Often cited as “festival of all festivals”, the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland is one of the biggest cultural extravaganzas in the world. It is a celebration of the past and the present. It is an extravaganza that not only celebrates the tribal way of life but also bridges the gap between generations and revives and strengthens human bonds.
The Hornbill Festival is gritting in its element. It is a powerful representation of the Naga culture through splendid traditional music, dance and performances. The performances are extremely eye-catching and demand attention. All diverse tribes in Nagaland offer their heartfelt contribution towards making the festival more vibrant and entertaining.
Despite being one of the most popular cultural festivals of India, tourists may find it slightly cumbersome to attend the Hornbill Festival. This is partly due to the fact that its location in Kohima is remote. There aren’t many travel companies offering organized tours to this part of the country. Moreover, most hotels in Kohima get booked upto six months in advance.
This means if you wish to attend the Hornbill Festival, it calls for proper planning and execution. Also, while you are at it, you might as well visit some of the other jewels of North Eastern India.
Here is the ultimate guide to help you plan your trip to the Hornbill Festival:
Festival Date: December 1 – 10, 2018
Most of the festival activities take place at Kisama Heritage Village, not far from Kohima. The nearest railway station and domestic airport are both located in Dimapur, which is roughly 74 kms from Kohima. From Dimapur, one has to travel by road. You will find shared cabs going to Kohima. You can also book a private taxi.
Dimapur is connected by air and rail to major cities including Guwahati, Imphal, Dibrugarh. Most tourists traveling by air have to make a stop at Guwahati and then take a connecting flight to Dimapur. Same goes for tourists traveling by train.
The Hornbill Festival is one of the top tourist draws in Nagaland. So if you are planning to attend, do book accommodations well in advance. You will find several budget options in Kohima and Kisama. However, if you wish to avoid the crowds, you can choose one of the homestay options in Kigwema village. It is just a short walk away from Kisama, and much quieter and sparsely populated.
Tickets for the festival are available at the entry gate of Kisama Heritage Village. Tickets are available for a nominal price of Rs. 20 per person. They are valid for an entire day. Extra charges are applicable for still photography and videography.
With the festival lurking just round the corner, it’s time for you to pack your bags and head out.