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Heading to Mt. Saramati – Nagaland – Adventures in the Land of Nagas (Part 5)

SubscribeFiled Under: India,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 | Part Five

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Next day morning we went to Litsaba’s grandfather’s house for breakfast. That was very old and unique house. It was made of soil and was decorated with bison and deer skulls. We understood the secret logic behind this decoration when we reached Thanamir. Me and Shubha got very excited looking at their kitchen. It was perfectly antique (with some modern touch).

Litsaba’s wife had some traditional clothes and jewelry of her mother-in-law. She offered me and Shubha to wear those (absolutely free of cost unlike other tourist destinations) and took some snaps. Litsaba also showed us some weapon which his forefathers used to use for Head Hunting. We were shocked to know that till 1950s there was a tradition of “head hunting” in Nagaland and that is not long back. Do you know what is Head Hunting? Have patience! As we were reaching the interiors of Nagaland we could understand some astonishing facts about it.

We thought we will get some traditional authentic breakfast. But hehe! It was nothing else but “samosas”. We asked him how did he get samosas in such a remote village in Nagaland, and it was all by the grace of “Our Bihari Babus”. Many Biharis have migrated to the very interiors of Nagaland and they run small restaurants for their livelihood.

We experienced very good hospitality at Litsaba’s place. Meanwhile Tsointe was busy with arranging some vehicle for us to reach “Thanamir”, Mt. Saramati’s base village. Harsha and Shubha went to taxi rental office to negotiate the rate and finally that taxi guy agreed at Rs.9,000 for return journey starting from Kiphire with driver.

We did some grocery shopping like lentils, rice etc. and of course some water bottles. We already had Maggi noodle packets, biscuits and cakes. Tsointe warned us that we won’t get anything in Thanamir. There are no shops up there. But now we were all set to go. And we checked out of the guesthouse and left Kiphire at around 10.45 am. Our driver was a young Naga boy. He didn’t ask but just told us that he is taking his “so called” sister with him as he wanted to drop her on the way to Pungro village. We were ok with it as there was lot of space in our car.

The road to Thanamir is really very adventurous and picturesque. Being mountainous area there are no straight roads but only twists and turns. Kiphire to Thanamir is around 4 hours journey. On the way we stopped at many small villages where small child vendors were selling fruits and vegetables. These kids were so shy! They were smiling and hiding their faces when we wanted to take pictures of them. I like these villages! But the roads are not in good condition and at some patches there are no paved roads at all. It was just clay and mud. Actually speaking there is hardly any good patch of road. Driving and travelling on such roads is not an easy job. But because of our two months travel in this northeastern land of India, we had gotten used to such poor roads. It was not a big deal for us! We took a half way halt at Pungro village and our diver went inside one house.

We were just roaming around when a person came by and requested us to give a ride to Thanamir and we agreed to it. He was a church pastor from Thanamir. After some time when we came back, our driver was still not there. We were waiting and waiting for a long time. I saw somebody coming out of that house and asked him if he saw our driver. He said he is eating. At least he should have told us before. He was very careless. And after a long lunch break, he returned with no expressions on his face. He was the only guy in our entire Nagaland journey who was very arrogant. But you know what, there are some times in your life when you don’t have options! As ours was the only car on those lonely roads and we were totally dependent on him to reach Thanamir.

Tsointe had given instructions that if Naga Army stops us and asks about us then we should say the truth that “we are tourists and came here to see Saramati.” He also warned us not to take any pictures near the Naga army camp. Fortunately nobody stopped us for any inquiry. But there was the one moment when I got really scared and blamed myself for my craze of photography. I think we were few kilometers away from the Naga army camp, I was busy in capturing beautiful landscapes in my camera looking out of window, when suddenly a Naga army soldier came walking from the same side of road. Everybody shouted softly “don’t take pictures”. Ohh No! Thank God! our car was moving!

To be continued…

Walls decorated with Bison skulls

Walls decorated with Bison skulls

Preserved traditions with modern touch!

Preserved traditions with modern touch!

Little Stars!

Little Stars!

Hide and Sell!

Hide and Sell!

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Looking for Mt. Saramati but no luck!

Looking for Mt. Saramati but no luck!

Only our car on the road!

Only our car on the road!

Animal Head!

Animal Head!

Naga Look!

Naga Look!


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