The Perfect Cocktail in DZUKOU VALLEY
Dr Rahul Jain
We all wanted to explore the Dzukou valley for quite a long time. Fortunately everything became right for Dzukou and we all met at Vishwema in Nagaland. We were greeted with great hospitality at the Greenwood villa Homestay, owned and run by a beautiful couple. Next day after breakfast we took a taxi to the starting point (via Vishwema route). It was a bumpy ride of 8km through the dense jungle.
This trek created a strong bond amongst us who were previously strangers. The humor of @flames_steven ,the zest of @meriyo_the_back_packer,the managing capabilities of Nangsan and the adaye of @peedee91 with the beauty of Dzukou Valley was a perfect cocktail.
After being dropped by the taxi at the starting point, we started our journey by crossing a levelled initial walk. Soon after that we were greeted by a pretty steep hike for about 60-90 minutes. The hard work is all worth it. With the perfect “Cocktail Combo” it wasn’t very difficult. We were elated on reaching the first view point. The feeling is difficult to describe except that it was addictive. We took some photos and rested for a while there and continued our mission to explore the valley.
After this point, the view took our breath away.
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
After the first viewpoint, our minds were blown. It was a 2-3 hour leisure walk to the guest house. The beauty is what I cannot describe. One has to be there to see and feel that. There was a magnificent split on the path and we had to take a short detour. It was a steep down first and then equally upwards on the other side of the split. The weather was amazing with on and off rains and the winds were blowing heavily. All the hardships were least important because of the amazing view.
Don’t worry about the destination, just enjoy the route. we will eventually be there sooner or later without any regrets.
We continued our journey towards the guest house visualizing things never imagined by anyone of us. Dzukou valley left us in amaze, shock and wonder how beautiful the world is and how small we are and our problems even smaller. The trek taught us a lot, made us more patient, made us believe in ourselves more than any other figures. We pushed ourselves beyond we thought we could do. Faced all hardships, got out of our comfort zone and nothing stopped us to get lost in the right way. After sometime we saw our guest house and we had a lot of time before the sunset. We moved through the thick grasses leisurely and reached our destination by lunch time. The view which was waiting for us from the guest house left us in astonishment. We were awed by the vastness of the forest.
Stay tuned for the next video in which I will be showing the guest house and the surroundings.
The lodge is pretty awesome. The dorm entry costs 100/- per head with blankets and mattress in rent for 50/-, utensils and wood can be taken for some price to self cook. On day 1 we carried some rice from Vishwema and cooked for ourselves there. After having lunch we left to explore the valley. It started raining heavily and we planned to return back to the lodge and relax for the day. We met some amazing people at the lodge. The interaction with the people taking care of the lodge was really good. It was really chilly and rainy all through the night the night (advice : carry warm clothes/rain cover/ sleeping bag).
We cooked our dinner and it tasted really nice (thanks to our cook - @peedee91 and @meriyo_the_back_packer. Post dinner we retired after the long tiring but amazing day.
After leaving our backpacks at the guest house, we left to explore the valley. The walk was downhill after the helipad. It takes around 70-90 mins to reach the cave taking into consideration the ample number of obvious photo breaks. This day we couldn't reach the cave as it was raining heavily and getting dark. We decided to chill at the helipad and later move to the lodge. Our awesome cooks @peedee91 @meriyo_the_back_packer took over the kitchen part while our comic @flames_steven continued to make us laugh and me and @born.to.be.wild___ prepared some “Environment” for meditation. After dinner we called the day off and went to the dorm to doze off. It was a cloudy, rainy and cold night. Hence can try astrophotography.
After the departure of some members of “the Cocktail”, me and Burning Flames aka Paul decided to stay another night at Dzukou lodge. We met two awesome guys Rahul SonOwal and Mayur Deori from Tinsukia, Assam. We left the Dzukou lodge for the cave and the cross. The weather was amazing with rains, winds and the sunlight on and off. The walk was downhill till the cave and it took us around 90 mins to reach with numerous photo breaks. Everything we looked up, the reaction of each one of us was the same, amazed, excited yet calm, unbelievable surroundings.
Just before the cave was a small wooden bridge. It is possible to stay overnight at the cave if prepared and cook meals (carry all necessities from the lodge ). On top of the cave there was a table and stools made of rocks with a 360 degree view of the valley. It’s impossible for me to describe the feeling here. Don’t think, just go and experience it for yourself.
When we returned to the lodge, the sky was totally covered with clouds. The winds started blowing very fast and within 30 mins the sky became clear and we witnessed one of the finest sunsets. Everything felt in the right place. After which we had our dinner which was prepared by the guest house caretakers. It was lovely and costed us 200 INR which is decent considering the remoteness of the place. The surprises of Dzukou wasn’t over yet. We came out of the kitchen cum dining room and a clear starry night was waiting for us. I tried to capture some long exposure shots during which a strong wind made my phone fell down and the screen and display got cracked ( my stupidity actually ) . I knew it cud be fixed and I ll have all my data safe.
After 4 am in the morning it started raining heavily and continued till 10am. After having our breakfast we headed back to Vishwema. By the time we reached the 1st viewpoint, the sun came out and we decided to spend some more time in the region.
The downhill walk post 1st view point looked more difficult now than while climbing up.
We made it to the starting point by 2pm and departed to our locations after having a cup of tea together.
It took me 4 hours to cover 125 km to Imphal.
We can't go to the tower which was above the lodge, also can't see the beautiful Dzukou lily.
Hence I ll be heading back to the valley in June/July.
Thank you Meriyo Langbang Nangsan Shylla Pema D Bhutia Burning Flames Rahul SonOwal Mayur Deori and Dzukou valley lodge caretakers for making this trek wonderful.
@peedee91 - official pre trek bartender @meriyo_the_back_packer - official pre trek DJ @flames_steven- official entertainer,
@nangshan - official planner and motivator.
For photographs, please follow wander_boot on instagram. (www.instagram.com/wander_boot)
For video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NfO9_182i3I&feature=youtu.be