There is no doubt that India has one of the most picturesque and scenic locations in the world. One such place, the beauty of which is panoramic is Kohima, the capital of Nagaland. It is a shame that this historical town doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. The capital of one of the seven sisters, Kohima proudly boasts of the rich heritage it has been a part of. Just taking a drive down the countryside is enough to make one’s nerves tingle, but I have narrowed it down to 3 places that one must visit on one’s trip to Kohima.
1st : Kohima War cemetery
This Cemetery is built in rememebrance of the officers and soldiers who lost their lives during World War II. The memorial bears a testimony to one of the most stubborn, close and blood fighting in the whole of the second World War. On the 18 plots of the cemetery, there are 1421 slabs erected in the memory of soldiers who were killed in the battle of Kohima.
Historians have called the Battle of Kohima as one of the most bitter and brutally fought battles involving fierce “hand-to-hand combats.” There are many reasons for this. Firstly, the fact that the battle went on for 3 months by the end of which only 20000 of the 85000 Japanese soldiers who had come to invade India were left standing. The casualties on our side were humungous. The British before leaving Kohima erected a moving memorial in memory of their fallen comrades.
One thing that really got me teary eyed on my visit there was that one line etched on to the memorial
“when you go home, tell them of us, and say: ‘For your tomorrow, we gave our today.’
The place has something magical about it. Your lips don’t move, your feet just glide on their own; along the slabs bearing the apt epitaph and in that one moment you feel passion, patriotism, sorrow and a sense of Pride.
2nd : Japfu Peak
At 3048 metres above sea level, the Japfu peak is the the 2nd highest peak in Nagaland. It is located 15 km south of Kohima and it makes for an exhilarating trekking experience. The best time to vist it and experience floating through the clouds and seeing those faint rays smiling through the mist at the crack of dawn is between October to March. Interestingly, the tallest rhododendron tree featured in the Guinness Book of World Records is found in the Japfu Range. The tree is a hundred and nine feet tall and a true beauty and marvel of nature.
3rd: Keeda Market
This is a whacky suggestion. Nagas are quite popular for their interesting eating habits and this market brings to you a huge variety of the craziest and most unthinkable things that they have turned into tasty savouries and relish them as an evening snacks like we would do with maybe French Fries. Right from grasshoppers, to freshly caught spiders and silk worms and larva, the market has it all and is not a place appropriate for a fussy eater especially if you are a vegetarian. But nevertheless, if you muster the courage to actually visit this place, the vibrance of the market will amuse you, and the welcoming calls of the shopkeepers will keep you smiling.