Nagaland is a predominantly Christian state with numerous churches governing the horizon of the state. However, there are also various temples which includes Hindu as well as Jain temples. The place is definitely ideal for one who is eager to deviate from the regular travels and consider a pious journey to some holy grounds of Northeast.
Sumi Baptist Church, Zunheboto
Situated in Zunheboto town, The Sumi Baptist Church is regarded as the largest church in Asia. Founded in 1942, the construction of the church began in 2007 and took 10 years for completion. It stands at 1864.9m above sea level and is now open to public. According to sources, the seating capacity of the church is 8500 and also includes rooms for the sick, bride and groom dressing, cafeteria, offices, baptism pool, etc. The bell of the church weighs 500kg; reportedly it has been imported from Poland and has a 1.5km radical sound outreach.
Catholic Cathedral, Kohima
The Catholic Cathedral is one of the major tourist attraction in Nagaland. Located in the Aradura Hills, it is one of the biggest cathedrals in Northeast. Towards the end of World War 2, Kohima became the site of several clashes between the British Indian troops and the Japanese. In the 1980s, families of fallen Japanese soldiers contributed to the construction of the cathedral. It is a piece of creative art whose interiors and architecture are worth seeing. The capacity of the cathedral is also very high with 3000 sitting arrangements and 1500 standing. The cathedral also conducts reconciliation meetings between British and Japanese War veterans on a regular basis, which serves its purpose.
Ao Baptist Church, Dimapur
Another religious spot is the Ao Baptist Church located in Dimapur. The church is attended by the locals as well as numerous devotees coming from far off places. Including eight other fellowship churches, the Ao Baptist church is under the Nagaland Baptist Church Council. The church comprises of a large prayer hall which accommodates a huge number of devotees. It also runs a number of social welfare programs and includes schools, colleges and health centers. The church also celebrates Christmas, New Year and other festivities with great enthusiasm.
Spirit of Faith Church, Dimapur
The Spirit of Faith Church a popular church of Nagaland, with its head office based in USA is a major pilgrimage destination. The place also serves as a meeting place for people belonging to different tribes and ethnic backgrounds. The services are being conducted in English and also in Nagamese for the convenience of the locals. The church provides a number of facilities such as open air preaching, short-term Bible school, audio and video teaching materials, and more. The place is a must visit religious destination while one is in Nagaland, where the power of faith in God can be felt which can lead people’s life to a spiritual path.
Molung and Impur, Mokokchung
Pilgrimage does not always have to be a church or temple, Nagaland also has a pilgrimage village in the district of Mokokchung. This is the first village where the American Baptist was established in the year 1876. The old Mission Building established by the first missionary, Dr. E.W. Clark is still in existence and serve as an inspiration to the visitors. The place is located at the altitude of 500mts above sea level and has been declared as a Naga Christian Pilgrimage and Educational Heritage Village.
Sarvajanik Gorkha Temple, Mokokchung
Sarvajanik Gorkha Temple is a Hindu Nepali Temple, locally known as Nepali Mandir. There is also a Shiva Temple and a Durga Temple inside the premises. The best time to visit the temple is during any festival, for, all the holy festivals, such as Durga Puja, Kal Ratri, Buddha Purnima, are grandly celebrated and is sure to take the visitors to a spiritual and cultural journey. The temple is an epitome of unity for one can witness immense unity among the worshippers belonging to different tribes.
Gorkha Singha Devi, Kohima
Dating back to 1800s, the Gorkha Singha Devi situated in Chandmari, Kohima, is one of the ancient Hindu temples of the state. There is a firm believe that after the death of Maa Sati, the dorsal part of her body descended on the spot where now the temple stands. The beautiful location of the temple amidst the tall mountains adds to its beauty. According to sources, it is considered that whoever bows their head before the temple with loyalty and modesty is sure to be blessed.
As Lord Buddha said, “Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life”. The picturesque state of Nagaland with its religious and divine places is certain to gift the visitors a spiritual upliftment and eternal bliss!