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Kohima is the hilly capital of India's north eastern border state of Nagaland which shares its borders with Myanmar. With a resident population of 267,988 it is the second largest city in the state. Originally known as Kewhira, it was founded in 1878 when the British Empire established its headquarters of the then Naga Hills. It officially became the capital after the state of Nagaland was inaugurated in 1963.Kohima is the land of the Angami Naga tribe. It is situated in the foothills of Japfu range located south of Kohima District and has an average elevation of 1261 metres (4137 feet).EtymologyKohima was originally known as Kewhira. The name, Kohima, was officially given by the British as they could not pronounce the Angami name of Kewhira (Tenyidie for "the land where the flower Kewhi grows"). It is called after the wild flowering plant Kewhi, found in the mountains. Most local people prefers to use 'Kewhira'.HistoryKohima was originally a large village named Kewhira, which is located in the North-Eastern part of the present day Kohima urban area. The village is divided into four Thinuos namely - Tsütuonuomia, Lhisemia, Dapfütsumia and Pfüchatsumia. They are termed shortly as T, L, D, and P Khel respectively.Battle of KohimaThe British incursions into the Naga territory, beginning in the 1840s, met with stiff resistance from the independence-loving Nagas, who had never been conquered by any empire before. The stiffness of the resistance can be gauged by the fact that it took nearly four decades for the British to conquer a territory that is less than 10,000 square kilometres (the eastern region was left free). Kohima was the first seat of modern administration as the Headquarters of Naga Hills District (then under Assam) with the appointment of Guybon Henry Damant as Political Officer in 1879. When Nagaland became a full-fledged state on 1 December 1963, Kohima was christened as the state capital.Kohima is in Kohima District. Make Kohima central to your India travel plans using our India road trip planning tool .
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