Named after the great River Dhansiri running through it, Dimapur translates to ‘Great city by the river’, (di-river, ma-great or big, pur –city). It is Nagaland’s largest city with a history that goes back to the Middle Ages. Formerly the ancient capital of the Dimasa Kachari kings during the 10th–13th centuries, today it is a bustling trade and commercial centre that still displays several vestiges of its glorious past. From ancient fort ruins to unusual totemic memorials, temples, trenches, embankments and baths, Dimapur is a window to a rich heritage and culture. Being the only flat tract of land in an otherwise hilly region, it also has the only airport and railhead to the remote North-Eastern state, making it a gateway to Nagaland.
Best time to visit: October to June is the best time to explore Dimapur.
How to reach
By Air: Dimapur airport is the only airport that serves Nagaland. IndiGo operates daily, non-stop flights between Dimapur and Kolkata.
By Train: Dimapur railway station is also the only railway station in Nagaland, connected To Kolkata and Guwahati.
By Bus: Dimapur is connected with neighbouring states through various state transport buses on a regular basis.
Getting around: You can find cycle-rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, buses and taxis to travel within the city.
If you want to try traditional Naga cuisine or pork and beef, this is your place. Great for a quick bite, momos or snacks, its semi-open gazebo-like ambience with bamboo décor and nearby bamboo craft shop make it a big draw.
A decent restaurant and café best known for its pork and chicken sizzlers and satays, there’s also a range of tasty appetisers.
For a pleasant pan-Asian dining experience, try this sophisticated lounge. Get the hibachi (fried rice with dry beef cooked with bamboo shoot), mint and basil chicken or wild beef in brandy sauce.
One of the oldest institutions in the city, the place is famous for dishes like hakka pork and prawn wafers.
Hong Kong market: Dimapur’s sprawling Hong Kong Market is the local favourite for imported goods and branded apparel and accessories from Thailand, Korea and Myanmar at reasonable prices.
Diezephe Craft Village:If you like something more tribal and ethnic, visit Diezephe Craft Village, 13km from Dimapur to witness artisans working on bamboo, cane crafts and handloom weaving that have endured for centuries. This is the best place to pick traditional yet, atypical souvenirs. Several shops in the city and market areas have vibrant handicrafts, shawls and stoles, beautiful beadwork trinkets, decorative Naga spears, handwoven jackets and bags, besides eco-souvenirs made of wood, bamboo and cane.
With Nagaland’s Music Task Force (MTF), the State-initiative to promote and encourage music as a profession, you can catch regular gigs organised by the immensely talented local folk. To get under the skin of Dimapur’s music scene, peek into Upstairs, a small but lively performance space and club for great music, a cool crowd and good food. Everyone knows about it, but nobody wants to share this little secret. It’s easy to miss this hidden gem located unobtrusively in an apartment on Walford Road. Keep up with them on Facebook to keep abreast of the calendar of events as various music shows keep happening through the year that showcases incredible talent.
Aiers Enclave, Vikiye Colony A boutique guest house in the heart of Dimapur. Ms Aier runs it with 12 spacious rooms offering impeccable hospitality, luxurious comfort and service—a rarity in India’s remote corners.
Niathu Resort, Chumukedima Niathu, meaning ‘sunrise’ in the local Angami language, is a tranquil oasis, barely five minutes from the Dimapur airport. Set in a great location near the Chathe River away from the town centre, it offers all the trappings of luxe life. There are deluxe or premium rooms and exclusive alpine chalet-style suites to choose from. A spa, salon, gym, children’s park and pool, round out the offerings.
Noune Resort, Seithekema Part of the Niathu chain of hotels, the beautiful lake resort 10km from Dimapur sprawls over 500 acres against the backdrop of the Patkai mountain range. Settle down for a break with creature comforts and delightful views.
Hotel Tragopan, NST Colony For a no-frills budget stay with clean beds, washrooms and necessary conveniences in the heart of town this is ideal. With good access to shopping and sightseeing, a cosy in-house restaurant offers local dishes on request.
Nagaland Science Centre: For a hands-on scientific experience that may fascinate children, visit the Nagaland Science Centre. It comprises three galleries – fun science, our sense and children’s corner along with an inflatable dome called Tara mandal that let children peak deeper into the sky.
Green Park: The scenic Green Park run by the State Horticulture Department is a local haunt for boating and leisure.
Rangapahar reserve forest: Known for its wildlife, varied range of medicinal plants and variety of unique birds, Rangapahar reserve forest is among the famous tourist spots in the city.
Kohima: Nagaland’s capital city Kohima is one of the spectacular places in Northeast India. Known for its untouched beauty, this place is a nice short escape from Dimapur.
Wokha: Located in the southern part of Nagaland, the place is still unexplored from the outer world. Filled with an abundance of natural beauty Wokha, is inhabited by the largest tribes in Nagaland called Lothas.
Sivsagar: Previously known as Sibsagar, this historical town once was the capital of Ahom Kingdom. The presence of historical monuments and beautiful scenery makes it an ideal weekend gate away from Dimapur.
The top tourist attraction and one of the biggest annual bashes, The Hornbill Festival in the first week of December is a fantastic seven-day yearly cultural extravaganza of feasting, dancing, music and games that also features The Hornbill Rock Contest. It takes place near the outskirts of Kohima at the Naga Heritage Village of Kisama, 86km from Dimapur.