Nagaland, the small remote state in the northeastern part of India is a wonderland. Usually Nagaland is synonymous with the colourful Hornbill Festival, but this state has much more to offer. The landscape is eternally beautiful with stretches of greenery wherever one sets their eyes to. The small picturesque villages are known for their tranquility. Mountain views, forests and wildlife, colourful traditions and tribes and delightful cuisines make Nagaland one of the most exiting destinations in India.
As I mentioned earlier that Nagaland is much more than just the Hornbill Festival. Once you are there, you will definitely fall in love with the place and its friendly people. The villages of Nagaland are some of the best places amidst the nature away from the city and crowd. And the best part is that you will experience the Naga hospitality by staying in ecofriendly homestays. Anisie homestay in Dzuleke is one such homestay where you will not only get an experience of Naga culture, but will also enjoy the beauty and serenity of the nature.
Anisie Homestay is located in Dzuleke village, located about 38 km from Kohima city. The village gets its name from the Dzuleke River. Surrounded by mountain views, crisp and fresh air, Dzuleke is a place where you can get close and personal with nature. The village has about only 32 houses! Just imagine the experience of staying in a place as such. Nature has bestowed in abundance to Dzuleke and its people have now adopted a sustainable eco-tourism model for generating livelihood for the villagers through self-sufficient means.
Most of the houses here are surrounded by begonia, germanium and other beautiful plants. Dzuleke is infact, one of the most coveted picnic spots of the people of Nagaland. Believe me when I say the place is going to be a treat for your senses. But yes, roads to Dzuleke are a bit rough. But who does not like some adventure on road? And once you reach the place you will find it to be worth all the trouble.
Anisie Homestay is like a little paradise in Dzuleke. The homestay is located in a Owned by a local family, the homestay is a nice property to stay. Built in traditional architecture, a stoned stairways leads to the wooden cottage. The look is quite rustic and simple. The owner is a local guide full of life and a vast knowledge about the wildlife of the region. The homestay has 2 bedrooms as of now providing basic amenities for accommodation.
A rickety wooden gate is the entrance to the quaint homestay. Like most of the houses in Nagaland, this house also has hunting trophy hung in front of the house. Actually, the villagers used to hang the skulls of the animals they had killed above the door. But do not worry; hunting has been banned completely in Dzuleke village since 1999. Located beside a serene waterbody, the entire place looks just like a painting that we used to draw as children.
The guest rooms are wooden and look quite comfortable. It has a cosy bed, chair and table. The place looks quite homely and snug. And once you are out of your room and look around, you will see the magnanimity of nature. Silence here is music to the ears. Further, you will perhaps not get your phone signal too. You will have the entire time to yourself to admire and enjoy the nature.
Food is definitely one of the main attractions of Nagaland. And at Anisie Homestay you will not be disappointed. It has a nice and cosy kitchen where you will get to taste some lip smacking Naga cuisines. The non-vegetarians can have a taste of the fresh water crab, pork and chicken. Chicken and pork cooked with bamboo shoots are quite well known dishes here. Also, you must taste the spicy and hot red chilly chutney at least once. Though I cannot guarantee how many glasses of water you might require after tasting the hot chillie chutney!
Vegetables are grown in the garden and you can pick some fresh corn during the season time and bring it back to the kitchen to roast it and eat. Well, good food will never be a problem here.
Things to do in Dzuleke
While you can relax and enjoy the bountiful nature, there are many other things that you can do at Dzuleke.
Go for trekking and hiking in the surrounding forests
There are a number of short treks around the nearby forests. During the rains, it might not be a good idea to go for trekking because of leeches and snakes. But during the autumn and winter you can go for short hikes. Wildlife is abundant in the forests near the village and you might even spot a few animals like the stump-tailed macaque, barking deer and the mountain bamboo partridge, or the blythe’s tragopan (the state bird of Nagaland and is only found in the state).
Dzuleke is a special village. It was traditionally a hunting community, but in 1999 the elders of Dzuleke decided to ban hunting completely so as to conserve the wildlife in the area. The people of Dzuleke also take pride in preserving their forests as well as wildlife. There is a popular myth that says that the Goddess of animals and birds lives in the forest of Khonoma by the name Chiikhie-U. Her face is said to be shown on the hills in the deep forests. The locals believe that the expression of the Goddess changes as per the action of the villagers. So to keep her happy, the villagers have done away with hunting and felling of trees. Well, I cannot vouch for this! After all, myths and stories make a place more interesting.
Take a walk around the village
The village is surrounded by lush green forests with the clouds rolling around. Sometimes the clouds and sun play hide and seek while the gentle breeze caresses the face. The village is no doubt beautiful and you can experience the beauty of the place even better by walking around the village. You will also be able to meet the locals and get a better insight about their daily life and culture.
Take a stroll along the paddy fields
You can take a stroll along the terraced paddy fields. They not only look beautiful, but are also a great way to know about the farming practices of the region. You can also visit the vegetable gardens, kitchen gardens and the local fields. This is a great way to experience rural tourism.
Do some local fishing trouts in the river
If you are fond of angling, then you can definitely indulge in fishing activity. The local fishes from the river are quite delicious. Fishing also helps you to bond with the locals. Also, you can know about the traditional ways in which they used to fish.
How to reach Dzuleke
The nearest airport and railway station is at Dimapur, which is about 75 km from Kohima, the capital city.
Dzuleke is 38 km from Kohima and you can get a shared vehicle from Kohima to Dzuleke. You can also book a cab from Kohima to Dzuleke.
Best Time to visit
The best time to visit Dzuleke is from October to March. If you are visiting during the monsoon months, do not forget to carry a rainwear or umbrella. Even then, the weather is quite unpredictable in the mountains and it is better to carry a rainwear always. During the winter months, do carry sufficient woolen clothes.