We had actually stayed in Kohima when we first arrived in Nagaland, but due to trips elsewhere and Susanna getting sick we didn't actually see much so we went back on a day trip along with Magdalene, Elizabeth and her boyfriend Toka.
Kohima is the proud capital of Nagaland. While Dimapur down on the plains is the largest city and the most important commercial part, Kohima situated in hilly land is undoubtedly the cultural and political heart of Nagaland. It may look large on the picture above, but in fact less than 100,000 people live there. The imposing, white building on the hill top to the left is the brand new Police Headquarters.
Despite being a fairly small town Kohima has major trouble supplying it's inhabitant with basic amenities such as electricity and water, especially the latter. In fact the town has more or less given up on delivering tap water and most of Kohima's inhabitants must have water driven to their house by large road tankers. This explains that, whereas Kohima is a wonderfully charming city for the tourist, Dimapur holds a much larger appeal to the locals.
A very large, beautiful gate on the way to Kohima.
Kohima holds a very special place in world history. This is where the WWII Japanese advance into mainland Asia was finally halted by allied British-led troops. This is the British War Cemetary situated on the exact location of part the battle in 1944. It occupies a high ground with fine views to Kohima town surrounding it.
Much of the initial fighting in the Battle of Kohima was centred around the deputy commisioner's besieged Bungalow, where the war cemetery now is. A big cross has been erected on the spot where the most heavy fighting took place, but the outline of what was originally here has been preserved: A tennis court. Enlarge the picture if you don't see it.
The War Cemetery is an extraordinarily neat and well kept place, probably due to the fact that it is still under the direct financing and control of the British.
Above you see one of the countless tombstones. In these days of vilification of certain ethnicities and religions, a sober reminder that many Indians of all faiths fought and paid with their lives to defeat fascim. This particular soldier named Muhammad was 21 years old.
Elizabeth and her boyfriend Toka sharing a moment at the war cemetery.
This is the high profile Cathedral of Kohima. It was built after the war with considerable financial support from Japanese survivors of the battle of Kohima. It was meant to be a symbol of reconciliation and forgiveness.
WARNING: Once again I will show some pictures that might be unpleasant to sensitive people, especially those that feel strongly about animal rights. They are not as gory as last post's pictures so no asterisks around the warning this time.
Once again we visited a local market, and once again we saw some unusual stuff. On the banana leaves you see tomatoes, squash, scallions and then of course red worms in the plastic buckets and HUGE cream coloured worms next to them. Even better notice what is hanging on the wooden post in the right side of the picture. Yes, that's right: Rats, and living ones even.
Don't they look yummy?
Elsewhere in the market a bunch of large frogs have met with a destiny not any better. Still alive they are packed into plastic bags ready to be carried away. Not the best place for animal rights activists (or perhaps it is).
Elsewhere in town roosters fight for the safe corner in the cage to avoid being tonight's soup.