Nagaland: Geographical location
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.
As far as physiographic aspect of Nagaland is concerned, it lies in the Purvanchal region of Indian sub-continent. It is a ranges of eastern Himalayan mountain system that radiating from north to south. Nagaland comprises of Naga Hills and Patkai boom of the purvanchal ranges. As we focus on the whole of Nagaland, the altitude of the landscape is ascending from west to east. The altitude of Mon in the north east of Nagaland is 898m and Dimapur in the southwest is 260m are lower in height compare to Phek in the southeast 1524m and Noklak 1524m,Shamatore 1692m and Saramati 3840m in the extreme east and Wakching 1031m in the northeast of Nagaland. So it shows that the eastern part of Nagaland is comparatively higher in altitude than western part of Nagaland.
Relief and structure of Nagaland
Nagaland is largely a mountainous state. The Naga Hills rise from the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam to about 610 metres (2,000 ft) and rise further to the southeast, as high as 1,800 metres (6,000 ft). Mount Saramati at an elevation of 3,841.00 metres (12,601.70 ft) is the state’s highest peak; this is where the Naga Hills merge with the Patkai Range in which form the boundary with Burma. Rivers such as the Doyang and Diphu to the north, the Barak river in the southwest, dissect the entire state. 20 percent of the total land area of the state is covered with wooded forest, a haven for flora and fauna. The evergreen tropical and the sub tropical forests are found in strategic pockets in the state.
Topographically, the landscape of Nagaland can be divided into three divisions:
The foothills of the west
These ranges of foothills are characterized by undulating with gentle slopes. The important feature of this area is that, the river valleys of wider area are identified here. The important places with their altitude are Dimapur 260m, Medziphema 305m, Baghty 305m, Changtongya 954m, Mangkolemba 914m, Tuli 315m and Mon 898m. The river valleys of this region are in the rivers of Dhansari, lower course of Doyang, lower course of Milak and Dikhu. This region is ranging from the lowest altitude of 260m in Dimapur to the highest of 954min Changtongya area of Mokokchung district. It lies as the north – south ranges with several ribs of hills from Mon area to Dimapur area. The altitude of this range is ascending from south to north.
The lower range of the middle Nagaland
This range lies from 1000m – 1500m above main sea level which characterized by moderate degree of slopes with intensified ribs of ranges compare to the foothills range. Deepening of river beds with steep sided banks is also another characteristic of this region. Landslides are also important feature of this region and landforms are mostly of youth stage. This region is ascending from north to south in terms of altitude above main sea level. This is being justified as that Wakching area has an altitude of 1031m and Longleng 1067m, in the north, Mokokchung 1326m, Tuensang 1372m and Wokha 1314m in the middle and again raised at Tseminyu 1422m and Kohima area 1444m in the south. So it is found that this region is ascending in altitude from north to south.
High hills and mountainous region
This region runs north-south stretch with bulge of hills in the middle ranging from 1500m and above. The altitude of Noklak 1524m in the north, Longkhim 1672m, Shamator 1692m and Zunheboto 1874m within the middle, saramati 3837m, Phek 1524m, Pfutseru 2134m, Kikruma 1643m and Japfu 3015m in the south and southeastern shows the picture of its physiograpy. The south and southeastern part of this region is comparatively higher in altitude than the northern part of the region. This region is characterized by highly dissected slopes and v shaped valleys of seasonal and perennial streams. The waterfalls and rapids are important feature of this region. The hill top of this region is characterized by the presence of spotted hills on it. The slope degrees of this region are steep and the ribs of ranges are intensified.
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