ChaloHoppo to the Hornbill festival 2019 & visit Asia’s First Green Village, Dzuleke and Dzukou Valley
Attending this grand showcase will take you back to a time when the Naga folks used to live life in harmony with nature. A time when hunting and celebrating was the way of life. Women wear colourful weaves and men sport spears adorned with animal fur to go with their loincloth. You soak the energy and indulge in some lip-smacking food.
Reviews 3 Reviews5/5
Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Medium Group
Anyone who manages to spend a reasonable time travelling across Nagaland, from the land of the Konyaks in Eastern Nagaland right up to the land of the Angamis in the state capital of Kohima will find the Naga people extremely hospitable. That green hills and crispy clouds give you company when you aren’t surrounded by these warm people is a bonus.
Hornbill festival brings all these little things together in one place for everyone to witness and it is definitely an event one shouldn’t miss. However, if you want to experience the “real Nagaland”, you have to veer into Nagaland’s villages. The remoter the village, the kinder the people, poorer the network and richer the experience. The other leg of this journey does exactly that!
We take you to the Naga villages where hill slopes have been cut to cultivate paddy, ginger, garlic etc., resembling images of the terraced farms that now have been associated with Bali (Indonesia). A visit to Khonoma village inhabited by the Angami tribes will validate this. The next day it is truly the time to disconnect as you enter the reclusive village of Dzuleke, with only 34 homes!
The tour ticks all the boxes of a comprehensive Nagaland experience when you end it by exploring the recently famed unexplainable landscape of Dzukou valley.
For those who like their red meat, Naga cuisine should be right up there in the list of cuisines to try. Varieties of smoked and fresh meat, infused with local herbs and generous portions of bamboo shoot.
- All accommodations on twin/triple sharing basis in Khonoma and Dzuleke villages
- All accommodations on twin sharing basis in 3 man tents at ChaloHoppo Village, Camp Yedikha in Jakhama village.
- Sleeping bags, sleeping mats, pillows.
- Breakfast on all days, all meals on day 4 and lunch on Day 5.
- Hygienic toilets for men and women.
- Bathing rooms.
- Transport from Dimapur to Dimapur.
- ChaloHoppo guy as tour leader through the trip.
- Hyper-Local guides in Khonoma and Dzuleke villages
- Electricity source with charging facility for mobile devices at the campsite
- Running water supply at the campsite.
- Breakfast and freshening up space on arrival in Dimapur on the first morning of the tour
- Airfare charges
- All food & beverages cost apart from the ones mentioned above
- Entry fee to any monuments etc if any
- Any camera fees
- Campsite staff tips (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.
- Potters hired for personal use.
- Anything not specifically mentioned under the head “Inclusions”
Pick up from Dimapur railway station at 5 30 am in the morning. This isn’t exactly the Nagaland we are talking about yet. A 5-hour bumpy ride through a dust bowl has to be endured to reach the promised Naga- land.
When you finally reach Khonoma village and settle in your homestay and look out from your balcony, you will know it was worth the pain.
Take a walk to the terraced rice fields of the village and pluck some local veggies. You can also head further down to the stream and explore the stream.
Time to have some finger-licking Naga cuisine with your host family, made out of your plucked vegetables from the field. Good time to get some tips on how to cook a perfect Naga cuisine.
Stay- A beautiful Homestay in Khonoma.
Spend your day without Network at Dzuleke village
After breakfast head for a heritage walk in the village to the “morungs”, and historical forts accompanied by the local guide.
After the walk, we head for an hour drive to Dzuleke. Ah, such a hidden gem!
Hike up to the hills or wander in the forests, or just sit with your empty thoughts and admire the pure surroundings of this paradise. Give the local mythical stories an ear and watch sky shift colours as the sunsets. If the weather permits, do a small trek to the nearby hidden waterfall.
Roam around in the village with only 34 houses. Head for dinner and relax in the cosy homestay.
Stay- One of the 5 Homestays in Dzuleke.
First glimpse of the Hornbill festival!
After breakfast, we leave for Kohima. This is what you came for, isn’t it? To attend the Grand Hornbill festival. So, today you shall have your first glimpse of the celebrations. On our way, we make a stopover at the Kohima War Cemetery. The memorial remembers the bloodshed of 917 soldiers who died during the altercation with the Japanese during World War II. After exploring the War Cemetery, it’s time for lunch at one of the dozen authentic food stalls at the Hornbill festival venue in Kisama village. From now until, the sunsets, you are free to explore the festival on your own. We head to our campsite in Jakhama village, where the other campers and your comfortable tents await. The bonfire, some good food and stargazing should end this night.
Stay- ChaloHoppo Village, Campsite Yedikha.
Wake up for Dzukou.
We have to be up early and ready by 7 am. Breakfast at the campsite and we charge on the sumos waiting for us.
The ride from the campsite to the starting point of the trek, Viswema will take about an hour depending on the conditions of the road on the climb.
The trek to Dzukou will take a maximum of 5 hours considering the first time and slow trekkers.
Our base will be the dormitory, which offers a beautiful view of the valley.
It’s time to head into the valley. The trail down takes about 1 hour.
We will have professional guides throughout to make sure you don’t get lost in this beautiful land.
Stay- Dzukou Dormitory.
Day 5 Hiking out of Dzukou and your second evening at Hornbill
Wake up early by 5 am and head to the valley to see it in its frozen form and to see the sunrise. Come back, have a quick breakfast, pack up and begin your return trek. Reach the starting point of Viswema trek where our Sumos will be waiting for your rescue. An hour ride back and some hot delicious Puri Bhaji awaits you at the campsite. Freshen up and head for the second round of experiencing the Hornbill festival. From now until, the sunsets, you are free to explore the festival on your own. Come back to the camp for some live music. Yes, we have a local band jamming to some melodies by the bonfire and this is your last night at the camp and in Nagaland, so make it count!
Stay- ChaloHoppo Village, Campsite Yedikha
Bidding Nagaland goodbye, unless you want to stay back!
We will need to leave really early, so you must have packed last night.
Arrival and Departure timings, flights and suggestions.
Fly into Guwahati (GAU)on the 30th of November 2019. Book any flight that lands by 9 30 pm.
Then take the daily overnight Nagaland express- train no.15669 that departs from Guwahati railway station at 11: 30 pm. Reservations are easily available on this train as long as you are booking at least 2 weeks in advance.
Fly out of Dimapur Airport(DMU) on the 6th of December 2019 at 3: 25 pm. These are connecting flights that go to all the major cities.
ChaloHoppo Village Camp Yedikha:
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.
Your homestays in Khonoma and Dzuleke will probably be the best you have come across. These fit the definition of a perfect homestays with your windows giving breathtaking views and hosts giving you the ideal company. If not your home, these are the ones you wished was your home.
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 Nagaland will require an inner line permit for domestic travellers. Foreigners visiting Nagaland have to get a protected area permit or PAP. We can also get your ILP made on prior notice, with an additional cost of Rs. 500.
Extra nights can be booked based on availability. You can also visit our Custom trip section to plan a different trip.
A most definite yes, as long as you are okay travelling in a mixed group of other solo travellers or small group of friends.
The sources of such warnings should be checked and speaking from the perspective of locals living in the region we can say that though some parts of Northeast India do have cases of groups clashing against government forces from time to time, it doesn’t affect a tourist as long as the route is chosen wisely and hours of commute are decided smartly, much like travelling in any other part of the world.
If you have seen warnings in the advisory pages of governments, then we would like to remind you that governments (of different countries)will always take precaution and not be in sync with the real situation. Northeast India is absolutely safe with warm and welcoming locals. You should have no issues even going to the most interior places. As with any other tribal dominated region, respect the local culture and don’t hurt their sentiments, and you will have a great time in a beautiful place.
Because so less is known about the region in general, it may be a wise idea to get in touch with some travel experts before you plan your trip.
The roads in Nagaland are like most mountain roads in India, i.e. not in a great shape. So your cup holders in the car may not really work. But the roads aren’t risky to be driving on, just a little uncomfortable.
Homestay: Please understand that you will be staying in homestays and not hotels, and hence you are requested to treat the host and the family not as professional staff but as a family that is hosting guests.
Avoid plastic: Please avoid buying mineral water, since it is a major cause of pollution in the delicate eco system of the places you are visiting. Carry a reusable water bottle and fill filtered water or spring water. The hosts and your guide can assist you in showing where the water can be found.
Respect local culture: You are travelling to remote parts of the country where people speak freely and sometimes it comes across as rude, but understand that their intention isn’t to hurt your sentiments, just that they perhaps lack the skill of sugar coating and diplomacy. During your tour you may see things that may surprise you like a cat roaming around in the kitchen while you eat. But understand that many of these things are part of the way of life here and hence respect the same.
More than 45 Days prior to arrival: 75% refund
30 -45 Days prior to arrival: 50% refund
15- 30 Days prior to arrival: 25% refund
Less than 15 Days prior to arrival : 0% refund
In Nagaland, only Reliance Jio will be a reliable service provider with patchy connectivity from Airtel and BSNL. No other network providers will work in Nagaland.
Please note that Dzuleke and Dzukou valley wont have any reception.
Dzukou is beautiful but sadly you cant capture the beauty from the bird view. The new rules have a restriction on flying drones in the valley. If caught your drone will seized and you will have to pay a fine of Rs. 5000.