Does Manipur’s Ukhrul ring a bell? This district has been constantly in focus over poppy cultivation. However, its border village Jessami is popular too for its rich historical heritage that witnessed fierce battles dating back to World War II. Owing to this, the village beckons foreign visitors leading to potential growth in battlefield tourism. Tapping into this factor, Jessami Village Council or JVC will hold 39 Hours Walk in April, where in total 20 British nationals will recreate the walk of soldiers from 80 years ago to mark the event’s 80th anniversary in 2024.
As a part of this initiative, which is scheduled to be held from April 1 to 4, as many as 17 British nationals have already begun two-day expedition to Jessami village, located along the Indo-Myanmar border, on February 10.
About Jessami Village & Its History
Jessami Village, close to Kohima in Nagaland and Indo-Myanmar border, is nestled amidst lofty mountains. Three rivers – Thetsii, Lanye and Tizu – snake through the topography that has witnessed Battle of Jessami, marking the maiden event linked to World War II, fought between the first Assam Regiment of the Allied Forces and the 31st Division of Japanese soldiers from March 28, 1944 to April 1, 1944. This clash, recorded in history, led to strengthening of defence at Kohima. Subsequently, it contributed in turning the tide of World War II in support of the Allied Forces.
Why ‘39 Hours Walk’
The Assam Regiment decided to go back from Jessami to Kohima on foot. They covered the distance of over 29 miles under the flying crows, and some 60 miles along the roads and trails, across sub-Himalayan terrain in 39 hours, with some 260 men. They started the withdrawal journey at midnight on April 1and arrived at Kohima 39 hours later at 3 pm on April 3, 1944. Thus, to commemorate this achievement and valour of the personnel the current event is for 39 hours.
Itinerary Of Visitors
- Touring Jessami’s landmarks, including the War Memorial and battle site
- Getting fresh perspective through local narratives and witnessing war artifacts
- Understanding and appreciating Jessami’s role in history
- Witnessing remnants of the dug-out trench, foxholes and old British road