The Hornbill Festival of Nagaland's Kisama, held from December 1 to 10, is one of the most vibrant cultural carnivals in India. Hundreds of travelers wait with bated breath to be part of the festival, which is held annually in Kisama village of Kohima, the capital city of Nagaland. It is noteworthy that tourists from across the globe would attend the 'festival of festivals' that showcases the ethnicity and cultural heritage of Nagaland. The festival includes a variety of events including 'hornbill naga wrestling,' 'Naga King Chilly and pineapple eating' competitions, handshake concerts, mountain biking, rock contests, Dzukou valley day hikes, and more.
If you want to buy tickets for the fest, you can purchase them at the entry gate of the festival venues. They cost around Rs 30 and must be bought for each of the days, separately. If you want to capture the events, an additional Rs 50 should be paid. Tourists who are not from Nagaland should also obtain an inner line permit from the local government to enter Nagaland. It can be obtained from the Office of Deputy Resident Commissioner in Delhi, Shillong, Guwahati, and Kolkata. The permit can take up to half a day to be issued. Foreigners should register themselves with the Foreigner's Registration Office within 24 hours to enter Nagaland. Find more details here.
Experience local cuisines
Nagaland, the picturesque state on the northeastern side of India, boasts of many alluring festivals that are held under the aegis of different tribal groups that dot the region. Besides showcasing Nagaland’s diverse culture, rich heritage, and robust history, the festivals also are the perfect platforms to flaunt some mouthwatering local cuisines. It is not surprising that the state has earned the sobriquet ‘Land of Festivals’. It is worth noting that the Hornbill Festival, which is organized every year by the Nagaland Government in association with the Art and Cultural wing of the state Tourism Department, stands out for its uniqueness and heterogeneity. Here's the travel guide for the event.
Avian touch to name
The festival has been named after the Hornbill, a bird that is revered by the tribal clusters in Nagaland. The Hornbill Festival, which brings together 17 different tribal groups of the state, is known as the ‘festival of festivals’ and is a reflection of the unity of these tribal people. The event provides an opportunity to anyone who wants to know more about the bygone era of various tribal groups.
A walk through history
If you want to take a peek into the history of the tribal groups in Nagaland, then the Hornbill Festival is the right place for you. This festival season is the appropriate time to get a ringside view of the huts of tribals and take a stroll through the corridors of history. The traditional items that are commonly found in Naga homes such as drums, gongs, and wood handicrafts would be on full display at the festival that is held in the heritage hamlet of Kisama, which is 10km from Kohima. Over the years, the festival has also become the symbol of camaraderie in Nagaland. The main attraction of the Hornbill Festival is the Naga Morungs, which are traditional educational centers.