Geography of Nagaland


A study of the geography of Nagaland denotes the topographical features of northeast Indian state. The position of Nagaland in the map of India, its climate, landforms and geographical features that are chief characteristics of the state fall under the scope of the geography of Nagaland.

Located in the north eastern region of India, the state of Nagaland shares the international border with the country of Myanmar. The state lies between the geographical coordinates of 25°6' and 27°4' North latitudes and 93°20' and 95°15' East longitude. The state is home to 16 different tribes, each of whom have their distinct customs, attires, languages and dialect.

The state of Nagaland enjoys a salubrious climate. The torrential monsoon rains are an integral feature of the state's weather. The maximum average temperature recorded in summer is 31 degree Celsius while the minimum is as low as 4 degrees Celsius in winter. Some regions in the state are subject to frost in winters. The state records an average annual rainfall of 2000mm-2500mm.

The state of Nagaland is drained by four chief rivers of Doyang, Jhanji, Dhansiri and Dikhu. The rivers are the tributaries of the mighty Brahmaputra River with their sources in the mountain ranges of the state. 20 percent of the total land area of the state is covered with wooded forest, rich in flora and fauna. The evergreen tropical and the sub tropical forests are found in strategic pockets in the state of Nagaland.

The economy of the state of Nagaland benefits from the rich minerals which are found in abundance in the state. Iron, limestone, cobalt, coal, nickel and chromium are found in the state of Nagaland.

Climate

The salubrious mountain climate of Nagaland is responsible for the health and well being of the citizens of the state and its visitors. The climate is an important component in the study of the geography of Nagaland state. Various factors like the altitude, geographical coordinates, distance from the sea and the wind direction influence the climate in Nagaland.

The hilly terrains of the northeastern state of Nagaland is instrumental in shaping the cool and pleasant climatic conditions. Summer is the shortest season in the state that lasts for only a few months. The temperature during the summer season remains between the 16 degrees Celsius to 31 degrees Celsius. The torrential monsoon downpours continues nonstop during the months of June, July, August and September. Heavy rainfall occurs between the months of May and August. September and October months influence occasional showers. The recorded average annual rainfall of the state ranges from 2000mm-2500mm. Winter makes an early arrival in the state of Nagaland. The temperature drops as low as of 4 degree Celsius in winter. Bitter cold and dry weather strikes certain regions of the state. The maximum average temperature recorded in the winter season is 24 degrees Celsius. The higher altitudes are enveloped in snow. Strong north west winds blow across Nagaland during the months of February and March .

Flora and Fauna

The Nagaland flora and fauna vividly illustrates the diverse nature heritage that the northeastern state is blessed with. The state of Nagaland is covered by the vegetative growth of the evergreen tropical and the sub tropical forests which occupy 8, 62,930 hectares of land in the state. Rare species of trees and plants are found in the forests of Nagaland. The variety of endangered species of animals and birds also make the forest regions of Nagaland their home.

The flora of Nagaland is dominated by the growth of the thick wooded trees like the mahogany and timber. Palm, rattan and bamboo trees are also found in the forests of the state. The government has reserved a part of the forest region exclusively for the state's inhabitants, who earn their livelihood through trade of the forest products. Most of the dense regions of the forests in Nagaland are impenetrable and remain inaccessible to the people.

The interiors of the forests are rich in the fauna of Nagaland. Ferocious animals like the leopards and the bears reside in these interiors. A variety of arboreal monkeys are found in the forests of Nagaland. Elephants, deer, wild oxen, sambar and buffaloes also reside in the wooded forests. The Indian Hornbill is one of the most popular birds of the state. The forest of Nagaland is receding due to its destruction to facilitate Jhum cultivation. The wanton destruction is leading to the gradual depletion of the flora and fauna of Nagaland.

Location

Nagaland location shows the geographical and the strategic position of the state in the country of India. Home to a number of tribes, the state of Nagaland is located in the north eastern region of India. The capital of the state is Kohima which is located at an elevated altitude of 1444.12 meters above sea level.Some of the major facts about the geography of Nagaland are given below

The state of Nagaland encompasses the geographical coordinates of 25 degrees 6 minutes North to 27 degrees 4 minutes North latitude and 93 degrees 20 minutes East to 95 degrees 15 minutes East longitude. On the eastern boundary of Nagaland lies the international border that India shares with Myanmar. The southern end of the state is bordered by the state of Manipur. The state of Assam borders Nagaland in the western and the north western sides. The state of Arunachal Pradesh borders Nagaland on the north. 16 different tribes inhabit the state of Nagaland. The tradition of the tribal inhabitants is revealed through the different customs, dialect, attires and habits.

The location of Nagaland reveals the political and geographical significance of the state which is marked by the international border on one side. The border regions are patrolled by military and the border security force who prevent the encroachment of the infiltrators.

Rivers

The proximity to the Himalayan foothills and the torrential monsoon rains has resulted in the prosperity of the mighty rivers in Nagaland. The rivers form an integral part of the geography of Nagaland. The mountain region is the source of several streams and rivulets. The tributaries of the great Brahmaputra River flow through the state to join the main river before reaching its mouth in the Bay of Bengal.

Nagaland state is drained by four main rivers. One of the chief tributaries of the Brahmaputra River is Dhansiri which originates in the mountainous Laisang peak in Nagaland. The districts of Nagaland receives water from the Dhansiri river prior to its confluence with the Brahmaputra River.

Three other rivers of Nagaland are the Dikhu, Doyang and the Jhanji. The four chief rivers of Nagaland form huge catchment areas. The rich alluvial deposit of the rivers facilitates crop cultivation in the state. The government has also set up power stations in order to generate hydroelectricity from these rivers. Fishes breed in the fresh mountain waters of the Nagaland rivers.

Soil

A survey conducted on the soil of Nagaland has revealed that the soil can be categorized into 10 major groups, 14 sub groups, 4 orders, 7 sub-orders and 72 soil families. The soil of Nagaland are an important part of the topography and the geography of Nagaland. The classification of the soils into groups and orders have aided the management of the land use planning which is of primary significance in the agricultural sector. The systematic survey and classification of soils in Nagaland has facilitated extensive crop cultivation in the state.

The following are the four orders of soil in Nagaland that constitute the 16.6 million hectares of geographical land of the state:
  • Inceptisols
  • Entisols
  • Alfisols
  • Ultisols
    The most important type of soil that covers about 66 percent of the land area of Nagaland are the Inceptisols. The soil textures consists of fine clay, clay loamy and the fine loamy clay. These soil types are predominant near the river beds.

    About 23.8 percent of the land area of Nagaland is enveloped by the Utisols. The soil is characterized by its low base saturation feature. This soil type is found in different regions of the state and is prevalent mostly in the forested regions of the state which receive a high amount of rainfall. The texture of the soil remains clayey.

    Entisols cover 7.3 percent of the land area and is found mainly in the north and the north eastern parts of the state of Nagaland. This nascent category of soil comprises of the fine loamy and the fine categories of soil textures. The light colored and mineral rich, Alfisols cover a meager 2.9 percent of the land area of the state of Nagaland. The fine loamy and the fine drained class of soil texture occur in the western extremity of the state near its border with Assam.

    Vegetation

    The lush green vegetation of Nagaland depicts the natural and the cultivated growth in the state. The lush foliage is dependent on the geography of Nagaland. The economy of the state of Nagaland is dependent on agriculture which forms the chief occupation of the tribal inhabitants. The people practice terrace farming in the hilly regions of the state. Drained by four rivers, the alluvial deposits of the rivers facilitate the growth of various agricultural food products.

    The mountainous slopes of the state of Nagaland is rich in the growth of natural vegetation. 8, 62,930 hectares of land or 20 percent of the total land area of the state is covered with the evergreen tropical and sub tropical forest that are endowed with rich flora and fauna. The forests of Nagaland are enveloped in a dense growth of timber, palms, mahogany, rattan and bamboos trees. Some parts of the forest regions are accessible to the people of the state while the interiors are impenetrable and home to wild animals.

    The crop cultivation is practiced by the tribal people in the state of Nagaland. The major crops cultivated in the state are rice, millet, grams, rubber, maize and tea. The state is also reputed for the production of fruits. Banana, orange, fruit, pineapple, pear, jack fruit and plums are cultivated in the state of Nagaland. Garlic, chilli, cabbage, tomato, potato and ginger are some of the main vegetables that account for the cultivation in Nagaland. The agro based industries like that of edible oils and species facilitate from the cultivation of these products.

    The forest regions of the state of Nagaland are being cleared to practice Jhum cultivation. This has caused the depletion of the natural vegetation of Nagaland.

    Last Updated on 6/21/2013

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