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Travel to the Tribal Town of Mokokchung, Nagaland

By Manoj Menon

A visit to the picturesque state of Nagaland is not complete without a visit to the scenic town of Mokokchung. This town is primarily populated by the Ao tribe and is also the third largest urban centre of the state after Dimapur and Kohima.

Mokokchung is considered to be the cultural and intellectual capital of the state. It is located at an altitude of 1325 mt above sea level, gifted by nature with gurgling streams and picturesque hills. Here is a guide to the tribal town of Mokokchung.

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Mokokchung Village

The Mokokchung Village is the oldest village of the Ao tribe. The word Mokokchung can be broken down into two parts, Mokok and Chung. While Mokok means 'unwillingly', Chung means 'a group of people', thus Mokokchung literally means a group of people unwillingly moving away from their original settlement. 

The Moatsu festival is celebrated in honour of the creator of the whole earth whose blessing is sought for better cultivation. The Tsungremong festival is a celebration of the harvest season and is held in the first week of August. Travellers coming here can partake in these festivities and learn more about the culture of this tribe.

Mokokchung Village
 

Aerial view of the village.
Photo Courtesy: Jim Ankan Deka

Mokokchung District Museum

Mokokchung is the heartland of the Ao tribe and travellers coming here can find several interesting things about them. The best place to learn more about the history of this tribe and its various traditions is the Mokokchung District Museum. The museum reflects the way and lives of the tribe over the centuries.

The museum is housed within the Arts and Cultural Complex and travellers coming here can see swords, shields, the traditional attire of the Ao tribe and much more. You are sure to enjoy getting to learn more about the culture and tradition of the tribe as well as their colourful history.

Changtongya

One of the picturesque villages in Mokokchung is Changtongya, situated on the Langpangkong Range. Nestled amongst the beauty of nature, the Tsula river and Melak river that criss-cross through the town adds to its beauty.

Travellers coming here get a panoramic view of the region from atop the hill and it is a major hub for bird lovers who can observe many species of birds here. It is a perfect place to head to for relaxing and rejuvenating yourself.

Mokokchung Park

Mokokchung Park is also known as the Town Park and is one of the popular tourist destinations of this town. It is an ideal place to relax and be lost in the beauty of the surrounding nature. Located in the heart of the town this place attracts the locals as well as tourists. The viewpoint in the park offers visitors a bird's eye view of the beautiful town of Mokokchung that appears like a perfect portrait on a canvas.

The park features a soccer ground and a watch tower. Soccer is the most popular sport in Nagaland like many other states of North East and you can witness some budding talent showcase their skills. Spring is the best time to be in this park as you will be mesmerised by the wide variety of flowers and Orchids on display. Local birds add to the scenic beauty of this park.

How to Reach Mokochung

By Air: The nearest airports to Mokokchung are in Dimapur (212 km) and Jorhat (105 km). There are daily flights to these airports from Guwahati and Kolkata.

By Train: The nearest railway station to Mokokchung is Mariani in Assam about 85 km away. It is well-connected with all the railheads in north east India.

By Road: Mokokchung is well-connected by road through the NH-61 that runs from Kohima to Amguri via Wokha, Mokokchung, Changtongya and Tuli. The Nagaland State Transport runs regular buses from Mokokchung to Kohima, that lies at a distance of 162 km. Shared taxis are also common on this route.

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