Largest city :
120/km² (311/sq mi)
Nagaland is a hill state located 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, Myanmar to the east and Manipur to the south. The state capital is Kohima, and the largest city is Dimapur. It has an area of 16,579 km2 with a population of 1,980,602 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 with a height of 3,840 metres and its range forms a natural barrier between Nagaland and Burma.
Nagaland was established on 1 December 1963 to be the 16th state of the Indian Union. It is divided into eleven districts: Kohima, Wokha, Mokokchung, Tuensga, Zunhebto, Dimapu, Mon, Peren, Kiphire and Longleng. Its native inhabitants are the Naga tribes Agriculture is the most important economic activity and the principal crops include rice, corn, millets,oilseeds, pulses, potatoes, sugarcane, tobacco and fibres. Nagaland is also known as the "falcon capital of the world".
The earliest references to Nagaland are found in the Indian epic Mahabharata. Several characters from the region, such as Princess Ulupi and Prince Iravan, were referred to as Naga people in the epic.
The Nagas were originally referred to as Naka
in Burmese language. The Naga tribes had socio-economic and political links with tribes in Assam and Burma (Myanmar); even today a large population of Naga's inhabit in Assam and the hill districts of Manipur. Following an invasion in 1816, the area, along with Assam, came under direct rule of Burma. This period was noted for oppressive rule and turmoil in Assam and Naga Hills.
When the British East India Company took control of Assam in 1826, Britain steadily expanded its domain over all of the Naga Hills except Tuensang area by 1892. This geographical area was politically amalgamated into Assam. Missionaries played an important role in converting Nagaland's Naga tribes to Christianity.
Not much is known about the history of Naga's before the Burmese invasion or before the Naga people were converted to Christianity.
The early history of Nagaland is the customs, economic activities of the Naga tribes. The Naga tribes had socio-economic and political links with tribes in Assam and Myanmar - even today a large population of Naga inhabits Assam. Following an invasion in 1816, the area along with Assam came under direct rule of Myanmar. This period was noted for the oppressive rule and turmoil in Assam and Nagaland. When the British East India Company took control of Assam in 1826, they steadily expanded their domain over modern Nagaland. By 1892, all of modern Nagaland except the Tuensang area in the northeast was governed by the British. It was politically amalgamated into Assam, which in turn was for long periods a part of the province of Bengal. The Christian missionaries played an important part in transforming Nagaland. Many Naga tribes embraced Christianity, in particular the Baptist faith.
During World War I, the British recruited 900 Nagas and sent them to France to work as aides at the front. While in Europe, the Nagas, who had always been fractured by tribal differences, began to unify under the banner of nationalism. On their return to their homeland in 1918, they organized themselves in the light of oneness and political solution, and this eventually led to the formation of the Naga Nationalist Movement.
After the independence of India in 1947, the area remained a part of the province of Assam. Nationalist activities arose amongst Naga tribes, who demanded a political union of their ancestral and native groups. The Union government sent the Indian Army in 1955, to restore order. In 1957, the Government began diplomatic talks with representatives of Naga tribes, and the Naga Hills district of Assam and the Tuensang frontier were united in a single political entity that became a Union territory - directly administered by the Central government with a large degree of autonomy. This was not satisfactory to the tribes, however, and soon agitation and violence increased across the state - included attacks on Army and government institutions, as well as civil disobedience and non-payment of taxes. In July 1960, a further political accord was reached at the Naga People's Convention that Nagaland should become a constituent and self-governing state in the Indian union. Statehood was officially granted in 1963 and the first state-level democratic elections were held in 1964. Insurgencies were quelled in the early 1980s. Violence had re-erupted and there was conflict between rebel group factions till the late 1990s. On 25 July, 1997, the Prime Minister, Mr. I. K.Gujral announced that the Government after talks with Isaac-Muivah group of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) declared a cease-fire or cessation of operations with effect from 1st August, 1997 for a period of three months. The cease-fire has since been extended.
Battle of Kohima
In 1944, during Worrld War II the Battle of Kohima was the turning point of the Japanese U Go offfensive into India. 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. The battle was fought from 4 April to 22 June 1944 around the town of Kohima. It is often referred to as the Stalingrad of the East.
Culture and people
The tribes of Nagaland are Chang, Ao, Lothas, Angami, Konyak, Chakhesang, Pochury, Khiamniungan, Phom, Rengma, Sumi, Sangtam, Yimchungru, Zeliang of which the Angamis, Aos, Lothas and Sumis are the largest Naga tribes. Tribe and Clan traditions and loyalties play an important part in the life of Nagas.
Weaving is a traditional art handed down through generations in Nagaland. Each of the major tribes has its own unique designs and colors, producing shawls, shoulder bags, decorative spears, table mats, wood carvings and bamboo works. Tribal dances of the Nagas give an insight into the inborn reticence of the people. War dances and dances belonging to distinctive tribes are a major art form in Nagaland. Some of these are Moatsu, Sekrenyi, Tuluni and Tokhu Emong. More than 80% of the people live in rural areas. Nagas speak 60 different dialects belonging to the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. Nagamese, a variant language form of Assamese and local dialects is the most widely spoken market language. One interesting part is every tribe has their own mother tongue language and these tribes communicate with each other in Nagamese. As such Nagamese is not a mother tongue of any of the tribes and nor is it a written language. English, the official state language is widely spoken in official circles and is the medium for education in Nagaland. Hindi is also spoken by many individuals in the state.
Christianity is the predominant religion of Nagaland. The census of 2001 recorded the state's Christian population at 1,790,349 (90.02% of the state's population), making it one of the three Christian-majority states in India, and the only state where Christians form 90% of the population. The state has a very high church attendance rate in both urban and rural areas. The largest of Asia's churches dominate the skylines of Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung. Among Christians, Baptists are the predominant group constituting more than 75% of the state's population.
Nagaland is known as "The most populated Baptist state in the world". The state's population is 1.988 million, out of which 90.02% are Christians. 75% of the state's population profess the Baptist faith, thus making it more Baptist than Mississippi, where 52% of its population is Baptist.
Catholics, Revivalists, and Pentecostals are the other Christian denomination numbers. Catholics are found in significant numbers in parts of Wokha district as also in the urban areas of Kohima and Dimapur.
Hinduism and Islam are minority religions in state, at 7.7% and 1.8% of the population respectively. A small minority, less than 0.3%, still practise the traditional religions and are mainly concentrated in Peren and the Eastern districts.