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Dzukou: A piece of paradise on earth

Located 8,045 feet above sea level, the Dzukou Valley in Kohima is a wonder of nature with flowers, greenery, and cotton-like clouds. The offbeat tourism destination is an idyllic retreat for trekking, camping and bird-watching 

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Dzukou: A piece of paradise on earth

Dzukou: A piece of paradise on earth. Pic: Dhrubajyoti Debnath

Dzukou Valley on the Nagaland-Manipur border is a breathtakingly beautiful destination boasting rolling hills, verdant forests, and vibrant flowers. Nestled amidst the majestic Japfu Hills in Kohima, Dzukou Valley is an idyllic retreat for trekking, camping and bird-watching enthusiasts. 

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At an altitude of 2,452 meters (8,045 feet) above sea level, the valley is adorned with an abundance of seasonal flowers during the summer months. Two rivers, Dzukou and Japfu, pass through the valley, adding serenity and charm to the area. They are connected by handmade wooden bridges. As one goes up the hills, cotton-like clouds envelop the valley, transforming it into an untouched paradise.

Access to the valley is facilitated through various routes in Nagaland, with Viswema and Jakhama villages serving as gateways. Jakhama, located less than 30 km south of Kohima, allows entry to the valley through The Trekkers Point. Trekkers can opt for a 17 km trek from Viswema to Dzukou and it takes about five to six hours. The other trek from Dzukou to Zakhama is 15 km and can be finished in around three to four hours.

Also Read: Drang: The frozen wonderland

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The valley has natural caves and rocks and various shelters have been made for trekkers to take rest on the way.

Flora and Fauna

Dzukou Valley is renowned for its diverse flora, highlighted by the ‘Dzükou Lily’ (Lilium chitrangadae), discovered by Hijam Bikramjit in 1991. This captivating lily, often compared to the Shirui lily, adds a deeper pink hue to the landscape.

water stream dzouku
Japfu River passes through the valley. Pic: Dhrubajyoti Debnath

The name ‘Dzukou’ originates from a term common to both Angami (Naga language) and Mao (the language of Manipur), translating to ‘cold water’, referring to the chilling streams meandering through the valley. Bordering an old-growth forest region, the valley is a habitat for rare and endangered species, including the state bird of Nagaland, Blyth's Tragopan.

Also Read: Maravanthe: The pristine beach between a river and a sea

For those seeking an offbeat tourism destination, the best time to visit this Northeast gem is from October to May. However, the monsoon months of June to September enhance the valley's allure, with refreshing rains and a vibrant display of flowers, including lilies, aconitum, euphorbia, and multi-coloured rhododendrons.

Tourists need to obtain an ‘Inner Line Permit’ (ILP) from Nagaland Houses in major cities before entering the state. The ILP is required at the border when entering Nagaland from Assam.

piece of paradise
The hills are ideal for trekking. Pic: Dhrubajyoti Debnath

Despite its natural wonders, Dzukou Valley faces periodic threats from forest fires due to prevalent wind conditions. The 2020-21 wildfires devastated approximately 200 acres of forest land and significant flora.

Also Read: Tso Moriri: The Ice-Age lake tucked away in a valley

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