Vishü Rita Krocha
“The Majestic Kapamodzü” as it has been recently dubbed, holds great potential for tourism whether it is for Ecotourism or Sustainable Tourism, Agritourism or Adventure Tourism. Standing at an elevation of 2,620 metres above sea level, Kapamodzü is one of the highest mountains in the state and the highest table top mountain in Nagaland.
Known for its incredible landscape, rich flora and fauna, the peak also gives a spectacular view of Zhavame—the village where it is located, as well as that of Nagaland’s highest peak, Mount Saramati, Japfü peak, and Kohima besides a view of several other neighbouring villages.
In August last year, students of Phek Government College undertook a field study trip to Kapamodzü with the main objective of studying the vegetation and also to document the various species of plants in the area while further discussing the importance of ecotourism and developing the location into an important tourist destination.
While the peak has remained relatively unknown to people outside the local community for many decades, it has become one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the recent years. This is evident from the number of people both young and old visiting Kapamodzü now almost on a daily basis.
The last couple of years has shown a remarkable increase in the inflow of visitors and this is not only confined to people from the district but fast spreading across the country with people from different states in India and beyond listing it in their ‘Travel Bucket List’. The wide spectrum of visitors so far, includes students, adventure clubs, institutions, church groups, solo travellers, and families or circle of friends, who are just looking for a great nature getaway.
A newly discovered place now easily finds its way to Social Media and the discovery of Kapamodzü by the outside world is, to a large extent, a result of technology that is rapidly changing the tourism industry the world over, which is quite visibly also changing the way we visit, explore and enjoy the world.
Especially social media platforms like Instagram with 2 billion Monthly Active Users (MAUs), wanderlust-filled travellers now have easier access to tourist destinations around the world. Needless to say, Instagram images do tell a living story.
Kapamodzü was once almost unheard of, but thanks to technology, it is now gradually becoming a name synonymous with one of the ‘top places to visit’ in Nagaland. One of the things that bode well with this development is the management of the peak by a native entrepreneur, who is deeply conscious about sustainability and environment.
Having recently undertaken this great responsibility of managing the peak, Kapamodzü now looks even more promising as this would also ensure that the rich vegetation of the place is not destroyed, or that people don’t litter, besides offering visitors an even more enjoyable and a meaningful time with the number of facilities that “The Majestic Kapamodzü” provides.
The added bonus of visiting Kapamodzü is that one can also visit Zhavame village that lies at the foothill of the mountain. Zhavame was declared as “Vegetable Village” in the year 2010 by the state’s Horticulture Department and is known for its rich produce of organic vegetables especially cabbage and potato.
Located about 80 kilometers away from the state capital, Zhavame was called “Raziemia” when it was part of the Eastern Angami till 1945 and recorded as “Zhamai” under British Administration but has now been corrected to its original name “Zhavame” which means “people of the enchanted land”. Zhavame was also the largest village in the Chakhesang area in terms of population as per the 1951 census, but a lot of lives were lost to an epidemic in 1957 during the Naga freedom struggle.
Home to Kapamodzü and several other places of historical and cultural significance besides its rich natural resources and scenic landscapes, Zhavame’s potential for tourism is quite limitless. It is also possible that there many more undiscovered and unexplored places and villages across the state that have the same scope for tourism, and merit more attention. The government of the day must take essential steps to promote these places, which would eventually enhance rural entrepreneurship that can most definitely revolutionise rural Nagaland.
This is a guest editorial by Vishü Rita Krocha. She is the Publisher of PenThrill Publication and a senior journalist based in Kohima.