Nagaland: Shalom Resort

Nagaland: Shalom Resort

The Shalom Resort in Nagaland is a great off-beat holiday destination

Precious Kamei
October 13 , 2017
06 Min Read

"Dang it, eyes! You had one job." This finally escaped my mouth after the nth failed attempt at archery. On TV it looked so easy and light—just aim and shoot. Little did I know that before "aim and shoot", the side effects are a pulled muscle, stiff shoulders and an unhealthy amount of nervous sweat. Archery was supposed to be a relaxing activity but my experience with the sport at Shalom Resort was anything but. How and what of all these—I was at this quaint little retreat, tucked away in an area called Hepuluzam in the small roadside village of Gaili in Peren district, Nagaland. Before I go into how I reached Shalom Resort, I must add that this particular region is a haven for off-roading enthusiasts.

Gaili, actually just an hour away from Dimapur, took me by surprise. It took us, a team of five—four Royal Enfield riders and one pillion rider (me)—close to four hours to reach. Some off-roading route that was! Vast and vegetation none too heavy, the scenery consisted of medium range blue hills, dotted with patches of forest and paddy fields here and there. As we neared Gaili, the hills seemed nearer and roads progressively uneven. And I am not speaking of potholes, this was kaccha road at its best. Just few hundred metres away from the property, the road which we took was reduced to thin tracts of broken ground. This being my first off-roading on a motorbike, I couldn't help but wonder when will I stop bouncing and take a breather. Mercifully, we spotted a 'Shalom Resort' signboard from afar and my hopes went many notches up. By the time we reached Shalom, it was already dark and I couldn't see much of the property, just the restaurant, the next-door morung, the inviting swimming pool lights and my designated cottage. I may have dragged myself to my cottage and then onto the blissful bathtub. After what seemed like an eternity of much-needed soaking in the tub,  I stepped out to find the guys in the pool. What an excellent thing to have when every muscle in your body screams REST NEEDED! No wonder the pool is one of the resort's star attractions, and rightfully so.

Morungs are traditional Naga dormitories. In pic: Zeliang morung

Right outside the pool area were two very large morungs—traditional thatched-roof Naga houses. In the old Naga tradition, every village used to have a morung—dormitory system for bachelors, mainly for educational purposes. Though this practice is non-existent at present, spending a night in these morungs, however, is a great experience. My other team members were put up in the Zeliang morung and well, I had my cottage. The Luxury Cottage which they assigned to me came with all modern conveniences—A/C, hot water, a double-bed, a living space with dining area, a closet, intercom, a TV and most importantly–peace and quiet. But this being my first traditional experience, I was not going to miss the opportunity. So upon request, the management arranged a bed for me inside the morung (the interior had two parts—a common dormitory and a small private room at the back. Cozy!) Then came the blessed dinner announcement—rice, pork cooked with bamboo shoot, dried-fish chutney and locally-grown boiled vegetables. That simple traditional meal was of great comfort after a long  and tiring day. 

Old animal skulls on display

I don't know what is with fresh cool hilly air but I was up by 5am the next morning and curious to explore! In the morning light only did I realise where I was and also the fact that the morung was separated from the outside world by only a bamboo mesh door! I won't be the only one to go ahead and say that it is that safe. Apart from the sight of four well-weathered gentlemen blissfully asleep, the morning light showed me a whole different world of old Naga tradition and culture. The beds that we had slept in were raised wood and bamboo platforms, the dormitory had a traditional fireplace for cooking purposes, one corner of the room had spears on display and the thatched wall had old animal skulls exhibited. Okay, so that's where the team spent the night. I was not surprised to find myself behaving all touristy. Outside, the morning was at its finest.

It's green all around at Shalom Resort

Right outside the morung was a raised stone platform high enough to give you a 360 degree view of the property. And what a view it was! You could get a good look of all 25 acres of greenery, dotted with an archery ground, trekking paths, vast grounds for camping and picnics. I decided to spend my morning doing something new. So I tried archery, and realised I was not going to master the sport that day. However, there were plenty other interesting things to do in and around Shalom. The resort has facilities like boating, angling, cycling and trekking up to John Butler's Bridle Path—an old horse-trail in the nearby hill used by the Britishers. The property has two large picnic spots—jungle and riverside, a camping site and off-road tracks. The resort even hosts off-road events (the latest was organised by AON–Association of Offroaders Nagaland).

To me, its location makes Shalom Resort a great place for an off-beat holiday with family and friends; perfect for an adventure vacation; and for thrill-seekers, a great off-roading destination. A very serene and quiet place, perfect for that much-needed getaway from the hustle-bustle of towns and cities. And best, it won't burn a hole in your pocket.

After a hearty breakfast of hot pooris, alu matar, toast, eggs and green tea, we began our preparation for our journey ahead. As a parting gesture, clouds gathered, a tad too much I must say. It poured within minutes and so we took a vote to whether wait the storm out or ride. Needless to say, as we rode out in rain, Shalom Resort was a sight to behold—a place where time stood still. 

A cosy sitting room

The Information

Location: Shalom Resort, Hepuluzam, Gaili Village, Peren, Nagaland

Accommodation: 2 Luxury Cottages (A/C), 2 Executive Cottages (A/C), 1 Standard non A/C Cottage, 2 traditional morungs.
Tariff: 2000-4000 for cottages; For morungs: 300 without bedding, 500 with bedding. Extra charges for pool and archery.

Contact: +91 9862917189 (for reservation and more information)

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