Conde Nast Traveller India


Morning arrives in a disorienting rush in Khonoma village, nestled deep in the Angami hills of Nagaland. Inflexible officialdom imposes Indian Standard Time in the region, so dawn breaks in the wee hours and immediately brightens to searing sunlight. There’s more confusion as you tumble bleary-eyed onto the terrace, only to be confronted by one of the grandest vistas in the world: impenetrable jungle peaks encircling the vantage point, with manicured fields in a jigsaw far below. The air here is shockingly fresh, the heavens stunningly blue. It feels like waking up in the Garden of Eden.

The paradisiacal atmosphere lingers throughout this tiny, picturesque Naga hamlet, densely packed with dollhouse dwellings perched high above the valley. You traipse enchanted along ancient stone pathways that lattice the hillside, past orchid-bedecked homes and traditional rock-hewn sit-outs set in a circle for easy communication. This is the famous clan living of tribals rooted deep in shared history but with an unexpected twist—underneath the rustic atmosphere, Nagaland is fast-forwarding a remarkable tryst with modernity of global significance.

Much of this story is writ small in Khonoma, where nearly everyone still engages in laborious agriculture by hand in the fields of their ancestors while simultaneously pursuing education

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