Reliving Thanamir Village Trip

Thanamir Village of Pungro Block, Kiphire District is the last village in Nagaland bordering Myanmar.  Trekkers to Mt. Saramati hold the night at Thanamir and prepare for the climb the next day. The villagers provide the trekkers with Potters and Security Guards. Why Security? To protect the trekkers from wild Yaks. Recently Thanamir has also earned the 'Apple Village' title for the juicy apples that are grown in the village. In the middle of July, 2010, I made a trip to the village with a few friends from the Nagaland Missions Movement.

 Here's how it began: We filled our tanks at Pungro Town, my base

The road in this bend held us for almost an hour. You cannot see any house here, but this site is proposed for setting up a new town called Khongsa. Villagers from neighbouring villages will come and settle here. EAC office is the only house constructed so far.
While we were held up by mud, I clicked this double-peaked mountain. I think someone else clicked it too and put it in a government calendar. We have just crossed the NSCN(IM) designated camp at Salomi village, so, I'm sure the cadres at the camp will be enjoying this view everyday.

At last, the first sight of thanamir. On the upper left quadrant of the picture below, you can see some white specks. That's our destination village

But first, a river to cross and those winding roads to travel

The two missionary teachers, Rev. Amos and his son

Ambulance crossing the Likimro river
We made it

We wasted no time to climb the second Saramati

Blueberries to cheer us along the way
Very thick jungles...It's a good thing the village youth has banned plucking of orchids and wild plants
Medicinal plants at the top of the mountain
Dressed in their red Gaon Bura waistcoats, the villagers who took us up weren't tired at all
Jungles as thick as cauliflowers...those are jungles where wild yaks come for drinking salt water

                            Why I came to Thanamir.

Of course for this too. The most common health complaints were backpain and pain abdomen. Back pain because of heavy work and carrying heavy loads up and down the steep terrains; pain abdomen because of indiscrimate use of pain killers to relieve the backache and joints pain. Inter-related
Pigs roam freely with the kids. In my health talk in the church, I stressed on the importance of sanitation and urged them to enclose the pigs in sties. After some months when I visited the village again for apple festival, it was such a delight to see the village much cleaner and pigs all enclosed

The future

Couldn't go back....It rained the previous night and the river was flooded. So we climbed 2 hours back to the village 

It wasn't all that bad, we met this lovely couple. These two stones are said to be a couple
Next morning at 5, we walked down to the river, hoping and praying that the river level has gone down
Thank God, it didn't rain heavily the previous night. But crossing the river this time was much more difficult. The villagers came armed with ropes to pull the vehicle.
That is Fakim village...Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary. General Knowledge for competitive exam

 Lots of lime stone deposits too

Again held at the would-be-town

Finally back to Pungro..lovely flowers belonging to Mrs. Bendangla, wife of my esteemed missionary partner Tangit Longkumer, who took me on this memorable trip
Displaying my trophies: green wallnuts collected along the way
and a wood turning into stone, from way to Saramati

And finally, the man behind "Saramati Apple, Thanamir Village", Mr. J. Yungbokhiung. He moved out of the village years back to start a new village. But when he heard I was collecting stories of the apples in Thanamir, he visited me at my quarter in Pungro. The man who planted the first apple tree in Thanamir. Without him, there would be no 'Saramati Apple' and I wouldn't have published my apple story


  1. Amazing - feel like we are going back in time - or should it be forward? Keep up the good work dear friend!

  2. Lovely! But the roads need serious repair :-)

  3. wonderful photo essay! keep up with the good work. now u're a writer + photo-journalist!! :)

  4. I hope the story continues......never get tired of writing such beautiful memories.

  5. Thanks a lot, all of you. The Saramati Apple Festival is going to be an annual festival from now on. probably it will fall in the later half of July. So, even if not this year, plan to come and experience for yourself:)

  6. .....That was really a refreshing Read (Yes, for us sitting in fron of the computer and savoring your account of your journey and tryst)but I beliv the actual Journey was, at the least, "tiring". Love your writing but above all your spirit and ability to see good in everything....Hats off to you....

  7. Hello Sani,

    I enjoyed reading about your Thanamir village trip. I wish to go there with my wife late this year. Can you tell me if there is regular jeep service to this village? Or is the ONLY option to arrange our own private transport?

    Thank you so much.


  8. Hello Neeraj. There is no Jeep service or any Public Transport to the village. There is daily bus/taxi service from Kiphire (the district HQ) to Pungro, the nearest town. From there, you have to either walk for half a day or hire a pvt. vehicle to Thanamir.

  9. Thank you so much, Sao, for the info! Do you have the contact information of any person in Pungro who can help with arranging a vehicle to Thanamir?

    Is it safe to walk to Thanamir from Pungro?


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