Celebrating Hornbill Festival

Celebrating Hornbill Festival in Nagaland - Camping Co’s guide.

Nagaland or more prominently known as the 'land of festivals' celebrates the Hornbill festival from December 1-10 every year. This festival brings along with itself not only the reason to celebrate the embellished cultural beauty of this place but also it fetches along with itself ample of tourists from around the globe to witness this unique celebration of the “festival of all festivals”. This 10-day long cultural celebration has everything that makes a tribal festival a treat to one’s eyes!
A major section of the population in Nagaland relies on agriculture and hence, the festivals that are celebrated by the people here showcase their pride in being a part of an agrarian economy. You can easily catch a sight of the exuberant folk dance and music performances by the people of the Naga tribe during the Hornbill festival. Also, witnessing the offbeat sports, delicacies, paintings, wooden sculptures of the Nagas is enough to make your trip to Arunachal Pradesh cherishable during Hornbill. However, if you are more of an inquisitive explorer and want to have a one on one conversation with the people of the tribe then we suggest you to reach at the very first day of this festival as there is enough time for you to amalgamate with the tribespeople who do not look much occupied on this day.
The Morungs are the cynosure of this extravagant revelry as this is the place where the young tribesmen are groomed to inherit the responsibility of being skilled warriors and informed members of the clan. These hutments are fabricated with straw and chaff that are exhibited during the fest where the Nagas prepare themselves for the performances. Also, women cooking the savoring delicacies in traditional style by smoking it with bamboo disseminates the aromatic vibes in the surrounding ambiance. Apart from these, there are a plethora of other things like Naga wrestling, fashion shows, archery, musical concerts, flower shows, etc.

Here’s a list of things that you must do during Hornbill festival in Nagaland.

1. Camping during the festival

We believe that if you like somewhere, you should stay there! Pitch-up a tent at your choicest of campsites in Nagaland and fall in love with this week-long hearty celebration in your own unique style to feed the explorer within you. Also, camping during the festival is pocket-friendly than looking for accommodation in peak seasons.


Or how about renting a self-sustained camp which literally moves anywhere. Like one in the picture above! These vehicles/campers are best suited to travel on these challenging landscapes and become your home when you are away from home!

2. Trek to Dzukou valley

There cannot be a better experience than walking along the upheaved terrains of the Dzukou valley. A visit to this valley is momentarily equivalent to fetching a life-lesson from your trip. The wavy terrains and the endearing view of this valley is parallel to meditation while travelling. However, the adventurous trek along the trails of this valley will keep you equally enthralled

3. Have it all that is served, taste the local cuisines

You can not end your trip to Nagaland during Hornbill Festival without having tasted the local culinary delicacies in Kisama. These delicacies are cooked in a traditional style by the local women to serve the guests during this festival. Some of the dishes served here are brown rice, especially cooked pork and of course the refreshing rice beer to end your day’s celebration perfectly!

4. Participate in the sports activities during the fest

Boost your energy by participating in sporty activities like archery, wrestling and other games that are organized by the people of this place. This matchless experience of boosting up your adrenaline with the people of this tribe of warriors should definitely be on your checklist.

5. Befriend the local folks!

The best way to end your day during the Hornbill festival is to have a heartfelt conversation with a localite and feel the endurance of the rich culture and heritage of this pace. Also, the customs and traditions followed here are pristine and worth acknowledging to be preserved.
The local music of this place holds great significance amongst the people. You can pitch-in your conversation with the people by pivoting around this theme.

How to reach here?

he festival is celebrated in Kisama, a village in the outskirts of Kohima the capital of Nagaland. Though the festive vibes of the Hornbill festival are felt anywhere in the northeast region but Nagaland's charm is peerless during this festival. To reach here you can take a flight to the major cities like Guwahati and get your vehicle to start an overland journey to Nagaland.
We highly recommend a road trip from Guwahati, Assam to Nagaland. The flat lands of Assam and curvy roads of Nagaland make it for a great adventure. Having your own transport/camper provides the freedom to move to various places during the festival. It also makes camping at various sites much easier and more comfortable and it’s more economical compared to hiring private taxis there. All in all a perfect festival vehicle.
Halt at Dimapur, the border of Assam and Nagaland to revamp yourself from the tiring journey and reach directly to Kisama - the site of the festival. There are various campsites nearby to stay during the festival.
You can also reach Dimapur by train and take a bus to Kohima whence 12 Kilometers lies Kisama village.

Looking for an offbeat experience for your stay?

Well, finding a place to stay in the vicinity is a task during this festival when you do not have enough local information. Also, most of these places to stay are pre-booked because the number of tourists visiting to be a part of this festival is quite high. Therefore, it is advisable to get your bookings done in advance. Some of the places that you can consider to stay during the Hornbill festival are:

Longchen Homestay, Dimapur

Cloudline Treehouse, Nagaland

Yedhikha campsite, Zakhama, Nagaland

Kite Manja Campsite, Nagaland


Note: If you are an international visitor then make sure you are FRO registered.
For more information visit www.camping-co.com or drop us a mail at info@campingco.com
-Ashi Kesarwani