The Journey: Reaching Kohima
The idea of exploring a new place fascinates all. I had heard of Hornbill Festival for 2-3 years and thought of attending it but did not get a chance. This year we got a change and did’t want to miss it. I was very excited at the prospect of discovering Kohima and its surrounding areas.
It was 29th November 2016. We started our journey from Guwahati by Janashatabdi express at 6:30 am and reached Dimapur, Nagaland at around 10:30 am. From there we had to go to Kohima. There were a lot of taxis available at the railway station and we decided to travel in a shared taxi.
The journey from Dimapur to Kohima will be cherished forever. We passed by the steep hilly entwining roads of Nagaland on our way and every meadow, every hillock seemed like a picnic spot. We wanted to imprint the vivid pictures of nature’s bounty as much as possible in our hearts. We realized nature in its fullest grandeur awaits us at Kohima.
After travelling for about three hours we had reached our destination, Kohima city.
Nexplore Travel had made all the provisions for our accommodation in Kohima. We did not have any problem finding our pre booked hotel after reaching Kohima. The hotel was just at five minutes walking distance from Kohima city center. The name of our hotel was hotel Japfu. We went straight to our hotel after getting down at the city center.
Exploring Kohima City and its Markets
We went out to explore Kohima city in the evening. The World War II cemetery was situated near our hotel. We took a five minutes’ walk to the cemetery and paid a visit. Then we decided to explore the alleys of the Kohima city. We saw rows and rows of houses, some atop mountains and some on the plains. The neat and clean, well-maintained houses had flowers in the verandas. A feeling of warmth and contentment reflected from the houses.
Next we went to the Naga Bazar market. The market sprawled in its own glory of vivid smells, sounds and colours. The market had all sorts of house ware, kitchen ware, trendy apparels, accessories and items for kids too. It was a shopaholic’s paradise and at the same time it provided unique edibles like frogs, snails, different fish, etc.
It was end of November and the shops were filled with different goods for Christmas decorations. The market was already celebrating the fervor of the arrival of Christmas and the shops were decorated and colourful lights were seen everywhere.
Stupendous Kohima Cathedral
Next day we got up early morning and went to explore the Kohima Cathedral. When we first saw the cathedral the first word that comes to my mind is “Wow, Magnificat ! “. It has a wonderful architecture which blends into the hill on which it is situated. It was a very big church having a 16 feet high carved wood crucifix, which is one of largest crosses in Asia. We walk around the church and enjoy beautiful picture and statues inside the church while admiring the beautiful flowers beside it.
After visiting Kohima Cathedral we went to visit the Nagaland State Museum. It preserves and displays the different rare artifacts, costumes, weapons, utensils, and musical instruments of different cultural groups of Nagaland. Different wooden structures, statues, jewelry and images also displayed there. Afterneath, we visited the memorial of A.Z. Phizo. It is constructed in the memory of Angami Zapu Phizo, which is regarded as the “Father of the Nagas”.
After spending a memorable day in the Kohima city we went back to our hotel in the evening. Next day is the 1st day of the most awaited Hornbill festival. Stay tuned and read my next blog about our Hornbill Festival Tour.