Mokokchung is a town and a municipality in Mokokchung district
in the Indian state of Nagaland. It is the district
headquarters as well as the main urban center of Mokokchung
district. Mokokchung is the cultural center of the Ao people
and is economically and politically the most significant urban
centre in northern Nagaland. In fact it is the most
significant urban hub in all of Nagaland after Dimapur and
Kohima. The town is made up of 16 wards of which Sangtemla,
Alempang, Yimyu and Kumlong are the largest. Mokokchung is
particularly noted for its extravagant New Year, Moatsu,
Christmas, and Tsungremong celebrations. Its tradition of
celebrating Christmas and New Year midnight celebrations in
the main town square is considered as one of the distinctive
features of Mokokchung. Historically, Mokokchung was one of
the first Naga Hills sites where the Assam Rifles, led by
Britishers, established their outposts (then called stockades)
in the later part of 19th century. Much of the town initially
grew around this post situated in the DC Hill. The British
administration was then slowly extended eastwards towards the
remoter parts of the Naga Hills. Mokochung town, the district
headquarters of Mokochung district is the intellectual and
cultural capital of Nagaland. It is the third biggest town in
Nagaland. Ungma, the oldest Ao village situated at a distance
of 10 km from Mokokchung town is the ancestral home of the Ao
Today Mokochung is a well-developed urban town with all modern
facilities. The town has a number of educational
institutions, good schools, NGOs, Health care centers, offices,
government offices etc.
Historically, Mokokchung was one of the first Naga Hills spot
where the Assam Rifles set up their garrisons in the 19th
century. This battalion was led by the British. Slowly the
town began to establish and then expand around this post.
Location of Mokokchung
Mokokchung is situated in the Mokochung district of Nagaland.
Mokochung is at a distance of about 145 km from the state
Mokochung district is surrounded by the state of Assam to its
North, Wokha to its West, Tuensang to its East, and Zunheboto
to its South.There are 6 parallel hilly ranges in the
district. The main valleys are Changki ,Tsurang and Milak
Valleys. Major mountain ranges in the district are Changkikong,
Asetkong, Ongpangkong, Tsurangkong, Japukong and Langpangkong.
There are only two small valleys called Changki and Tuli.
Mokokchung is situated at 26.33°N 94.53°E. It is located at an
altitude of 1325 metres above sea level.Mokokchung has a mild climate throughout the year. For ten
months of the year, maximum temperature hovers in the mid
Dimapur and Mokokchung are the only towns in Nagaland with an
important sub urban population. Mokokchung is the center of
Mokokchung Metropolitan Area, a term which refers to the
continuous settlements from Alichen in the south, through
Mokokchung town up to Amenyong and Khensa in the North West;
and from Mokokchung town through Fazl Ali College up to DEF
colony in the North East.
The trend of sub urbanization in Mokokchung started in the
eighties with the growing of satellite towns like Marepkong
and Yimyu. Today, the urban settlement has spilled outside the
historical boundary of Mokokchung town. This trend has speeded
up (since the late nineties) so much so that the previous
satellite town of Yimyu boomed and extend towards Mokokchung
and became adjoined with it. Today it has become a ward
of Mokokchung. As a result of this flight to the suburbs,
population growth in Mokokchung town has slowed down while the
satellite towns are booming.
Besides, the following villages have been overwhelmed by the
spiralling urban spread of Mokokchung and have attained urban
characteristics. In fact, though not part of the municipality,
they have become very much a part of Mokokchung and are
confused by many tourists as being localities of the town.
• Mokokchung Village
People are now living miles away from the main town in smaller
communities as well as villages, who drive to work daily to
the main town. This phenomenon is in sharp contrast to other
towns in Nagaland like Wokha , Zunhebo and Kohima to where a
vast majority of the population tend to be concentrated in the
Christianity is the main religion of Mokokchung, with more
than 95% of the population being Baptist. The Aos were the
first of the Nagaland peoples to embrace Christianity in the
19th century, and the area is the center of India's Baptist
belt. The revivalist movement that swept the whole state of
Nagaland in the 1970s initiated in Mokokchung District and
Mokokchung was a major centre. Impur, 15 kilometres away, is
the centre of the Ao Baptist Arogo Mungdang (Ao Baptist
Churches Convention). The main town Baptist church, situated
at the heart of the town, is one of the largest churches in
The other religions and faiths practiced in Mokokchung -
mainly by immigrant business community from mainland India -
are Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam.
Art and Culture
Mokokchung is the intellectual and cultural capital of
Nagaland. From the late 19th century, through the 20th century
and continuing in the present times, the sons and daughters of
Mokokchung have surpassed and led the state in every field.
Mokokchung is the home and venue of "Naga Idol", a talent
search contest on the lines of "American Idol". Naga Idol show
holds the distinction of having garnered the highest TV
viewership and record sales in Nagaland.
Major Churches of Mokokchung
• Mokokchung Town Ao Baptist Arogo (Mokokchung town Ao Baptist
• Kumlong Baptist Arogo
• Sungkomen Baptist Arogo
• Alempang Baptist Arogo
• Ongpangkong Baptist Arogo
• Phom Baptist Church
• Christian Evangelical Church
• Nepali Baptist Church
• Queen Mary's Cathedral
• Mokokchung Pentecostal Church
• Sema Baptist Church
• Sema Revival Church
• Tenyidie Baptist Church
• Chang Baptist Church
• Police Church
Tourist Attractions in Mokokchung
Mokokchung has handful of attractions. One of the most famous
attractions includes the Mokokchung District museum in the
Arts and Cultural Complex. The museum display exhibits of
various artifacts of Ao Naga tribe such as shield, shawl,
swords, clothing, accessories, traditional jewelry, and more.
Another popular attraction of the town is the Town main park,
which is situated just above the Town Center. The park
features a soccer ground and a watch tower.
Springs - Legendary and Extanct
Longritzu Lenden, or the river valley of the departed soul, is
believed to contain an underground river; when the ancient Aos
died, their spirits would pass through this valley and take a
bath in the river; then they would see the fleshless bones on
their bodies, and realise that they were actually dead, a flat
stone and a hammer still exist there, which was believed to
have been used for breaking the Shizung (giant bean) that was
used as soap.Tangkum Marok is a spring that is supposed to possess fabulous
remedial powers for the development of life. The water from
this spring appears right through the rock and has a clear and
Chuchuyimlang is the village of festivals for the Ao Nagas.
The Moatsu festival, based on community bonding, takes place
here from the first of May till the third. During this period,
the villagers expressed their friendship towards villagers by
exchanging gifts making new associations, renewing old ties
etc. The tourist village established there is a showcase of
this spirit of the villagers in the most natural and
As an old Naga saying goes, "a single visit to Longkhum is not
enough, for your soul stays behind the first time and you have
to return there once for more to get it back". This saying
springs from the fact that Rhododendrons decorate the hillocks
and the precipices surrounding it, providing an amazing sight
during full bloom.
Wonderful ethnic handicrafts & handlooms by the expert
craftsmen are also found in plenty there. An animist religion
called Limapur still exists in this village, where a few
families worship a God called Longlanpa Tsungrem.
Mongzu Ki and Fusen kei are two caves that yet remain
unexplored by and large Local legends suggest that Fusen kei
is about 25 km long.
This is the oldest and the largest of all the Ao villages and
the second largest village on Nagaland, next only to Bara
Basti of Kohima. Ungma village is situated about 3 km from
Mokokchung Town. It occupies a distinctive position in the
history of the Ao Nagas, as it is said that the entire Ao
tribe founded this village when they first entered the land
from their ancestral Home at Chungliyimti (now within the
Sangtam Naga Territory). The rich Ao culture and tradition is
jealously protected and practiced bu the villagers even today
and the place is considered to be a living museum of the
traditions of the tribe.
The New Year is celebrated with great splendor
and enthusiasm by all the people.
This is the biggest festival for the
community that is celebrated immediately after the harvest of
the crop. Offering prayers to God, dancing, feasting mark the
This is a festival of dancing, singing,
celebration, and frolicking.
This is a festival of community bonding celebrated in May
for 3 days. As a celebration the villagers express their
friendship for each other by exchanging gifts, making new
friends, feasting, bon fire etc.
This is celebrated by all the converted tribes who follow
Mokochung is mainly inhabited by the Ao Naga tribe. It is
supposed that they have wandered from Mongolia through
south-east Asia to Nagaland. In the 19th century, after the
arrival of Christian missionaries in India, the Aos were one
of the earliest who converted to Christianity compared to the
other Naga tribes. They became Christians in the 1870s. As on
date, almost 100 percent of them are Christians, the majority
being Baptists. A lot of them have also undertaken missionary
work in other areas. 95% of the population follows
Christianity and they were baptized by the missionaries.
Horticulture, Agriculture and forestry, are the main
occupation of the residents. Most of them still continue to
follow the Jhum method of cultivation.