Pleasure Pockets: 5 must-see places on your trip to Kohima

If the five little known facts about Kohima got you curious about the city, here’s something more for you. Here are five places to visit while in Kohima, though I wouldn’t recommend planning for a just-Kohima-trip:

  1. Kohima War Cemetery: Located at the heart of Kohima, on a well managed hill is the Kohima War Cemetery. Maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the grave of 1,420 allied war heroes from ‘The Battle of Kohima’ lies here, and is the main tourist attraction in the city. A war tank from the war is also preserved and kept at Officers Hill, a few hundred metres west of the Cemetery.
  2. Mary Help of Christians Cathedral: The Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in the region, and is home to the biggest wooden cross in the country. The construction of the cathedral was initially funded by the families of the fallen Japanese soldiers, in memory of the soldiers who died in ‘The Battle of Kohima’. It is situated at Aradura Hills, also offering a breathtaking view of Kohima.
  3. Kohima Village: The village prides itself as the second largest village in Asia, and is located adjacent to the city on the North Eastern part of the city. Should you wish for a rural experience but don’t have the time to travel deeper into Nagaland, this is the indubitable choice. The village gates, traditional Morungs are its unique features, among many others.

    Street Art
    ©Balie Photography
  4. Kisama: Hornbill Festival (the biggest festival of the Nagas) is held here, and is often termed as the ‘Hornbill Festival Village’. Located about 10kms away, on the Southern part of the city, one can find traditional housing structures (Morungs) of various tribes. It also provides a quiet and a lovely potluck picnic spot, where one can indulge in, and enjoy the indigenous architecture of the indigenous Nagas, any time of the year.
  5. Trekking: There lies a number of hotspots around Kohima for nature lovers, where one can enjoy a pleasant nature walk. Pulie Badze, Japfu Peak, Dzukou Valley, to name a few.

Unless you really love mud and rain, the best me to visit the city is from October to May. Monsoon disturbs smooth travels during June-September. So, pack your bags and begin making plans, will ya?

Author profile: Nokho Nyekha is a coffee addict, a nature lover and independent researcher of indigenous traditions.

Un(t)raveling Goa: As a single woman traveller Vs traveller with family

I always thought of Goa as a rather limited travel destination, a place dedicated to beaches and parties. My memories of Goa as a child were all about sand and awkward limbs; as an adolescent travelling with friends for the first time, I remembered that it was a bad idea to wear bikinis on the beaches crowded with Indian men. I was curious about what I would find in Goa this time, travelling as a 20 year old. I would be travelling with my family, whom I don’t travel with as much as I used to, of course, and that would radically alter my experience of public space and safety. Despite that, would I be able to see what Goa does with its public spaces? And would I be able to find a different Goa from the one I saw in the advertisements?

Travelling with family again after one starts living away from home and making a life of one’s own is a strange experience. All of the things I would be worrying about if I were alone or with friends just get radically removed from the picture, and I’m struck with a series of observations: I am watching this scene from two sets of eyes, one alone and worried, and one with my family, relaxed and unafraid. There is something about the adult presence that still makes me feel comfortable and protected, even if it has no backing in reality. Something about me is still decidedly childlike, is naive, is hopeful. Because of all of these things, I often wasn’t focusing on the aspects of a city I usually would be: my family could rent a small car so we could travel all over Goa while sipping beers and laughing, and no Indian man on a beach could dare look at me astray if my father appeared in the background.

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We dedicated ourselves to a list of recommendations my mother had collected from friends, and religiously ticked restaurants off it. Because of the same car though, I saw a very different side of Goa this time. Either I had forgotten, or I had never before seen all the stretches of lush green that Goa contains, all the quaint villages and winding roads. My mother joked that once she was older she would buy herself a small cottage in the village of Arpora, and we examined all the ramshackle villas with keen eyes. Deep inside Mapusa, we meandered through surreal streets and eventually found The Other India Bookstore, that my father had been going on and on about, hidden deep on the first floor of the Mapusa Clinic, behind a single-room store for fixing broken sewing machines. In this tiny place, my father assured me, we would find books that we wouldn’t find anywhere else. And we did! Books on organic farming, on neo-capitalist hegemony, on indigenous medicine, on alternate schooling and architecture, on feminism, on politics; mostly written by obscure authors and kept up on the shelf like precious gems. I was exhilarated. In my last hour in Goa, not only had I discovered another Goa, but I had also discovered a whole Other India!

Later, I remembered what my mom had said when we reached one of the beaches: Goa works at its own time. In Goa, nobody cares what you’re wearing or not wearing or almost wearing. Goa has its own concerns! Everywhere we looked, people were covered in sand and dressed in ways that would have been stared at or looked down upon anywhere else; but because this was Goa, everything was acceptable. How lovely, I thought to myself. This is why everybody always wants to come back to Goa: the kind of inclusivity that a beach-city full of foreigners offers in the rigid structures of India is intoxicating. Although I’m glad this visit didn’t yield a singular vision of Goa to me: I found multiplicities and good literature, which is always a bonus.

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About the Author: 

Purvai Aranya is a 20 year old undergraduate at Ashoka University. She is studying English and Philosophy. When she isn’t writing or drawing on any available surface, you will find her worrying or talking to the moon. She wants to continue reading, exploring and learning as she grows older, She has recenty fallen in love with cities, and wants to fight fiercely to make space for herself in the world. She puts up poetry, pictures, and paraphernalia at http://purvaiaranya.blogspot.in/

Updated: Helplines and support for people in #Bangalore #makeyourcityinclusive

With all that is going on between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, life has been affected in Bangalore. Earlier yesterday, Section 144 was declared in the city. Transport has been affected. Shops have shut down. Life has come to a standstill in several parts of the city.

If you are in Bangalore and stuck some place or know of people who need help, then here’s a list of places that you can find help and also check before you venture outdoors:

Travel & traffic update

  • Bangalore City Police Facebook page at 12.56pm 13/9/2016:

BengaluruCityPolice,
Situation absolutely peaceful in city.bmtc,autos,cabs startd plying.BCP,BTP,RAF on high alert.144 still in force.No fresh protest/rd block

Map of affected areas:

You can find details of the affected areas and safe areas before venturing out on this map.

 Helplines:

This data will not be publicly available keeping in mind the safety of these open establishments. However, Ashwath Nair and Jayanth Sridhar can be contacted on Facebook with request for details.

  • You can also whatsapp the phone numbers +917411557555 and +91959176674 if you need any help with transport, stay and help with getting picked up and dropped home.

Update: 2PM, 13/9/2016

  • Bangalore City Police:

Public are requested 2 use Karnataka Police Help Line 18004250100 or 155365 for any emergency/assistance/help

Update: 2:50PM 13/9/16

  • Bangalore City Police:

#CauveryProtests :Reach us on twitter @BlrCityPolice @blrcitytraffic @CPBlr ,FB https://www.facebook.com/blrcitypolice/ & whatsAPP 9480801000 for any info!

Update: 3:41PM 13/9/16

Please contact @BLRAirport for any assistance related to Airport. Their WhatsApp number is +918884998888

Update: 4:14PM 13/9/16

Contact Ashwin Murali on Twitter (@cruisemaniac)  or Facebook to get information about a list of shops selling milk, vegetables, medicines that are reported by others to be OPEN.

Update: 4:27PM 13/9/16

The map with information on shops is now open for public viewing so you can pick up provisions from your nearest spot.

The legend for the map is as follows:

Green – Verified 
Blue – User Generated Data
Red – Shut at the moment

The link to the map – https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1Jz9gy_tUml6kUSKkxDv4yS0cezY

If any of you still want to make a contribution, please fill out this simple form: https://goo.gl/forms/ezegQesIciDAYbeu2

Update: 4:33PM 13/9/16

Please call 080-22942503 to check if the area you are travelling to is safe or has curfew!.

Update: 5:46PM 13/9/16

According to @BlrCityPolice:

: CrPC Is Imposed In Bengaluru City From 12-09-2016 to 14-09-2016. Strict action shall b initiated agnst miscreants

Update: 5:55PM 13/9/16

If anyone is in need of an ambulance and is finding it hard to get one, you can call on +919986618553 to get help.

Update: 6:02PM 13/9/16

Here’s a free helpline for parents looking to consult a Paediatrician for their child – 080-330-85805. Call this number and they will connect you to a doctor.

Update: 7:09PM 13/9/16

For flight status update, DM @BLRAirport using <flight name> or get updated using their app ‘BLR Airport’ available on Android / iOS

Update: 7:17PM 13/9/16

@BLRAirport says minimal bus services to & from the airport are operating currently. Route 10 to Satellite town continues to stay off road. Travel safe.

Update: 8:46PM 13/9/16

curfew-list-blore

Announced by @BlrCityPolice

Update: 9:09PM 13/9/16

Send photos/videos regarding destruction of public/private property by miscreants to

We’ll keep updating this space. Also request you to let us know through message on Hidden Pockets Facebook page about other updates that you think would help people in Bangalore. We are all in this together! #makeyourcityinclusive