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Profile of Nagaland

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Nagaland is a hill state located in the extreme northeastern region of India with Kohima as its capital. The state shares common boundaries with Myanmar in the East, state of Assam in the West; Arunachal Pradesh and a part of Assam in the North with Manipur in the south.

Nagaland became the 16th state of Indian Union on 1st December 1963 by an amendment in the constitution of India; prior to that it was a union territory. Nagaland is home to 16 major tribes who are known for their own distinct and fascinating cultures. About 90% of the state’s population is Christian and there are good many number of churches located all in all parts of the state. For this reason Nagaland is popularly known as the "The most Baptist state in the world”.

History of Nagaland

A very small number evidence is available about the early history of Nagaland. The early history of the Nagas and Nagaland relates mostly to the customs and economic activities of the Naga tribes. The people were originally referred to as ‘Naka’ in Burmese language. This term means ‘people with pierced ears’. The tribes present in Nagaland initially had socio-economic and political links with tribes prevailing in Assam and Myanmar. During the early 19th century the present day Nagaland was under the control of Myanmar.

history nagaland


Historical Timeline of Nagaland:

  • During the Burmese invasion in the year 1816 Nagaland came directly under the rule of Burma. This is an important time period because of the turmoil and oppression which took place in the Naga Hills.
  • By 1892, almost all parts of Assam and Nagaland became part of British India except Tuensang area of the present day Nagaland.
  • After India got independence in 1947, the area under Nagaland and Assam were combined to form a single state known as Assam. But demand of a separate political entity from the Naga tribes became intensified and violent incidents occurred in many parts of the Naga dominated region.
  • In 1957, the Government of India decided to make Nagaland a single administrative unit and hence it became a union territory (UT) which was governed directly by the centre.
  • The vocal movement advocated political union of all Naga tribes and finally the Government of India decided to make Nagaland a separate state of Indian Union. On 1st December 1963, Nagaland got the official status of a state and became the 16th state of India.
  • The first level democratic elections were held in the state in 1964.
  • The Naga separatists did not stop their violent oppositions and continued demanding for an autonomous status to the state and creation of a single administrative unit comprising of all the Naga inhabited areas spanning across some of the north eastern states. The first insurgencies were declared in the state in early 1980s.
  • For some time peace restored in the region but again there had been ongoing conflict between rebel groups since the late 1990s. Cease fire was declared in the stage since 1st August 2000 and peace talks were in progress.

Battle of Kohima

The Battle of Kohima took place in 1944 during the Second World War. It is considered as turning point of the Japanese U-Go Offensive operation into India. The battle was fought from 4th April to 22nd June 1944 and is often referred to as ‘Stalingrad of the East’. This battle took place in three stages. This battle prevented the Japanese to make a base in India along with Myanmar.

Nagaland History

Economy of Nagaland:

Nagaland is dependent on agriculture for its economy. Apart from agriculture the income of the state comes from forestry, tourism and cottage industries like weaving, woodwork and pottery. The Nagas have a rich tradition of art and craft rooted in their lifestyle which in turn also brings in the revenue of the state.

Agriculture in Nagaland

Nagaland has an agrarian economy. The main crops grown in the state include rice, millet, maize and pulses. Cash crops like sugarcane and potato are also grown in some parts. Coffee, cardamom and tea come under plantation crops which are grown in hilly areas.

Majority of the population is involved in the cultivation of rice as it is the staple diet of the people. More than 80% of the gross cropped area is under rice cultivation. A sizeable population of the state grows oil seeds which includes Rapeseed, mustard etc.

There are two methods of cultivation which exist in Nagaland. The Naga tribes practice both Jhum and terrace cultivation. The area under Jhum cultivation is about 87.339 hectares and under terraced cultivation is about 62,091 hectares.

Although majority of population is engaged in cultivation, still Nagaland depends on the import of food supplies from other states. This is due to less availability of food grains in the state as the area under cultivation is less.

Industries in Nagaland

Nagaland has achieved remarkable progress in small and medium scale industries. Today the state has 30 industrial units, and over 300 small-scale industries. The Nagaland Sugar Mill at Dimapur has an installed capacity of 1,000 tones per day. Nagas make beautiful decorative materials. Cottage industries such as weaving, woodwork and pottery are also an important source of revenue.

Economy of Nagaland

Thrust Areas for industrial growth:

  • Food Processing Industries
  • Bio-tech Industries
  • Tourism Industries
  • Floriculture
  • Agro-Forest based Industries
  • Handloom & Handicrafts
  • Mineral based Industries
  • Electronics & IT
  • Sericulture
  • Petrochemicals

Industrial Policy in Nagaland:

To facilitate rapid and sustained industrial development in Nagaland a new Industrial Policy (known as Nagaland State Industrial Policy 2000) has been formulated by the State Government to enable the investors to generate substantial income and employment for the people of Nagaland.

Objectives of the Policy:

The objectives of the policy among others are:
  • To create conditions for rapid industrial development and a climate conducive for investment.
  • Create gainful employment opportunities for local population.
  • Develop marketing facilities for industrial products.
  • Features of the Policy:
  • The salient features of the Nagaland State Industrial Policy among others are the areas of:
  • Food processing industries
  • Tourism industries
  • Agro forest based industries
  • Handloom and handicraft

Some of the areas where incentives are provided by the government are:

  • Power subsidy
  • Exemption of stamp duty
  • Special incentive for 100 % export oriented units
  • Subsidy on drawl of power line

Geography of Nagaland

Nagaland is located in the extreme northeastern region of India with its capital located at Kohima. Nagaland covers an area of 16,579 sq kms. The state is mostly mountainous though the regions bordering the Assam valley are plains. Mount Saramati is the highest peak of Nagaland with an altitude of 12,552 feet.

There are a number of rivers which originate and flow through the state. Rivers like the Barak in the southwest, the Doyang and Diphu towards the north and the Chindwin river of Burma in the southeast flows through this state. Around 20% of the total land area of Nagaland is covered in wooded forests. Apart from that, there are the evergreen tropical and sub tropical forests in and around the state.

The state has common boundaries with Myanmar in the East, state of Assam in the West; Arunachal Pradesh and a part of Assam in the North with Manipur in the south. Its Longitude lies between 93°20'E and 95°15' E and Latitude between 25°6' and 27°4' N.

The Naga Hills are a hill range which lies on the international border of the countries of India and Myanmar. These hills are a part of a complex mountain range named the Arakan Mountain Range which falls on both the Indian and the Burmese sides. The Arakan range has altitudes ranging up to 12,552 feet in its northern side. The parts of this mountain range which falls on the Indian side and the Sagiang region of Burma are called Naga Hills.

Geography of Nagaland


The Naga Hills are the traditional homeland of the Naga people. These hills have altitudes reaching up to 3825 meters. The Naga Hills form a barrier between both India and Myanmar. The term Naga refers to the Naga people. The people were originally referred to as ‘Naka’ in Burmese language which means ‘people with pierced ears’.

During the time of British India, a major part of the hills were under the Naga Hills district. The Naga Hills district was a former district of the Assam province of India during British rule. It was inhabited mostly by the Naga people and is now a part of the state of Nagaland. A part of the Naga Hills was combined to form the Naga Hills district in 1866. The boundaries of the Naga Hills district was gradually expanded by annexation of the territories of several Naga tribes. In 1912, the Naga Hills district was made a part of the Assam province. The Government of India Act 1919 declared the Naga Hills district as a ‘backward tract’ and it was left to be treated as a separate entity from the British India Empire.

However, after much revolution, revolt and nationalist activities by different groups, the Naga Hills district was merged with the Tuensang division to create the state of Nagaland in 1963 after India’s Independence.

Climate of Nagaland

Climate of Nagaland


Nagaland’s climate is pleasant throughout the year, making it one of the favoured tourist destinations in the north eastern region. There are ample opportunities for adventurous tourists as it is ideal for trekking, rock climbing, and jungle camping. It also offers limitless exploration possibilities in its lush and verdant sub-tropical rain forests which are also a treasure trove of a plethora of medicinal plants.

Nagaland experiences one of the finest weather conditions in the country. In that sense it also experiences different climatic temperatures in different regions. The temperate in the beautiful and colorful state remains moderate and temperate throughout the year. That is to say that it is neither too warm in summer nor too cold in winters. The climate is sometimes marked by humidity in the summer and monsoon months. Tourists can visit the state throughout the year as Nagaland has pleasant climatic conditions throughout the year.

Monsoon in Nagaland

The state of Nagaland has a monsoon type climate with high humidity levels. The rainfall months are generally from May to September. The annual average rainfall varies from 175 cm to 250 cm. The state receives maximum rainfall from June to September.

Summer in Nagaland

Summer in Nagaland starts from March and lasts till September. The temperatures during summer months vary from 16 °C to 31 °C. Humidity is relatively high in summer but the temperature remains moderate.

Winters in Nagaland

Winter arrives in the state in the months of December and lasts till February. The temperatures during winter vary from 4°C to 24°C. Winter is characterized by frost at high altitudes and bitter cold days.
strong north west winds blow through the state during the months of February and March.

nagaland winters


Distance chart of Major cities:

The following tables show the distance chart of some of the important cities of Nagaland to major cities across India.

Distance from Dimapur to Major Cities:
Bangalore: 3208 kms
Kolkata: 1337 kms
Chennai : 2822 kms
Delhi: 2222 kms
Mumbai: 3033 kms
Guwahati : 278 kms
Imphal: 207 kms

Distance from Kohima to Major Cities:
Kolkata: 1377 kms
Delhi: 2294 kms
Mumbai : 3106 kms
Guwahati: 350 kms
Imphal: 138 kms
Itanagar: 464 Kms

Distance from Wokha to Major Cities:
Shillong : 416 kms
Guwahati : 356 kms
Imphal: 214 kms

Distance from Phek to Major Cities:
Shillong : 708 kms
Guwahati: 648 kms
Imphal: 173 kms

Resources in Nagaland

The important natural resources of the state of Nagaland are in the form of its rivers, forests and its mineral resources. Find below the list of important natural resources in the state of Nagaland.

Rivers in Nagaland

There are four main rivers flowing through Nagaland, these are Dhansiri, Doyang, Dikhu and Jhanji. Some of the tributaries of the mighty Brahmaputra also flow through this state before finally merging. The four main rivers of Nagaland are:

Nagaland rivers


Dhansiri River

The Dhansiri River which is one of the major tributaries of the mighty Brahmaputra flows through Nagaland. This river originates in the Laisang peak of Nagaland and flows through a distance of 352 kms from south to north before joining the Brahmaputra on the south bank. While flowing as the boundary between Assam and Nagaland, it flanks large areas of wilderness rich in flora and fauna along its course. The districts of Nagaland receive water from the Dhansiri River.

Doyang River

This is another important river of Nagaland. It is the biggest and longest river and runs along the southern boundary of the state. It is called as ‘Dzu’ or ‘Dzulu’ by the local Angami people. This river first flows north and then slightly turns towards east when it is joined by the Saju, a tributary. The river then enters Zunheboto district and forms a boundary line between Sema and Lotha areas further course. In the west of Litami, it takes a westward bend to emerge in the western Lotha area of the Wokha district before proceeding to the southern border of the district. Then it suddenly turns in the westward and leaves the hilly region to finally merge with the Dhansiri River in the Assam valley. This river has three main tributaries namely Tsui, Tullo and Tishi. The river is not only important for the Wokha district but also for Nagaland as a whole.

Dikhu River
It is an important river of Nagaland and is another tributary of the Brahmaputra River.

Jhanji River
The Jhanji River is also an important river flowing through Nagaland.

Nagaland Facts and Figures:

Total Geographical Area: 16,527 sq. km
Latitude: Betweenn 25°6' and 27°4' North
Longitude: Between 93°20'E and 95°15' East
Date of Formation: 1st December 1963
Capital: Kohima
No. of Districts: 11
No. of Lok Sabha seats: 01
No. of Rajya Sabha seats: 01
No. of Vidhan Sabha seats: 60
No. of villages: 1,317
No. of towns: 09
Largest City: Kohima
Population: 1,980,602
Population Density: 102 persons per sq. km
Male population: 900 female for 1000 male
Female population: 900 female for 1000 male
Literacy rate: 67.11%
Per Capita Income : Rs.11368/-
Official Language: English
Religions: Christianity, Hinduism
Average Rainfall: 2000 mm-2500 mm
Temperature: 16°C-31°C - winter: 4°C - 24°C - summer

Forests in Nagaland:

Nagaland is endowed with rich forest resources including various types of flora and fauna. About 20% of the total geographical area is under the cover of tropical and sub-tropical evergreen forests - including palms, bamboo and rattan as well as timber and mahogany forests. Recently some forest areas have been cleared for the purpose of Jhum cultivation. The forests of Nagaland also give shelter to a number of species of animals including elephants, leopards, and bears, many species of monkeys, sambar, deers, oxen and buffaloes. The great Indian Hornbill is one of the most famous birds found in the state.

Minerals in Nagaland

Nagaland is rich in mineral resources including coal, limestone, iron, nickel, cobalt, chromium, and marble. But theses are yet to be explored. The approximate reserve of Lime Stone is 1000 million tonnes and substantial reserves of Marble & Decorative Stone, Petroleum & Natural Gas, Nickle, Cobalt and Chromiun are available in Nagaland.

Society of Nagaland

Nagaland the state of exquisite natural beauty, has a very beautiful society. The society of Nagaland is a blend of different tribes and communities. Nagaland is a state of 16 recognised tribes in India. The tribes live in harmony in the state.

Naga society


People:

Different communities and tribes dwell in Nagaland in harmony. Most of the people of Nagaland are Christians. The different communities have their own fairs and festivals, dance and music, languages, arts and crafts and delicacies. The people also have their distinguished religion, culture, age old traditions, rituals and celebrations.

The people of Nagaland are also known for their simplicity. Education is of primary importance to the people. Mokokchung in Nagaland has one of the highest literacy rate in Nagaland and in India as well. Another very important aspect of the Nagaland society is that female and male are treated equally. Equality of education and rights are followed by the people. Evils like dowry, child marriage, patriarchy etc are not practiced.

Villages in Nagaland

The Nagas traditionally live in villages. The people are held together by social, economic, political and ritual ties. The family is the basic unit of the Naga society. The family is also the most important institution of social education and social control.

Art and Craft of Nagaland

Art and Craft of Nagaland


The society of Nagaland is known for its beautiful bamboo and cane works, weaving works, pottery and metal works. The art and craft of Nagaland is famous for its uniqueness. The people of Nagaland are very fond of baskets, headgears, ornaments, Naga shawls which are again an integral part of the Nagaland society.

Food of Nagaland

The people of Nagaland are very fond of traditional Naga cuisine. Naga cuisine is a simple thali comprising rice, fish, pork meat and pickle. The cuisine is basically boiled and pork meat is consumed widely here.

Dance & Music of Nagaland

Dance and music form an important part of the Nagaland society. The dance and music of Nagaland is basically folk in nature. People usually dance in group which is accompanied by folk music.

Festivals in Nagaland

Nagaland is also known for the celebrations of different festivals round the year. Festivals of different sections of Nagas like Angami, Sema, Lotha and Rengma Nagas are more or less similar.

Culture of Nagaland

The tribes of Nagaland are unique in their culture and traditions. The tribes are excellent and skilled craftsmen. Naga tribes are known for being hard working and laborious. They are known for making exquisite bamboo and cane products, weaving and wood carving. The Nagas are expert in basketry, weaving, woodcarving, pottery and metal work. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people. Rice, millet and Taro potato are grown by the people.

The tribes of Nagaland are very fond of dance and music. Music forms an essential parts of their lives. There are different traditional dances and music of the different tribes. The music of is characterized by folk songs and music accentuated by traditional instruments.

Culture of Nagaland


People of Nagaland are also famous for celebrating numerous seasonal fairs and festivals. All the tribes celebrate their own distinct festivals with dance and music. The most important festivals celebrated by the tribes include Sekrenyi, Moatsu Mong, Suhkruhnye, Bushu, Yemshe, Metumniu among others. The food of the Naga tribe consists of rice, millet, vegetables, fish, meat, Naga chilly and chutney.

Nagaland Village System

The tribes live mainly in villages. For the Nagas family is the most important institution. Women are treated equally with men. Nagas are traditionally and tribally organized with a strong warrior tradition. Head hunting is an important aspect of the people. Most of the houses of the Nagas have skull displaying their warrior qualities.

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