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Kohima is located in Nagaland
Location of Kohima in Nagaland
Country  India
State Nagaland
District Kohima
 • Total 20 km2 (8 sq mi)
Elevation 1,444 m (4,738 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 99,039
 • Density 5,000/km2 (13,000/sq mi)
 • Official English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 797001
Telephone code 91 (0)370
Vehicle registration NL-01
Sex ratio 927 /
Website .in.nickohima

Kohima    ) is the hilly capital of India's north eastern border state of Nagaland which shares its borders with Burma. It lies in Kohima District and is one of the three Nagaland towns with Municipal council status along with Dimapur and Mokokchung.

Kohima is the land of the Angami Naga tribe. The name, Kohima, was officially given by the British as they could not pronounce the Angami name Kewhima or Kewhira (Tenyidie for "the land where the flower Kewhi grows"). It is called after the wild flowering plant Kewhi, found in the mountains. Earlier, Kohima was also known as Thigoma. Kohima is located south of Kohima District ()[1] and has an average elevation of 1261 metres (4137 feet).[2] The town of Kohima is located on the top of a high ridge and the town serpentines along the top of the mountain ranges as is typical of most Naga settlements.


  • History 1
  • Demographics 2
  • Geography and climate 3
  • Hornbill Festival 4
  • Transport 5
  • Media and communications 6
  • Localities 7
  • Gallery 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


The British incursions into the Naga territory, beginning in the 1840s, met with stiff resistance from the independence-loving Nagas, who had never been conquered by any empire before. The stiffness of the resistance can be gauged by the fact that it took nearly four decades for the British to conquer a territory that is less than 10,000 square kilometres (the eastern region was left free). Kohima was the first seat of modern administration as the Headquarters of Naga Hills District (then under Assam) with the appointment of G.H. Damant as Political Officer in 1879. When Nagaland became a full-fledged state on 1 December 1963, Kohima was christened as the state capital.

In 1944 during World War II the Battle of Kohima along with the simultaneous Battle of Imphal was the turning point in the Burma Campaign. For the first time in South-East Asia the Japanese lost the initiative to the Allies which they then retained until the end of the war. This hand-to-hand battle and slaughter prevented the Japanese from gaining a high base from which they might next roll across the extensive flatlands of India like a juggernaut.[3]

Kohima has a large cemetery known as the War Cemetery in Kohima for the Allied war dead maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The cemetery lies on the slopes of Garrison Hill, in what was once the Deputy Commissioner's tennis court which was the scene of intense fighting, the Battle of the Tennis Court. The epitaph carved on the memorial of the 2nd British Division in the cemetery

has become world-famous as the Kohima poem. The verse is attributed to John Maxwell Edmonds (1875–1958), and is thought to have been inspired by the epitaph written by Simonides to honour the Greek who fell at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC.[4]


As of 2001 India census,[5] Kohima had a population of 78,584. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Kohima has an average literacy rate of 75%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 79%, and female literacy is 70%. In Kohima, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.

The town's population is composed of the 16 tribes of Nagaland. The population of the Angamis and Aos are the largest in present day Kohima urban area.

Greater Kohima which includes Kohima Village, Jakhama and Jotsoma along with Kohima town is the second largest urban area of Nagaland after Dimapur-Chumukedima. It has a population of about 100,000. 'Kohima Village' called 'Bara Basti' or 'large village',which is the second largest village in Asia forms the northeastern part of Kohima urban area today. The Bara Basti is divided into khels or localities. There are four of them, namely - Tsütuonuomia, Lhisemia, Dapfütsumia and Pfüchatsumia. They are termed shortly as T, L, D, and P Khel respectively.

Geography and climate

Kohima lies north of the Japfü Barail intersection. Due to its elevation, Kohima features a more moderate version of a humid subtropical climate (Cwa). Kohima has cool winters and hot very rainy summers. The coldest months are from December to February, when frost occurs and in the higher altitudes snowfall occurs occasionally. During the height of summers, from June–August, temperature ranges an average of 80–90 °F (27–32 °C). Heavy rainfall occurs during summer.

Climate data for Kohima
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 23.5
Average high °C (°F) 16.6
Average low °C (°F) 8.1
Record low °C (°F) 1.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 11.7
Average rainy days 2.0 3.9 5.8 12.2 16.9 23.1 24.6 22.9 19.1 10.7 3.6 1.4 146.2
Source #1: [6]
Source #2: India Meteorological Department (record low and high up to 2010)[7]

Hornbill Festival

The Hornbill Festival[8] was first initiated and proposed as Winter Carnival 2000 by BASN (Beauty and Aesthetics Society of Nagaland) before it was taken over by the Government of Nagaland who launched it in December 2000 as Hornbill Festival to encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote the cultural heritage of the state. Organized by the State Tourism and Art and Culture Departments, Hornbill Festival showcases cultural displays under one roof. The 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 traditions.[9]

The festival is named after the hornbill, which is mentioned in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes. People enjoy the colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies. Traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, and sculptures are on display. Festival highlights include Naga Morungs exhibition and sale of arts and crafts, food stalls, herbal medicine stalls, flower shows and sales, cultural medley - songs and dances, fashion shows, beauty contest, archery, Naga wrestling, indigenous games and musical concerts. Additional attractions include Konyak fire eating demonstration, pork fat eating competitions, literature fest, Hornbill Global Film Fest, Hornbill Ball, Choral Panorama, North East India Drum Ensemble, Naga King Chilly eating competition, Hornbill National Rock Contest,[10] Hornbill International Motor Rally and WW-II Vintage Car Rally.[11][12]


The nearest airport is Dimapur Airport at Dimapur near the Assam border about 74 kilometres (46 miles) away. Kohima is connected by road with National Highways 2 and 29 passing through the city. Kohima is not connected with the rail network. The nearest railway station is at Dimapur. An extension of the railway line from Dimapur to Kohima was proposed and surveyed in 2009.[13] Due to a dispute over land acquisition the track was resurveyed and an alternative alignment was proposed in 2013. Work on the finalised alignment is likely.[14]

Media and communications

State-owned All India Radio has a local station in Kohima, which transmits various programs of mass interest.


Colonies in Kohima (officially recognised as well as non-recognised)


Kohima State Museum 
Welcome to Kohima Village 
Kacharigoan Heritage Village, Kohima 
Kohima City 
War Cemetery with Kohima City in background 
Entrance to War Cemetery 
Tomb of an unknown soldier 
A lady in Kohima Market 

See also


  1. ^ "Maps, Weather, and Airports for Kohima, India". Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Kohima Home NIC". Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Bert Sim, Mosstodloch, Aberdeenshire, Scotland: Pipe Major of the Gordon Highlanders at Kohima: his home is named "Kohima." -- RJWilliams, Slingerlands, NY/USA
  4. ^ "Epitaph". Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  6. ^ "World Weather Information Service–Kohima".  
  7. ^ "Ever recorded Maximum and minimum temperatures upto 2010" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Hornbill Festival 2015 -". Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  9. ^ Hornbill Festival
  10. ^ Hornbill National Rock Contest official website
  11. ^ 2 crore 7-day Hornbill Festival to enthrall retrieved 3-12-2011
  12. ^ Hornbill International Motor Rally starts retrieved 3-12-2011
  13. ^
  14. ^ "The Sentinel". Retrieved 10 June 2015. 

External links

  • Kohima travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Official website
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