Khonoma: The Story Of Courage And Nature


About 20km from Kohima, in Nagaland, lies the 700 year age old village of Khwunoria, which means local plant in Angami, also referred to as Khonoma. Covering an area of about 123 sq km, it is the residing place for 600 households with a net count of 3000 people, the state bird Blyth’s Tragopan- presently mentioned in the red data book of IUCN for its blistering tendency towards extinction, 250 plant species of which 70 are of medicinal type, 84 wild fruits, 116 wild vegetables, 9 mushrooms, 5 dyes and also for animal species there are found 25 types of snakes, 6 types of lizard, 11 types of amphibians, 196 types of birds of which 87 are identified till now, 72 kinds of wild animals including tiger, leopard, serow (a deer like animal), sloth, Asiatic black bear and so on. The village is famous for its collection of these species. It is the perfect natural habitat where man, animals, trees and other species can live together peacefully. For these reasons it is the first green village of Asia.

It is not only popular or famous for its greenery, but also for the bravery of the Angami men and their capability for the martial prowess, strategies, skills etc. Their bravery had resisted the British Raj in their territory from 1830s to 1880. There was an incident that had taken place when the British troops, attacking the territory were successfully resisted by an extremely brave warrior tribe of Nagaland. The Angami men resorted and inflicted heavily on the British troops. Such bloodshed, battle casualties were put down by a treaty. But the villagers are facing a difficulty presently after the invasion of the timber merchants in the mid 90s who wanted logs of timber, they were resisted and so to avoid further such invasions by these they are struggling on the establishment of strengthening systems interfering natural resources, village administration, conflict resolution etc.

Hunting was previously a way of living for Naga tribes, but when it was reported that the endangered tragopans were hunted for their meat and more than 300 of them were killed. The sensitive living amongst them had launched a crusade against hunting. In the year 1998, the village council declared that about 20 sq km area was handed over for the KNCTS, or the Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary. The mastermind behind such a wonderful motivational plan was Tsilie Sakhrie, a contractor of the Forest Department of the 80s. Tsilie Sakhrie in 1995 joined the village council; he strongly opposed hunting which was against their culture which made the inhabitants oppose him. But after a thorough discussion years after years, finally a majority was convinced in 1998. Thus hunting was banned in the entire village.

Conservation is the only weapon of defense for this beautiful existence of a natural synchronization among living creatures. 1st September is the birthday of this Green Village, for which Khonomians come from far and wide to celebrate. The inhabitants are still engaged in the conservation of this village and are dutifully doing their age old as well as new activities for its total protection.

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Abhirup is a science and tech freak. His passion is blogging on different science and technology topics. In his spare time, he plays computer games and plays piano.
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