Dimapur – Gateway to Tribal Lands of Nagaland

Dimapur in Dimasa language is amalgamation of 'Di’for ‘water’, ‘ma’for ‘large’ and ‘pur’for ‘city’, meaning ‘Big-river-city’.The largest and only city in Nagaland, that doesn’t require anyone to seek Inner Line Permit (ILP). For rest of Nagaland including capital Kohima, ILP is must. Tourist visiting areas outside Dimapur must get ILPs from Deputy Commissioners Office in Dimapur/Kohima/Mokokchung; Deputy Resident Commissioners Office, Nagaland House in New Delhi/Kolkata; Assistant Resident Commissioners Office, Guwahati/Shillong. Well connected by road, rail and air with all major towns in the region, Dimapur built on banks of Dhansiri river in ‘Kachari’language is also called ‘people of the river valley’.

Erstwhile capital of once powerful Dimasa Kachari Kingdom; the town’s centerhas an old relic commemorating its once glorious era. A gateway to rest of Nagaland including Kohima,it was described as ‘Brick City’ by European and Assamese scholars.A legend goes that the city got its name as corruption of Hidimbapur, city of Hidimba, demon turned women of Mahabharat whomarried Bhima;which resulted in birth of Ghatotkacha, considered the forefather of Kachari people. According to‘History of Assam’ a book by Sir Edmund Gait, the fortress surrounding Dimapur was first of its kind in theregion, and was adorned with murals, statues of their rulers and intricate monolithsthatindicatevictory over other tribes.

The cityon Assam border was once home to overfifty large water tanks meant to provide water supply to people.However, now only a few like Bamunpukhuri, Padampukhuri, Rajpukhuri, and Jorpukhuri exist,whileothers have either dried up or encroached upon. The city was base for British Indian Forces during World War II fighting to repulse attack on Kohima by Imperial Japan Forces and Indian National Army. The rail link and airport at Dimapur proved crucial for defeatingJapanese forces; eventually pushing them back into Burma, a turning point in war.

The fastest growing town in North East India; Dimapur is also called ‘Mini India’ and centre for industrial growth in Nagaland. Atrading town,it meets requirementof entire Nagaland and Manipur.While Naga tribes like Angami, Sumi, Lotha, Chakhesang, Rengma Pochury, Zeliang, Sangtam, and Ao populatethe district; city populationincludesMarwari Jain, Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Bihari, Tamil, Malayaliand even Nepalese, Tibetan traders. Jainsknown for their philanthropic workbuilt the famous SD Jain School, SD Jain Charitable Hospital. They also built important tourist attractions like Jain Templeknown for its intricate glass work and Durga Mandir in Old Market area.

Tourist can visit Kachari Rajbari or palaceruins, a national heritage site;temples, water tanks and other ruins of Dimasa Kachari Kingdom nearby besides the Kali Temple. For tourist best time to visit Dimapur is from October to June. North East Zonal Cultural Center is hub of cultural activities here. Tourist without ILPscan visit Aqua Mellow Park, Zoological Garden, Stone Park, Hazi Park, Nagaland Science Center, and Shiv Mandir. New town or Nuton Bosti is the main commercial hub with many shopping centres and markets like Hong Kong Market, New Market, Central Plaza, Super Market, and Circular Market. Tourist interested in imported goods can shop at Hong Kong Market. Sethi Market Complex and Jasokie Market are also worth visiting. There are many 2-star, 3-star and 4-star hotels and low-cost lodges in the city.

Tourists interested in nature with ILPscan visit Agri Expo Site, Patkai Triple Falls, Ntangki National Park, Rangapahar Forest, Green Park Horticulture Farm, Niuland subdivision forests and waterfalls, Medziphematown; tribal villages like Chumoukedima, Nichuguard, Kuki Dalong, Sethekima and others. Tourist interested in shopping can visit tribal village markets of Chekiye and Ruzaphema to buy beautiful handicrafts and Diezephe Village Handloom and Handicraft Museum and Workshop for Naga shawls.Tourist interested in boating can enjoy boat rides in lakes beside Noune resort in Niuland and Niathu resort in Dimapur.Tourists can also visit Rangapahar Wildlife Sanctuary to see endangered birds and animals, and Singrijan Shiva Temple.Numerous eateries allow food lovers to enjoy veg/non-vegtribal food like boiled vegetables, cooked meat, and chutneys alongside North Indian, Assamese, and Bengali cuisine. Tourist can organize trips to rest of Nagaland from Dimapur.

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