Anyone who manages to spend a reasonable time travelling across Nagaland, from the land of the Konyaks in Eastern Nagaland right up to the land of the Angamis in the state capital of Kohima will find the Naga people extremely hospitable. That green hills and crispy clouds give you company when you aren’t surrounded by these warm people is a bonus. For those who like their red meat, Naga cuisine should be right up there in the list of cuisines to try. Varieties of smoked and fresh meat, infused with local herbs and generous portions of bamboo shoot.
Hornbill festival brings all these little things together in one place for everyone to witness and it is definitely an event one shouldn’t miss. The other aspect of this tour is exploring the lesser known valley of flowers that spread like a carpet, changing colour with the seasons is a trekkers wonderland. At approximately 8000 feet you can see rivulets, flowers, herbs and shrubs spread across Dzukou’s lap. With the scenic and quaint villages of Jakhama and Viswema serving as bases for starting the trek, your experience of being one with nature starts the moment you arrive in Nagaland.
The tour begins after you fly into Dimapur and reach the campsite in Jakhama. If you want us to arrange the vehicle for pickup and drop to and from Dimapur then the rates are as following:
SUV to Dimapur from campsite- Rs 5000/-
SUV from Dimapur to campsite drop – Rs 5000/-
Small Vehicle to Dimapur from campsite - Rs 4000/-
Small Vehicle from campsite to Dimapur- Rs 4000/-
Sumo from Dimapur to Campsite -Rs 4500/-
Sumo from Campsite to Dimapur - Rs 4500/-
About Dzukou valley
- Height from mean sea level: 7998 feet
- There are two starting points to reach Dzukou valley from Kohima - Viswema and Jakhama
- The valley is shared between the two states Manipur and Nagaland
- The name ‘Dzu-kou’ in Angamitra means cold waters or "Soulless and Dull"
- The valley is famous for its wide range of flower in every season. But the most famous one is the Dzükou lily.
- The majority of Dzükou valley lies in Manipur.
- This is also called the valley of flowers of Northeast India
- Temperatures in the valley in December can go down to sub-zero levels
- December is a good time for stargazing and photography.
Information about Hornbill festival:
- Festival usually starts at 10 am and goes on until 3 pm every day but the official timelines for this year’s edition haven't been released yet by the ministry of tourism. We shall update the same, as we soon we get an update.
- The central area is where the traditional songs and dances are performed by each tribe.
- The central shopping area is where you can see and buy traditional arts and crafts made by people from all over the state.
- You can sample various cuisines of different Naga tribes in food stalls run by the finalists of the Naga chef competition. The overall winner is judged at the end of the 10-day festival based on the ratings, billings and reviews given by the visitors.
- Visiting the ‘Morungs’of each tribe is a major attraction as you get to understand the architecture, dress, food and drinks of each tribe. These ‘Morungs’ traditionally used to be a dormitory for unmarried boys where they would be taught life lessons by the elders.
- There is a very nominal entry fee to the festival.
Please take note:
Campsite: Please avoid carrying plastic bottles or even buying sealed bottles while at the venue as want to have a litter-free zone as much as possible.
Food: Apart from complimentary breakfast provision for lunch and dinner will be made available on pre-order.
Service: Though we will try our best to give you great service, please understand we won't be able to give you hot towels, bed tea and the like.
Roads: The road from Dimapur to Kohima are winding and full of potholes, please be equipped with appropriate medication in case you have motion sickness.
Littering: Please ensure that you aren’t any trash behind, starting from the smallest things like the wrapper of a ‘Pulse’ candy to bigger and more calorie filled packets like ‘Lays’ etc.
Clothing and accessories to carry:
- Please carry basic stuff like tooth, brush, shorts, slippers, change of clothes.
- 1 sweater/jacket, a beanie or something to cover your head and ears as the temperatures will be low, and a sleeping bag (optional).
- Do not forget your sports/trekking shoes if you plan to go trekking to Dzukou valley.
- Essential to carry clothes to protect you from sub-zero temperatures.
- Wear comfortable footwear in general since you will be walking around a lot at the festival venue.
- Raincoats/ ponchos since it may rain anytime in Northeast India
- Gloves are a must for the Dzukou trek
- Headlamps are compulsory.
Other information about the campsite and accommodation:
The campsite itself resembles the terrace farms of Nagaland as it has three levels. The first level has the parking space, the kitchen area and a few tents. The second layer has most of the tents and the bonfire area. The third layer is the best as it offers an uninterrupted view of beautiful paddy fields of Jakhama village, with the backdrop of the hills. The whole campsite has a natural boundary of oak trees with flowers and orchids ornamenting it. It is only 5.4 km away from Kisama village, the venue of the annual Hornbill festival in Nagaland. For those looking to trek to the Dzukou valley, this campsite serves as the starting point and they can also take part in the acclimatisation walks and treks before they begin their actual trek.
Even those who want to use shared transport, can get off at the highway and simply walk for 10 minutes to reach the campsite.
The Hornbill Festival venue - Naga Heritage Complex is at Kisama village situated 12 km away from Kohima on NH-39 (Imphal highway).
Venue for Rock concert: IG Stadium Kohima, 20 km from Kisama.
Connectivity to Nagaland
Nearest airport and Railway station: Dimapur ( 70 km from the state capital Kohima). Regular shared vehicles are available from Dimapur Railway Station.
Guwahati to Dimapur is connected by various trains and Shatabdi-12067 is the best option. By road, it is 340 Km and around 8 hour’s journey from Guwahati.
Daily overnight buses from Guwahati ISBT are available.
What is included in the tour
- All accommodations on twin sharing basis in tents
- Sleeping bags, sleeping mats, pillows
- Simple breakfast
- Hygienic toilets for men and women
- Bathing rooms
- Guide for Dzukou overnight trek
- Overnight camping cost in Dzukou valley
- Lunch at Dzukou valley
- Transport from campsite to trekking base point and back to campsite including parking charges etc.
- Guide for Khonoma village day tour
- Lunch at a local's home in Khonoma
- Transport from campsite to Khonoma and back to campsite including parking charges etc.
- Electricity source with charging facility for mobile devices at the campsite
- Running water supply at the campsite
What is NOT included in the tour
- Airfare charges
- All food & beverages costs apart from the ones mentioned above
- Entry fee to Hornbill festival (very nominal amount)
- Any camera fees
- Campsite staff tips (if any)
- Any personal expenditure (Toiletries, medicines, etc.)
- Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
- Anything not specifically mentioned under the head "Inclusions".
- Shuttle service to and from campsite at a fixed time: Rs 200/- seat
Day 1: Exploring the night market in Kohima
This is your first day, so once you freshen up at the campsite, you can head to the festival venue in Kisama 5.4 km away and enjoy the festival for the day. Come back to the campsite in the evening relax around the bonfire before you head out to explore the night carnival in Kohima.
Day 2 Spending a day at the Hornbill festival
After breakfast head to Kisama village, the venue of the Hornbill festival and spend your day there visiting various 'Morungs' trying local delicacies and enjoying the numerous competitions like Naga chilli eating competition etc. You can also shop for arts and crafts at the venue.
Day 3 Trekking to Dzukou valley and overnight camping
After your breakfast pack your bags and take only essentials in a small backpack as today you trek to the fabulous Dzukou valley. Your other baggage can be stored with us.
Your vehicle picks you up and drops you to the starting point of the trek via the Jakhama route. This is a shorter and a little more physically challenging way to climb up to the valley but recommended because of the stark and amazing view of the valley it presents upon reaching the top. Reach the base camp, sip on some hot tea and enjoy some soupy noodles before heading out to explore the valley. How you want to maximise your amazement upon reaching the valley totally depends on you. The cost of your meals, tea and snacks will be paid by you on the spot but it should not exceed Rs 500/- per person approximately. December is perfect for stargazing. So keep the ears and hands covered and eyes open.
Overnight in tents in the valley.
Day 4 Bidding goodbye to Nagaland
Wake up early and after a light breakfast, start your descent, this time via the Viswema route, a longer but less tiring walk on flat lands for approximately 6 km and go down to the point where the vehicle awaits to take you back to the campsite. Have a cup of tea, pick up your stuff from the camp and head out to catch your flight/ train from Dimapur.