World tourism has been greatly affected by the pandemic for over a year and half now, as International and National borders remain sealed. Norms like total lockdown, partial lockdown, social distancing and many protocols have been put into effect to curb the crisis along with active vaccination drives. Recently, however, many countries have opened their borders with certain rules and regulations for tourists, which varies according to countries and states.
With India relaxing its travel bans and re-opening few major tourist destinations very recently, a majority of the crowd have escaped to these mesmerising destinations. Leh-Ladakh in Himachal Pradesh is witnessing the highest number of tourists because of the amazing landscape and treks Himachal offers.
Nagaland in North-East India proudly boasts of one such pristine trek which is the Dzukou Valley trek. Though currently entry to Nagaland is permitted only on producing Covid -ve certificate done within 72 hours prior to the date of entry, all tourist attractions are closed. But once everything turns to normal, visit Dzukou Valley to explore this green paradise and find peace.
Dzukou Valley is located at the borders of Nagaland and Manipur and is well known for its natural environment, seasonal flowers,and a wide variety of flora and fauna. Dzukou lily is one popular variety found in this valley. Dzukou Valley is located at an altitude of 2452 m above sea level.
The Valley is a paradise for nature lovers with the vast green stretch all around. The early morning view as the fog gives way to the rising sun is a treat in itself. You can spend hours enjoying this breathtaking view and nothing but silence around you. Take a morning hike down the valley to the flat piece of land and simply explore the greenery and flowers. Try to soak in as much as you could as fuel for a lifetime to last.
How to get there:
Trains are available from Guwahati to Dimapur Railway station, after which you need to book yourself a ticket in one of the shared cabs, mainly Tata Sumo, to reach Kohima which is at a distance of around 70 kms from Dimapur. Another 23.7 kms from Kohima is Viswema village which is the closest to the entry point to the Dzukou Valley trek. Small cabs are available from Kohima to the village which takes around one hour of ride. From the Valley entry point to the trek starting point is a motorable trail after which starts the real trek. These cabs may drop you at the trek starting point.
So basically, if you are traveling by cab from Guwahati you need to get directly to Viswema village entry point upto the trek starting point. Entry to the Dzukou Valley trek costs 100 INR for Indian as well as foreign tourists.
There are two treks available, the Viswema trek and the Zakhama trek. The former is undoubtedly the most common and easier to ascend compared to the Zakhama trek which is good for descend. It takes around 5-6 hours of trek to reach the top via the Viswema trek.
It is recommended to hire a guide for the trek which costs around 1500 INR to 2500 INR and another 500 INR for overnight halt.
Where to Stay:
Given the fact that you should start your trek early in the morning and save up your energy for the trek, it’s best to stay overnight either at Kohima or at some beautiful homestays, lodges or even camping at the villages near the entry point. You can book them online or through an agent.
And once you ascend the trek to reach the viewpoint you can choose to stay in the Government guest house/dormitory available for everyone. It’s on common sharing basis and costs 50 INR. Private rooms are available too for a group of 2-4 to share but with not much of a difference in facilities, except that it comes with an attached toilet. A common kitchen is available next to the dormitories where you can prepare your own food or purchase the basic dinner and breakfast cooked there which includes Maggi, a basic meal, tea and coffee. Therefore it’s best to carry your own food and drink. You can choose to carry your own bedding or use the ones available there.
Another staying option is camping. Your can carry your own camping equipment or rent out the ones available there. But a negligible amount is required to be paid for putting up tents. Electricity or running water is not available in the facilities, so prepare accordingly. Also common toilets are available for the boarders to use.
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Best time to visit:
June till September is the best time to visit Dzukou Valley when flowers are in bloom and the landscape looks mesmerising. But since it’s the monsoon season roads tend to get muddy and slippery. You can visit during winter too, October to March, but the valley loses its green hue and is a different kind of beauty.
Also read about The Amazing Road Trip from Guwahati to Tawang.