February 18, 2019

Kohima in 24 hours- Places to visit

Engulfed by hills, Kohima is a bustling city nestled in the north eastern part of India and is known for its popular Hornbill festival. The city which is the capital of the state of Nagaland was also pivotal during the Second World War as it was witness to the English- Japanese treaty. Presently Kohima doesn’t portray any glimpses of the colonial times and has all the characteristics of a modern city. However, it has a few attractions apart from the Hornbill festival and the beautiful interiors such as Khonoma, Dzouko valley, Tuophema etc. Here are a few places to visit in Kohima if one has a day to spare.

War Cemetery

Maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the war cemetery is located in the middle of the town. It houses more than 1300 graves of the brave Indian, British and Commonwealth soldiers who were martyred during the Second World War. An interesting point to note is that most of the martyrs were young and in their early 20s. The cemetery is neatly laid out with well manicured stepped lawns and flowering plants. Located at a height, the higher steps of the cemetery offer views of the sprawling city of Kohima. The cemetery is open from 8 AM to 3:30 PM during summers and from 8:30 PM to 3 AM during winters.

War museum

Kisama heritage village which holds the Hornbill festival every year also houses a World War II museum with a huge display of memorabilia. The museum offers a great insight into the stories, photographs and other details from the world war era. The Hornbill ground and morungs of various tribes are adjacent to this war museum. The war museum is 12 Kms from Kohima.

Local Markets

The local markets of Kohima such as Central market or BOC market offers quirky frames. From vegetables to snake fishes to frogs to snails to pigs, the markets offer a plethora of items on sale. It is not recommended for the faint hearted, but for the curious souls these are definitely interesting. It is always recommended to ask for permission before taking photographs inside the market.

Catholic Cathedral

Atop the Aradura hill, the Catholic Cathedral of Kohima stands tall overlooking the city. Known for its unique geometrical shape, the cathedral is the largest in North East India. Beautiful paintings adorn the interiors of this prominent landmark which was consecrated in 1991 with funding from the people of Japan.

Nagaland State Museum

This wonderful museum has a magnificent display of myriad artefacts, armoury, household items, musical instruments, jewellery, paintings and photographs of the various tribes of Nagaland. The museum showcases the rich culture of Naga tribes apart from a deep insight into their lives, history and anthropology.  There are also numerous sculptures displayed outside the museum which have been unearthed from various locations. The museum is open from 10 AM to 3 PM and remains closed on Mondays.


Café culture and western music have slowly caught up with the young generation of Kohima. There are a few lovely cafes in the city which serve both local and continental cuisine. FIFA café, Symphony café, Oasis restaurant etc. are some of the recommended places to eat in Kohima.

Travel Tips:

  • It is recommended to visit the war cemetery and state museum during the first half of the day as they close early in the evening.
  • Shared taxis are easily available to commute across the city.
  • Every shop and restaurant shuts down by 7 PM every day. 
  • Make sure to obtain Inner Line Permits before visiting Kohima.

How to reach Kohima:

Kohima is 70 Kms away from Dimapur which houses the nearest railway station and airport. There are regular shared taxis that ply between Kohima and Dimapur. One can also opt for the public bus service. Shared taxis are available to commute within the city.

Food and Accommodation:

There are cafes and restaurants across the city. Most of them serve local cuisine and non-vegetarian fare. There are numerous hotels and guest houses in Kohima. EcoStay hostel is a good option for budget travellers.

February 13, 2019

Nagaland ILP for Indians

Inner Line Permit or ILP is a travel document that is required by Indians to visit Nagaland. This document is mandatory for all Indian citizens unless they are a domicile of Nagaland. This can be procured from Deputy Resident Commissioner’s office in New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong or Dimapur. Dimapur is the only city in Nagaland which people can visit without the permit. While travelling from Dimapur to Kohima or Hornbill festival or to other deeper regions of the state, one needs to show the permit at the check post as you exit the city.

The procedure to obtain ILP for Nagaland is a simple process at Dimapur.

  • Go to Deputy Commissioner’s office. The office opens by 9:45- 10 AM during weekdays.
  • Buy the ILP form by paying Rs.10. Fill the form and submit it along with a photocopy of any of your photo ID (Adhaar card, Voter’s ID) and two passport size photographs.
  • Pay Rs.160 along with the form for the permit.
  • ILP for each visitor has to be applied individually.
  • Collect the ILP from the same counter after 1.5 or 2 hours. Make sure to have a couple of copies of the ILP when you exit Dimapur.

One can also apply for the ILP online.

Foreign nationals do not require the permit, but they need to register themselves at the nearest Foreigners Registration Office at the earliest upon entering Nagaland. However, citizens of China, Pakistan and Bangladesh require a Protected Area Permit (PAP).

February 8, 2019

EcoStay Hostel, Kohima- Review

Kohima, the capital of Nagaland is known for the Hornbill festival that happens a few kilometers away from the city very year. The city also has a few other attractions such as war cemetery, naga museum etc. There are numerous home stays, camps and hotels available in Kohima. However, the city has only one or two hostels that caters to the backpacker community who are on budget travel.

EcoStay Hostel is a fairly new hostel located next to the war cemetery. It is beautifully designed with capsule beds, complimentary breakfast, free wifi and all basic facilities. This mixed hostel has ten capsule beds next to each other and they look lovely lined up together. The common baths are adjacent and there are separate toilets and bath areas. The common area has a couple of tables for the inmates to have breakfast or to work on their laptop. This lovely hostel is centrally located and the charges are INR 450 per bed.

What I loved:

  • Design: Capsule beds are still not popular in India, but this hostel gives you a chance to experience the same.
  • Beds: The capsule beds might look a bit claustrophobic, but they are actually very comfortable and cosy.
  • Baths: The baths and toilets are neat and well maintained.
  • Breakfast: Though the breakfast includes only coffee, egg and a muffin, the fact that it is complimentary makes the tariff look attractive.

What I did not like:

  • Power points: There are no individual plug points for each bed. The points are outside the beds and in the common area.


EcoStay Hostel,

TCP Gate, Near WW II cemetery,
Midland Colony, Kohima,
Nagaland- 797001
Ph: +91-7005916834

P.S.: This is not a sponsored post.

February 6, 2019

Portraits from Hornbill Festival

Festivals are always a great place to capture portraits and candid frames. Hornbill festival known as the 'Festival of Festivals' is undoubtedly the place to visit if one would like to photograph the Naga tribes. Below are a few frames I captured during Hornbill Festival 2018 near Kohima, Nagaland.

P.S.: I was hosted by The Holiday Scout at Hornbill Festival.


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