Text & Photos by Avishek Sarkar
Glimpse of Dzukou Valley, Nagaland
A single ray from the sun peeking through the otherwise overshadowed sky lit up the valley and with it the green carpet, that strikes as a velvety floor finish. A November morning, chilly and misty, highlighted the path used by the sunrays to greet the valley. It was fifteen minutes past five in the morning, the serenity was unparalleled, everyone asleep, trekkers (visitors) and locals likewise, the cool breeze could be heard flowing through the valley and into the shawl that was trying its best to shield me from the chilly morning. A part of me wanted to wake up my friends to this mesmerizing view, while the other was afraid of moving away from the view thinking I might miss a moment of mystery unfold. The view from this platform made by the locals for the tourists summed up all that I heard about this Dzukou valley, breath-taking.
Starting from Jorhat town railway station, it took us around four hours to reach Dimapur town by train. It was already late afternoon when we reached Dimapur, so after a couple of hours for freshening up, we were out again to explore the town with our guide (friend of Naga origin who luckily is my batch mate as well). The town is quite small, much like Jorhat on that regard, but livelier and with much more people (especially at the flee market). Since we had to leave early morning the next day, we borrowed some eatables from my friend’s home, packed them with our already heavy backpacks and wrapped up the first day of our itinerary. With the strike of 5.30, all of us were fresh and ready to embark on the journey that even though we planned to have since a long time but materialized after a long series of postponements. We hopped on my friend’s personal vehicle and her father dropped us near Dimapur station.
Since we chose to travel with line vehicles to cut down the cost, we had to wait a long time before getting two Maruti-800s to take us till Kohima (Capital of Nagaland). As we started to move away from Dimapur, the climate changed and we were greeted by a heavy downpour, due to which the road was in a horrible condition. But the view on both sides of the road was enough for us to shift focus from the bumpy ride to greenery. We stopped midway for breakfast and reached Kohima at around 11.30 am. We witnessed a heavy downpour at Kohima too and we moved to Jakhama Village as planned earlier. From there the views of Kohima and the nearby villages were marvellous, with the clouds painting an even more beautiful picture. Since it was raining heavily and we were already late, we directly went to Viswema village, from where we were supposed to start our trek. By 12.30pm we were out of the vehicle and started our trek.