Tourists flock to Nagaland’s unique Longwa village shared by Bharat and Myanmar
It may read straight from the pages of Ripley’s Believe it Or not, but it’s true – a remote village in the northeastern part of Nagaland falls on both Bharat and Myanmar. Welcome to the village of Longwa whose inhabitants enjoy not one but the dual nationality of Bharat and Myanmar.
Located in the Mon district of the state, the house of Angh, as the hereditary chief of this largest village in the district is called, is worth a visit as the international border of the two countries runs through its kitchen. You eat in one country and sleep in another!
What is interesting is that unlike other borders where movement is strictly controlled, the inhabitants of this village are allowed to move freely in both countries.
There are two rivers flowing from the Bharatiya side, Tegi and Tapi, while two are found in Myanmar, Tejak and Shumnyu.
Angh village is one of the seven in the district and controls many other villages, some of which are obviously in Bharat and some in the neighboring country. What makes this place truly unique is the fact that residents across the border share customs and traditions and have strong cultural ties.
In all, there are 500 families and 7,000 inhabitants in this village.
The Last of the Headhunters
The people of the region belong to the Konyak Naga tribe, who are heavily tattooed and sport majestic sports headgear and traditional war attire. They are known for their excellent woodcarving, blacksmithing and craftsmanship.
Significantly, they enjoy the singular distinction of being the last of Bharat’s headhunters.
This practice was common and important to the tribe and when battles were fought with rival groups and tribes, the victor returned with the heads of the enemies as a symbol of prosperity, strength and power.
This custom ended in the 1960s. People still have brass skull necklaces in their homes which symbolize that they had taken these heads during battle.
The village boasts of several scenic spots to visit. These include the Doyang River, Nagaland Science Center, Hong Kong Market, Shilloi Lake, International Border Pillar, and many other tourist attractions.
Longwa is 42 kilometers from Mon town and can be reached by plane, bus or train. Assam’s Jorhat is the nearest airport from where one heads to Sonari/Simulguri, and catches a bus to Mon district.
By train, you have to reach Bhoju station and head towards Sonari to take a bus.
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