When we arrived at Dawn Homestay it was heavily raining and we were hungry like the monster God ‘Hastar’ from the movie Tumbbad. Though Rovi didi aka Rovitono Yhoshii the host we talked to over phone when making the bookings weren’t there to welcome us, but her sister Akieno Yhoshii made sure we receive everything, from freshly made food to hot water for bathing and asked about how was our journey till then and how we would like to proceed further. Isn’t it how homestays are supposed to be like?
Getting to Dzukou ValleyI was feeling lazy, so I didn't wake up till 10 am. I had planned to do the Dukou valley trek, so I asked around the locals about how to reach and all. There are 2 ways to reach Dzukou Valley, one from Zakhama village, which is relatively shorter but very steep, and another from Viswema, which is longer and very muddy, but relatively very easy. I decided to start from Zakhama (you can get a traveller from BOC to Zakhama for 50 rs). I packed some snacks and water from the village, and started at around 1 PM. At the starting point I met some guys who were coming down, and they suggested me not to go because I was alone, and also late to start as it gets dark early in the and It'll take at least 5 hours to reach the valley. I also did not know what the place had to offer, or how the trek is going to be for that matter, but then "I don't follow rules, I follow adventure". I started the trek, path was really muddy for the first few kilometres and then started the climbing. It was not really the issue with the climbing but I was bit scared, remembering my experience at David Scott Trail, as I was alone and it was equivalent to the dark in the deep forest due to the clouds and the canopy, hardly letting any sunlight to penetrate. I was praying that it would not rain. There was a point during the trek, I was like dude this can't be the way up. I thought I was lost, but I was using the map to see the how much elevation I have to gain and which direction is the Dzukou valley(photo point), you should use the terrine feature on the google maps, it’s really helpful to maneuver the way up . I took only 3 hours to reach the top, and I was really proud of myself hehe. I really had no idea of what to expect from the valley, I knew it was beautiful, but what I saw up there blew my mind.
When I close my eyes and imagine the hills, I can see condescending prominence painted with tranquility in the moist breeze and the sweet scent of raw green nature. The hills lode the power to make one feel like the free birds soaring in the high skies and it is this feeling that my heart yearns for every time I visit them; Jakhama being one such place.Jakhama is a small town adorning the hills of Nagaland in the northeastern part of India. It is the perfect recluse from the conventional reaches of wanderlust and makes for an interesting odyssey.A few years back, I embarked on a 7 hour long journey from Jorhat (Assam) to Jakhama (Nagaland) with my family and a view of the most picturesque green paddy fields took us through irregular stretches of small houses perched on undulating terrain. A bird of the passage can never deny that there is a certain kind of thrill in the back breaking drive through the ox bow roads mired in tender wilderness. There was a feeling of euphoric trance in the changing landscape throughout the journey but the most beautiful part was the blazing red poinsettia burning the edges of the rusting hills to mark the nearing holiday season.We were welcomed to Jakhama by some mint fresh air just as the sun disappeared into the night sky. Before long we filled ourselves with some good food and ended our exhaustion with some sleep in the lap of the hills. The locals had told us that the hills bare their soul to the early risers and therefore the next day we began our morning at 5am with a brisk walk around the campus of St. Joseph’s College, Jakhama. The pleasant mist hovering in the air and the songs of the chirpy birds did not disappoint our expectations. What was even breathtaking was the mesmerizing view of the lush green hills and the terraced farmlands. And the playful tease between the fluffy white clouds and the majestic hills felt nothing less than paradise.
It was all travelling solo down the hills and through the hilly town of Kohima. Fortunately I stayed at the upper side of Zakhama hills and there I saw the stunning view from hills and kohima city at very long distance. Hornbill Festival is one of the most celebrated tribal festival of India, which has helped tremendously to give Nagaland it's deserving attention and recognition from India and the world.
Zakhama Village – This is one of the routes that you can take to reach Dzukou Valley. Take a shared cab from BOC counter in Kohima to Zakhama Village and ask the driver to drop you on the road to Dzukou (Located 3 kms from Zakhama Military Camp). It is shorter short but with forced ascend and steep climb for near about 5 to 6 hours. I took this road and trust me there wasn’t 1% of regret but if you are not the trekker type, take the other road.