Travel Photography | Nagaland, India

The Naga chili, the world's hottest chili, in Nagaland, India. The chili is also known as the bhut jolokia.

So first things first. I’ve changed up the blog a bit. Now we’ve got REALLY BIG PICTURES. Which, seeing as I’m a photographer and all, seems only appropriate. I love looking at large photographs. Hopefully you do too. If you don’t. Well. What the hell is wrong with you?

Anyway. The photos here are all from Nagaland, India. Outtakes from an assignment I shot there late last year. See my previous post for those tearsheets. Nagaland is absolutely stunning. But nothing like the India I know and love. It’s more like a mountainous region in Myanmar or Thailand. And in fact, Kohima, where I was based, is barely a stone’s throw from the Burmese border. So it makes sense I guess. The locals I met even referred to the rest of India as “The Mainland”.

The photos here are all from around the time of the Hornbill Festival, which is a kind of gathering of the tribes throughout the region, complete with games and handicrafts and a Naga King Chili Eating Contest. That’s the world’s hottest chili. And I’ll let you guess which photo below is of a man after eating a baker’s dozen of them.

A portrait of a grandmother and granddaughter in an Angami village in Nagaland, India.
A view over downtown Kohima in Nagaland, India.
A portrait of three women from the Chakhesang tribe in Nagaland, India.
A basket of naga chilis, or bhut jolokia, in Nagaland, India.
Backstage after the Naga Chili Eating Competition at the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, India.
A man walks by signs calling for the independence of Nagaland in Kohima, the capital of Nagaland state in northeastern India.
Naga chilis, the world's hottest chili, for sale at the market in Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, India.
India Nagaland 1000-10
A tribesman at the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, India, hangs suspended from a bamboo rope (blur).

Sneak Peak | Nagaland, India

Nagaland Hornbill Festival Blog-1

I just spent a week in India working on an assignment in Nagaland, near the Myanmar border. It was an amazingly beautiful and colorful part of the country. I was there in the midst of the Hornbill Festival, which takes place every year during the first week of December. Without it, I think things would be deafeningly quiet. Which is very unlike India. And which is one of the many things that makes Nagaland such a strange and interesting place. The article probably won’t be published until the summer, but here’s an outtake from the trip.