Explore Khonoma: India’s First Green Village

Khonoma
Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: arunjborah

Khonoma, located approximately 20 km to the west of the state capital, Kohima, in Nagaland, India, is renowned for its hillside terrace agriculture and conservation efforts for endangered species of plants and animals. It holds the distinction of being Asia’s green village. Khonoma is a model for sustainable living, with a focus on conservation, eco-tourism, and community development.

The landscape of the village is characterized by rolling hills, which vary from gradual inclines to steep, rough terrain. The hills are adorned with dense forests that boast an array of different types of vegetation and wildlife. The village is also home to the state bird, Blyth’s tragopan, a type of pheasant that is now considered nationally endangered.

Khonoma is a small village that has a population of approximately 2,000 people. Despite its small size, the village has managed to make a big impact on the world by implementing eco-friendly practices and promoting sustainable tourism. The village is well known for its stunning scenery, rich culture, and hospitality. Visitors to Khonoma can expect to experience a peaceful and rejuvenating getaway while learning about the village’s unique way of life.

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Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: unconventionalandvivid

Conserving the Environment and Culture

The people of Khonoma have a deep connection to their environment and a strong sense of community. They have successfully balanced modernization with the preservation of their traditional way of life and the surrounding natural environment. The village is surrounded by lush forests, where the residents have implemented a community-led conservation program to protect the flora and fauna. They have also been successful in preserving their culture through community-based tourism initiatives.

Eco-Friendly Practices of Khonoma

Khonoma is known for its eco-friendly practices, which have earned it the title of Asia’s greenest village. The village has a strong focus on conservation and sustainability, and its residents have implemented a number of initiatives to protect the environment. For example, the village has banned the use of plastic bags, and residents have been encouraged to use alternative materials such as bamboo and leaves instead. The village also has a strict policy on deforestation, and residents are encouraged to plant new trees to replace those that have been cut down.

Khonoma CC Mike Prince e1676140871819
Courtesy: Flickr CC | Creator: Mike Prince

Eco-tourism in Khonoma

Khonoma is quickly becoming a popular eco-tourism destination, attracting visitors from around the world. The village offers a unique opportunity to experience sustainable living and learn about conservation efforts. Visitors can take part in various activities, such as trekking in the nearby forests, learning about organic farming, and exploring the local culture and traditions. The community has also established homestays, providing visitors with an authentic and immersive experience.

Khonoma IG prapti malhotra
Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: prapti_malhotra

Culture and Traditions of Khonoma

In addition to its natural beauty and eco-friendly practices, Khonoma is also known for its rich culture and traditions. The village has a strong sense of community, and residents are proud of their heritage and way of life. Visitors to the village will have the opportunity to learn about the local customs, traditions, and history from the friendly and welcoming residents.

Exploring Khonoma, Asia’s Green Village

There are a number of ways to explore Khonoma, Asia’s green village. Whether you’re interested in nature, culture, or history, there’s something for everyone in this unique destination. Here are some of the top activities and attractions in the village:

  • Hiking and Trekking: The surrounding hills offer a number of challenging hikes and treks, providing a great way to experience the natural beauty of the village.
  • Bird-Watching: With its lush forests and serene atmosphere, Khonoma is a popular destination for bird-watching enthusiasts.
  • Cultural Tours: Learn about the local customs, traditions, and history on a cultural tour of the village.
  • Local Handicrafts: Browse the local handicrafts, including baskets, textiles, and jewelry, and learn about the traditional techniques used to make them.
Khonoma IG prantick minhaz
Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: prantick_minhaz

Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary

The Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary (KNCTS) is a protected area located in the Kohima District of Nagaland, India. Situated just 18 kilometers from the capital city of Kohima, the sanctuary spans approximately 25 square kilometers and includes adjacent villages such as Khonoma, Mezoma, and Dzüleke.

KNCTS is home to several endangered mammals, including the clouded leopard, Asiatic black bear, and hoolock gibbon, as well as over 300 bird species. The sanctuary was established in 1998 in response to the killing of 300 Blyth’s tragopans, a rare species of pheasant, during a hunting competition in the area. The village council took action by demarcating a 20 square kilometer area in which hunting was banned and creating the KNCTS.

This conservation reserve serves as an example of the efforts made by communities to protect their local environment and biodiversity. The creation of the KNCTS demonstrates the importance of sustainable development and conservation and serves as a model for other communities around the world.

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Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: tequila_moonlight_

The Future of Khonoma

Khonoma’s approach to development provides a blueprint for sustainable living that can be replicated in other communities around the world. The village is a testament to the fact that economic growth and environmental conservation can go hand in hand. The community’s efforts have not gone unnoticed, and they have received recognition and support from various organizations, including the United Nations Development Programme.

Conclusion:

Khonoma, Asia’s green village, is a shining example of sustainable living. The community’s efforts to conserve their environment and culture, while promoting sustainable livelihoods, serve as a model for the future. Visitors to this unique and eco-friendly destination will leave inspired and informed about the possibilities of sustainable development.

Best Time To Visit Khonoma

Khonoma village can be visited at any time of the year as it is surrounded by lush tropical rainforests, providing a comfortable climate throughout most of the year. However, it is important to note that the sun sets early in this region and the temperature may start to drop as early as 4 PM, depending on the season.

For the best experience, consider visiting the village between October and February, or even better, during December around the dates of the Hornbill Festival. Being largely a Christian population, Nagaland is in a festive mood during the December months, making it a perfect time to immerse in the local culture and traditions.

How to Reach Khonoma

Air: The closest airport is located in Dimapur and offers convenient flights to both Kolkata and Guwahati. To reach Kohima from Dimapur, you have the option to either book a taxi or hop on a state bus for a 74 km journey.

Rail: The nearest railway station is also in Dimapur and links to various cities in the North-East region and the rest of India. From Dimapur, it’s a straightforward journey to Kohima by either hiring a taxi or taking a bus.

Road: Kohima is easily accessible via the NH 39 highway, connecting it to different parts of the country. Once in Kohima, you can opt for a shared Tata Sumo or a taxi to reach the nearby Khonoma Village, just 20 km from the capital.

Indian travelers need to obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP) before entering the state.
(Details on how to obtain an ILP are discussed in one of our earlier articles)

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