ChaloHoppo to a Lesser Known Nagaland
Starting from Kohima, the modern-day capital of Nagaland, driving up to the picturesque town of Mokokchung, home to the Ao Nagas and the epicentre of the American Baptism movement to ultimately reaching the wild east where the last surviving tattooed headhunters live.
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- Vacation Style Holiday Type
- Activity Level Challenging
- Group Size Medium Group
This tour is about a journey. A journey that starts from the capital town of Kohima and ends up at one of the most backward districts of the state – Mon district. As you move eastwards from Kohima, you will feel that you are going further back in time. Till you reach Mon, where interactions with the elderly, as their tattoos hide behind their wrinkles, puts you in a time capsule.
In the middle of this journey, your pitstop at Mokokchung will give you an idea of how present-day Nagaland has become a reality. How the Aos are different from the Angamis and finally the Konyaks. Through all this, you will see how Churches have replaced Morungs, the structure of pride in modern-day Nagaland. The one thing that you may also notice from an outsider’s perspective that unites Nagaland is their splendid non-veg cuisine.
- All accommodations on a twin sharing basis in tents, homestays and guesthouses.
- Transport from ChaloHoppo’s campsite near Hornbill to Simulguri station in Assam on the last day of the tour.
- AC 2 tier train tickets from Simalguri station to Guwahati on 16th December
- All permits(including Inner Line Permits) and parking charges
- All meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner
- English speaking local guides in Mon, Mokokchung and Longwa.
- ChaloHoppo guy as the tour leader.
- Entry fee to monuments etc, if any
- Airfare charges
- All food & beverages cost apart from the ones mentioned above
- Any camera fees
- Hotel & driver tips (if any)
- Tips to be paid while visiting villages, if any
- Any personal expenditure (Toiletries, medicines, etc.)
- Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
- Anything not specifically mentioned under the head “Inclusions”.
A night at the terraced campsite in Jakhama village
Two things can precede your arrival at the campsite. Either you are coming from Dimapur directly, crossing bumpy roads, wondering if the misery will ever end and is this journey going to be worth it, and the other situation is that you arrived a day earlier and have been to the Hornbill festival already and know that the terrible roads were worth the trouble. In any case, tonight is about meeting other campers from across the world, uniting over the fire and having a myriad of conversations over some tasty organic food. The winters are quite chilly and the only time you will leave the fire is when its time for you to sleep. If you get a decent spot around the bonfire, you may be able to spot a couple of satellites and planets between the stars.
Overnight at Camp Yedikha
Mokokchung - The quiet hill town with a rich history
Your exploration of Nagaland begins today, as you set out for Mokokchung, the most stylish town in Nagaland, as described by a local college going boy in Kohima. You will probably find his statement to be true, once you enter the beautiful town perched at 4600 feet, and see the local youth dressed to stun! You will have to wait for 6 hours as we cross the Wokha district to reach Mokokchung.
Today, you should enjoy the drive, the food stoppage at Wokha district, thereby trying the cuisine of another tribe, an evening walk in Mokokchung town and a good night’s sleep. For tomorrow we start our day early and head out to explore two to three villages. Mokokchung is known as the cultural capital of Nagaland, so you have lots of look forward to.
Drive time: 6 hours
Distance covered: 150 km
Overnight at A beautiful homestay with a view
Longkhum, Ungma and Mopuchunget
The Ao Nagas are considered the most advanced of all the Naga tribes, considering they were one of the first to get educated and had a crucial role to play in spreading the American Baptism movement that swept Nagaland. Three prime villages of significance that you will be visiting today, based on how you feel after visiting one of them would be – Longkhum, Ungma and Mopungchuket. Each village has its own significance like Longkhum – the Vanguard village at 6056 feet, Ungma – the second largest village in Nagaland and Mopunchunget – where folk tales of the Nagas live.
At the end of today’s tour which will include a bit of driving and walking around, you should get a sound sleep since tomorrow, is going to be a long day.
Overnight at A beautiful homestay with a view
Mon town - Entering the wild east
Followed by an early breakfast the drive to Mon town begins. If you look carefully at the map of Nagaland, it will give you an idea of how we are exiting Nagaland from Mokokchung and entering this district via Assam. This circumnavigation due to lack of motorable roads connecting the two districts makes the drive really long. Thankfully only 4 of the 8 hours are roads that are cringe-worthy. Drive past the Assam border to enter the land of the Nagas, and not any Nagas, the Konyaks, also known as the last of the tattooed headhunters. You will slowly leave the plains and tea gardens of Assam and head towards higher elevation on bumpy roads. The drive slowly starts to give you the feeling that you are entering a different zone, something unknown. Thatched huts and flowering plants serving as boundaries of homes will welcome you into Nagaland. The clouds should be right up there with you. But you have to understand that this will be one of the bumpiest rides of your life and hence prepare accordingly. Check into your comfortable stay for the night after trying some local food.
Drive time: 8 hours
Overnight in cottages overlooking Mon town.
Hongphoi village - meeting the last face tattooed king of the Konyaks
Today you meet the last surviving face tattooed headhunter Angh, i.e. the chief or the king of a Konyak village. Usually, he is found sitting in his kitchen drinking dearly bitter black tea with other old men, all of whom wear tattoos on their wrinkled skin. The king or his men don’t really speak English but a conversation can be facilitated with the help of the local guide cum translator. Don’t forget to ’pay’ your regards to the Angh.
A further drive of 2 hours in the opposite direction will take you to the final destination of this journey – the village of Longwa known for the unique geographical location of the village chief’s house and infamous for opium abuse.
The house is split exactly in half between India and Burma. Take a walk through the King’s house and then pay a visit to the opium den where locals go about their daily routine of smoking opium sourced from Burma. The village gets more fascinating as you visit the gun maker’s house and understand the nuances of the gun culture in Nagaland. It doesn’t end here as now you have the option of buying some really cool craftwork from the blacksmith’s house(if he’s home). It’s a very special experience to buy an artist’s work from his workshop and that’s what Longwa offers.
You can head back to your homestay for lunch, which is a delight in itself with a beautiful view of the Konyak hills from every room. Take some rest and head out for a walk to explore the border and village in general.
Drive time from Mon to Hongphoi: 1.5 hours one way.
Drive time from Hongphoi to Longwa: 3.5 hours
Overnight in a homestay overlooking the hills of Longwa village
We will spend some time picking up handloom and handicraft products from the local market in Mon. The Konyaks make some amazing products and this is a great way of supporting the local community as well as have a fascinating shopping experience.
A day in Longwa exploring the unique border village
The activities and visits mentioned in the itinerary in the previous day can be clubbed today as well. The pacing of the same will happen based on how you feel.
But first you can experience a beautiful sunrise in the village and if you are an early riser, a hike up to the India Burma border pillar no 155 will give you a bird’s eye view of the village. Ignore the men with rifles patrolling the pillar(if any) and the border and focus on the clouds below you. Rest of the day you can spend as you like, walking and hiking.
This day has been added on request and feedback from travellers who wished they had an extra day in this border village doing nothing but just soak in the beauty of the place.
Overnight in a homestay overlooking the hills of Longwa village.
A night in the train reflecting on the trip
Today it is time to bid goodbye to your hosts and to Nagaland. You drive out by 10 am. This train ride will be an equally exciting and important part of the trip. Let’s just leave it to the day when you board the train.
Total drive time from Longwa to Simalguri(railway station) will be 5.5 hours
Flying out of Northeast India
The train chugs into Guwahati early in the morning. Board your flight with memories for a lifetime.
Any flight after 12 pm can be booked.
The campsite itself resembles the terrace farms of Nagaland as it has three levels. The first level has the parking space, the kitchen area and a few tents. The second layer has most of the tents and the bonfire area. The third layer is the best as it offers an uninterrupted view of beautiful paddy fields of Jakhama village, with the backdrop of the hills. The whole campsite has a natural boundary of oak trees with flowers and orchids ornamenting it. It is only 5.4 km away from Kisama village, the venue of the annual Hornbill festival in Nagaland
Jellei’s homestay, Longwa
In a place as remote as Longwa, getting somebody’s home to stay in, is a blessing. On top of that every room, though absolutely basic offers a stunning view of the Naga hills.
Vinngoi resort, Mon town
The most aesthetic stay option in the whole of Mon. This would be the best way to describe the property.
The cultural diversity of northeast India is so vast that we can’t blame outsiders for not being aware of communities in the region who are purely vegetarians, so much so that they avoid eating onions( they are indigenous to the region, in case you are thinking about communities from mainland India who have settled here). Having said that, we must admit that the region’s food habits especially in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya are predominantly non vegetarian with a whole lot of red meat based preparations. But the states have warmed up to tourists recently and almost every place you visit will provide the Indian staple diet of rice, dal and sabji, even chapatis if you are lucky. As far as Tripura, Assam, Manipur and Sikkim are concerned vegetarians have decent number of options. Your craving for butter paneer may not be satisfied, but you will do just fine as far as maintaining your health and strength is concerned.
Entry to the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland will require an inner line permit, which will be taken care of.
Extra nights can be booked based on availability. You can also visit our Custom trip section to plan a different trip.