When it comes to the Northeast, there is much more to the region than what meets the eye. Known for its scenic beauty, exotic food and varied cultures, here are some facts about the region that you may not know about.
The Headhunters of Nagaland
Nagaland is also known as the land of headhunters. The Konyak tribe of Nagaland were involved in the headhunting practice until 1940’s. Killing and severing heads was considered a rite of passage for adolescents and they were rewarded with facial tattoos. The headhunting practice stopped quite a while back, but you can still see the tribe’s elders with tattooed faces.
Three Days when Goddess Shakti is not Worshipped
Ambubachi Mela is an annual three-day affair at Kamakhya Temple, Assam. It is believed that during the monsoon season, Goddess Kamakhya goes into her yearly menstruation cycle. Temple doors are closed and pilgrims are not allowed to enter. After three days, the yoni-like stone and the temple premises are cleaned. A number of other rituals are also performed before visitors are allowed to enter.
Secret Tunnels of Talatal Ghar
Talatal Ghar in Sivasagar is a great tourist attraction. Three floors underneath the ground level, it has two secret tunnels which were used as exit routes during battles. The whole building has seven floors but the secret tunnels are closed to visitors.
Shops Without Shopkeepers
Around 65 km from Aizawl, along the highway of Seling, there are small vegetable shops called nghah lou dawr. This native word means shops without shopkeepers. A price list is attached to the stall along with a deposit box where you can pay for what you buy.
By Payel Bhattacharjee
Talatal Ghar photo: Maps of India
Kamakhya Temple: Wikipedia