Dzukou Valley Trek (Kohima, Nagaland)

Dzukou Valley is a valley located at the border of the Indian states of Nagaland and Manipur. Its a spectacular visual treat of emerald green hills, lush forests, serpentine streams and myriad colourful flowers that dot the vast plain valley and its meadows. It is popularly known as “Valley of Flowers of the North-East”. It is situated at an altitude of 2438 m above sea level, behind the Japfü Peak located in Nagaland. This interesting valley looks like a mown lawn from a distance and is watered by two meandering streams viz Dzukou river and the Japfu river which often freezes in winter. This entire valley is adorned with lilies, aconitum, euphorbia and multi-coloured rhododendrons. They envelope the valley floor like a carpet so much that there are times when you can’t see the valley at all.

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THE BEGINNING (Kohima to Viswema Village, base for Dzukou Valley):- 
Kohima, the capital city of Nagaland is 74 Kms from Dimapur, the nearest rail head for reaching Dzukou Valley. From Kohima, one can hire a shared sumo (operating from the BOC point/counter) to Viswema Village. Viswema Village is about 25 Kms from Kohima. The shared sumo service also operates between Kohima and Zakhma. Zakhma is another base for the Dzukou Valley. Zakhma is about 20 Kms from Kohima. The ideal time to visit Dzukou Valley is from the month of June to September. It is at this time that the valley is carpeted with various stunning and vibrant flowers.

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THE FIRST STEPS (From Viswema Village to the end of motorable road):- 
The trek route starting from Viswema Village is strewn with pebbles in the beginning and gradually unfolds to give a glimpse of the breathtaking view of the surrounding hills as one gains altitude. The 8 km motorable road is covered on both sides by variety of sub tropical evergreen trees and silver ferns. There are two small resting camps situated at a distance of around 3-4 Kms from each other for the purpose of an overnight rest if one is starting a bit late in the evening. Do carry a good amount of food as there is no provision for providing food at the top. One can buy fire woods and kitchen utensils for preparing the meals at the top. The entire stretch is well laid out and is usually devoid of many tourists. In spite of the difficult terrain and non-availability of facilities, this is one of the most frequented trekking spots in the entire North East India.

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TWIST IN THE TALE (The right turn at the end of the motrable road):- 
At the end of this motorable road, there is a steep hike of about 3-4 Kms through stone carved stairs on the right side. There is a sign board instructing the way to Dzukou Valley perched on one of the trees on the right side at the end of this motorable road. A long fleet of beautifully carved stones on the right leads one to the top of the Dzukou Valley. There is a lot of moss and green algae covering the stones as well as clinging gingerly on the barks of the tall stunning trees. All around, the beautiful and enchanting silver ferns, thick tropical forest and low bamboo scrub along with other evergreen trees will lend a wonderful company amidst less fanfare.

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THE CLIMACTIC AROUSAL AT THE TOP 
At the top of this sheer vertical climb, one reaches the Dzukou Valley. Its a matter of different fact that entering the Dzukou Valley seems akin to entering the doors of heaven. Untouched by civilisation, this valley otherwise called the Valley of Celestial Charm has a tempting appeal to all who gaze it. In summer, wild herbs and shrubs sprout along the stream banks. Lilies in white and pink, euphorbias, aconitums and hundreds of other botanical species in varied colours adorn the valley in monsoon. Bio-diversity is the main characteristic of Dzukou Valley. Tough bamboo brush is the main vegetation of this region.

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THE FINAL FRONTIER:- 
From the top of Dzukou Valley, there is a straight walk to the Trekkers Camp or Rest house, which is about 5 ½ Kms from the top. There are lot of caves in this valley and can accommodate close to 2000 people at a time. A large number of dead trees adorn this valley. The valley is neither a volcanic crater nor caldera or meteorite impact, as some trekkers tend to believe about. It is but a simple geosynclinals valley with differential rock weathering and erosion. The age of Dzukou Valley could be anywhere between 2 to 4 million years old.

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The rest house consists of two dormitories. One is for Rs 30 per person while the other one is for Rs 50 per person. There are six private rooms in two small huts around the rest house where the cost per person is Rs 300. There is a small shop at the back of the rest house where one can buy instant snacks like maggi and cup noodles. The cost of every food product is double of the MRP of that product. There is an amazing place to sit alongside the rivers viz Dzukou river and Japfu river and spend a memorable day at the far end of the Dzukou Valley. The mesmerising and soothing sound of flowing water enriches every part of your soul like never before.

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Dzukou Valley is a picturesque dale that enjoys ethereal beauty. Its variant beauty has a lot in its store to offer every visitor with a distinct taste.

BACK TO SQUARE ONE 
After spending a day or two, one can bid goodbye to this amazing valley and make the way down either thrugh the Zakhma route or the Viswema Village route. The Zakhma route is much steeper and hence will take a little less than 3 ½ hours to reach the motorable road to Kohima at the bottom.

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Written By: Sushobhan Roy

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