Early in the morning, I left Mon town for Mokokchung “The Land of Ao”. Very few Regional Taxis are available for Mokokchung, so be sure, you have a booking. During this journey, I was lucky to meet the most helpful person whom I call Police Uncle.
He helped me, a stranger to him, to find the lodge at the cheapest rate here and even in other places of Nagaland. You may make new friends at small halts for marketing and refreshments. You won’t feel the stress of the journey with the company of local people.
To reach Mokochung town it will take around 6 hours. The people approach tourists most warm-heartedly, which makes the place wonderful. People who wish to explore North-Easts should make a plan for Mokokchung, the cultural and intellectual district of Nagaland.
A small but beautiful town, surrounded by the lush green forest with a few dotted houses in the landscape and dangerous slopes with serpentine roads will leave you spellbound.
Mokokchung has some of the oldest villages of Nagaland. This district is known as the Land of Ao’s where you will find their descendants and culture.
Atrocities on Naga people by Assam rifles had forced the whole community to revolt. A viewpoint near Town-Park gives you the panoramic view of small villages around the picturesque hills with a bustling town completing the whole canvas. Travelling to Mokokchung will leave you in the heavenly kingdom filled with fresh mountain air.
How to Reach?
Mokokchung is well connected by National Highway with other towns. Most of the routes go via Assam. Nagaland State Transport buses operate regularly from the main towns of Nagaland. You can also hire regional taxis to reach other towns of Nagaland and Assam.
Where to stay?
There are plenty of choices for lodging in Mokochung town. You may also opt for spot booking. Almost every lodge and hotel have dormitories.
Circuit house may also be available for tourists only when it is not booked for government officials.
The local cab is available from Mokokchung to reach Longkhum village. The village will surprise you with its clean and dust-free road, beautiful small houses decorated by flower pots and clouds flowing below you, a treat for your eyes.
The viewpoint from the Jubliee Tower gives you a 360-degree panorama of the entire village with backdrops of the mountain range, an offbeat trip to the land of Nagas with lively landscapes. You may trek through the trail of natural rock-formations and seek for the footprints of Ediben and Jina, the famous love birds of Ao tribe.
The stone trail leads you to a small jungle trek where you may also look for the nest of eagles in the mountain. The simple trek is easy with an idyllic view. This will lead you far from monotonous and boring urban life. The trails of the hidden village with blue hills mesmerized me in recent times.
While returning to the town after an exciting paradise view of Longkhum village, there is another historic basti “Ungma village”. You may take a stop to this oldest and biggest Ao village of Nagaland.
It is also in a walkable distance from Mokokchung town taking around 30 mins. This village is one of the most frequently visited popular place among the visitor. The mixed tradition and modernity of the village excite more about Ao tribe’s customs and their myths.
One of the main attractions of the village is an old long drum which was used to inform and alert the villagers about meetings, deaths, warning of impending dangers etc. Enjoy the breathtaking and outstanding landscape from atop of watchtower with a cold breeze on your face.
There is a sacred pillar in the middle of the village where people used to worship during ancient time. Communicate with extremely warm and kind-hearted local natives of the village, it will give you the perception of their tradition.
After taking lunch at Mokokchung town, I left for Mopungchuket by hiring a cab. It is one of the cleanest villages of Nagaland, decorated with colourful houses and well-maintained dustbins around the corner, which shows the way to honour a clean environment.
The clean landscape area with colourful seasonal flowers in almost every household, the sacred pillar, the cultural museum and the park are its some of the main attractions. The most visited place is Sungkotenem Park and the lake where you will enjoy boating.
If you are lucky, you may get a glimpse of deers suddenly appearing from the nearby jungle. The giant artefacts created by the local artist embellish the park.
The cultural museum holds the historic importance of the village showing the sufferings of the locals by the barbaric attack of Assam Rifles. Also, grasp the great love story of Jina and Etiben which is famous in the village!
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Author Bio: Hi! there I am- Abhishek Das..! I love to explore typically offbeat places of India. Visit his blog Solitary Traveller to get to know about more offbeat.