What visitors have to say about Hornbill Festival
KOHIMA — The 24th edition of the Hornbill Festival, which kicked off on December 1, has witnessed a surge in visitors, especially foreign tourists compared to last year, and they seemed to be impressed by the cultural shows.
For Ian Wellard and Anita, a couple from the United Kingdom who are on a maiden visit to the state, Nagaland is one of the “best” places they have visited so far on their 24th trip to India.
“We did not think it was gonna be this good but it was perfect and so we have already arranged to come back next year,” shared Wellard, adding that they were looking forward to attending the Hornbill Festival 2024.
The couple, who had visited Mon and Tuensang before coming to the Hornbill Festival, said that Nagas are “lovely” and “fabulous” people.
George, also from England, described his Nagaland experience as “fantastic” and that there is so much going on at the Hornbill Festival.
“There’s a lot of variety and many different cultural performances. The food has been interesting — not all of it is delicious,” he said, adding that he had tried as much dishes as he could.
He went on to say that it was his friend Callum who did a research on the Hornbill Festival on the internet and they found the pictures and reviews of the previous editions of the festival interesting.
Callum said the inclement weather has not dampened their spirit and “definitely not taken away” their experience.
He also said that they were planning to visit Dzükou Valley and Khonoma village during their week stay in Nagaland.
Sharing that they had tried bamboo stilt walking, visited the museum and met interesting people during the event, he said he would recommend the festival to other people.
Three female doctors from Kerala – Sheeba, Tindil and Reshmi – rain and fog played spoilsport and restricted their movement when they were looking forward to join the festivities on December 8, their first day at the festival.
Dr. Sheeba said that they were looking forward to attending the Hornbill Festival for the last few years, after learning about it from travel vlogs and through word of mouth, but couldn’t due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The trio was part of group of women whose itinerary was arranged by a travel agency.
Satyajeet Dahiya (aka desi_solo_ traveller) from Haryana, who has been attending the Hornbill Festival since 2018, opined that Nagaland is one of the “best” and “safest places” in India. This is also the reason why he keeps coming back to Nagaland every year.
It may be mentioned that as many as 2015 foreign tourists have attended the Hornbill Festival over nine days, as against 1026 recorded last year (10 days), as per the data provided by the state Tourism department.
However, it runs short of the pre-pandemic numbers, as 3015 foreign tourists were recorded during the Hornbill Festival 2019.