North-East India is full of hidden treasures when it comes to scenic locations and of them all, Dzüko Valley was the best-kept secret till about 2010. Not many people outside the states of Nagaland and Manipur (where this valley lies) knew of this valley that derived its name "Dzüko" meaning soulless and dull, from the fact that it is adverse for a long time human habitation as the weather conditions are unfavourable and soil uncultivable. Yet the views it offers are a nature lovers delight.
To reach it via Nagaland, one has to reach the capital city of Kohima and from there hire a taxi to either Zakhama or Viswema from where the only way to reach the valley is on foot. While Zakhama offers a shorter route, it takes more time to reach the valley as it is a steep climb that starts around 1,200 mts and goes up to about 2,600 mts before a descent to the valley. On the contrary, Viswema offers a longer and easier route that takes about 4 hours to reach, which is much less than the time the Zakhama side takes.
Most of the trekkers and sometimes tourists are seen visiting this place between the months of May and July as that is the time when Dzüko Lily is in full bloom. But to our amazement, the months of August and September offered a totally different look than what is usually seen in the numerous images of the valley.
The autumn months offer amazing and dramatic skies during sunset and sunrise along with dark and clear night skies.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor