Indiatrail showed us Nagaland from the inside – we ate snails, bamboo worms and silkworms; took a walk through a local village and watched an old grandfather weave a cane basket before us; spent a few happy hours sitting in the warm winter sun watching the Naga tribes show off their colourful stripes (and Hornbill feathers) as they danced and paraded and put on funny little skits that had us laughing our guts out; bought an Angami shawl that begs to be framed and light up my home with its jewel red and midnight blacks ( even as we learnt that the Angamis would not be amused if we were to fool around with their heritage and God forbid did something silly like use the shawl for any other purpose than being a shawl) – and so we came and we saw and we drank and we ate and (almost) danced. And we will be back, IndiaTrail. That’s a promise.
Highlights of the trip
The Hornbill festival undoubtedly. It was exotic but in a natural untouched sort of way; thankfully this festival is not as commercialized as so many other festivals across India are – I had honestly expected a little bit of a ‘mela’ but was happy to discover that it was a laid back fun and colourful experience that still remained authentic (the local crowds of simple Naga folk helped). The other must-do – but not necessarily again – was the Naga spread that was served to us in a Naga home one night. Didn’t eat much – but will never forget it And loved the way it was laid out. One small suggestion here would be to include a basic dal and maybe a simple vegetable dish for the less adventurous ones (in the main course).
— Zainab Sulaiman, Bangalore