OFFBEAT TERRAINS OF DZUKOU VALLEY, NAGALAND
I was looking for a road less travelled far from civilisation of human destruction but little did I know I would end up walking the stairways to paradise on Earth – DZUKOU VALLEY. 🙂 🙂 The unbridled whim of lush green rainforests, gurgling streams of waterfalls and unmatched varieties of flora and fauna are little tokens while trekking up to the enchanting valley. It is a place my eyes always lusted for and I was speechless to have crossed it off my bucket list.
ABOUT DZUKOU VALLEY
Dzukou means “Cold Water” and named after cold stream that flows through the valley. The place is known to be inhabited by Angami Tribe of Nagaland. It is located at the Border of two North Eastern States of India, Manipur and Nagaland and is present at around 2452m above sea level. The panoramic view of the Valley is astounding and will definitely let you pull up your sock above the travelling boots. It is bestowed with drooling nature and is also called as NORTH-EASTERN VALLEY OF FLOWERS due to massive seasonal flowering. There are treks opened both from Manipur and Nagaland.
To explore Dzukou Valley it is important to plan a trip for 3 days or else it will be very tiring and inconvenient. After having travelled to Dzukou Valley with limited time of 2 days, the fatigue has caught by body but mind was raw with memories of the Eastern Frontier – a valley resided by angels in invisible disguise and a place next to heavenly.
(This is an itinerary that I haven’t followed but is a suggested one. I have followed the same routes and trails thou)
The journey to the pristine paradise starts from Kohima – Capital of Nagaland. There are two routes leading to Dzukou Valley – one from Zakhama Village and other from Visvema Village. I have trekked through Zakhama Village route as it is shorter but steeper and difficult. Visvema village route is easier but longer.
Route – Reaching Zakhama Village from Kohima is easy as it is a fine motorable road. Shared taxi from Kohima to Zakhama is available at BOC counter in Kohima. The starting point of Zakhama Village trek is around 4 kms after crossing Military Camp in Zakhama and there is a sign board stating – “Way to DZUKOU”. The sign board faces towards the inner side, is green in colour and the trek road is on right side while driving from Zakhama. The Zakhama road is motorable till an extent after which you need to start climbing.
There is one single trail but it is steep amidst beautiful jungles. After forced ascent or steep climb of few hours you reach top of the jungle trail and descent down to reach the guest house. The descent is easy and straight walk on a narrow road carved out of the hill and is between high rise bushes. After walking for around 45 minutes you reach the guest house for overnight stay.
Time Taken – The Zakhama road is forced ascent and trail is made of stones arranged as stairway. It is a moderate trek with continuous climb of around 4 to 5 hours. For a regular trekker it will take around 4 hours but for occasional trekkers or beginners it might take anything between 6 to 7 hours to reach the guest house. There are many streams and waterfalls in between to fill water and it sure is a trek that would melt every trekker’s heart.
We reached at around 6.30pm after trekking for about 7 hours and started at 11.30am. The place was full of visitors. There was many groups who visited to get mesmerised with the valley.
- After crossing the Military camp, keep your eye fixed on right side of the road and see all signboards carefully. There is a bridge like structure adjacent the trek route.
- The route is not suggested for people with injury, knee pain or breathing problem. It is a steep climb so think before you start.
- Stay overnight at Kohima and start the trek as early as possible next day and not later than 7am to enjoy sunset from Guest House located at top.
This is the day that you will cherish all your life and is a precious one to be added to every traveller’s diary. Spend the day vagabonding in the exotic Dzukou Valley, explore the caves, walk to the stream and enjoy flowers while in season.
The enchanting valley in the backyard of North-Eastern State of Nagaland boast of surreal surrounding, amidst the clouds & wind gently caressing your skin. The dune like natural rocks from rest house looks like finely mowed elevated carpet of grass covering the hill shaped little valleys. With crystal clear stream dividing the valley, it can be explored by walking down from the guest house. There is a single trail made between lush green grasslands and flowers into the direction of the valley.
The sight of black burnt tree trunk, green grassland and narrow trails will steal your heart!!(It took me on a ride for lifetime). 🙂 🙂
Sit by stream and ease out stress, enjoy the sight of crystal clear water and far sighted blue hills. Take a sneak peek in the natural caves (Oh!! The caves can be also used for accommodation purpose). Trust me!! You can’t get enough of this majestic wanderlust experience wanting to come back again.
It is time to bid adieu to the wonderful Dzukou Valley and it is immensely heart breaking to leave the place. I swear I felt like staying there forever. The peace, serenity and people I met are some of the best things that happened in my life.
Climbing down depends on how much time you have. If you have ample amount of time take the Visvema Road and enjoy the idyllic trail with pure natural essence. But if you want to save some time, climb down the Zakhama route.
I climbed down the Zakhama route as I did not have much time and had to get back to Dimapur the same evening.
(My trip was concluded in 2 days due to time constraint and was very stressful. I had no day 3 unfortunately. I trekked and reached the guest house on Day 1 at 6.30pm and it was already dark. Next day me and my friends woke up at 5am to explore the valley and started climbing down by 10.30pm. Trust me; my legs faced the brunt of it).
- Have a cab pre-booked to pick you after you climb down from either of the road as the there is slight conveyance problem and you might have to walk for long to get a cab.
- Try not to conclude your trip on Sunday if you are planning to come back to Dimapur as frequency of cabs from Kohima to Dimapur on Sunday is very less.
Accommodation is not a problem because there is a guest house located at the top of the valley and some or the other arrangement will be made.
There are three types of Accommodation
- Dormitories – There are two large sized hall rooms that are used as dormitories for accommodation. It is affordable and per person per night charge is only Rs 50/-/
- VIP rooms – These are not luxurious rooms but small rooms with bed facilities. The charge if Rs 300 per night per person. Book one week in advance for them.
Contact for Booking – 8575821644/8575075130.
Blankets, Foam Mattress, Utensils etc are available on rent. Firewood can be purchased for preparing your own food or you can purchase dinner from them at Rs 200/- per plate.
- Caves – If you want to vagabond and experience complete wanderlust, climb down from the rest house and stay inside the caves. You need to carry everything right from food, sleeping amenities, light, firewood etc to stay inside the caves.
Seriously I haven’t seen such a place, so unreal and to uncanny to be true. I was lost in the whimsical surrounding and engulfed in the nature, I feel Privileged to have got the chance to visit this far away magical land. If this will not force you to grab your trekking boots, I am not sure what will.
Things you need to take care:-
- Dimapur is the only connecting route to Kohima if you are coming from outside Nagaland. There are cabs available from Dimapur Railway Station to Kohima for Rs 220 per person easily. Stay overnight at Kohima to start early next day.
- If you are not a resident of Nagaland or not working here either, don’t travel without Inner Line Permit. It is required even for Indians and is available at Nagaland house located in various cities or DC court in Dimapur.
- Don’t involve yourself in any argument with locals. Nagaland people are some of the best and warm hearted people but if you mess with them, be ready to face the consequences.
Go Explore!! DO SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE. 🙂 🙂