Nagaland is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including exotic species of orchids, rhododendrons, and rare animals like the hoolock gibbon and the Blyth's tragopan.
One of the most prominent natural attractions in Nagaland is the Dzukou Valley, a picturesque location famous for its rolling hills, lush greenery, and colorful flowers. Japfu Peak is another popular destination, known for its stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Nagaland is also home to several lakes and waterfalls, including the Shilloi Lake, Dzukou Valley Stream, and Naga Falls, which add to the state's natural charm.
Moreover, the rich cultural heritage of Nagaland, with its vibrant festivals and traditional practices, adds to the state's allure. The Hornbill Festival, held annually in Kohima, showcases the unique cultural identity of Nagaland and attracts visitors from all over the world. Overall, Nagaland's natural beauty, combined with its vibrant culture and traditions, make it a must-visit destination for any nature enthusiast. In this article, we will be focusing on the wildlife of Nagaland. Here are the 5 most famous national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Nagaland.
Ntangki National Park, located in Nagaland, boasts an extensive variety of flora and fauna, making it one of the best national parks in the region. Exclusive plant species can be found here, and the park's topography is ideal for hiking and trekking. Spanning 202.02 km2, the park was established in 1993 and is home to numerous unique animal species, such as the Hoolock gibbon, Black stork, and Golden langur. The park's lush, semi-tropical trees create a verdant atmosphere, and camping and adventure activities can be enjoyed in the cliffs, mountains, and valleys within the park's boundaries. The park has a rich history, with its creation initiated by J.H. Hutton in 1920, and was named the Ntangki Wildlife Sanctuary in 1975. The park is reserved exclusively for the conservation of biodiversity and wildlife, and measures have been taken to prevent hunting and poaching. The park is open to visitors between November and February.
The Kohima wildlife sanctuary, a renowned reserve covering 9 sq. km, is located in Nagaland and features two prominent landmarks, the Japfu Peak and Dzukou valley, which are classified as Important Bird Areas. Many rare bird species, such as the Blyth's Tragopan and Dark Rumped Swift, can be spotted here. The Tragopan Sanctuary and Khonoma Nature Conservation, both located close to the Dzukou Valley, are additional significant features of this area. These four areas, which together make up a sizable conservation area of 20,000 hectares, are essential for maintaining the avifauna in southern Nagaland. The sanctuary gets its name from a folktale about a farmer by the name of Pulie who fought a serpent to protect his crops. The legend also says that after being swallowed, he was transformed into a spirit. The farmer's family could hear only his voice, which continued to drift away, and they placed a chair in the field where Pulie had fought, now known as Pulie-Badze. The best time to visit the sanctuary is during the dry seasons when leeches are less common. Locals advise using salt to keep leeches away, and hikers wear salt-covered boots as an additional precaution.
Located near the Myanmar border in Nagaland, this wildlife sanctuary stands out from the others in the state due to its unique variety of flora and fauna and breathtaking scenery. With an area of 642 hectares, the sanctuary is blessed with heavy rainfall, which results in dense vegetation. The terrain is characterized by hills, deep gorges, narrow valleys, and ridges, which make the vegetation vary in different parts of the sanctuary. The district has a tropical and subtropical climate and features several types of trees, such as Bonsum, Amari, Bogipoma, Khasi Pine, Gamari, Hollock, Oaks, Nahor, Uriam, Kachnar, Alder, and Sasi. The sanctuary also boasts dozens of species of ferns, orchids, and Rhododendrons, which bloom from March to April. The bamboos found here are exceptional and abundant, while trees such as Tejpata and Dalchini can be found scattered throughout the sanctuary. The best time to visit this sanctuary is between November and February when the weather is pleasant.
Rangapahar Reserve Forest is a well-known tourist destination in Dimapur due to its unique vegetation with medicinal value and abundant wildlife. The forest is also a favorite spot for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts as it offers a variety of bird species. Medicinal plants in the sanctuary are preserved and used to make medicine for different illnesses. This 49.4-acre sanctuary is home to animals like bears, deer, wild goats, chitals, and several endangered species found only in this area. Rangapahar Reserve Forest is also conveniently located near other popular tourist attractions in Dimapur, such as the Triple Falls, Dzukou Valley, Japfu Peak, Veda Peak, and Mokokchung village. Travelers can visit Rangapahar Reserve Forest all year round, as the temperature is pleasant. However, it is best to avoid traveling during the monsoons.
In 1989, the Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary was established after the village council of Khonoma decided to protect the forest of the Khonoma watershed. This led to the creation of an independent trust that made Khonoma the first green village in India and a top tourist spot in Nagaland. The sanctuary is situated in a well-preserved subtropical broadleaf forest that is part of the Dzukou valley. The valley is formed by the Dzukou River, a tributary of the Barak River. The sanctuary is home to various bird species such as Blyth's Tragopan, Spot-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Striped Laughingthrush, and Rusty-capped Fulvetta, along with animals such as Ferret Badger, Marbled Cat, and Back-striped Weasel. Khonoma is located just 20 km from the state capital Kohima and is accessible by various modes of transportation. The best time to visit the sanctuary is any time of the year except during the monsoon season, which can be unpleasant and harmful due to the breeding of insects.