Mt. Saramati, the highest mountain range of Nagaland is situated in Kiphire district of Nagaland and is in the extreme east of the state bordering Myanmar. Mt. Saramati is listed in top 6 highest mountain peaks of India, renowned as “The jewels of India” considering it as the pride of India. Standing at 3841 mts above sea level, Saramati Peak remains snow covered thought out the winter. The mountain range is groomed with rich natural and diverse forests, visible at various altitudes, ranging from sub-tropical ever green and semi ever green to temperate broad leaved and Alpine vegetation. It has good bio-diversity with natural flora and fauna and various kinds of orchids.
There, on the top we can have a nice view of the Myanmar forest, belonging to the Makury Naga, Chindwin river etc. Saramati can be reached in two days from Pungro via Thanamir or Khongjiri village, both villages are of visual natural delights with hospitable villagers.
We can also see the nearest Naga village in Myanmar which is supposed to be five to six hours walk from Mt. Saramati. One can also touch the International pillars BP 138 on the top with India and Myanmar on the other side.
While trekking almost on the ridge of the mountain, it makes you feel like you are standing on top of the world. It is never a tiresome journey, experiencing and encountering new things that you’ve never seen or heard before, such as varied sounds of birds and animals. You can have a breath of fresh and unpolluted air and your eyes will become restless staring at flowers that are on the rocks, on the ground and on the trees. All will at least have a look at every plant that are new to us or at least touch or smell something that is eye catching. When you enter this forest you will think that long ago every part of Nagaland, which once opened its arms to embrace our ancestors, may have felt the same way! All this wonders are before reaching the base camp.
Now again we are in another world. The nature has opened many crossed path on the hill before reaching the top in the prettiest imaginable manner, with stone seats to rest from time to time, to tempt you. The hollows are planted with pine trees and Rhododendron trees entirely at the expense of nature. This again is at the foot of the hill after trekking around 120 minutes over loose stones and rugged ascend.
The best season to visit Mt. Saramati is October and November. Every year many local tourists trek the mountain. In 2012, the Community Centre for Sustainable Tourism (CCST) a Tourism Development Program promoted by Eastern Nagaland Social Service Society (ENSSS) initiated the trekking programme. One can reach Pungro town under Kiphire district and then proceed to Thanamir village or Khongjiri Village to go to Mt. Saramati. Hospitality of these villagers shall add another smile to the tourist as they are always ready to guide until the end of your trekking.
Perhaps, this tourist destination would be a hot spot for Nagaland if the government up-grade and made improvement of the tourism infrastructure in this part of the district, which would make us to identify our areas having tourist potential, build the requisite infrastructure and so forth. It will help promotion of the Tourism Development Potentiality in the district and preservation of the unique culture and heritage of Nagaland and to promote them as tourist attractions.
However, poor infrastructures in tourism sector is trully a sad story where the natural beauty of Nagas is hardly exposed to the world.
When asked to comment on his trekking experiences, the deputy commissioner Dimapur, Kesonyu Yhome (IAS) who experienced the Mt. Saramati trekking in 2012 while he was the DC Kiphire said, “The towering Mt. Saramati presents a breath-taking picturesque engulfed in natural vegetation with a huge potential for eco-tourism and become a top destination for trekkers. The climb to the summit from the last village on Indian land, Thanamir Village, through the rugged yet scenic terrains of the mystique Saramati is a sure story to remember for a life time.”
Now, “Go Wandering” a travel blog is promoting rural and cultural tourism in Kiphire district which was established in 2016 by Lithsa Yingbidhonger who is also a travel blogger and freelance writer.