Hello again, everyone! I am Nancy (@escapdes_of_syrah) with another travel blog about Dzukou valley. Dzukou Valley in Nagaland is the most sought out trek in India and people plan this trek for years to make it to the actual valley and see it with their own eyes. The beauty of Dzukou valley is unmatched and even international travelers from all over the world often frequent the valley. If you are from India and love trekking I would request you to come to Nagaland and trek the valley once in your life.
That being said I will not further explain how beautiful the valley is, you might have seen countless photographs on social media already. In this blog, I will give you some inside information and safety tips on how to prepare well for your trek and to enjoy the valley to the fullest.
12 Things You Must Know before heading to Dzukou Valley:
1. Starting Your Journey from Dimapur, Nagaland.
Dzukou Valley is stretched in between two states, Manipur and Nagaland. However, Nagaland is the most approachable state to trek to Dzukou due to proper routes and services. On the side of Manipur, the route is difficult and with no any proper services and routes, trekking on this side is almost not feasible. Even trekkers from Manipur, arrive in Nagaland first and start their journey from here.
The first stop in Dzukou Valley Trek is Dimapur, if you are travelling from other states of India or you are an international traveller.
You can reach Dimapur by following ways:
1. By Train 2. By Bus 3. By Flight.
2. Gearing up for the Trek.
Dimapur is famous for being a hotspot for shopping, many people from North East flock to Dimapur only to shop. There are lots of shops around, where you can shop trekking gears, raincoats and other necessary equipment for the trek. After getting everything you need, take a Sumo to Kohima. Stay the night in Kohima, rest your body, get a good night sleep before starting early for the trek next morning.
3. No Cab Services on Sunday.
As seen in most of the North Eastern States, Sundays in Nagaland is for Church. Naga people are very religious and public transportation remains close during Sundays. If you are planning to travel in public transports, plan your dates wisely.
4. There are two treks to Dzukou Valley: Viswema Trek and Jakhama Trek.
There are two trekking routes to reach the Dzukou Valley. One is the Viswema Trek from Viswema Town and the other one is the Jakhama Trek starting from Jakhama Town. It is mostly advised to take the Viswema route as it is easier than the Jakhama route. While returning from the Valley, it is highly recommended to take the Jakhama trek route as it is less time consuming.
5. Entry Fees for Dzukou Valley.
Entry fees are collected from the trekkers at the Entry Gate. The entry fees is priced differently depending on where you are coming from. Locals have to pay the least amount of money to get entrance and the international travellers have to pay the highest to trek the valley.
If you are carrying camera equipment along with you, you have to pay extra for that.
6. Plastic is banned in Dzukou Valley.
Good News! Dzukou Valley is a Plastic Free Zone. It is entirely not possible to give up on plastic as you are going away for a few days into the valley and you need to carry things alone with you, as a result plastic bags can’t be given up entirely. To keep the valley clean and plastic free, you have to follow certain rules when you make the entry into the Valley.
While you pay the required sum of money to enter the Valley, you must also make a list of all the things you are carrying, especially those in plastic bags, wrappers and water bottles. You have to pay extra for this, which you can entirely get the money back when you bring the used plastic bags and bottles back from the valley. Hats off to the Government for initiating this.
7. The Viswema Trek can get very Muddy and Dangerous during the Monsoons.
It is best to trek Dzukou Valley during Spring and Autumn. During Monsoons, it is very rough and risky to trek the valley, especially when taking the Viswema Trek route. The first hour or two of the trek is climbing a lot of stairs, after which you will reach a resting point.
The resting point is the beginning of an easy walking trail along side thick bamboo grasses and wild plants through the valley. This is where the trek gets risky during rainy days, the trail gets muddy and very slippery, there is high risk of slipping and injuring yourself. In some places there are giant boulders between the trail with no other way around. You have to climb the boulder that have no holding grips which will cause a lot of trouble during rainy days, which makes it very slippery to hold on to the boulder.
It is highly recommended to avoid monsoons and trek during spring and autumn to avoid rain and the muddy trail.
8. Staying in the Valley.
There is only one Rest House in the middle of Dzukou Valley. After a tiring trek to reach the Rest House, people usually spend a night to rest and begin their final trek to the valley from the Rest House next day. It takes thirty minutes to an hour to reach the Valley.
The Rest House has public dorms and private dorms adjacent to each other. You can sleep in the public dorm with 40-50 other trekkers or chose a private dorm if you want a place to yourself. The Rest House is looked after two caretakers. You can arrange your meals through the caretakers, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals are available for the trekkers. Those who decide to stay in the dorm can rent mattresses and blankets from the rest house at reasonable prices.
Camping is also another option of stay. There are so many places to camp in the valley. You can camp right outside the cleared area adjacent to the Rest House or you can camp right in the middle of the valley. There is a cave where you can set up tent and stay the night. However you have to carry your food, firewood and make your own food.
9. There is a small shop in Dzukou Valley.
There is a small shop that is managed by the caretakers of the Rest House. You will get snacks, biscuits, Maggie, rice, daal, firewood etc. One thing to remember is you have to pay double for everything if you buy anything from the shop managed by the Rest House. The obvious reason is they have to carry the things from Jakhama all the way up to the valley which is not very easy.
10. There is no Internet Service.
There is no any internet or cell reception in the valley and throughout the trek. You will be completely out of touch from the outside world for at least two days. It is very important to let your family and loved ones know about your whereabouts and how many days you will be staying without cell reception before starting the trek. Please don’t forget this part.
11. The Jakhama Route is the most beautiful route to trek, with beautiful yet creepy trees shrouded by a thick forest.
While returning from the Valley, most people take the Jakhama trek route to get back to Jakhama. As soon as you leave the valley and take the Jakhama route you are transported to another world. The trek consists mostly of steep stone steps which you need to climb down. You immediately enter a thick forest. The forest will scare you off more if you are trekking during monsoons as the entire forest is engulfed in fog.
You will be left in awe starring at the irregular, haunting trees on the way. You will never see such a beautiful yet creepy forest anywhere.
12. Best Time To Visit.
It is best to trek Dzukou Valley during spring and autumn. Monsoon season brings rain and the temperatures during winter plummets to minus zero degree sometimes.
Important Travel Tips:
- Carry warm clothes, socks, cap and necessary warm clothing, raincoat, a hot water bag and a flask. It gets cold in the valley no matter the season or the weather.
- Carry a small blanket of your own if you have space to spare in your backpack. The blanket provided by the Rest House is really thin.
- Take a flashlight/headlight and power bank with you.
- Carry some wipes and keep it handy, you may need it on the way.
- Carry dry fruits, energy bars and snacks on your way to the valley. There is no shop on the way to buy food in case of emergency.
- Carry your own personal medications and painkillers/spray with you.
- There is a wooden log in the middle of the valley which acts as a bridge. It is advised to use the rope attached to the log to cross the bridge. In winter, the small river frozes, it is outmost important to carefully walk over the frozen river, as cases of people drowning in the river due to cracking of the thin layer of ice beneath them has been reported.
These are the 12 Things you need to know for your first trek to Dzukou Valley. Hope this information and travel tips help you prepare well for your Dzukou Valley adventures. I wish you a happy and safe travels to one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
If you have been this far with me, thank you so much for reading this blog.
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