Is Dzokou Valley in nagaland worth the hype? #northeastindia #dzokouvalley

5th Dec 2021

If you are looking for a one line answer to the question "whether to include Dzokou valley in my northeasttrip itinerary? " Then I must say it is worth every effort. The valley and its trek route is quite different from the well known treks of Uttarakhand and Himachal and no matter in what season you are visiting, you will get to see dzokou in its beauty. Northeast is far more than kaziranga and meghalaya (this being the most common itinerary by the mainstream travel agency or newage travel communities based out of mumbai or delhi) . The agencies mostly include these locations and portray them as northeast expedition because these places are heavily commercialised and they do not need much recce Or developing new channels.  If you really are a travel buff then dzokou should definitely be in your to do list for northeast trip.

Why Dzokou?

Instagram or any travel blogging site will convince you enough with the scintillating edit effects. To be honest even I got convinced because of this sole reason. But the reality what you will witness is far more beautiful than what the camera could capture. The main USP is that the trails and landscape are different from the other himalayan valleys that are so popular amongst the masses. You will get to witness numerous green mounds which are sometimes symemtric sometimes not, walk through tall grasses or dwarf bamboos and little streams. It's so much green that your eyes will get saturated and get confused about which shade of green to believe as green. There is a cliff facing the little mounds and a river flowing right beneath it. There are caves, the dzokou lillies ofcouse! (Please ensure that you go while they are in bloom) it is a perfect picturesque when these flowers are in bloom against such a green backdrop.

Days required for Dzokou:

You will need atleast 3 days for dzokou valley and exploring the nearby villages with amazing bali (Ubud) like rice terrace cultivation. The day you reach nagaland(dimapur) go straight away to the villages close to dzokou trek starting point, basically the day 1. Day 2 start the trek and stay in the valley. Day 3 return back from the valley and head off to dimapur. If you have got more days to spend you can explore the villages more and even head towards mon and Longwa (trust me you will not regret).

Where is Dzokou and how to reach?

Dzokou valley is right in the border of nagaland and manipur but trekking route is only available from Viswema Or jakhama (nagaland). The organisation that controls the management of Dzokou valley camp and the trek to it is South Angami Youth Association (SAYO). So the towns and villages right from Kohima is predominated by the Angami tribe and any place near Dzokou that end with "---ma" basically makes it phonetically evident they are angami tribe villages.  You can either fly to dimapur and then head off to any homestay or camping site in jakhama, viswema, kisama, khonoma to acclimatize yourself for a day and then start the trek the next day. If you are someone who cannot adjust in homestays then you will have to stay back in kohima as hotels are no where available in these villages. The other option is to fly till guwahati and take a train from guwahati to dimapur  (takes around 5-6 hours) From dimapur taxis are available to kohima (shared ones) should charge around 600INR. If you have a group you can take the taxi directly to your homestay location and it will be more cost saving. In case you are travelling solo, then reaching kohima and then taking shared taxi to the homestay/campsite village will be a cost saving option.

Costs for the trek:

So, to support the locals, since the trek's inception, it has been made compulsory for every group/solo trekker to hire a guide. You will not be allowed to take the trek without one and a guide charges around 3k. If you think you can negotiate on it then you will have to actually make lot of personal contacts and maybe you can get lucky in you second visit to dzokou. There is a porter charge as well which will drop you from your homestay to your nearest start point for the trek (charges a fixed rate of 4k). It is hence more convenient to travel in a group. Besides these costs, there is a minimum entry fee (100-150) a ticket from SAYO, tent and sleeping bag cost of 500 to pitch in the campsite (don't worry your guide will help pitching it there). One can also pay a 50-100 INR and opt for the dormitories instead of tents avalailable there (2 dormitories : one is wooden floored and one is concrete) . The homestays Or campsite at the villages before dzokou starts from 800 to 1500 INR (breakfast included)

Explore northeast by actually researching about northeast. This will lead you to many paths and virgin locations only the locals know about 😊😊😊😊

Photo of Is Dzokou Valley in nagaland worth the hype? #northeastindia #dzokouvalley by Joonak Konwar
Photo of Is Dzokou Valley in nagaland worth the hype? #northeastindia #dzokouvalley by Joonak Konwar
Photo of Is Dzokou Valley in nagaland worth the hype? #northeastindia #dzokouvalley by Joonak Konwar
Photo of Is Dzokou Valley in nagaland worth the hype? #northeastindia #dzokouvalley by Joonak Konwar