Japfu Peak is one of the most beautiful attractions of Nagaland and is a part of the Dzukou Valley, one of the most charming valleys of Nagaland. The Japfu Peak stands at an height of 3,082 metre and is the second highest peak of Nagaland. It is the second highest peak in Nagaland and provides an encompassing view of the entire Dzukou valley that boasts of lush green valleys and thick vegetation at the backdrop of the mighty Himalayan ranges. The valley is also known as the ‘Valley of flowers’ of the north-east.
The Dzukou Valley is a visual treat of emerald green hills, luscious forests, serpentine streams and the blooming flowers that dot the entire valley during the flowering season. No wonder, it is the best trekking route known in Nagaland. The valley is actually at the bottom of a large crater of an extinct volcano. The trek to Japfu Peak is easy and provides a very good opportunity for people who are looking to gain some trekking experience.
Reach the Base Camp, Kohima
Kohima is the base camp for the Japfu Peak and Dzoku Valley trek. You have to reach Kohima from Dimapur. Dimapur is the only city in Nagaland having air and rail connectivity.
Kohima to Dzukou Trekkers’ Hut
Start early from Kohima by a cab and reach Zakhama Check Post. The check post is 15 km from Kohima. From the check post, you have to walk along the stream for almost 2 km through a forest trail. At the end of the trail, you have to climb towards the left along the stream until you reach a resting shed. This point is known as the Crying Child Valley.
You have to continue walking upstream. Here the uphill trail becomes quite steep. After a trek of about 5 km, you will reach a ridge, that will offer you the first mesmerising view of the Dzukou Valley. After admiring the panoramic view of the valley, you have to walk through a bamboo forest. After a descent of about half an hour, you will reach the Dzukou Trekkers’ Hut.
Altitude: 8,045 ft
Time taken: 9 km takes approximately 6 hours
Explore the Dzukou Valley
Keep this day for exploring the Dzukou Valley. From the Trekkers’ Hut, at a distance of 15 minutes there is a cave called “Bhoot Gufa” locally. Explore the beautiful rolling green valley, the caves and the stretches of meadows and grasslands.
Dzukou Valley to Vishwema Village
You have to retrace your steps back towards the trail till you find a split in the trail. Take the other path and after a fairly easy trek, you will pass another ridge from where you can see the highway as well as the Vishwema Village. You have to descend down where the trekking road meets the highway. Here, you have to either prearrange a vehicle to take you to Vishwema village that is 9 km away; or walk through the level road to the village. You can spend the night at the village.
Vishwema Village to Japfu Base
From the villahe, start hiking towards the north-west on the main road. Here, you will find the trail towards the Japfu Base. The trail through the green forest is initially steep, but later becomes a gradual ascent.
This trail is a bird watchers’ paradise. You will be able to see many exotic Himalayan birds in the trail. Finally, you will reach a campsite marked by a signboard labeled “Japfu Peak”. You can camp here for the night.
Remember that you have to carry your camps, ration and water in this trail as you will not get any other options.
Altitude: Approximately 6,000 ft
Time taken: 10 km stretch approximately takes 6 hours
Japfu Base to Japfu Peak and return
There is a well marked single trail to the Japfu Peak. The trail passes through dense forest initially and then finally opens up above the tree line to ascend to the peak. From the peak, get a panoramic view of the valleys, hills and the nearby villages. Almost half of Nagaland and villages of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are also viewed from here.
If you wish to view the sunrise from the Japfu Peak, then you have to start as early as 2.00 AM from the camp.
After staying some time at the peak, retrace your steps back to Vishwema village and then drive to Kohima.
Altitude: Approximately 6,000 ft
Time taken: 6 hours; 6 km – both ways
How to Reach the Base Camp, Kohima:
Nearest Airport: Dimapur
Nearest Railway Station: Dimapur
Dimapur is well connected from the major cities of India by train. The city has the only civil airport with flights from Kolkata, Dibrugarh and Delhi.
From Dimapur, Kohima is at a distance of 80 km. You can either take a bus, a shared cab or a private cab to reach Kohima.
Bus takes about 5-6 hours to reach Kohima from Dimapur
Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit the Japfu Peak is between June to September. During this time, you will see flowers in their full bloom, the valley offers a visual spectacle for the visitors here. Otherwise, you can do the trek at any time of the year.