Longwa Village in Nagaland – where people enjoy dual citizenship of India and Myanmar

In the Northwestern, part of Nagaland lives the interesting Konyak tribe. They serve dual allegiance to India and Myanmar as this tribe enjoys dual citizenship in these countries. The Longwa village is located on the Indo-Myanmar border and has people crossing over to either country on a daily basis. Some of them even have homes that are on either side of the border.

Interesting facts about Longwa

The lives of the people are rather interesting. Here are some interesting facts that will make you want to pack your bags and visit this little hamlet in Nagaland.

1. They still have a King

A common anecdote about the king is that he “sleeps in India and Dines in Myanmar. This is because the Indo-Myanmar border passes right through his house, between the bedroom and the kitchen. He is also known as the ‘Angh’ and is the ruler of over 70 villages that are located both in India and in Myanmar.

The King has a large family that includes 60 wives. His sons are enrolled in the Myanmar army, which is testimony to the freedom enjoyed by the people of Longwa.

2. The head-hunting Konyak Tribe

The Last Head-hunters Of Longwa

This tribe is still deeply rooted in its culture through elaborate costumes and jewelry. They are known for being head-hunters and quite violent too. Their faces are tattooed and inked and they continue to wear their traditional jewelry and headgear. The homes of these tribal people are decorated with elephant tusks, hornbill beaks, and human skulls to this date.

Head hunting is something that this tribe is known for. They have been known to take the heads of enemies. There are skull necklaces in the homes of some of the core members of the tribe. This is an indication of the number of heads taken by them at battle. It was believed that taking heads can improve fertility in the region.

Skulls of a buffalo hung outside the longhouse, Longwa, Nagaland

With the advent of Christianity, this tradition stopped around the 1960s. This tribe also indulges in the production of opium and has made this area the key zone.

The population of the tribe is about 20 lakhs. According to Nagaland government officials, there are more members of this tribe in Myanmar than in India.

3. Enjoying Dual citizenship

The inhabitants of this village are citizens of both India and Myanmar. They do not need a visa to cross over to either country. In fact, many of them from India go to Myanmar each day for work and vice versa. The loyalties of these people towards both countries are equal. In fact, many of the young men of the village serve the Myanmar army.

Things to do in Longwa Village

Doyang River | Source: Road Less Travelled

The Longwa village is beautiful and is full of nature’s bounty. It is quite a unique place in itself with scenic points like the Doyang River and the Shilloi Lake. Among other popular tourist attractions are the Hong Kong market and the Nagaland science center.

Near the village, there are camps, set up by the Assam Rifles. You will also be able to see a pillar on a hill near the village. This pillar is the indication of the border.

Best time to visit

The weather is at its best between the months of October and March. There are also several festivals and fairs that are held during this time by the Nagaland tourism department for tourists. You could enjoy the famous Hornbill festival of Nagaland held at Kohima, in December and take a detour to visit the village and neighboring places as well.

Morungs or bachelor dormitories in Longwa | Source: Road Less Travelled

How to get there?

You can now find much better transport to the Konyak village. The hilly road that leads to the village has been repaired now, making for a smooth ride via car, taxi, or bus.

You can take Nagaland State Corporation Buses to Mon Nagaland. From there, several rental cars are available to the Longwa village.

So go ahead, plan a trip to this fast eastern hamlet of India, and discover a raw connect with Mother Nature just like its inhabitants do.

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