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10 lesser-known facts about Nagaland

Surrounded by beautiful mountains and hills, Nagaland is a pristine and rustic state popular for its century-old poetic folklore. Sharing an international border with Myanmar and Nagaland, it has geographical as well as historical significance, which makes it unique and exciting. This Northeastern state of India has a rich culture of tribes and sub-tribes and age-old traditions that are preserved and celebrated throughout the year.

Nagaland is the ideal place to go for a vacation and explore the state’s rich heritage. There are also many lesser-known yet amazing facts about Nagaland. Keep on reading to know what they are.

1. The Inner Line Permit protects Nagaland:

Tourists from other states of India are not allowed to enter the state of Nagaland without an ILP, which is issued by the state’s government. Nagaland is one of the few states that are protected by the Inner Line Permit. The other states are Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Manipur. The Inner Line Permit is issued for every tourist entering the state to allow their temporary stay. Although Nagaland’s largest city Dimapur does not require an Inner Line Permit.

2. Nagaland is home to more than one tribe and sub-tribe:

Nagaland is undoubtedly a tribal land. Nagaland is famous for being home to 16 prominent tribes along with other sub-tribes. The government and the state’s people are keen on preserving the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the tribes. Each tribe has its language and customs that are celebrated individually throughout the year. 

Though English is the state language, there is no particular “Naga” language. Other than English, the people of the different tribes widely use the Nagamese language, which is a Creole dialect, and has borrowed words from the Assamese to communicate with each other.

3. Famous Naga shawls:

The tribes of Nagaland are rigid about their customs and their social stands too. Interestingly, the Naga shawls are famous as they are a symbolic representation of the social hierarchy prevalent in the state among the different tribes. The vibrant red Naga weaves come with vivid designs and patterns and are the most significant clothing piece in Naga society. Each tribe has its individual design or pattern that discern the social status of the person donning the shawl.

4.  Hornbill Festival of Nagaland:

Nagaland is known as the Land of Festival in India as festivals are held throughout the year to celebrate the prominence of 16 different tribes inhabiting the state. Besides this, the annual Hornbill Festival is the main attraction for many Indian and international tourists. In this festival, the importance of the different tribes is reflected through several tribal performances. Hornbill Festival celebrates the cultures, rituals, and traditions of the tribes, which the state government started in 2000 to promote tourism. The festival takes place every year in the first week of December.

5. Home to Amur Falcons:

Nagaland is also known as the ‘Falcon Capital of the World.’ Nagaland is the home to almost a million Amur Falcons who settle and congregate in the state. Approximately there are 50 falcons per square kilometer.

Nagaland also largely inhabits the extinct species of Hornbill Bird.

6. Nagaland produces the world’s hottest chilli pepper:

The Guinness Book of World Record recognized Nagaland’s Bhut Jolokia to be the world’s hottest chilli pepper. Bhut Jolokia means Bhutanese pepper in the Assamese; however, many call it the “ghost pepper,” too. Bhut Jolokia is majorly cultivated in India’s Northeastern states and found in almost every home in Nagaland. This hot and spicy pepper is also considered to be 400 times hotter than the famous Tabasco sauce from Mexico. 

7. Nagaland has a natural barrier between borders:

Nagaland has a natural barrier between the state and Burma (now Myanmar) as Mount Saramati stands tall between the borders separating the two. The highest peak in the state which stands at 3840 meters is Mount Saramati.

Another interesting fact about the state’s geolocation is that the Longwa village in Mon district of Nagaland has houses that lie on India and Myanmar’s international borderline. Half of the village houses lie in our country and the other half on the other side of the border, in Myanmar. The Longwa village has immense natural beauty, and interestingly, the jurisdiction of Nagaland’s chief extends on both sides of the borders.

8. Nagaland also holds historical significance:

The Second World War had a massive influence on Kohima, which is the capital city of Nagaland. The Japanese invasion in the Northeastern states and the Battle of Kohima during the Second World War left behind historical significance. A war cemetery was also built in Kohima dedicated to the soldiers who died in WW2 in April 1944.

Also, the only airport in the state is in Dimapur was built during the Second World War.

9. Nagaland has a Christian majority:

Nagaland is one of the three states that have a significant number of Christian populations. 90% of the people in Nagaland follow Christianity. The other central Christian states are Mizoram and Meghalaya, with 90% and 83% majority.

10. Only Indian state to register population decline:

Nagaland is the first and only state among India’s 29 states that registered the rare phenomenon of population decline between the years of 2001 and 2011. Between this period, the population in the Naga state has dropped by 0.47%.

These are some lesser-known interesting facts about Nagaland. On your next vacation, plan a trip to the state to explore Nagaland’s tribal culture and rusticity.