About 45km north of Kohima, while the ascent to Tuophema is only one and a half hours long, it has a completely new world of its own. It’s an absolutely simple rustic village, without any sign of modernisation. Yet, that is what makes it so special to the avid traveller.Also Read - Nagaland Announces 'Unlock-6' From Sep 17; Schools To Reopen For Classes 5-10 From Oct 1
This is where members of the Angami tribe reside; if you want a taste of the Naga culture, Tuophema should feature on top of your list. It’s one thing to see the Naga tribes put their best foot forward at the various festivals such as the Hornbill Festival and Sekrenyi Festival, and a completely different experience to get up close and personal with the daily workings of their lives. Also Read - Assam Ends Border Dispute With Nagaland Amid Row With Mizoram, Himanta Calls It ‘Historic Move’
Tuophema was essentially set up as a tourist village in 2001. Self-funded and designed by the people of Tuophema as well as the different clans from within the village, it is now hailed as a model of rural home-stays in Nagaland. Also Read - This National Parents Day, Here’s a List of Lesser-Known Cultural Destinations to Explore With Your Family
A traditional welcome gate leads up to the village, where a large tree called the War Head Tree is quite the eye-catcher. It’s where enemy heads were once hung as trophies from the war. It’s highly recommended that you stay in a traditional Angami house; there are some 500 families living in the quaint town and it’s a treat to see everyone know each other.
Other things to do and see here include cultural and educational programmes, a local museum, as well as guided walks arranged by the helpful staff at the village. The walk takes you past the old and new areas of the village, including the Baptist church, an amphitheatre, and a charming unoccupied house built in the memory of the village founder.
For one of the most unforgettable experience in Tuophema, sit out under the night sky with hundreds and thousands of stars twinkling above you, a warm drink in hand and your loved ones huddled close by.