There is nothing quite like the sensory experience of a trip to a market. The sights, sounds and smells assault the senses in a way far removed from the comfort of our homes, and it is where visitors are most likely to get a glimpse into how the locals live and interact in everyday life. There are a number of local markets in Dimapur where you can find great local produce, authentic food, and enjoy soaking up the atmosphere of laidback Naga life. Which market is best for you depends on which day of the week and what exactly it is you want to find.
Every Sunday, a huge gathering of farmers, livestock breeders, and vendors set up shop at Dilai gate (Near St. John Higher Secondary School, Diphu road). Fresh produce – vegetables, fruits, meats, are brought in straight from the farms. The Sunday market is also a great place to buy livestock- piglets, chickens, ducks, goats, and cows too. One can also find food hawkers at the market serving piping hot street food to anyone fancying a quick bite while they shop.
Early on Tuesday mornings, people flock to the Tin Mile Bazaar, as it is popularly called, at 3rd Mile (Near Chekiye Village gate) in search of local vegetables and fruits, freshly butchered meat, fish and live poultry. Since most of the local vegetables are brought in from villages in Wokha, Pfutsero and Kohima, a wide variety of seasonal wild greens are available at the market. In the far corner of the market, second-hand apparels are also hung out for sale in the temporary sheds.
On Wednesdays, the focus shifts to the open market at Supermarket Complex. In addition to the local vegetables, fruits and meats, varieties of locally grown rice and grains, Wednesday market also features numerous local artisans selling their handicrafts- decorative wood art, practical woven baskets, Daos (machetes), aluminum pots and pans etc. Street food vendors dot the place, giving market goers options ranging from puri sabji to galho. For those with an adventurous palate, local delicacies like snails, woodworms, bees, white rats which are supposedly good for asthma, and even dog meat are available on a regular basis. If you’re an urban gardener or a houseplant enthusiast, Wednesday Market has you covered. From the ubiquitous bougainvillea to riveting little cacti and succulents, plant lovers from all over town flock to the market in search of something rare, unusual or collectible.
The 6th Mile bazaar on Thursday is a smaller affair. Vendors and hawkers of all kinds line up on the roadside offering up a choice of fresh vegetables, fruits, and street food. Butcher shops are conveniently set up at almost every corner, with the pork-loving Nagas in mind. Freshly caught fishes from various fisheries around town are also available.
Fridays are hectic at 4th Mile (Opposite Central Jail) where shoppers from near and far come to stock up for the weekend. Assorted vegetables and fruits, meats, fishes and live poultry, animal feed, kitchen commodities like salt, sugar, pulses, rice, and a wide range of second-hand clothing, this market has it all. Another attraction at 4th Mile bazaar is the street food- piping hot jalebis, samosas, puris and local delights like galho, local pork sausages. The street foods sell out like hot cakes.
A great way to spend Saturdays would be to visit the biggest market in town, the Chumu bazaar (Chumukedima). It offers everything from fresh produce- vegetables and meats, and handicrafts, to second-hand clothing to livestock, Chumu bazaar will surprise you with the mishmash of products. Some highlighted products and goods include apples from Saramati, organic vegetables from Pfutsero, bamboo shoots from Jalukie, and Axone from Zunheboto. It also features as many number of small food stalls dishing out delicious platters of beef masala thalis, spicy pakoras with tea, puri with beef innards curry and the local favorite galho. Houseplants and flowers are also occasionally sold here.
Business at the local markets in Dimapur begin as early as 5 in the morning and go on until 6 or 7 in the evening. With the majority of locals preferring the ‘farm to table’ approach to food, the daily local markets are serious business. These markets serve not only as a way for people to purchase locally grown produce but also a chance for them to connect with others within their communities.