Dzukou Valley Trek
Will you believe me if I say there is a place tucked in one of the remotest corner of Northeast India? A place too far out of reach for humans to exploit which remains untouched by grounded travelers. A place where the only audible sounds come from the tranquil murmurs of perennial brooks, the rustle of the bamboo shrubs and our footfall on the ground. A place where flowers of all colors dance to the rhythm of the wind. A place that is not only for those seeking serenity and spirituality but also for the adventure seekers, trekkers, etc.
A place to which you can run away from the hustle and bustle of city life with no distraction at all. Yes, such a place exists and it’s called ‘The Dzukou Valley’. Nestled in the border of Nagaland and Manipur, this place must be in every traveler’s bucket list, a place which will leave you spellbound with its magic and beauty.
The Dzukou Valley, on the boundary between Nagaland and Manipur, is a gorgeous spot with rolling slopes, flowing streams, and tangled wild growths all having unique beauty. Northeast India is adorned with this significant feature. Dzukou Valley, times known as Dzükou Valley, is 2,452 meters above sea level. The lush green hillocks contrast with the bright blue skies and exuberant flowers, making the place even more stunning in the summer. The location is transformed into a tropical getaway throughout the winter months. A white layer of snow blankets the valley. It wasn’t much popular before and was primarily visited by locals. In the information era, however, such a location could not have remained secret for long. The Hornbill Festival too did a lot of it to make the place vibrant.
Where is Dzukou located?
The Dzukou Valley is a valley in northeast India that lies between the states of Nagaland and Manipur. The natural surroundings, seasonal flowers, and flora and animals of this valley are well-known.
The valley is known for its diverse array of flowers in all seasons, but the most famous is the Dzukou Lily, which can only be found in this valley.
The Best time to visit Dzukou-
The months of June through August are optimum for visiting Dzukou Valley. The weather is pleasant at this time of year, and it is quickly becoming the finest time to visit the valley. This valley, which is located in picturesque northeast India, is already rich in biodiversity, landscape beauty, and natural art. So, to get the most out of your trip, you must pick the optimal time to visit the location.
Some people prefer winters, while others prefer monsoons or summers. This is entirely dependent on the whims and fancy of the traveler.
Ecosystem of Dzukou valley-
During the monsoons, the seasonal flowers blossom and dot the valley in a rainbow of colors, spreading across the carpet of dwarf bamboo. Bamboo plants dominate the valley and are believed to have inhibited the growth of a variety of other plant species. The rare Blyth’s Tragopan, Nagaland’s state bird, is said to live quietly in the woods beyond the valley.
From April through August, the Dzukou Valley’s ecology promotes the growth of the uncommon Dzukou Lily (Lilium Chitrangadae). The endemic flower is a distant cousin of the Shirui Lily (Lilium Mackliniae), a rare species native to Manipur’s Shirui Hills.
About Dzukou valley Trek-
“Dzu – ko” means “soulless” and “dull” in Angami dialect, and this translates to this because of the terrible weather circumstances for crop harvesting.
Legend has it that the Angami Tribe’s forefathers attempted to create a new village and settlement in the Dzukou Valley, but were unsuccessful owing to harsh weather conditions that made cultivation and agriculture impossible. Because it was extremely cold, nothing edible could grow there, and there were no trees, it was deemed unfit for human habitation.
The valley is associated with various myths and stories, including the existence of a white elephant, the river’s healing properties, and a location where the dead repose before departing.
How to reach dzukou valley from Nagaland?
Dzukou Valley is easily accessible from Kohima, Nagaland’s capital. You have to land in Dimapur first and drive to Kohima. The valley is accessible from two towns: Jakhama and Viswema, both of which serve as base camps. Kohima is around 20 kilometers away from Jakhama, and Viswema is about 25 kilometers away. In an hour, you can reach either town by using a shared taxi. You’ll have to hike to Dzukou Valley from there.
How to approach the valley from Viswema?
You will have to travel for 8 kilometers on a motorable road to reach the Dzukou valley trek point via the Viswema path. The route then progressively ascends. Then, for around 3 hours, hike along the trekking track. From the highway to the end of the motorable road, you can also rent a taxi or a cab.
After arriving in Viswema, trek 45 minutes along the path to the valley’s beginning point. This location has a resting area where you can take a relaxing lunch break. Then go for a two-hour nature stroll in the valley. At the end of the trail, you’ll find a lovely rest stop.
How to approach the valley from Jakhama?
This way is significantly more difficult than the Viswema approach, but adventurers and adrenaline seekers can take it. The steep, rough-hewn stone route will put your legs to the test. You can use this trail to descend from the valley because it is less slick than Viswema.
If you’re traveling up to the Dzukou valley from Jakhama, take the 4-kilometer motorable route. Then go on a 5-hour adventure hike through the rugged terrain. The walkway eventually connects with the Viswema trail.
Where to stay in Dzukou valley?
There are various stay options in the valley.
- A simple rest home with basic amenities overlooks the valley, with two common dorms. It’s kind of a hall and you will have to sleep n the floor sharing the entire hall with other fellow travelers.
- There are 3-4 personal guest houses where you can spend nights without having shared with others but they are about 300m away from the main kitchen.
- Last but not the least, you can always carry your tent and pitch outside the common dorms.
Note: You will get blankets, pillow, mats etc on rent over there.
Food in dzukou valley.
In the valley, there is a kitchen arranged which is maintained and secured by their community and provides food to the people. The basics of food are easily accessible there consisting of rice, dal, sabji and pickle.
However, in total, there are almost seven such kitchens where you can make and prepare your food. You can take the materials required for that such as the utensils and the wood logs for the fire. The money is to be paid in a per-day system for the services to be used.
Nonetheless, a guide is recommended all the way because a good communication bridge can be building up among the locals and can help with the issues that can occur there.
Note: Bathroom facility is not quite good as there are three common bathrooms to pee and poop. There’s a tap from where you have to carry bucket full of water for use.
At Dzukou Valley Trek, There Are A Lot Of Fun Things To See And Do.
It’s a blessing that Dzukou Valley hasn’t been destroyed by human civilization; else, we’d never see such a paradise on Earth. After a difficult climb to the resthouse, you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic view of the world’s most stunning sight. Inhale deeply for a second to soothe your silent struggle, and then sprint downhill to the valley’s grassy portion to feel the breeze against your face. The soothing breeze will persuade you to let go of your worries. Reassure yourself that Dzukou has a lot of interesting locations and things to see.
- For avid trekkers, the Dzukou trail is the most desirable hiking and trekking trail. Enjoy the best trekking in the Dzukou Valley.
- It’s intriguing to see a type of short bamboo shrub that has taken over the entire area. The shrubs provide yet another reason to appreciate the destination’s distinctiveness. The scene conjures up a mental image of the Bliss wallpaper scenery from Windows XP in beautiful weather. The smooth hillocks and neighboring mountain peaks provide a rich and tempting view.
- The picturesque Japfu range and its peak are approachable for trekkers. Then they may camp and enjoy a spectacular bird’s-eye view of the flower valley. At night, one can stare at the stars and enjoy the calm of nature’s solitude.
- During the peak season, seasonal blooms and different species of lilies adorn the entire valley, making it a truly wonderful spot to visit. The valley is covered in a multi-colored carpet of wild and wavy flowers. The valley is home to an indigenous flora known as the Dzukou Lily, which attracts scholars and explorers alike. It normally blooms in April, when the sky is blue and there is plenty of sunshine. The weight of beauty is indescribable in terms of compliments.
- During the winter, the frost completely covers the entire area. It’s normal to find being bewitched fascinating. Meanwhile, the small brook that runs through the valley freezes, making it possible to walk on solid ice. A random trail’s small bridges over the brook provide a ravishingly lovely vibe.
- It’s the ideal site to acquire a perfect backdrop for influential photos and selfies for insta reels and posts, as well as any other social media. Whether it’s winter or summer, the camera can take some pretty cool photos that you’ll enjoy.
Things you must carry
- Bring along some comfy track trousers and tees to keep you warm while going up.
- Bring a jacket with you in case it gets cold which it will when the sun sets. It’s also a good idea to bring a raincoat, as the area is known for its sudden downpours.
- For a good trek, a strong pair of shoes is advised.
- Power banks are a godsend! However, because electricity (pitch dark after sunset) is not available there, it is necessary to bring a power bank as well as a torch.
- Bring quick or packaged foods with you.
- You can also bring along some light munchies. However, there is a snack shop upstairs that offers food for twice the price.
- Those that get queasy frequently should bring motion sickness treatment with them.
- Having a personal first-aid kit is always a good idea.
- Keep a sanitizing spray such as pee spray on you at all times.
- Do not forget to carry sanitizers and soaps. Use sunscreen to avoid your skin burn.
How to Reach Dzukou Valley?
Dzukou Valley Trek Guide–
. Guwahati to Dimapur
. Guwahati being the nearest place to Nagaland, outlanders first have to come to Guwahati and from there they can choose which way to go.
- By train
- Book a flight ticket from Guwahati(GAU) to Dimapur(DMU)
. Dimapur to Kohima
From Dimapur it is a lengthy and bumpy journey to Kohima. it takes around 4 to 5 hours to get to Kohima and the best way is to go is with a shared taxi. You can also book a private cab but it will cost a lot more.
. Kohima to trek point
There are two ways from where you can start your trek.
.Viswema route- this one is for beginners and it is a little bit easy.
.Zakhama route- it is not a straight route and comparatively difficult than Viswema route but takes less time.
It is suggested that you go upwards through Viswema and come down through Zakhama.
So far you need to book a cab for both ways to get to the starting point of the trek on the first place you need to pay entry fees to enter the valley
Dzukou Valley Itinerary
On the first day you will reach Dimapur at around 5 am in the morning. From there you’ll be booking your cab and directly head out to Kohima. It is a long journey on bumpy roads. The roads are still crude and under construction but the views are breathtaking.
Once you reach Kohima, you can directly head out to the starting point of the trek or you can stay the night in Kohima and rest as the bumpy journey will already drain out all your energy. We prefer staying the night at the guest house in Kohima and explore nearby places and markets in the capital city of Nagaland. The markets are open till 5 pm in the evening and you can still get out for walking around.
On this day your actual journey just gets started. After having breakfast, get on the cab to reach the starting point of the trek. Do not carry plastic up there, even if you do so keep them with you without littering. The road to the trek point is also something you’ll never forget but it is totally rocky and undulating. it takes around an hour to reach the point with a cab. it is an hour and a half long uphill path. It has amazing views and you’ll see other local people and children coming down from the valley with bamboo bushes. it is very normal for them to go up and down without any sign of tiredness as they are habituated. But for beginners it is very relentless, so better start working out on your body in advanced.
After the uphill climb of about 1 to 1 and half hours you’ll finally be in Dzukou valley. The moment you reach the valley you’re definitely going to be mesmerized by the surroundings which is impossible to put into text or words. We stopped for some time to properly get to feel the area with the absence of any humans having an appearance like that of Windows default wallpapers. Only the sounds of grass and leaves rustling, bug buzz of cicadas and the wind along with our footsteps could be heard while we resumed the trek. Among the vegetation it was a green background with the only presence of bamboo shrubs.
With enough sightseeing it was time to go to our dorms. The road to accommodation was actually double the distance and one must cross a dozen more hills in the trek. A beginner may need 3 to 4 hours but one who is familiar with such adventures can cover up the distance in 2 and a half hours. We reached the place of stay with an ample amount of tiredness but it was covered up by the nearby trees without any leaves, the stumps with their naked branches was a pure beauty. It was around 5:30 in the evening and most of our fellow trekkers opt out to stay at the dorms while the others set out to live in the tents. After a couple of hours food was prepared in the dormitory’s authentic kitchen, dinner was served simple. In a matter of time it was pitch black dark as the night sky took over, a sky full of stars. Bonfire was set up under the night sky which couldn’t stop twinkling after which one by one, everyone was sleeping.
The next morning was not another day to waste so the campers and us started waking up at around 5 in the morning. It was the chilliest feeling ever, even brushing teeth felt like putting ice inside the mouth. We noticed a wooden platform kind of thing nearby on the edge, still wrapped up in blankets we went and saw the valley down below which had zero visibility. The area was covered by thick clouds appearing as a fluffy white blanket around the whole world. The transitioning of the cloud cover clearing out into the deep green valley was as beautiful as a sunset near the sea.
We brought some loaf along made sandwiches and tea, breakfast was done. After putting on the boots and running shoes it was another beautiful day to explore. While we were going downhill the trees on the path were seen marked by psalms from the Bible. Reading those in the morning had positive vibes on everyone as all living beings big and small is forever grateful to God. A further beyond we could see a large cross standing tall at a distance. It was windy at that time we reached a helipad which presented us with a 360 degree wide brilliant view. After rumbling down for a couple hours we nearly reached a point which can be referred to as a dead end. It was a place beyond the pines with streams flowing into brooks which was like an adventure save point we stopped by washed our faces with the crystal clear water and clicked a lot of pictures. There was a cave like geographic structure with colorful engravings of the names of every hikers over time which was called the Spirit Wall, so we had another new story to tell. It took one and a half hour to get back to our campsite to have our lunch as the stomachs were already growling. As it was dusk the sun dipping below the horizon beyond the valley was magical. As the night sky arrived an usual bonfire was set and for activity, it was decided a karaoke night. After a nice singing session we cooked our dinner and went to sleep.
As it was the last day in the valley we had to pack up all the things and clean up the mess and get the area cleared. Oh a fun fact! There’s a saying that if you do not shout out your name before leaving Dzukou valley your soul that’s inside you gets left behind there. It becomes mandatory for everyone ultimately, after capturing some more memories in photos and videos we came back down the hills of the valley as our vehicle was waiting at the entrance of the trek. In a matter of time we got back to Kohima had some food then reached Dimapur quite advanced for boarding the train, the night was passed in the train itself.
By the time we opened our eyes we already came back to Guwahati. This is how it ended.