A trip out to a Naga village in the Kohima countryside is a fascinating way to spend a day – it's most enlightening if you go with a guide or local contact. You can stay overnight in homestays in Khonoma and Kigwema. Contact Explore Nagaland or Alder Tours & Travels.
The Angami village of Khonoma, perched on a ridge among high forested hills 20km west of Kohima, is a neat place of stone-paved pathways and pretty flower gardens, with rice fields picturesquely carpeting the valleys far below. Khonoma was a centre of Naga opposition to the British in the 19th century and to Nagaland's incorporation into independent India in the 20th century. 'Nagas are not Indians' declares one memorial on the road approaching to the village. Three stone forts in the village recall conflicts with the British, as do a monument to British dead at the village's highest point (considered the site of the Nagas' last stand in 1879) and another to local warrior Jüdelie Hiekha beside a plaza below.
It's easy to visit on a guided day-trip from Kohima, but staying at least a night enables you to discover the village and surrounding country in more depth. Dovipie Inn at the northern tip of the village provides excellent-quality, panoramic accommodation, plus good food. There are also several homestays, charging around ₹1500 per person including meals, which you can book through travel firms in Kohima.
A bus to Khonoma (₹30, 1¾ hours) leaves Kohima's NST Bus Station at 1.30pm Monday to Saturday, returning early morning the same day.
Kisama Heritage Village
The Naga Heritage Village has a representative selection of traditional Naga houses and morungs (young people's dormitories) with full-size log drums and architectural ornamentation specific to each of Nagaland's tribes. Nagaland’s biggest annual jamboree, the Hornbill Festival, is celebrated here. Within the village is the WWII Museum, with a collection of memorabilia from the WWII battles fought around Kohima. It's 10km south of Kohima along the Imphal road.
A 10-minute drive past Kisama along the Imphal road brings you to Kigwema, an Angami village of historic importance where Japanese forces set up camp before the final showdown with Allied forces in 1944. The modest valley-view home of General Sato, commander of the Japanese troops, still stands and bears bullet marks from the battle that raged here. Several households in the village welcome tourists (preferably accompanied by local guides), and you can get a peep into the lives of resident tribespeople if you stay the night.