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Festival of the Hornbill Tour

Hornbill Festival is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 km from Kohima. All the tribes of Nagaland take part in this festival. 

Hornbill Festival Nagaland

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Hornbill Festival is one of the most popular festivals of Nagaland, celebrated every year from 1st to 10th December. The Hornbill Festival is indeed the most renowned celebration of Nagas. The festival gets its name from the Indian Hornbill. The Hornbill is a common bird among the folklores and tribes of Nagaland and can be commonly seen prancing around in the forests of Nagaland. 

This annual festival is celebrated in the first 10 days of December in the capital of Nagaland and it is a must attend event. Each of the tribes and sub-tribes in the state have their own ways of promoting their culture. In addition to their traditional ceremonial attire which is different for each tribe, there are multi-colored spears, Dao’s with dyed goat's hair. The exotic headgears and ivory armlets are other famous traditional things of Nagas which steal the show. In earlier times, the fighters had to prove their bravery, to wear these.

Follow the length of the mighty Brahmaputra River from historic Guwahati to Kaziranga National Park in search of the endangered white one-horned rhino. Head across the plains of Assam to Majuli Island, the largest inhabited river island in the world, visiting unique ancient Hindu temples and satras (monasteries). Journey onwards up into the forested hills of Nagaland, right up to the Burmese (Myanmar) border, to explore its traditional tribal villages and meet the last of the Naga head hunting warriors in their own homes, before reaching the former British hill station of Kohima. Finally, engage with all 16 Naga tribes at the Hornbill Festival and join in the celebrations of dance, song, cuisine and sport.

At a glance
  • Hindu temples in Guwahat
  • Elephant and jeep safaris
  • Kaziranga National Park
  • Crossing the Brahmaputra River 
  • Historic satras of Majuli Island
    Ancient Ahom royal palace and
  • Traditional Konyak, Ao and Angami tribe villages and their tatooed warriors
  • Khonoma, battleground of the most fierce resistance to British imperialism in Nagaland
  • Walking along the Indo-Myanmar border
  • Up to three days at the spectacular Hornbill Festival
OPEN DATES

20th November – 5th December 2022

5th December – 20th December 2022

20th November – 5th December 2023

5th December – 20th December 2023

20th November – 5th December 2024

5th December – 20th December 2024

Open dates depart with a minimum of 8 people

Private tours can be arranged with a minimum of 2 people

travel insurance

The cost of a medical evacuation from the mountain is expensive, which is why adequate travel insurance  is required on all climbs booked through us. Adequate, means you must be covered for 1) Trekking or hiking – this may sound strange, but many insurance list that as an exclusion. 
2) Altitude up to 6,000 meters. Most travel insurance providers do not include this under their standard cover and often limit it to 3500m or less. 
3) Sprains strains and physiotherapy – yes, many insurers exclude this; though ironically, this is what you will most likely need cover for. 
4) Personal accident – this is the horrible part of insurance. Yes, you need to be covered in the case of death. We are often told by clients – “if anything happens to me, just leave me there.” It is not that simple. 


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Hornbill Festival Overview

Day 1: ​Arrive in Guwahati and drive to Kaziranga National Park
Day 2 : ​Safaris in Kaziranga National Park
Day 3 : ​Drive from Kaziranga National Park to Majuli Island
Day 4: ​Full day on Majuli Island
Day 5: ​Drive from Majuli Island to Sibsagar
Day 6: ​Drive from Sibsagar to Mon
Day 7: ​Excursion to Hongpoi
Day 8 : ​Excursion to Longwa and Chui
Day 9 :  ​Drive to Mokokchung
Day 10 : ​Excursions to Chuchuyimlang and Mopungchucket
Day 11: Drive to Kohima
Day 12: Visit Hornbill Festival with an excursion to Kigwema
Day 13: Spend a full day at the Hornbill Festival
Day 14: Spend a full day in Kohima
Day 15: Spend another full day at the Hornbill Festival
Day 16: Drive to Dimapur and depart
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Hornbill Festival

Day 1: Guwahati 

Arrive in Guwahati, where you will be met by your driver and guide, and transfer to your accommodation. In the afternoon, time permitting, there will be an opportunity to visit Kamakhya temple, Kalashetra and its museum, plus the state emporium. Drive from Guwahati to Kaziranga National Park, located in the floodplains on both sides of the Brahmaputra river, and home to the endangered one-horned rhino. Overnight at Kaziranga.

Day 2: Game Drives

Enjoy two game drives in the National Park: an early morning elephant safari to seek out the one horned rhino, along with a range of other magnificent animals and birds, followed by an afternoon jeep safari. Overnight at Kaziranga.

Day 3: Brahmaputra River

Drive from Kaziranga to Majuli island, taking a ferry ride over the mighty Brahmaputra River. Overnight on Majuli Island, the biggest inhabited river island in the world.

Day 4: Majuli 

Explore Majuli island, visiting a variety of very different satras (Hindu monasteries), and see pottery making in a local village. Overnight on Majuli Island.

Day 5: Sibsagar 

Drive to Sibsagar and visit the eighteenth century Hindu temple of Shiv Dol, dedicated to Lord Siva, and the highest Hindu temple in all of India. Built by Queen Madambika, wife of the Ahom King Shiva Singha, it has long been established as one of the most revered and sacred pilgrimage sites in the country.

Overnight at Sibsagar.

Day 6: Royal Houses

Visit the ancient Ahom royal house of Talatal Ghar, Kareng Ghar and other historic sites in the vicinity of Sibsagar as time permits before driving to Mon in Nagaland. Overnight at Mon.

Day 7: Hongpoi village 

Today we will visit Hongpoi village in the morning where we will meet tattoed Konyak tribe warriors. In the afternoon we will visit Mon, the largest village in the north of Nagaland. Overnight at Mon.

Day 8: Longwa 

Drive out to Longwa, a village famous for its local opium production, which straddles the Myanmar-Nagaland border. You might even choose to step across the border yourself into Myanmar. Visit the home of the village angh (chief) and other local houses, too. Afterwards drive on to visit the traditional village of Chui. Overnight at Mon.

Day 9: Assam 

Today involves a very long drive which requires most of the day, first heading into Assam via Sibsagar and then onwards back up into the mountains of Nagaland, through beautiful scenery to reach Mokokchung town, renowned for its good shopping facilities. Overnight at Mokokchung.

Day 10: Chuchuyimlang 

Visit Chuchuyimlang, a typical Ao tribe village, and then Mopungchuket, where we will visit ancient carvings in the village park. Overnight at Mokokchung.

Day 11: Angami tribe village 

Drive to Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, pausing at the Angami tribe village of Touphema to visit its small museum, its amphitheatre and community kitchen. Overnight at Kohima.

Day 12: Hornbill Festival

In the morning, visit the Hornbill Festival at the “heritage village” of Kisama for the opening day ceremony. In the afternoon visit Kigwema, a typical Angami tribe village where some of the houses still bear the traditional kikeh crossed-horn gables. Overnight at Kohima.

Day 13: Hornbill Festival

Spend a full day at the Hornbill Festival enjoying endless presentations of colourful dances and songs from a variety of Naga tribes, each dressed in their own traditional costumes. Overnight at Kohima.

Day 14: Markets

In the morning explore the exotic local market in Kohima and the World War Two cemetery, immaculately maintained by the British War Graves Commission. In the afternoon, visit Khonoma village, scene of epic nineteenth century battles of independence against the advance of the British Empire. Overnight at Kohim

Day 15: Hornbill Festival

Enjoy a final full day back at the Hornbill Festival. Overnight at Kohima.

Day 16: Depart

After breakfast, transfer to Dimapur and onwards to the airport. If time permits, we will enjoy a visit to Chumpo Museum on the way.

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