Wakka Village: The Wancho Citadel

Wakka was the only village in this region that I had heard of before entering Longding. It was somewhat more famous and there were already a few videos online. But before getting there we were already introduced to Konsa village and Nyinu.

Anyway, after Nyinu we kept driving and reached Wakka by afternoon. This was located at a much higher altitude, and much windier and cooler than any other place we came accross in Longding and Tirap.

The location of Wakka deserves to be noticed and celebrated the way we celebrate Mehrangarh or Chittorgarh. It is a village but it the location is chosen so that it works almost like an impregnable citadel.

Before getting to the village, let’s understand the the setting.
* The main village of Wakka is located all over a small hill. The king’s house is near the base but the hilltop has a big morung (bachelor dormitory), overlooking the whole area.
* The main road maintains a little distance from the main village and it is connected by a service road. The base of the village if lower than the road but the top of the village is much higher than the road.
* There is a church at a hillock by the side of the road, overlooking Wakka.
* There are some shops and newly built houses by the side of the road. This area sometimes called new Wakka.
*As of now there’s only one homestay, which is also in New Wakka, that is on the roadside and not in the real village. It’s a new concrete houses rather than a traditional house.
*It may sound confusing. You’ll only understand when you visit it.

Nearing Wakka

We had some quick food in a eatery on the road and then first we climbed up to the aforementioned church. Even Christianity is a new entrant in these areas and locals maintain most of their ancient traditions. The church itself is built in local style, mostly using bamboos, which makes it unique. More importantly, the main Wakka hill is exactly on the opposite of it and you get good views from here.

A closer look at the church
View of Wakka Village from the church
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The Wangham

After that we took the service road to reach the base of the village where the large house or the King was located. We met the King L Wangham  and talked to him for a while. The King’s house is the same as I saw in Konsa and for that matter, Longwa. However, the sculptures here looked a bit more elaborate. The tiger is basically a totem animal of the chiefs. A leader is supposed to have the qualities of a tiger and that’s why you always see the chief with tigers in such wooden sculptures inside the King’s house.

Inside the King’s house

After interaction with the king, we walked a bit through a small jungle stretch to reach the real hillock. This entire hillock is full of traditional Wancho houses with some narrow flights of stairs leading up to the top, where there is a big morung.

One of the ladies of the royal house

Now, morungs were the places where young unmarried men lived and learnt various things about life. But they could also be considered the first line of defense during the medieval times when conflicts with non only invaders but within various neighboring clans were a reality. In that sense, Wakka seems like a looming fortress with the defenders positioned at the top of the hillock, so that they could see the enemies coming from a distance. They could use the logdrums (every morung has a big logdrum) to alert the villagers. Also, it must have been very difficult for any invader to climb up the hill to reach the top while facing a constant barrage of projectiles.

A small jungle stretch seperates the main hill from the king’s house.
The main hike starts

Anyway, after hiking for around 10 minutes, we reached the top. Not too many people were there at that time and it was almost dark. Nevertheless, there is a nice bamboo platform for everyone to sit and enjoy the views as well as the cool breeze. I felt a spliff would have been nice here but no one had supplies. So, just spent half an hour there and then came down as it was getting dark.

View from the top
A local guy offering to sell traditional jewellery

Later on, we drove back to the main road and reached the homestay where our guide Khunwang had already arranged our stay. This is a new concrete house slight ahead on the road and only a part of the main Wakka can be seen from here. But I loved the windiness of this point. I think this place would have been good for a longish stay (data connectivity was also fine). Nevertheless, we had to move on next day for a festival. More about in the next post.

Here is a small video to get a better idea about the place. For some reasons I now realise that I don’t have enough still for this place. It normally doesn’t happen.

Wakka Travel Guide

How to reach Wakka?

Wakka is around 50 kms from Longding. The route does not even show properly on Google Maps. You can check the map I posted with my Tirap Longding Travel Guide.

tirap longding tourist map
Tirap Longding map

Is there a Homestays in Wakka?

Yes, there is one homestay in New Wakka, on the main road, a bit ahead of the main village.

Phone and data connectivity in Wakka?

My Airtel connection worked perfectly fine in Wakka.

Jitaditya Narzary

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