Nagaland is a state in the far north-eastern part of India. It borders the state of Assam to the west, Arunachal Pradesh and part of Assam to the north, Burma to the east and Manipur to the south. The state capital is Kohima, and the largest city is Dimapur. The state of Nagaland has an area of 16,579 km2 with a population of 1,980,602 (nineteen lakhs eighty thousand six hundred two) as per the 2011 census making it one of the smallest states of India. The state is mostly mountainous except those areas bordering Assam valley. Mount Saramati is the highest peak in Nagaland with a height of 3,840 metres and its range forms a natural barrier between Nagaland and Burma. It lies between the parallels of 98 degree and 96 degree East Longitude and 26.6 degree and 27.4 degree latitude North of the Equator.
Nagaland, the 16th state of the Indian Union, was established on December 1, 1963. It is divided into eleven districts: Kohima, Phek, Mokokchung, Wokha, Zunheboto, Tuensang, Mon, Dimapur, Kiphire, Longleng and Peren. It is a largely mountainous state. Agriculture is the most important economic activity in Nagaland. Principal crops include rice, corn, millets, pulses, tobacco, oilseeds, sugarcane, potatoes and fibres. Other significant economic activity includes forestry, tourism, insurance, real estate, and miscellaneous cottage industries.
Agriculture is the most important economic activity in Nagaland, with more than 90% of the population employed in agriculture. Crops include rice, corn, millets, pulses, tobacco, oilseeds, sugarcane, potatoes, and threads. However, Nagaland still depends on the import of food supplies from other states. The widespread practice of jhum, tilling, has led to soil erosion and loss of fertility, particularly in the eastern districts. Only the Angami and Chakesang tribes in the Kohima and Phek districts use terracing techniques. And most of the Aos, Lothas, and Zeliangs in Mokokchung, Wokha, and Peren districts respectively till in the many valleys of the district. Forestry is also an important source of income. Cottage industries such as weaving, woodwork, and pottery are also an important source of revenue. Tourism is important, but largely limited due to insurgency since the last five decades. Nagaland's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $1.4 billion in current prices.
Hornbill Festival of Nagaland:
Hornbill Festival was launched by the Government of Nagaland in December 2000 to encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of the state. Organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments, Hornbill Festival showcases a mélange of cultural displays under one roof. This festival takes place between the 1st and the 7th of December every year. The week long 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. The aim of the festival is to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland and display its extravaganza and traditions.
Flora and Fauna:
Nagaland is rich in flora and fauna. About one-sixth of Nagaland is under the cover of tropical and sub-tropical evergreen forests—including palms, bamboo, and rattan as well as timber and mahogany forests. While some forest areas have been cleared for jhum cultivation, many scrub forests, high grass, reeds; secondary dogs, pangolins, porcupines, elephants, leopards, bears, many species of monkeys, sambar, harts, oxen, and buffaloes thrive across the state's forests.
The Great Indian Hornbill is one of the most famous birds found in the state. Blyth’s Tragopan, a vulnerable species of pheasant, is also found in the state and is the State Bird of Nagaland. It is sighted in mount Japfü and Dzükou valley of Kohima district, Satoi Range in Zunheboto district and Pfütsero in Phek district. Of the mere 2500 tragopans sighted in the World, Dzükou valley is the natural habitat of more than 1,000.
Mithun (a semi domesticated Gaur) found only in the North Eastern states of India, is the State animal of Nagaland and has been adopted as the official seal of the Government of Nagaland. It is the ritually most valued species in the state. With a view to conserve and protect this magnificent animal in the North East, the National Research Centre on Mithun (NRCM) was established by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) in the year 1988 in the state of Nagaland.