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Nagaland is all set to host the 22nd annual Hornbill Festival 2021. Hornbill Festival held in Nagaland Kisama heritage village from December 1 to 10. The festival was virtually organized last year because of the pandemic. Hornbill is one of the most colorful tribal entertaining events in the country.

Also, Read The Land Of Festivals -Nagaland

Hornbill Festival 2021

The festival has been showcasing the tribal culture and traditions of Nagaland for over two decades. The 22nd edition of the cultural extravaganza this year will include 17 different tribes from Nagaland and will feature music, dance, sports, food, martial arts, folk art, walkathon, mountain biking, CrossFit challenge, car rally, wrestling, and local handicrafts. Nagaland is the destination of colors, rituals, and equally festivals. The most prominent iconic festival is the Hornbill festival. The festival is named after the forest bird hornbill; which are a cultural icon of the Naga people and part of the folklore of the various tribes of the state. During the Hornbill Festival, various tribal in Nagaland held their own festivals which extremely portray their rich culture. Naga People’s lifestyle can be seen through this festival. The festival’s 2021 edition comprises around 700 separate events.

Also, Read A Trip With The Nagas

The Way

Dimapur is the only airport in Nagaland, with a direct flight to Kolkata. For those coming by air, this is the entry point. There are government buses and private taxis from Dimapur to Kohima. You can also get a shared taxi from Dimapur station to Kohima for around 400 INR. There are also several night buses from Guwahati and Shillong which reach Dimapur and Kohima in the morning.

Kisama Heritage village is 12 km from Kohima. Taxi fare will be 200 approx.

Please Note share taxi and Bus from Dimapur to Kohima last time is 3 pm

Also, Read 5 Reason To Visit Nagaland

Covid-19 Guidline

Carry a full-vaccination certificate. otherwise, you will have to undertake an RT-PCR test at the point of entry.
No testing for children below 12 years of age, if accompanied by a parent, guardian.
Carry a COVID negative test report (RT-PCR/TRUENAAT/CBNAAT), undertaken not more than 72 hours before the journey, in case not fully vaccinated. This applies to those aged between 12 to 18 years.

Also, read My Extended Naga Family In Nagaland

 

Permits For Nagaland

Apart from the COVID regulations, Indians need an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter Nagaland. Indian can get it simply Online.

Foreigners will need to register with the Foreigner’s Registration Office (FRO) of the district they visit or the nearest police station, within 24 hours of their arrival.

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We all know Durga Puja is one of the biggest festivals in Bengal and as well as in India. And not only in India but in all corners of the world. In long years the Puja has changed in many ways. But one thing remained unchanged. That is the pure bliss, the joy, the excitement that has never changed throughout the years. The style of Durga Puja in Calcutta during the British period was a little different. Even before the British rule, the Durga festival was celebrated in Calcutta even during the Muslim period. Earlier, Durga Puja was not so glamorous at that time, then Raja Krishnachandra of Nadia was the first to bring great splendor to this festival. And seeing his glorious Durga Puja festival, those who became rich during the time of the British government also started the same glorious worshiping of goddess Durga.

Also, Read KOLKATA IS AN EMOTION

Durga Puja Invitation In British Era

From the middle of the eighteenth century till the rule of the famous Act No. 10 of 1840, Durgoutsab was the best social festival in Calcutta irrespective of the class of the society. The joy of the natives in this festival is more than that of the company. From Esplanade to Enntali, from Latbahadur to normal clerk, no one could have dreamed of leaving Calcutta during Pujo. Most of the time they were almost ready to wait when Pujo’s invitations would come from different big houses.

Nemantanne ( Invitation) never made mistakes. During Durga Puja, Durga Puja tickets or invitation cards used to go to different houses. At that time generous advertisements were published for the common people on behalf of the big zamindars. Advertising was an invitation for everyone. Because Babura knew, even though the occasion was Durga, this festival was the festival of the company. In the beginning, just like the money given by the company, in the end, the only desire was to get the company’s favor.

British People Holiday During Durga Puja

In the late nineteenth century, British officers based in Calcutta started going out of Calcutta with their families during Durga Pujo. They went on vacations to various places in Shimla, Manali, Darjeeling. Following in the footsteps of the British, the Babu community in Calcutta at that time used to leave Calcutta. At that time, Durga Puja meant to them to travel outside Calcutta like the British. The Barwari Durga festival did not start in Calcutta at that time. Durga Puja used to perform only in the house of the big zamindar of Calcutta. Durga Puja was not performed in large numbers, as all the zamindars or big people in Calcutta used to travel outside Calcutta. At that time Pujo was not so glorious in Calcutta. But from that time onwards this touring tradition began. So far, the people of Kolkata have gone out of Kolkata for the Pujo holidays.

Also, Read Unique Story- Of 7 Indian Villages

Debt-Ridden Prisoners

Apart from various pleasures of dancing, singing, and drinking during the puja, the people of the Babu community in Kolkata used to free the prisoners who were in debt. In the old days, a class of prisoners could be released only if they repaid the loan. At that time some rich people used to repay their debts and release those prisoners. They used to release more English prisoners to please the British government. As a result, during the puja season or at the small causal court, a crowd of underage people would gather. They want to go to jail right now, before Pujo. Because there is the hope of liberation soon.

Also, Read 5 India’s Most Ancient City

50 Rupees Durga Puja

At that time British officials used to perform Durga Puja with their own money. One of the employees of the company used to do Durgotsab with his own money. He is John Chips, the famous manufacturer of Hunter’s Annals of Rural Bengal. The popular ‘Sree Chikbahadur’ of Birbhum. When Chips set foot in Calcutta as a writer for the company in 1782, he was only sixteen years old. Within a few years, it was heard that he had been appointed Auditor General of the company. In due course (1787) he was appointed the first commercial agent of the company in Birbhum. The company then traded in cotton, silk, lacquer, dyes, etc. Chips added to that, personal business. The company’s office was in Sonamukhi, and Chips’ home was in Surule, near Santiniketan. Shyamkishore, a descendant of Lord Singh of Raipur, was the dewan of chips.

He started Durga Puja in the words of his Dewan Shyamkishore to improve his business. Chips already knew about the british company’s official mood about Durgotsab. He organized the Durgo festival of the people with pomp and circumstance. And he used to believe that this Durga Pujo was the reason why his business flourished and every year Chips continued to perform Durga Pujo in his place. Mr. Chips used to spend only fifty rupees a year on this. Pujo costs only seventeen rupees. With the rest of the money, the people of the village used to get new clothes, and a full feast on the day of Mahasthami.

Also, Read The Land Of Festivals -Nagaland

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Coorg people or Kodavas are a well-known martial community in Karnataka. And they are the only community in India that can keep a gun without a license. Kodavas are a martial race and have been bearing arms for 300 years. They still worship weapons and consider them sacred. They obtained the license for firearms such as pistols, revolvers, and double-barrelled shotguns.

Cover picture source by Google Image

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Also Read Coorg -The Land Of The Kodavas

Why Guns Without License

So why do the Kodavas have special rights? Actually not just the Kodavas even original residents of Coorg who have jamma land (land granted by the king). So the people of Coorg (Kodavas, Coorg Gowdas, and other communities as well who have been granted land by the maharajas) have an exemption from certain sections of the arms act. So it was a simple system – take land for free and don’t pay property tax on it, but when the king needs you, come with your army to assist the king. They always had to be ready with weapons if ever there was a call from the king. For this, you were allowed to keep weapons and practice during peacetime. If you decided you don’t want to fight a war, you had to pay taxes on the land you Owned.

Kodavas Guns Tradition
Kodavas Guns Tradition (Google Image)

British Era Rule

The Kodavas have been exempted from the Indian Arms Act right from the time it was introduced by the British in 1834. The British made an exception for this tribe in appreciation of their valiant support to them in their fight against Tipu Sultan. Of the 3.8 lakh people living in Kodagu, almost every family possesses a gun, some even ten. The only regulation is that the Kodavas should obtain an exemption certificate from the Government, which gives them the right to possess any gun without a license.

Another story is that Kodavas allied themselves with the British against the mighty Muslim warrior Tippu Sultan. So they were allowed to own and carry arms. Which was strictly prohibited at that time in other parts of India. Indian Government has decided to continue a British-era rule of exempting the Kodavas of Coorg.

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Use Of Guns

There has been a very close relationship between the Kodavas and his gun. When there is a boy born in the family a single shot is fired in the air. During the funeral, gunshots are used as a mark of respect. During a house warming ceremony, the tradition is to carry a baby in a cradle, a lamp and the man of the house carries a gun. On completion of all the rituals, a gun is fired to mark the completion of the ceremony. Kodava mainly lives in a hilly area and their house is far away from each other’s house. They make gunshots in the sky when there is an emergency. And hearing that sound, other people ran towards the house for help.

Kalipodh Festival coorg
Kalipodh Festival (Google Image)

Kailpodh Festival

The word Kailpodh means a festival of Armory or weapons. “Kail” means armory/weapon and “Podh” means festivals.

They place their traditional weapons like guns, swords, knives, spears, bows, and arrows in the prayer room. They decorate the weapons with flowers and they pray to their God, asking for the well-being of their crops and to give them the strength to protect them from wild animals. This is the significance of Kailpodh. Getting everyone together is one of the main objectives of this festival.

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