Monday, June 17, 2024

Jessami to host Battlefield Tourists from Britain


EKHON |UKHRUL: Jessami village is set to host as many as 17 visitors mostly of British Nationalities on Saturday as part of the ongoing initiative of Jessami Village Council (JVC) to promote Battlefield Tourism at this historic border village in Manipur’s Ukhrul district. The visit, Dr. Weyepe N Mekrisuh, a native of Jessami said is a built-up to the upcoming ‘39 HOURS WALK’ slated from 1- 4th April, 2024 where over 20 British nationalities will recreate the walk that ensued 80 years ago.

Kohima Educational Trust (KET) Trustee Charlotte Carty, granddaughter of Lt Col William Felix (‘Bruno’) Brown, who was the Commanding Officer of the First Assam Regiment at the time of the Battle of Kohima in 1944 is on a mission to remember her Grandfather through “39 HOURS WALK”.

On her upcoming mission, Charlotte Carty said, “I became particularly interested in the withdrawal back to Kohima of the Assam Regiment from the village of Jessami, where fierce preliminary contact had been made with the invading Japanese. This withdrawal, on foot, was over a distance of some 29 miles as the crow flies, and some 60 miles along the paths and tracks, across sub-Himalayan terrain, in frequent contact with the Japanese. The Regiment achieved this in 39 hours, with some 260 men making it through to bolster the thin defences at Kohima. They started at midnight on 1st April and arrived at Kohima 39 hours later at 3pm on 3rd April 1944.”

Image courtesy: KET

“As part of the 80th anniversary of the battle in 2024, I am seeking to recreate this walk to highlight the achievements of all of the forces who fought at Kohima, and to remember the local Naga people who were so vital in the campaign and in particular the fighting withdrawal of the Assam Regiment back to Jessami,” Charlotte further stated at KET website.

Meanwhile, the locals of Jessami who are known for their hospitality is set to make the visitors feel at home by involving them in their traditional ways of life. Among others, the itinerary of the two-day tour to Jessami will include, Morung Gathering at Pothemi Khel in the evening as part of the promotion of the indigenous culture where the visitors will be entertained with folk songs, warrior cry, story-telling etc.

The international visitors will also take a village walk where they will get to see Jessami War Memorial, Jessami Battle site and witness remnants of the dug-out trench, foxholes and old British road. The local guides will treat the tourists with a local narrative of the battlefield to unlock new perspective. War artefacts will also be showcased to the visiting international tourist. The tour also included a must sight see of the sprawling rice field at Thetsii Valley as part of the Agro-educational tour.

The itinerary of the tour is meticulously planned by Jessami Kaleidoscopic Tourism & Wildlife Conservation Board in collaboration with proprietor, Battle of Imphal Tour and Sampan Travel.

Jessami Village Council is painstakingly committed to promoting conscious tourism for economic sustainability for the village that has historical significance, rich culture and wildlife resources. The village council is slowly but steadily promoting battlefield tourism, agro tourism and wildlife tourism among others.

The locals are hopeful to gain revenue from the flow of international tourists in the village. Mention may be made that for the last couple of years, Jessami has been getting visitors from not just World War enthusiasts but also bird watchers, especially the near extinct Mrs Humes Pheasant (Nongin) from both national and international visitors. More than 120 tourists have visited this border village of Jessami since September 2023, informed Dr. Weyepe N Mekrisuh.


  1. I had taken over command of Jessami post from a Garhwal Battalion in March 1990. It was a lovely tenure with the Chakesangs, more so as l could speak Nagamese.


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