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Nagaland is a mountainous state in northeast India. It is bordered by the state of Arunachal Pradesh to the north, Assam to the west, and Manipur to the south. country of Myanmar (Burma) to the east. It also shares it’s border with country of Myanmar to the east. It is one of the smaller states of India with an area of 16,579 square kilometers (6,401 sq miles). The capital city is Kohima and is located in the southern part of Nagaland.
Geographical Features of Nagaland
Nagaland lies between the parallels of 98 and 96 degrees east longitude and 26.6 and 27.4 degrees latitude north. In the north of Nagaland, the Naga Hills rise abruptly from the Brahmaputra valley to about 2000 feet and then increase in elevation toward the southeast to more than 6,000 feet. There are several rivers in this region – the Doyang and Dikhu in the north, the Barak in the southwest, and the tributaries of the Chindwin River (in Myanmar) in the southeast.
Nagaland has a monsoonal climate. Annual rainfall averages between 1,800 and 2,500 mm. In summer, the temperatures range from the about 21–23 °C to about 38–40 °C, while in the winter they rarely drop 4 °C. Humidity levels are generally high throughout the state.
People of Nagaland
The Nagas, an Indo-Asiatic people, form more than 20 tribes, as well as numerous subtribes, and each one has a specific geographic distribution. The tribes have always maintained a high degree of isolation among themselves. The Konyaks are the largest tribe, followed by the Aos, Tangkhuls, Semas, and Angamis. Other tribes include the Lothas, Sangtams, Phoms, Changs, Khiemnungams, Yimchungres, Zeliangs, Chakhesangs (Chokri), and Rengmas.
Nagaland is a rural state with more than four-fifths of the population living in small isolated villages. The villages are divided into khels, or quarters, and each has its own headmen and administration. Dimapur and Kohima are the only urban centres with more than 50,000 people.
Most of the people in the state practice Christianity. Hinduism, Jainism, and other religions are present in minorities.
Languages in Nagaland
In 1967, the Nagaland Assembly proclaimed Indian English as the official language of Nagaland. Nagamese, a creole language based on Assamese, is also widely spoken. A whopping 36 languages are spoken in the state. Some of the major languages spoken are Konyak, Ao, Lotha, Angami, Chakru, Sangtam, Bengali, Zeme, Yimchungre, Chang, Khiamniungan, Rengma, Phom, Nepali, Kheza, Pochury, Kuki, Chakhesang, Assamese, Bodo, Sema, etc. The Ao language is one of the Nagaland languages which have written scripts.
Flora and Fauna of Nagaland
Even though Nagaland is a mountainous region, there’s abundance of plants in this region. The porous nature of soil where every rainfall sinks underground without surface flow may be the reason behind this. This may also be due to the excellent plant growth conditions of soil, water and temperature prevailing in the area. Forests cover about one-sixth of Nagaland. It is characterized by tropical and subtropical evergreen forests. Coniferous forests are also found at higher elevations. Some of the trees found in this region are palms, bamboo, rattan, timber and mahogany. An interesting aspect of the flora of Nagaland is the abundance of edible wild plants and fruits. Wild grapes, wild apple, wild lemon, wild bananas, wild mangoes, wild walnut, wild mulberry, wild cherry and numerous other fruits are to be found. Several groups of plants of orchids, rhododendrons, ferns, bamboos, zingibers and lichens are also found.
There is abundance of water sources in Nagaland. This can be attributed as a reason to the variety of animals found in the region. Nagaland is a rare place where elephants are found on hill tops. Secondary dogs, pangolins, porcupines, elephants, leopards, bears, many species of monkeys, sambar, harts, oxen, and buffaloes thrive across the state’s forests. The great Indian hornbill is one of the most famous birds found here.
Culture of Nagaland
Nagaland is home to diverse ethnic groups, languages, religions and festivals and markets celebrating the different tribes’ culture. It is also called ‘the land of festivals’. Each tribe has it’s own rituals and traditions. Hence it has one major festival lined up for all months of a year. Bushu, Moatsu Mong, and Yemshe are some of the tribal festivals.
The cuisine of Nagaland is characterized by spices, herbs and meat. This cuisine is distinctly known for steaming their food instead of frying. Fish and pork are the staple non vegetarian items. Some common dishes consumed in Nagaland include smoked pork, Silkworm larvae, and snails along with a side of pork.
The Naga men wear beautiful red headgear. The headgear is conical in shape and is studded with the canine teeth of a boar and the feathers of a Hornbill. The famous shawl that the members of a tribe wear are indicative of the person’s social status in the society.
Music and dance are an integral part in the life of the people of Nagaland. The folk dances of Nagaland are performed in large groups. The use of various instruments such as mouth organ, flute, drums etc. are extensively seen throughout the performance.
Economy of Nagaland
Even though agriculture is the most important economic activity of Nagaland, accounting for over 70% of its economy, it still depends on imports of food from neighboring states. Rice, maize, small millets, pulses (legumes), oilseeds, fibers, sugarcane, potato, and tobacco are the main crops grown in Nagaland. Banana, orange, pineapple, pear, jackfruit, plum etc. are some of the fruits grown in the state. The jhum method of agriculture is widely practiced. The southern regions of Nagaland use terracing and irrigation techniques.
Other significant activities include forestry, tourism, insurance, real estate, and miscellaneous cottage industries. Dimapur, the state’s leading industrial center, has a sugar mill and distillery, a brick factory, and a television assembly plant.
Nagaland is also rich in minerals like iron, cobalt, coal, limestone, nickel and chromium. This also adds to the economy of the state.
History of Nagaland
The history of Nagaland is unclear. After independence of India, the Naga territory remained a part of the state of Assam. The Phizo-led Naga National Council demanded a political union of their ancestral and native groups. This led to several violent incidents and the central government had to sent the Indian Army to restore peace and order. In 1957, an agreement was reached between Naga leaders and the Indian government, creating a single separate region of the Naga Hills. The local tribes were not satisfied with this and they agitated violently attacking government institutions, banks and also by not paying taxes. In July 1960, following discussion between Prime Minister Nehru and the leaders of the Naga People Convention (NPC), a 16-point agreement was arrived at whereby the Government of India recognized the formation of Nagaland as a full-fledged state within the Union of India.
Important Facts About Nagaland
State Bird: Blyth’s tragopan
State Animal: Mithun
State Tree: Alder
Population of the state: 2.3 million
Neighboring states: Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh
Monikers: The falcon capital of the world, Land of tribes, Land of festivals
Official language: English
Official festival: Hornbill festival
International airport in Nagaland: Dimapur Airport
Largest natural lake in Nagaland: Lake Shilloi
Most populous city in Nagaland: Dimapur
Famous dessert of Nagaland: Black Sticky Rice Pudding
Quiz on Nagaland
How many members are there in the legislative assembly of Nagaland?
How many districts are there in Nagaland?
Which country shares it’s border on the east side of Nagaland?
During which month is the Hornbill festival celebrated?
Which is the largest city in Nagaland?
Which is the highest point of Nagaland?
Which state lies to the west of Nagaland?
Who was the first governor of Nagaland?
Who was the first Chief Minister of Nagaland?
P. Shilu Ao
Who is the current Chief Minister of Nagaland?
How many wildlife sanctuaries are there in Nagaland?
Who is the current governor of Nagaland?
Prof Jagdish Mukhi
Who is the first person from Nagaland to receive the Padma Bhushan award?
Who is the longest serving chief minister of Nagaland?
Which is the most urbanized district in Nagaland?
Which is the state tree of Nagaland?
What is the literacy rate of Nagaland?
In which year did Nagaland get the status of statehood?
Which is the smallest district in Nagaland?
On which river is the Doyang Hep dam built?
Which is the longest river in Nagaland?
Where is Fakim wildlife sanctuary located?
Which article in Indian constitution is a special provision for Nagaland?
In which district is the Ntangki Park located?
Which is the state flower of Nagaland?
Which state lies to the south of Nagaland?
In which year was the Battle of Kohima fought?
In which district is Ntangki Park located?