There are places you travel, see and talk about to the world for a while but only few remains embedded in your heart pumping along your blood till time forbidden. Those places that you unfold your thoughts in when you grow weak in knees and travel infinite times in imagination to escape mundane. Longkhum Village in the serenity of Nagaland – such was the aura of the place and not to mention the warm gesture of natives was of cardinal importance.
About Longkhum Village
Long means “Stone” in Ao dialect, the village is dominated by Ao Tribe of Nagaland and are some of the most generous people on the planet. It is located 17 to 20kms from Mokokchung City in the district of Mokokchung, Nagaland, India and is well connected through heart stealing beautiful roads covered on both sides by lush green forests. There are certain stories about the Longkhum Village and the natives belonging to Ao Tribe believe it is the place where spirits of the dead family members rest before walking up to heaven. The people also believe eagles to be manifestations of spirits due to their nests present for centuries in Mongzu Ki. A rock also has an foot imprint believed to be of Romeo and Juliet belonging to Ao Tribe.
How to Reach Longkhum Village
It is around 17km to 20 kms from Mokokchung and there are various ways by which one can reach Mokokchung. I work in Dimapur and since it was where I started my weekend journey from.
The road between Dimapur and Mokokchung is well connected by roads and you can choose either bus or Tata Sumo. I suggest Tata Sumo because the journey time is less but do book your tickets from the Tata Sumo counter in Dimapur a day prior to the journey. The taxi moves at 6 am from the taxi stand every morning and tickets are available for Rs 450/- per person.
The road between Mokokchung to Longkhum is connected via Alichen and is mesmerising. Covered on both side with rain forests and fog kissing your journey, sound of waterfalls and crickets and the clouds on faraway hills, nothing can be more tempting then this. You can hire a taxi from police point till Longkhum (I am not aware of the price as my father stays in Mokokchung and I coaxed him into driving me there!!!!)
It is better to book your accommodation in Mokokchung as it will more convenient for other means. I am not sure about the accommodation part but guess there is a guest house located in Longkhum. Plan your travel and pre-book if you decide to spend a night in Longkhum. I obviously had nothing to worry about accommodation as I stayed with my father back in Mokokchung.
The road and the whole journey from Mokokchung to Longkhum Village was idyllic in every sense and this is what made me realise I am definitely heading somewhere beautiful. Reaching there was a feeling of landing in a hidden paradise with roads cleaner than anything ever seen, for a moment I felt is there an invisible broom sweeping the roads for us. It was a deserted scene the moment we reached there but on walking and snooping around an old man helped us with places we can visit.
Floating Clouds – The first stoppage was near a statue and it was sort of view point. What I saw from there made me spellbound and it was a rare encounter with nature. I was standing way above the clouds with the hills peeping through the clouds and gazing from below. The blue sky painted and the partially hidden hill amidst the cottony clouds was like a dream, my new found alacrity of exploring the serene village exploded.
Little Guides – There were cabal of little girls playing around, they were reluctant and shy but as I spread my chicanery charm they gave up on their introvert. They unbelievably toured me around, took me to some of the most beautiful places and I must say they were the best tour guides one can ever find. (All little ones were between 9 to 13 years, I got some little friends now!!!)
Rice storage and stories – Along with the group of seven invincible guides, we reached the entrance of stone route that was marked by a Naga style concrete structure. It has rice storage wooden houses on either side. The girls babbled in their native language about some traditional stories but I could not pretty much understand it due to language difference.
Stone Trail – The stone trail is any trekker’s paradise, not a difficult one at all but extremely pretty and with wanderlust taste. The jungles and trees on either side along with scantily scattered cactus plants the beautifully carved stone trail was an impeccable visual treat and evidence of nature’s bounty. There were stone crosses in between and is believed to be someone’s burial. The little ladies also showed the foot imprint believed to be of Romeo and Juliet in Ao Tribe.
Cave, Bridge and Water-Source – The trail continued and took us to a cave and then to a bridge made of plant roots intertwined among each other. It was extremely insane and terrific to watch such natural existence. The stony roads diverged and I was guided to a small water-source. It was a trail of around 200 to 300 mtrs, the hill was surrounded by confluence of hills and farms and a spot to rest beside the narrow was made of bamboos. I sat there and gazed at the clouds and faraway hills for a while before walking up to the water source. The water-source under a small hill excavation is considered to be holy and beneficial to health. The little girls made me drink lot of water in their bamboo carved utensil.
I chatted with the little ladies who accompanied me to the water source and guided me across for a while before descending down. The warmth of the people, the cherubic smiles of the girls, the unmatched beauty of the place and simplicity of life is what I will remember and miss till I go back to where I left a piece of me. It is a place which you never leave as whole because a part of you has already found home in the beautiful forest and stone trails.
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