversity it holds are perhaps far more than a lot of existing popular destination. Over the years, the state has been through a lot of ups and downs but it has been a blessing in disguise for it has preserved the beauty, natural wealth and the overall sanity of the people. Today as an India’s NE is making a rapid economic progress and carving out a corridor into southern Asia, Nagaland is standing at the threshold of an economic boom. Among all other industries that the Central and the State Governments are trying to promote, sustainable tourism is gaining the upper hand, for it is the only way of progress and eco-friendliness exoticism to experience, for the investor there is an imminent “Gold Rush” waiting to happen with Nagaland tourism potentials.
Some important tourist spots in Nagaland are, the Dimasa Kachari Ruins are a set of ruins located in Dimapur. A series of domed pillars created by the Dimasa Kachari kingdom that ruled here before the Ahom invasion during the 13th century A.D is here.
Mt. Saramati located near Tuensang District and Kiphire District is the highest peak in Nagaland with a height of 3841 m and is one of the ultra-prominent peaks of Southern Asia.
Dzukou Valley is a valley of flowers in India after Nandan Kanan in Uttarakhand. At an altitude of 2438.4 m, rivulets like the curves of Venus, flowers, herbs and shrubs are the elements that constitute the vibrant diversity of this valley.
War Cemetery at Kohima, a very important part of the history of India, is one that we are proud of. It is dedicated to 10,000 soldiers who lost their lives in protecting the country from Japanese invasion during WW2 in the Battle of Kohima in 1944.
Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the Pungro Circle HQ close to Myanmar border, spread over an area of 642 hac. It boasts of its loaded flora and fauna.
Satoi Range, one of the virgin forests in Zunheboto District, is a place of pristine beauty. Lush green trees and vegetation thickly cover the walkways. This place is the natural habitat of Blythe Tragopan, a rare bird on the verge of extinction.
Longwa Village, an interesting sight to behold, since it straddles the international boundary line between India and Myanmar, is so fascinating that one half of the powerful Angh’s house falls within the Indian territory, whereas the other half lies in Myanmarese side.
These are some of the important tourist destinations having distinctive, rich and unique attractions blessed with an interesting topography, mystic culture, ethnic traditions and hospitable people It is quite clear that Nagaland has tremendous and unique tourism potential.
World Cultural Heritage Site – The Battle of Khonoma was an event that changed the course of history for India and the World. In view of Kohima being prominently displayed in modern history and if it (Kohima) is declared as a World Cultural Heritage Site, it would boost tourism for the entire Region.
Rural Tourism- the development of a strong platform around the concept of Rural Tourism is definitely useful for a State like Nagaland, where almost 75% of the population live in villages. Also tourism growth potential can be harnessed as a strategy for rural development.
Eco friendly – in response to the increasing appreciation of nature experiences, a new travel ethnic has arisen which is now called ecotourism development and therefore, policies and activities are framed in the line of ecotourism.
Adventure tourism- adventure travel is a type of tourism involving exploration or travel to remote, exotic and possibly hostile areas. And Nagaland being rich in nature, mountaineering, trekking, gliding, rafting and rock climbing activities can be promoted.
Bicycle tourism- touring can range from single to multi days trips, even years. The hilly and rugged terrain, emerald valleys sparkling streams present an interesting picture and paradise for cycling tourism. Bicycling tourists get a chance to cruise through the beauty of the State and experience exquisite tours in Nagaland.
Cultural tourism- Nagaland with its diverse culture is a land of festivals and can offer rich fare to tourist. Hornbill Festival is an exotic tribal experience and it showcases the rich traditions and culture of the Nagas which in turn attracts tourists all over. Cultural tourism in Nagaland is promoted through this Festival at a large scale.
Sustainable tourism- Nagaland has been assisted by the UN in preparing a sustainable tourism development program with the accent on employment, especially for women and other disadvantaged group. Nagaland has been developing in its infrastructure and other associated facilities owing to sustainable tourism.
Wildlife tourism- Nagaland has many protected wildlife sanctuaries and it is a home to various animals including rare species of birds and animals. Nagaland offers reasonable opportunities for wildlife tourism.
Trade and shopping tourism- Nagaland as mentioned earlier is rich in culture and tradition. The indigenous handicraft items like shawls, vests and other decorative items can be shopped by tourists.
Tribal study tourism- The traditional attires, music and dances and various social customs of the Nagas are also the subject of curiosity to several anthropologists and sociologists. This segment of special interests has substantial potential for development both within the country and abroad.
With its numerous turbulent streams, roaring rivers, deep gorges, lofty mountains, snow clad peaks, thousands of species of flora and fauna and an endless variation of scenic beauty, there is tremendous potential for development of tourism in Nagaland. It can be concluded that, with so much potential and richness, Nagaland is and can be paradise for Photographers, Botanists, Anthropologist, Geologist, Geographers, Zoologists, Birds-butterfly watchers, trekkers and so on.