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Nagaland – Adventures in the Land of Nagas – Connecting to rural Nagaland (Part 4)

SubscribeFiled Under: India, Trekking,by Bhakti

Exploring Nagaland was like unfolding secret pages of India’s treasure book. It felt like going back ages & watching a live museum in the era of hunting and farming. It was a real discovery of breathtaking and untouched natural beauty, a preview of hidden and unknown Indian traditions, supreme quality of people and their hospitality.

Click for: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

No calls, no messages...just hopes!

No calls, no messages…just hopes!

Kohima to Kiphre is almost 10 hours journey but bus route is very scenic. Its all mountains and we pass through many small villages like Pfutsero, Jessami, Phek. At every stop there were some children and village people selling fruits and vegetables. As we could not get proper lunch we thought of buying some fruits. We thought will do some bargaining. But unexpectedly it was so cheap that we thought of paying more than its price. We could get 20 sweet and fresh guavas for just for Rs.10 and the same case with bananas. 200% value for money! We took some quick snaps with those shy kids and moved ahead to next destination.

Shy kids selling bananas and Guavas just for Rs.10/bunch

Shy kids selling bananas and Guavas just for Rs.10/bunch

To bend the space, for beauty...

To bend the space, for beauty…

Future of Nagaland!

Future of Nagaland!

There were many check army posts from Kohima to Kiphire. They checked around the bus, entered bus with gun, checked everybody’s luggage hastily and allowed our bus to go. It happened at all the check posts. I think they look for weapons or Naga army. As this is their regular activity, people were not scared of those army men. On the contrary one old man sitting next to us started singing some romantic film song as that army man entered our bus. He also laughed looking at old man. His song made us feel relaxed. Funny man!

Finally we reached Kiphire. It was already dark . There were no one else in the bus as we had to get down at last stop. Everybody got down before us. Kiphire bus stand was just a very small open space and one gate, there were no lights. I think whole Kiphire town was sleeping by that time. But Tsointe was there to welcome us. He had made an arrangement to pick us up from bus stop. And then we went to guest house which Tsointe had already booked for us. There are no hotels in Kiphire. We were totally dependent on Tsointe. What if he would have not shown up? But here you can say that “World is running on trust”.

There were only 4 rooms in that guest house and only one was vacant, with 4 beds and no washroom. But it was very clean and neat. There was one common washroom and that was too very clean. Tsointe had also made dinner arrangements for us. We were very hungry. In the interiors of Nagaland, cooking style is very different. There are no spices, no oil, its just a vegetable/meat/fish boiled in water with some salt. They don’t eat rotis. (burrito made out of wheat floor). Its just rice and meat or veges and sometimes its lentils. But I think “rice and pork” is their favorite food and you will always get raw green/red chilies as taste makers. Nagaland is known for “Hottest chilies in the world called Red naga chilies or Ghost pepper”. But its really very hot so we didn’t dare to have one! We had steamed rice, lentils(daal) and watery vegetable of chayote (kind of squash) only. We filled in our empty stomachs with such a healthy and delicious food.

Nagaland's red hot chilies

Nagaland’s red hot chilies

That night some of the Tsointe’s friends visited us. They welcomed us in Kiphire. They were very excited that somebody from mainland India came to visit Kiphire. Among them, “Litsaba” was one of the team members who was to arrange Mt. Saramati expedition for the first time. I have never seen such a polite and clean-hearted person before. He was very soft spoken. He was telling us that they are in a process of promoting and developing tourism in Kiphire. They want more and more people to come here. He was very upset and aware of the fact that other people think Nagaland is not safe. There are disputes among different Naga tribes and they fight among themselves but he wanted us to trust them and be free from worries. He was telling us again again to feel safe and free. Now we are their responsibility. He invited us for breakfast, the next day at his home. We accepted his invitation and they left. Tsointe and Litsaba motivated us and boosted our confidence by their assurance and trustworthy words. That was a good start!

Bharari_Nagaland_Kiphire_northeast India_nagaland people_Nagaland old house

 

Thanamir kids

Thanamir kids

 

This is "Thanamir"; base village of Mt. Saramati

This is “Thanamir”; base village of Mt. Saramati

Kitchen of Village Council Chairman of Thanamir village (Head of the village)

Kitchen of Village Council Chairman of Thanamir village (Head of the village)

 


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