KHONOMA THE LAND OUT THERE…

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This 700-year-old Naga vil­lage was the site of two fe­ro­cious An­glo-naga wars, one in 1879-80 and the Indo-naga war in 1956. Com­pletely hid­den be­tween the moun­tain ranges, Khonoma looks beau­ti­fully tra­di­tional, with emer­ald paddy patch­works of per­fectly ter­raced fields car­pet­ing val­ley floors be­tween tow­er­ing ridges. Khonoma, named af­ter a lo­cal plant, has 250 plant species, in­clud­ing over 70 for medic­i­nal pur­poses, 84 kinds of wild fruits, 116 kinds of wild veg­eta­bles, nine va­ri­eties of mush­rooms, and five kinds of nat­u­ral dyes from the sur­round­ing forests in the vil­lage. Lo­cal peo­ple have recorded about 204 species of trees, nearly 45 va­ri­eties of or­chids, 11 va­ri­eties of cane, and 19 va­ri­eties of bam­boo. Vil­lagers also record 25 types of snakes, six kinds of lizards, 11 kinds of am­phib­ians and 196 kinds of birds (of which English names for 87 have been iden­ti­fied, in­clud­ing the grey­billed or Blyth’s tragopan, a threat­ened bird. 72 kinds of wild an­i­mals have also been re­ported by the lo­cal peo­ple; how­ever English and sci­en­tific names for all have not been recorded yet. Th­ese in­clude tiger, leop­ard, serow, sloth bear, Asi­atic black bear and com­mon ot­ter. A vil­lage that

Photo credit: Aakash Mehro­tra

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