I feel fortunate to have trekked to Dzukou valley from Kohima, Nagaland. It is an unexplored jewel of the North East. A dead zone out of the hustle bustles of everyday life with no electricity and connectivity with the outside world. A perfect place to blend in with nature. The more I would want to tell people about such places, sometimes I feel I should do otherwise, letting it stay unexplored and undiscovered, considering the damage done towards nature by us humans.
It was monsoon when I trekked to the valley making it harder to get a grip in the muddy terrain. To make it worse, my shoes gave up on me right before I started and I had no option but to do hours of trekking on slippers. A tiny mistake on the muddy path and you fall down the hill as the whole path is on the edge of the hills. Also, slippers tend to get stuck under heavy mud due to suction leaving your feet with bruises. I had to sacrifice on time and managed to reach my camp site just as the sun went down.
It was pitch dark, freezing and started drizzling so I had to pitch my tent and went to sleep looking forward to the next morning without knowing what kind of view awaited in front of me.
Patience has most often than not paid off for me. Everything was covered with fog when I woke up early morning and unzipped my tent. After lazing around for a few more hours, the valley revealed itself. One cannot ask for more after waking up and witnessing nature in such a glorious state.
Monsoon might be a difficult time to visit this place but is the most pleasing for the eyes. Good things come at a price. This is the time it is in its most glorious state with the flowers blooming throughout the valley. I can only hope that this valley remains unspoiled for the sake of preserving its undeniable charm and otherworldly beauty.
With rich cultural heritage and tradition, Nagaland is relatively a less explored region of the amazing North East of India which in general is extremely underrated and overshadowed by India’s other mainstream places.
I was drawn there by my curiosity to overcome some myths and stereotypical ideas gathered over the years about Nagaland and their tribes in general, which also applies to North East as a whole.
The most profound memories were however not necessarily the breathtaking views but the amazing people I have met. I came across the local Tuluni festival while wandering around and was welcomed in the most heartwarming manner by the locals. I was offered the best traditional meal I could have craved for at that moment. Contrary to most popular believes about Naga tribes, I think they are the most welcoming, helpful and loving people who deeply care about their culture and tradition while being genuinely proud of it.
I believe visiting and experiencing a place first hand can be the ultimate truth-teller, myth buster and stereotype killer. Go explore, then believe!