In Pictures: Fascinating Faces From Hornbill Festival in Nagaland

After spending two weeks in Arunachal Pradesh, attending the unique Basar Confluence and Mechuka Adventure Festival, I was rushing towards the station to catch the morning Shatabdi train to Dimapur. The excitement was soaring high as the train left the station. After years of planning, I was finally heading to Nagaland to attend the famous Hornbill Festival. This is one of the most vibrant festivals which has put Nagaland in the tourist’s map across the globe.

Chakesang Tribe

It has also opened the door for the outside world to come to North East India to get mesmerized by the unparalleled beauty of this exotic land . Hornbill Festival is the best introduction to the mosaic of Naga culture. The festival showcases the tribal ethnicity, tribal dance and music, authentic food and rare glimpses of the Naga way of life. In the oasis of Morungs, you can get up close with the tribal people from different communities to observe their varied lifestyle and be a part of it. Distinctively different, each Naga tribal community display their way of life in their respective Morungs.

Chang Tribe

Located 12 km away from Kohima, the Hornbill Festival takes place in a village named Kisama every year from 1st December to 10th December. Organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments of Nagaland, the festival is also known as “Festival of Festivals”. The vibrant feel of the festival is tangible and it engulfs you unconsciously. The upbeat sound of their instruments, the dominant voice of the singers, graceful dance moves, and the unique presentation, was one of the remarkable features of this festival. It also provides the best gastronomic experience to the food lovers. With a variety of local cuisines of each tribal community, numerous rice beers, fruits, lip-smacking snacks to choose from, you have the time of your life in sampling everything. Everything about this festival is intriguing.

Phom Tribe

What hooked me onto it were the fascinating faces that I came across during the festival. The sharp features, striking attires, distinctive headgear, prominent tattoos, and the pride they wear in their eyes, made me capture them into my lens.

Khiamniungan Tribe

Zeliang Tribe

Rengma Tribe

Lotha Tribe

Kachari Tribe

Chakhesang Tribe

Chang Tribe

Ao Tribe

Pochury Tribe

Konyak Tribe

Let me know your favorite portrait from this Photo story and give me reasons why you consider it your favorite.

How to reach

The nearest airport and railway station is in Dimapur. It takes more than three hours to reach Kohima by road from Dimapur . You can opt for shared taxi and it will cost you 300 rupees. Be ready for a bumpy ride due to bad road condition throughout. From Kohima , you can take a private/shared taxi for Kisama ( festival venue ), located 12 km away from the city.

Where to stay

Kisama is pretty village , hardly 12 km away from capital city of Nagaland. Though you will get a lot of home-stays in Kisama and surrounding villages during the festival, you can also opt for campsites around festival ground. All thanks to Holiday Scout, I stayed in one of the popular campsites in the very close proximity to the festival ground. Due to its location, I could enjoy the festival at ease.

Best time to visit

You can visit Nagaland throughout the year. But if you wish to see the rich cultural heritage of various Naga tribal communities, visiting Nagaland during the Hornbill Festival is the wise choice. It gives you a broad prospective about the Naga Culture and allows you to meet the tribal people. Enjoying the festivities, attending concerts to sampling authentic Naga cuisines, you can see the Naga way of life in the most vibrant set up.

Disclaimer :

The  reproduction of any of the content, including the photographs without prior consent/permission of the writer, is strictly prohibited and a violation of the same will attract legal action.

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  1. Dubai Tours

    Beautiful post, what about the cost? is it costly to visit there ?

  2. laex

    This is such a beautiful blog post! I love your photography

  3. Visiit

    Impressed with your work. Appreciation and we are looking for your future performance.

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  5. Jane Dempster-Smith

    The head gear is amazing – your photos are incredible. This is the first time I have heard about the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland. I would really like to visit when it is next on. Thanks for the information on how to get there and where to stay.

  6. Sinjana Ghosh

    This is amazing. Nice to know about the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland. This is such an obscure part of India and we know so less about this state. The pictures are just fabulous. Love the depiction.

  7. yukti

    I have seen many pictures of this Hornbill festival in Nagaland and always find it interesting. It is good that you attend such a unique festival in person. I never knew about so many diverse tribes from Nagaland before reading your post, but they all look very beautiful and different.

  8. Hailey

    This is seriously interesting stuff! I’d never heard of this festival before but now I really want to see it in person. All those beautiful, strong women are an inspiration.

  9. Kristy Bullard

    This sounds like an amazing experience! . I love learning about the different cultures and traditions from around the world. I think my favorite photo is the last one where the men are singing and laughing

  10. Jas

    This is my first time hearing about this festival and how incredible you got to experience it and share it with us! My fave is defs the Phom Tribe shot. Their attires are really ravishing and you can totally see the pride they wear. All are beautiful captures!

  11. Daniel Kiteski

    The Hornbill Festival has always been at the top of my bucket list. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to Nagaland last time I was in India but I’ll be coming back soon and I hope I can experience this! I’m even more impressed by this festival after reading this post.

  12. Shreya Saha

    I have long been waiting to attend the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland. Somehow, I have never managed to visit the place yet. I am really intrigued by the close-up pictures of the faces of the tribal men that you have put up here. It would be great to know about their tradition and culture and this festival is a hip, I got to attend it soon!

  13. Raghav

    Beautiful coverage of the festival. I like how you have separated the photos based on the different tribes. It’s interesting to see all the similarities and differences in the clothing. I read somewhere that the festival is starting to get a little commercial, but even at that expense, it is so important that we celebrate the diversity of India by focusing on lesser-known and travelled areas.
    Raghav recently posted…Food | Holy Moly – Adding Cheesy Goodness to Your Life!My Profile

  14. Eden

    What a unique experience. I hope to experience something like this one day. I tend to visit cities, but I do love these cultural experiences as well. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Jay Eliyos

    Thank you for this informative post really love these places i will mark it on my calendar and show your photos to my friend, we was visited in ifugao and the tribe name is Igorot Tribe. we was really amaze because of their culture and their diereses made by hand made.
    Thank you for sharing 🙂
    Jay Eliyos recently posted…How to Make Cheap International Calls from a LandlineMy Profile

  16. Steffi Trott

    I cannot quite tell you how much these pictures speak to me. You have a wonderful finesse for capturing people’s spirit and stories in your portraits. The first one is probably my very favorite – so much said with no words at all!

  17. Thomas Tine

    This is the one of the most helpful tutorials. I really appreciate your work, please keep it up and help others in such a unique way.

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  20. Artemhealth

    Awesome photos! Unfortunately it is very far from where I live, but who knows I will visit someday. I am sharing your blog..

  21. Vijay Kumar

    Your all content are unique form other site thanx you for sharing your all experience with us

    Glad to read your article

    Hope you are enjoying the day

  22. Mahima Git

    It seems its a great place to visit. i like it.

  23. sinorama

    This an Awsome blog for every visitor and tourist to find these places. It will be very helpful for them. This blog describes the traditional image of Nagaland. Thanks for your valuable information.

  24. Aamir Wisal

    Awesome blog I have ever seen.I daily visit your blog and everytime I surprised.Thanks for this Wonderful read.You shared great content.Keep up the good work.Thanks for sharing.

  25. manchala shiva

    hey mat great article keep posting the articles everyday thank you for giving the post

  26. Oman Tours

    Wonderful Article, amazing photos which tells everything. really want to go there in upcoming vacations.

  27. masum ali

    Amazing photos.Knew nothing about Nagaland. Definitely will think about going to the festival.

  28. Riya Jindal

    Wow.. It’s just amazing. I love the culture the pictures. Thankyou for sharing this great article!

  29. Ubaid Shaikh

    Nice informative and detailed article.
    The photos are amazing.
    Thanks for sharing such an amazing article and beautiful pictures.

  30. Claire

    Love, love your work. Your photography is simply stunning!
    And I just wrote down the Nagaland Hornbill Festival in my checklist. Cultural festivals are so amazing, what a way to explore a country. The last one I got to visit was the Galicnik Wedding in Macedonia – it was a truly magical experience!

  31. Bikroy Ads

    Hello Parnashree ! What a great post, you have written. You have done it very nicely. Your way of expressing your thoughts is just incredible. I bookmarked your website for future use. Keep up the good work.

  32. Eden

    What a unique experience this was. Thanks so much for sharing this. It’s great to be reminded to have more in depth cultural experiences when traveling. I tend to explore big cities and see all the sights, but often wish I’d had more time to explore deeper. Beautiful post.

  33. Richa Agrwal

    Great article. As someone have just starting out in the world of blogging, I need all the tips I can get. I am so grateful for some simple, easy to implement advice.

  34. Anindya Sundar Basu

    Wonderful pictures and attending hornbill festival is a long time wish for me. Loved reading this post

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    Thanks for sharing, Your provide blog commenting sites list are really amazing.
    I appreciate your hard work. Keep posting new updates with us. This is really a wonderful post. Nice Blog Very interesting and useful information on your website. Thanks for sharing the blog and this great information which is definitely going to help us.

  36. nadia

    Vibrant colours and beautiful people! Festivals are such wonderful opportunities for non-locals to learn about the customs and traditions of a place. Thank you so sharing, Parnashree.

  37. Blog Google

    Thanks you so much sir for shearing so much great content with us. I will Bookmark and also share your post on my Facebook Page.
    Thanks a lot Sir

  38. Richa Agrwal

    Great Article.As someone have just starting out in the world of blogging, i
    need all the tips i can get. i am so grateful for some simple, easy to implement

  39. sue davies

    Amazing photos.Knew nothing about Nagaland. Definitely will think about going to the festival.

  40. Madhurima

    How beautiful these pictures are! Loved them to the bits! I sorely missed Hornbill this year 🙁

  41. skyhealthnews

    I have daily lots of blog read and see now but this is the really amazing and when i start reading then i have lots of enjoy and really i get so much help and feel really awesome thanks for sharing this amazing post.

  42. Niranjan R

    Wonderful frames, Parnashree! Very vibrant and colourful.

  43. Sandeepa

    Loved the colours. Each portrait is striking and they are totally owning their look. Each person looks so at ease in their full traditional outfit.

  44. Tripae

    Awesome photos! Unfortunately it is very far from where I live, but who knows I will visit someday.

  45. Braven Joe Braven Coat

    Such an interesting content it is to read. Nagaland is one the bestest place to visit. Will surely visit this place soon. Thanks for sharing

  46. Simon | Holidayatbeach

    Hey there,
    Nagaland is one of my favorite place Visited yet.
    This is a very popular festival of Nagaland. Often cited as “festival of all festivals”, The Hornbill Festival is a grand celebration that is brought to life each year.
    I like it so much. Planning to visit again.
    thanks for sharing this post.


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