Close your eyes. Feel the calm, pleasant air enveloping you. Can you hear anything but the birds chirping in the thick canopy of forests? Can you see the sun hiding behind the brilliant play of clouds? A dreamlike setting, is it not? No, we are not describing Paradise. We are talking about the hidden treasure of Sikkim – Dzongu. Well, as close as we can come to Paradise, perhaps.
Nestled in North Sikkim and inhabited by the Lepchas lies the beautiful Dzongu Valley, providing breathtaking views of the colossal Kanchenjunga from little clusters of villages. The valley has a serene atmosphere that can calm any frazzled mind.
Dzongu is at a distance of about 20 kilometers from the nearby town, Mangan, and there are many warm and cozy homestays to while the days away.
You visit Dzongu for the scenery. And also for its people.
Family life is at the focus of life in Dzongu. The Lepchas love their solitude and their unique traditions and customs are worth understanding.
Places to visit in Dzongu : Adding to the aura
We have enlisted below a few of the places to visit in and around Dzongu. Have a look and plan your trip accordingly.
Passingdang Village serves as the place of stay in Dzongu Valley. Housing quite a few homestays, this place gives you a complete insight into the Lepcha way of life in the midst of nature.
At a distance of eight kilometers from Passingdang Village in Lingthem lies the tiered waterfall, Lingzya. Start hiking through the quaint village of Charmel, across a wide cantilever bridge, and amidst the surrounding forests, you will find the majestic fall welcoming you.
Inhale the scent of the morning dew while enjoying the picturesque beauty of Lingzya. Even though Dzongu houses several other waterfalls, Lingzya stands out as its prime attraction.
This surreal place is encompassed by evergreen trees looking down at the clear blue lake.
If you visit Kusheong Valley during the blooming season in June and July, you can witness the fairytale-resembling valley carpeted with beautiful and rare flowers.
Wake up the adventurer in you and set out for the three-day hike to Kusheong from Dzongu. The hike provides unrivaled views of a variety of birds and butterflies. Kusheong Valley is an unexplored piece of paradise for the curious traveler in you.
At an altitude of 8000 feet stands Tholung Monastery, serving as a resting point for fatigued hikers on their way to Kusheong Valley.
The monastery is about 20 kilometers from Lingthem, and the road runs along the Tholung River, which is surrounded by cardamom groves. Tholung Monastery is a treasure trove of religious scriptures, artifacts, and several other possessions of the former inhabitants of Chhogyals and Lamas. About an hour’s comfortable walk along the Tholung River will take you to another sacred spot – Devta Pani.
Tickle your taste buds
We couldn’t end without telling you about the fabulous food you can gorge on!
Munch on Khabze, a homemade fried snack; and take a sip of Chhaang, the traditional homemade millet beer, while you get to know more about a lifestyle that is in stark contrast to other regions.
How to get here: Just around 70km from the state capital of Gangtok.
You would need special permits for Dzongu, which can be easily arranged by your homestay or local travel agent.