A land of folklore, Nagaland is passed down from one generation to the other through word of mouth. A trip to North-east India with its picturesque landscape will leave you enthralled. Nagaland holiday tour is once in a lifetime journey.
Nature couldn’t have been any kinder to Nagaland. Referred to as the Switzerland of the East, the vibrantly colourful sunset, sunrise and the verdant, lush flora makes travel to Nagaland a breathtaking experience.
The state’s tucked away village Kigwema is one of the oldest villages. 15 kilometres away from the state capital, this region boasts of lush manicured landscapes, brave deeds of traditional heroes and warriors, poetic love songs, and immortalising ancient tragic love stories.
However, a place that is surrounded by idyllic and pristine terrace fields, it has been a target for various environmental degradation. Reasons such as stone quarries, rampant hunting and deforestation, in recent years are its causes.
We at Offbeat Travel, identified the dying spirit of this village and undertook an initiative to promote the region and its gifts.
The first step was education and training the locales which proved as a guiding force towards environmental conservation. Faced with rejections from villagers and hardships at the beginning when we first tried to lay our foundation for the project last December, we didn’t let our spirit quiver.
With small efforts and being headstrong about our goals, after a year we adjoined hands with the government of Nagaland. The task of educating and informing people about their entitlements and rights was as important as implementing and formulating those rights and entitlements.
We roped in villagers and trained them to become trekking and tourist guides. They were also empowered with bird watching expertise so that they can help visitors and tourists on wildlife and forest expeditions.
Secondly, we learned that travel is not only about the destinations you visit but is more about it’s people too. Promoting eco-tourism would pull in and flourish the village’s economy. And since Nagaland, unlike many more remote parts of the world is not overrun with great hotel facilities, our team engaged in locating homestay options in and around the village. The idea was to have the travellers and tourists stay and spend time with the localities’ of the region.
In most areas of Nagaland, homestays have become the most popular type of accommodation. By choosing a homestay for accommodation, one directly helps the local economy. At the same time, travellers enrich their own lives by experiencing the real lives of the Naga people. One can walk around the passages inside the houses of the residents and enjoy a sneak peak in their lives. This gives them an opportunity to learn about the hardships of their lives and encourage them to overcome it as well.
Whilst sharing homes, they end up making lifelong friends along the way by sharing stories of their own land and hearing about historical times from the elderly people in the Kigwema village over a cup of tea. It is this idea that we tried to promote that will add fascination and thrill to one’s Nagaland vacation tour.
The villagers are engaged in farming as their main source of livelihood. Our project was a beacon of hope for them. Our project intended to provide knowledge on the best agricultural practices for farmers.
Besides, the initiative not only spread literacy but also helped the locals and village entrepreneurs in their respective professions. A one day guided tour to the farmlands of the villagers and showcasing their agricultural crops, the process of harvesting etc. was also a plan incorporated under this project. The tourists thus get a chance of living in Nagaland with a pure feeling of belonging to the Naga tribe.
Kigwema is also blessed with ample of imaginative and artistic calibre. Shawl weaving is an inherited but a dying art here. It was necessary to promote this form of art and keep the interest of people in this skill intact. With a little help from local women, we encouraged more women of the Angami tribe in Kigwema to master the art, technique and skill of weaving wrappers and shawls. When in Nagaland, one can participate and make a creation of their own by weaving along with the villagers. Our team at Offbeat Travel also helped in organising and laying out exhibitions for sale of these masterpieces and other local handicrafts.
Nagas, by nature, are lovers of fun and frolic. And with a little help and motivation from our team, we tried to make their lives one long unending festival of joy and pure happiness.