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Hornbill Festival of Nagaland (A Cultural Journey from Guwahati)

Hey there! Have you ever wanted to experience the vibrant traditions and rich culture of Nagaland’s tribes firsthand? Well, at the Hornbill Festival, you get to do just that! During this fantastic event, you can fully immerse yourself in a variety of tribal rituals, ceremonies, and practices.

Hornbill Festival, Nagaland: A Cultural Journey from Guwahati

Welcome to Nagaland, a land of vibrant culture and rich traditions. As a travel enthusiast, I had the opportunity to attend the Hornbill Festival, one of the most significant cultural events in Nagaland, and I must say it was a journey to remember.

Traveling from Guwahati, the gateway to the Northeast. You can book car on rent from Guwahati or book customized tour package to Nagaland if you prefer. I was eager to witness the cultural extravaganza and experience the unique traditions of the Naga tribes. The Hornbill Festival is a celebration of the indigenous culture and showcases the diversity and richness of the Naga tribes.

Getting There: My Travel Experience from Guwahati to Nagaland

Traveling to Nagaland from Guwahati was an adventure in itself as the journey takes you through the lush green hills and valleys of the Northeast.

If you’re short on time, taking a flight is your best option. The journey takes only an hour, and you get to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the scenic beauty of the region. However, if you’re on a budget and have time on your hands, taking a bus or taxi is a great way to explore the countryside and see more of the local life.

Personally, I took a bus from Guwahati to Dimapur, which is the largest city in Nagaland. From there, I took a taxi to Kohima, the state capital, which is about an hour’s drive away. The journey was long but comfortable, and I enjoyed every bit of it.


Beyond its role as a major tourist attraction, the Hornbill Festival holds significant cultural and social importance for the Nagaland tribes. The Festival is an opportunity for the Nagas to come together and celebrate their cultural heritage, but it is also a platform for cultural exchange and understanding. Visitors from all over India and the world come to witness the festival and learn about the Nagas’ customs, beliefs, and lifestyle.

Naga Food for the Adventurous Eater

Let me tell you about my awesome food adventure in Nagaland! The cuisine there is seriously influenced by the region’s geography and what’s available. They’re big on meat, so you’ll find a mouthwatering variety of pork, chicken, beef, and fish dishes. They spice things up with dried and fresh herbs, super spicy chilies, and fragrant bamboo shoots, giving the food an absolutely incredible flavor.

During my visit to the Hornbill Festival, I got to try some absolute must-haves! There was Axone, which is fermented soybean and totally unique. Then there was the heavenly smoked meat and the mind-blowing bamboo shoot pickle. Oh, and they serve boiled veggies with smoked meat or fish – a yummy combo! To wash it all down, they have this traditional rice beer made from fermented rice that added a real authentic touch to the whole experience.

Trust me, if you ever get a chance to go, don’t miss out on trying these incredible dishes. Nagaland’s food scene is a total winner!

Tribal Traditions

One of the highlights of the festival is visiting the traditional ‘morungs,’ where young boys and girls are taught various skills and crafts. You’ll be amazed by the beautifully decorated ‘village gates’ adorned with intricate wood carvings representing the different tribes and their beliefs.

But wait, there’s more! The tribal ceremonies are an absolute delight to witness. Watch in awe as the Zeliang tribe performs the graceful Hornbill Dance, inspired by the movements of the hornbill bird. Feel the energy and bravery of the Konyak tribe during their Warrior’s Dance. And at night, be enchanted by the Bone Fire ritual, believed to bring prosperity and good luck, performed by the Angami tribe.

Oh, and don’t forget the fun-filled traditional games! Take part in archery, tug-of-war, and wrestling, cherished and passed down through generations of Nagaland tribes.

Overall, the Hornbill Festival is an amazing opportunity to experience and understand the diverse culture of Nagaland’s tribes. You’ll be warmly encouraged to engage in the traditions and customs, allowing you to gain a deeper appreciation of the local way of life. Get ready for an extraordinary and hospitable experience at the Hornbill Festival! Come join in the festivities and create everlasting memories!

Practical Information for Visiting the Hornbill Festival

If you’re planning to visit the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, here are some practical tips and information to help you prepare for an unforgettable cultural experience:

When and where is the festival held?

The festival is held annually from December 1 to 10 in the town of Kohima, the capital of Nagaland. It’s the perfect way to immerse yourself in the unique cultural traditions of the Nagaland tribes.

How do I get there?

The nearest airport is in Dimapur, which is about 74 km from Kohima. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Kohima(To be filled). Alternatively, you can take a train to Dimapur and then make your way to Kohima.

Where can I stay?

For stay you can go for some reputed homestay and hotels nearby such as

Akim home stay Kohima
De Oriental Grand
Hotel East Gate
Hotel Lavisto
Hotel Vivor

There are also tented accommodation if you prefer.

What should I pack?

It’s important to pack warm clothes as Nagaland can get quite chilly during the winter months. Comfortable walking shoes are also recommended as there is a lot of walking involved during the festival.

What can I expect at the festival?

The festival offers a range of cultural activities, including traditional music and dance performances, indigenous crafts and arts, and authentic cuisine. You’ll also have the opportunity to witness and participate in various tribal rituals and ceremonies.

Are there any rules or guidelines to follow?

Visitors are expected to respect the local customs and traditions of the Nagaland tribes. It’s recommended that you dress appropriately and avoid smoking or drinking in public places. Photography is allowed, but it’s important to ask for permission before taking pictures of people.

With these tips and information, you’ll be able to prepare for an unforgettable visit to the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Hornbill Festival

If you’re planning on attending the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, India, you probably have a few questions. This FAQ section aims to answer some of the most common inquiries about the festival to make your visit as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

When is the Hornbill Festival held?

The Hornbill Festival takes place every year from December 1st to December 10th.

How can I purchase tickets for the festival?

Tickets for the Hornbill Festival can be purchased at the venue’s gate during the festival days.

Is the festival accessible for international visitors?

Yes, the festival is open to both international visitors as well as Indian visitors. However, visitors must obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter Nagaland. Only Indians needs to obtain, Foreigners not required. ILPs are available through the Nagaland House in major cities such as Delhi and Kolkata or online via the Nagaland state government website. For further details please write to us at “[email protected]”.

What is the duration of the festival?

The festival lasts for ten days, from December 1st to December 10th.

What accommodation options are available during the festival?

Accommodation options during the festival are plenty, ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts. It is advised to book accommodations in advance as they tend to get booked out quickly.

How can I get to the festival venue?

The Hornbill Festival takes place in Kisama Heritage Village, which is approximately 10km away from Kohima, Nagaland’s capital. Visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus from Kohima to reach the festival venue.

What guidelines or etiquettes should I follow during the festival?

Visitors are encouraged to respect the local customs and traditions during the festival. Dress modestly, refrain from smoking, littering, or consuming alcohol in public areas inside the venue. Additionally, taking photographs and videos of the participants must be done after seeking permission from them. 

We hope this FAQ section has been helpful in answering some of the most common questions about the Hornbill Festival. With this information, you’re now ready to plan a memorable visit to one of India’s most vibrant cultural celebrations.

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