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From my puerility, I was always intrigued by Christianity. Thanks to my nursery, primary and high school education, it all took place at a reputed convent school. As a matter of fact, most of my friends are Christians and I love the fact that they are more refined, warm and friendly. Besides, I love the mood of Christmas and every kid in the town, including me during those days loved the Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and cakes and last but not least, the nativity scene setup (Birth of Jesus) is my favorite during Christmas.
Also, out of many of my friends' marriages I attended, I love the Christian weddings the most. Ladies in gowns and gents in tuxedos and the bride walking down the aisle and the music played during - it is all special to me. I love it! As we all know, Sunday is a special day for Christians and every church in my neighborhood come to a festive spirit with music, ardent people, warm greetings and scripture readings. As luck would have it, I had a wonderful opportunity to refresh my love for Christianity when I had to visit the hilly town of Kohima in the north eastern Indian state of Nagaland. As I reached the Dimapur Airport (IATA: DMU, ICAO: VEMR) and everything fell into place as the day was a (perfect) Sunday, indeed the holy day of Christians.
Along with my crew, I have decided to explore all the churches in the amazing town of Kohima. We took the assistance from the travel desk at the hotel we stayed.
The Blue Bayou Opposite Second World War Cemetery, Midland, NH 29 Kohima-797001 Nagaland, India Phone Number: 0370-2292008 Email: email@example.com Website: www.hotelbluebayou.com
After a light breakfast which was fantastic, we hit the road, in the direction of churches. Our plan was to cover as many churches as possible in a single day. We hired a taxi, arranged by our hotel and our first stop was at the notable Cathedral of Kohima (Mary Help of Christians Church). It took us just 10 minutes to reach this site (via NH39, 3.1 km). Simply called as the Kohima Cathedral by the lovely localites, this church took us by surprise with its awe-inspiring architecture. Located on the Aradura Hill in Kohima, this church just 'wow'ed us to be precise. The architecture of this church comprised several constituents of a typical Naga house.
Especially, the front side of the church building brought back the Naga houses we came across the previous day. The unique semicircular edifice with its contemporary building pattern embraces a side of the Aradura Hill with every bit of the building designed in detail. Besides, the 4.876 m high carved wooden rood-tree (crucifix) should be one of the largest in the country for its grandeur. It is important to mention that the Cathedral of Kohima houses Most Rev. Abraham Alangimattathil's tomb, the first Bishop Diocesan of Kohima (1973 – 1996). It was time for us to visit the next church which is approximately 5 km away from the Kohima Cathedral.
Our next stop was at Koinonia Baptist Church (P.O. Box 50, Kezieke Kohima, Nagaland 797001). Just 4.7 km away from the Kohima Cathdral, which took us 15 mins for us to reach. Constructed by Rev Vizotuo Kiewhuo in 1997, the Koinonia Baptist Church come under the Koinonia Churches amd missions. Also, for the first time in the town, the dawn prayer in the church building commenced with a faithful assembling every break of the day at 4:30 am for scripture study and Prayer guided by Rev Zotuo Kiewhuo. It is supposed that the enormous growth of Koinonia Baptist Church is to be attributed to the ability of Rev Zotuo Kiewhuo who has been instrumental and committed to the service.
Church Service Schedules of Koinonia Baptist Church Monday: Bible study and daily dawn prayer - 4:30 am to 6:30 am Tuesday: Youth prayer meeting - 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Thursday: Women fellowship (Tenyidie) - 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm Friday: Women fellowship (Nagamese) - 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm Saturday: Junior C.Y.E fellowship - 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm Sunday: Tenyidie service and Nagamese healing service - 10:00 am -12:30 pm and 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
It was around 1 pm and we are out there in the road and with no strength to fight the hunger pangs. On having a word with a couple of friendly people, we have decided to visit a famous restaurant in the vicinity. The name is Orami (Near NSF Martyrs Park, AH 1 or NH 29, Kohima), 2 km from the Koinonia Baptist Church via NH 61 and NH39. It took like 10 minutes for us to reach the restaurant. It was a cozy eating place located on top of an establishment. While we climb up the stairs, something was not right and half of us were already in a dilemma of returning! But then, as soon as we entered, the stunning ambience of the restaurant gave us a big relief.
Actual tree trunks and branches inside the restaurant was unique and gave us a old world feel. Then came the menu and I was taken aback to see some of the items which include dog meat, hornets, smoked rats, deep fried crispy grass hoppers, fried silk worm and so on. Though most of the items are nothing short of a delicacy in Kohima, I was not ready to remember seeing those in the menu! Most of us were settled for a lunch spread. It comprised of rice, fresh radish salad, mix of local veggies (authentic Naga style), delicious curry with bamboo shoot, toothsome chutney, some fresh meats, papad and so on. We ended our lunch with Orami tea, which was terrific. The meal for four cost us around 1,500 bucks.
We got into the taxi to our next stop at the Rengma Baptist Church, approximately 2 km from the Orami restaurant (via NH 61 and NH39). The exteriors of the church took us by surprise. The church was massive with a new building (it has to be a recently renovated one). Established during the year 1964, the Rengma Baptist Church in Kohima is one of the oldest churches in the town. The interiors were astonishing with everything in order. As we entered during a chorus as a part of a ceremony, we came out to catch the stunning views. Possibly, Kohima took us one step closer to the sheer beauty of Mother Nature!
We proceeded further and we were at the Sumi Baptists Church (via NH 61), just 10 minutes from the Rengma church. As we entered the church, we witnessed a refined speaker delivering a speech in a regional dialect. His energy and dedication made us to follow his speech for a solid duration, even though none us understood a word! We added one more church in our itinerary called as City Church Kohima before heading back to our hotel in the evening. It was a day that gave us all wonderful memories that can be cherished for years to come. Every church in the town gave us an absolute peace of mind and not to miss the stupefying outdoor views!