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Nagaland Hornbill Festival

Duration: 11 Days / 10 Nights
Difficulty: 4 Stars
Cost: US $1150 per person

The eagerly awaited Hornbill festival is one of the most cherished festivals of Nagaland, India’s Far North Eastern state and celebrated by locals with much enthusiasm and zeal. The festival is named after Hornbill, one of the most venerated bird species in the state whose importance is reflected in a number of tribal cultural expressions, songs and dances. Almost 85% of Nagaland’s population still depends upon agriculture, so most of their festivals revolve around agriculture, which they consider sacred. The Hornbill Festival is one of the largest celebrations of the indigenous warrior tribes of Nagaland.

Naga people have a rich tradition of maintaining their unique heritage and customs. In spite of the tremendous modernity entering into their lives, the people have preserved their customs and legacy and have kept the torch of their tribal identity lighted. Nagaland is called the land of festivals and people in the state have a fondness of celebrating the deeds of their ancient warriors and folk heroes as well as songs that immortalize love stories, folk tunes and gospel songs.

Each of the tribes and sub-tribes in the state has their own way of cultivating their individual culture. In addition to their traditional ceremonial attires, which are different for each tribe, there are multi-colored spears, Dao’s [Machete] with dyed goat’s hair, exotic headgears and ivory armlets. In earlier times, the fighters had to prove their bravery, in order to wear these. The Hornbill Festival is one the largest celebration in Nagaland and there is huge gathering and much merrymaking in the form of drinking, eating, singing and dancing.  

Hornbill Festival is celebrated annually during the first week of December, i.e. from December 1-10.

The festival is held at the Naga Heritage Village in Kisama, located around 12 kilometers from the capital of the Nagaland, Kohima. It begins at 9 am each day. You can reach the venue by booking a taxi. Purchase the tickets at the entry gate and pass through the security check however make sure you have a valid pass to park the vehicle at the site.

How is the Hornbill festival celebrated?

Hornbill festival, also known locally as the “Festival of Festivals, is organized by State Tourism and Arts and Culture Department, Government of Nagaland to encourage inter-tribal harmony and promote colorful local culture and traditions, display its unique customs, rituals and practices as well as preserve its heritage. Tourists are warmly welcomed and are treated well. All the major tribes of Nagaland who present themselves with various arts, folk songs, dances and games attend the celebrations. There are numerous displays of handicrafts, handloom, multi-cuisine; local food stalls while a rich amount of rice beer always at hand to indulge in. Evenings are lighted by the thrilling Hornbill National Rock Concert in which bands from all over the country and abroad participate to compete. The amazing Night Market in the town follows this. But the most attractive event at the festival is Naga chilly eating competition and pork eating festival, which draws a lot of crowd and evokes much fanfare and excitement.

Day 1

Arrival at Dimapur Airport. Settling at hotel. If we have time then visit Kishama Village in Kohima city which is 2 hours drive from Dimapur. As Kohima city has very less hotels, most of the tourists prefer to stay at Dimapur.


Day 2

After breakfast, we will drive to Kishama Village where Hornbill festival is organized. Whole day we will attend different cultural programs. Lunch at Hornbill venue. Meet different tribes and take photograph. At evening drive back to hotel .

Breakfast/ lunch/ Dinner

Day 3

After breakfast we will Drive to Kishama Village, whole day we will attend Hornbill Festival. Today we will try to contact headhunters. Listen their headhunting stories and also participate in their cultural dance. Eat tribal food, enjoy rice beer. we will visit tribal handicraft shops. Evening drive back to hotel.

Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner

Day 4

Today we will check out early morning and drive to Jorhat. Jorhat is stronghold of AO tribe. We will visit AO tribe and visit their traditional houses, understand their culture. Night stay at hotel.

Breakfast/Lunch/ Dinner

Day 5

We will drive to Majuli Island to visit Mising Tribe. Majuli Island is Largest river island in the world. You will find small settlement of Mising tribe. Many other things like Hindu Monastery to visit. Night stay at tribal resort.


Day 6

After breakfast we will drive to Ziro valley. Ziro valley is located in Arunachal Pradesh. Here we will visit very unique Apatani Tribe. Apatani are very interesting tribe. The most captivating members are the older women of the tribe, who wear facial tattoos and massive nose rings. The tradition, though non-existent now, dates back to pre-modern times when the Apatani women were considered to be the most beautiful in all of Arunachal Pradesh. Men of other tribes would often steal the Apatani women, which led the Apatani men to tattoo the faces of their women and make them wear massive nose plugs, in order to make them less appealing. On arrival we will check in and take rest.


Day 7

Today whole day we will spend with Apatani Tribe. Also we will enjoy their food and rice beer. At night back to hotel.

Breakfast/ Lunch /Dinner

Day 8

After Breakfast we will go around Ziro valley and visit another Tribe called ‘Nyising’. We will visit their home and have lunch with them.


Day 9

Today we will Travel to Bhalukpong and to visit Kaziranga National Park. It is a national park and home to One horn Asian black Rhino. As we reach we will check in hotel.


Day 10

Today early morning we will go for safari at Kaziranga National park. Afternoon we will return at hotel. At evening start Journey to Guwahati.


Day 11


Morning we will reach at Guwahati. Your Iconic Tribal trails get over here by proceeding to Airport.

Note: Tour package starts from Dimapur, which includes your food, travel & stay (twin sharing basis), permits and Tribal Guide, ends at Guwahati Airport/ railway station drop.

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