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Dzükou Valley Trek: Your Ultimate Guide To India’s Famous Hike


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Dredi Conaway



Welcome to Dzükou Valley, one of India’s most renowned and picturesque treks. Nestled in the state of Nagaland, this hidden gem offers a breathtaking landscape filled with rolling hills, lush greenery, and vibrant flowers. It is a haven for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and photographers alike. Dzükou Valley is often referred to as the “Valley of Flowers” of the Northeast, drawing visitors from far and wide to behold its natural beauty.


The trek to Dzükou Valley presents an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse oneself in the tranquility of Mother Nature. The journey takes you through dense forests, across crystal-clear streams, and up steep slopes, rewarding you with awe-inspiring views at every turn. Whether you are an experienced trekker or a beginner, Dzükou Valley offers an unforgettable experience that will leave a lasting impression.


For those seeking a unique and off-the-beaten-path adventure, Dzükou Valley delivers. Its remote location and relatively untouched surroundings make it a destination that is truly worth exploring. As you traverse the trail, you will discover the rich biodiversity of the region, encounter rare species of flora and fauna, and have the opportunity to witness indigenous Naga culture along the way.


Throughout this ultimate guide, we will provide you with all the necessary information to plan your Dzükou Valley trek. From getting there to choosing the best time to visit, obtaining permits, and identifying camping spots, we have you covered. We will also share safety tips, insights into the local flora and fauna, and even offer some photography pointers to help you capture the beauty of this remarkable destination.


So, tighten your backpack straps, put on your hiking boots, and get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime in Dzükou Valley. Let’s dive into the details that will make your trip a memorable one!


Getting to Dzükou Valley

Situated in the northeastern state of Nagaland, reaching Dzükou Valley requires a bit of effort, but the journey is well worth it once you witness the natural splendor that awaits you. The nearest major city to Dzükou Valley is Kohima, the capital of Nagaland. Here are the various modes of transportation to consider:


By Air: The nearest airport to Dzükou Valley is Dimapur Airport, which is well-connected to major Indian cities. From Dimapur, you can hire a taxi or take a shared cab to Kohima, which is approximately 70 kilometers away. The scenic drive to Kohima takes around 3-4 hours.


By Train: The closest railway station to Dzükou Valley is also located in Dimapur. Regular train services connect Dimapur to various cities across the country. After reaching Dimapur, you can follow the same route as mentioned above, either by hiring a taxi or taking a shared cab to Kohima.


By Road: If you prefer road travel, you can drive to Kohima from nearby cities like Guwahati or Imphal. The road journey to Kohima offers magnificent views of the rolling hills and is an adventure in itself. Alternatively, you can also take state-run buses or shared taxis from nearby towns and cities to reach Kohima.


Once you have reached Kohima, you will need to make your way to the base camp of the trek, which is at Jakhama village. From Kohima, it’s a short drive of about 16 kilometers to reach Jakhama. At Jakhama, you will find local guides, trek operators, and porters who can assist you in organizing your trek to Dzükou Valley.


Now that you know how to get to the starting point of the trek, let’s move on to the next section to discover the best time to visit Dzükou Valley, as this will greatly impact your overall experience.


Best Time to Visit

Dzükou Valley experiences different seasons throughout the year, and the best time to visit depends on your preferences and the kind of experience you are seeking. Here are the two main seasons to consider:


Spring (April to May): Spring is considered the best time to visit Dzükou Valley. During this time, the valley is in full bloom with a spectacular display of colorful flowers, including lilies, rhododendrons, and wildflowers. The entire valley transforms into a vibrant carpet of blossoms, creating a picture-perfect scene that is every photographer’s dream. The weather is mild, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C, making it ideal for trekking and outdoor activities.


Autumn (September to October): Autumn is another favorable time to visit Dzükou Valley. The monsoon rains have subsided, leaving behind fresh green foliage and clear skies. The temperature during autumn ranges from 15°C to 25°C, providing comfortable trekking conditions. The valley retains its verdant beauty, and the weather is generally pleasant, allowing for stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.


It’s worth noting that Dzükou Valley experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon season, which extends from June to August. While the valley is still accessible during this time, the trails can be slippery and the weather unpredictable. However, if you are a monsoon lover and enjoy the lush greenery, you can visit Dzükou Valley during the monsoon season, but do exercise caution and be prepared for the weather conditions.


Ultimately, the choice of the best time to visit Dzükou Valley depends on your personal preferences. To make the most of your trip, it is advisable to check the weather conditions and consult with locals or trek operators for up-to-date information.


Now that you know when to go, let’s proceed to the next section to learn about the permits and entry fees required for a Dzükou Valley trek.


Permit and Entry Fees

Before embarking on your trek to Dzükou Valley, it is important to obtain the necessary permits and pay the required entry fees. This ensures that your visit is authorized and contributes to the maintenance and preservation of the valley. Here’s what you need to know:


Permit: All visitors, including Indians and foreigners, need an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter Nagaland. The ILP can be obtained online through the Nagaland Tourism website or from Nagaland House in major cities like Delhi, Kolkata, or Guwahati. The ILP is valid for a specific duration, so make sure to plan your trek accordingly.


Entry Fees: Once you have obtained the ILP, you will be required to pay an entry fee at the starting point of the trek. The entry fee varies depending on your nationality. Indian citizens typically have a lower fee compared to foreign nationals. The entry fee contributes to the maintenance of the trekking trails, conservation efforts, and the overall management of the valley.


It is essential to carry your ILP and payment receipts with you throughout the trek, as they may be checked at various checkpoints along the way. Failure to produce the necessary documents can result in fines or even denial of entry. It is advisable to keep multiple copies of your ILP and receipts in case of loss or damage.


To ensure a hassle-free experience, it is recommended to plan and apply for your permits well in advance. Check the official government websites for updated information on the permit process, fees, and any additional requirements.


Now that you are aware of the permits and fees, let’s move on to the next section to explore the difficulty level of the Dzükou Valley trek and what to expect along the way.


Trek Difficulty Level

The Dzükou Valley trek offers a moderate level of difficulty, making it suitable for both experienced trekkers and beginners with a good level of fitness. Here’s what you can expect in terms of the trek’s difficulty:


Trail Condition: The trail can vary in difficulty depending on the route chosen. The most common route starts from Jakhama village, which involves a steady climb to the valley. The path is well-marked and maintained, but there are steep ascents and descents along the way. Some sections may be rocky or muddy, especially during the monsoon season. It is essential to wear proper trekking shoes and be cautious while navigating challenging terrain.


Duration: The trek to Dzükou Valley from Jakhama village usually takes around 4-6 hours, depending on your pace and agility. It is advisable to start early in the morning to avoid trekking during the hottest part of the day and to allow sufficient time for exploration and photography in the valley.


Altitude: Dzükou Valley is located at an elevation of approximately 2,438 meters (8,000 feet) above sea level. While this altitude is not extremely high, it is still advisable to acclimatize gradually and pace yourself during the ascent. If you experience any symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headaches, dizziness, or shortness of breath, it is important to rest and descend if necessary.


Physical Fitness: A moderate level of physical fitness is required for the Dzükou Valley trek. Regular exercise, including cardiovascular activities and strength training, can help prepare your body for the climb. It is also advisable to engage in pre-trek training and stretching exercises to improve endurance and flexibility.


Porters and Guides: If you prefer, you have the option to hire local porters or guides to assist you during the trek. They can help carry your backpack and provide valuable insights about the trail, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable experience.


It is important to assess your own abilities and fitness level before attempting the Dzükou Valley trek. Listen to your body, stay hydrated, and take breaks as needed. Remember, it is not a race but a journey to be savored and enjoyed.


With an understanding of the trek’s difficulty level, let’s proceed to the next section to explore the different route options available for the Dzükou Valley trek.


Route Options

The Dzükou Valley trek offers various route options, each with its own unique charm and characteristics. The route you choose will determine the duration and level of difficulty of your trek. Here are the main route options:


Jakhama Route: The Jakhama route is the most popular and frequently chosen option. It starts from Jakhama village, located near Kohima. This route is well-marked and relatively easier compared to the other routes. It takes approximately 4-6 hours to reach Dzükou Valley, depending on your pace and rest breaks along the way. The Jakhama route offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and villages.


Viswema-Zakhama Route: The Viswema-Zakhama route is another feasible option for reaching Dzükou Valley. It starts from Viswema village, which is located close to Kohima, and ends at Zakhama village. This route offers a more challenging and adventurous experience with rugged terrain and steep slopes. It takes around 5-7 hours to complete this route, depending on the weather conditions and your fitness level.


Alternative Routes: Aside from the two main routes mentioned above, there are a few additional options for reaching Dzükou Valley. These routes, such as the Dziikou-Behen and Dziikou-Khozienuo routes, are less frequented and require more time and preparation due to their remote and challenging nature. These routes are suitable for experienced trekkers looking for a more off-the-beaten-path experience.


Regardless of the route you choose, it is advisable to consult with local guides or trek operators who have in-depth knowledge of the trail conditions and can provide guidance based on your preferences and skill level. They can also ensure your safety and help navigate any difficulties that may arise during the trek.


Now that you are familiar with the various route options, let’s move on to the next section, which covers camping and accommodation facilities in Dzükou Valley.


Camping and Accommodation

When trekking to Dzükou Valley, camping is the most popular option for accommodation, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in the beauty of the surroundings. Here’s what you need to know about camping and accommodation in Dzükou Valley:


Camping: There are several camping sites available in Dzükou Valley, offering stunning views and a serene atmosphere. Most trekkers prefer to set up their tents near the stream that flows through the valley, providing a picturesque backdrop. It is important to bring your own camping gear, including a sturdy tent, sleeping bag, and camping stove for cooking meals. Make sure to follow ethical camping practices, such as leaving no trace and respecting the environment.


Accommodation: If you prefer not to camp, there are limited accommodation options available near the base camp in Jakhama village. These accommodations range from guesthouses to homestays, providing a comfortable and convenient place to stay before and after the trek. It is advisable to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure a room.


Whether you choose to camp or stay in a guesthouse, it is important to be prepared and carry essential supplies, including food, drinking water, and basic amenities. There are no shops or restaurants in Dzükou Valley, so packing enough provisions for the duration of your stay is crucial.


While camping in Dzükou Valley is a rewarding and memorable experience, it is important to keep the surroundings clean and maintain a responsible and sustainable approach to camping. Respect the environment, wildlife, and local culture, and remember to dispose of waste properly.


Now that you know about camping and accommodation options, let’s move on to the next section, where we will discuss important safety tips to ensure a smooth and secure trekking experience in Dzükou Valley.


Safety Tips

Ensuring your safety is paramount when embarking on the Dzükou Valley trek. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind during your journey:


1. Plan and prepare: Before starting the trek, research and gather all necessary information about the trail, weather conditions, and required permits. Plan your route and carry a detailed map or guidebook.


2. Physical fitness: Maintain a good level of fitness before the trek. Engage in regular exercise and pre-trek training to build endurance and strength. Consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions or concerns.


3. Weather conditions: Check the weather forecast thoroughly before starting the trek. Be prepared for changes in weather and carry appropriate clothing layers to adjust to temperature fluctuations.


4. Trek in a group or with a guide: It is recommended to trek with a group or hire a local guide who is familiar with the trail and can provide assistance and support throughout the journey.


5. Stay hydrated and carry sufficient supplies: Carry an adequate amount of drinking water and stay hydrated during the trek. Pack enough food and snacks to sustain your energy levels throughout the day.


6. Pack essential trekking gear: Ensure you have the necessary trekking gear, including sturdy hiking boots, comfortable clothing, a raincoat or poncho, a headlamp, a first aid kit, and sunscreen.


7. Be mindful of altitude and acclimatization: If you are not accustomed to high altitudes, take necessary precautions to acclimatize gradually. Ascend slowly and listen to your body. If you experience symptoms of altitude sickness, descend immediately.


8. Carry emergency essentials: Pack emergency essentials such as a whistle, a flashlight, a multifunctional tool, a mobile phone, and extra batteries. These items can be crucial in case of unforeseen circumstances.


9. Follow trail markers and stay on the designated path: Pay attention to trail markers and follow the designated path to avoid getting lost. Straying off the trail can be dangerous and may lead to difficult or inaccessible terrain.


10. Respect the environment and local culture: Leave no trace behind and respect the environment, wildlife, and local culture. Do not disturb or harm flora and fauna, and be mindful of the unique traditions and customs of the region.


By adhering to these safety tips, you can minimize risks and ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience in Dzükou Valley.


Now that you are aware of the safety precautions, let’s move on to the next section to discover the diverse flora and fauna that Dzükou Valley has to offer.


Flora and Fauna

Dzükou Valley is renowned for its rich biodiversity, boasting a stunning array of flora and fauna. Let’s explore the diverse natural wonders that await you in this picturesque valley:


Flora: The valley is often referred to as the “Valley of Flowers” for good reason. Dzükou Valley is home to a wide variety of flowering plants, including rhododendrons, lilies, orchids, and wildflowers of vibrant colors. During the spring season, the valley transforms into a carpet of blooming flowers, creating a breathtaking sight that attracts nature enthusiasts and photographers from around the world.


Aside from flowers, Dzükou Valley also features dense foliage, with a mix of evergreen and deciduous trees. Bamboo groves, ferns, and mosses can be found along the trails, adding to the valley’s mystical charm.


Fauna: The valley is not just a paradise for plant lovers; it is also a haven for wildlife. While wildlife sightings are relatively rare due to the dense vegetation, lucky trekkers may have the opportunity to spot some fascinating species. Common sightings include Asian black bears, leopard cats, barking deer, and various species of birds, such as pheasants, hornbills, and sunbirds.


For birdwatching enthusiasts, Dzükou Valley offers a true delight. The valley is home to a diverse avian population, with a range of species native to the region. You may catch a glimpse of colorful birds like the Blyth’s Tragopan, the Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler, or the beautiful Naga Wren Babbler.


The pristine wilderness of Dzükou Valley provides a unique habitat for these flora and fauna, making it a special destination for nature lovers. While exploring the valley, remember to maintain a respectful distance from the wildlife and refrain from disturbing their natural environment.


Now that you have gained insight into the ecological wonders of Dzükou Valley, let’s move on to the next section, where we will provide some valuable tips for photographers aspiring to capture the beauty of this enchanting destination.


Tips for Photographers

Dzükou Valley offers a plethora of photographic opportunities, with its stunning landscapes and vibrant flora. Whether you are a professional photographer or an amateur enthusiast, here are some valuable tips to help you capture the beauty of this enchanting destination:


1. Research and plan: Before you embark on the trek, research the best viewpoints and areas within Dzükou Valley that offer the most photogenic scenes. Plan your itinerary accordingly to optimize your time and make the most of the available light conditions.


2. Capture the changing seasons: Dzükou Valley exhibits different colors and moods throughout the year. Capture the valley in different seasons, from the blooming flowers of spring to the lush green foliage of autumn. Each season offers a unique charm and photographic opportunities.


3. Utilize the golden hours: The soft golden light during sunrise and sunset creates a magical atmosphere in Dzükou Valley. Make sure to wake up early and stay out late to capture the beautiful play of light and shadows on the landscape. The golden hours provide a warm and stunning ambiance to your photographs.


4. Experiment with perspectives: Don’t be afraid to get creative with your compositions. Explore different angles and perspectives to add depth and drama to your photographs. Get down low, shoot from up high, or use interesting foreground elements to create visually captivating images.


5. Showcase the flora and fauna: Dzükou Valley is known for its diverse vegetation and wildlife. Capture the delicate beauty of flowers, the intricate details of ferns, or the elusive wildlife amidst the foliage. Zoom in on the unique features of the flora and fauna to create captivating close-up shots.


6. Use a wide-angle lens: A wide-angle lens allows you to capture the vastness and grandeur of the valley’s landscapes. It can help emphasize the scale of the surrounding hills, the winding trails, and the expansive sky. Experiment with different focal lengths to find the perfect balance in your compositions.


7. Be patient and observant: Nature has its own rhythm, and sometimes capturing the perfect shot requires patience and observation. Take your time, be mindful of the changing light and weather conditions, and be ready to capture those fleeting moments of magic.


8. Carry essential photography gear: Make sure to pack your camera, extra batteries, memory cards, tripod, and filters. The weather in the valley can be unpredictable, so protect your gear with waterproof covers or bags.


9. Respect the environment: While photographing the valley, ensure that you do not disturb the flora, fauna, or the local ecosystem. Follow ethical practices like staying on designated paths, not trampling or plucking flowers, and leaving no trace behind.


10. Immerse yourself in the experience: Lastly, remember to immerse yourself in the beauty of Dzükou Valley. Take moments to soak in the tranquility and let the awe of the surroundings inspire your photography. Enjoy the journey, and let your passion for photography shine through in each frame.


With these tips in mind, you are ready to capture the breathtaking beauty of Dzükou Valley through your lens.


Now, let’s conclude our ultimate guide to the Dzükou Valley trek by summarizing the key points and highlighting the unforgettable experiences that await you in this natural wonderland.



The Dzükou Valley trek is a remarkable adventure that showcases the mesmerizing beauty of Nagaland. With its breathtaking landscapes, vibrant flora, and elusive fauna, this hidden gem offers an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and photographers.


From the moment you begin your journey from Jakhama village, you will be enthralled by the lush greenery, captivating vistas, and the serene atmosphere that surrounds you. The trek to Dzükou Valley presents opportunities to challenge yourself physically and mentally while immersing yourself in the tranquil embrace of Mother Nature.


Whether you visit during the spring when the valley transforms into a vibrant sea of flowers or during the autumn when the landscape shines in shades of green, you will be rewarded with awe-inspiring panoramic views that will take your breath away.


As you trek through the valleys and climb the hills, be sure to appreciate the diverse flora and fauna that thrive in this pristine ecosystem. From the delicate blossoms of various flowers to the elusive wildlife that resides amidst the dense vegetation, Dzükou Valley offers a captivating natural spectacle.


Remember to plan ahead, obtain the necessary permits, and take precautions to ensure your safety throughout the trek. Practice responsible camping, respect the environment, and leave no trace behind to help preserve the natural beauty of Dzükou Valley for future generations.


Whether you are an experienced trekker or a novice adventurer, Dzükou Valley welcomes you with open arms. It is a place where you can reconnect with nature, challenge your limits, and create lifelong memories.


So, pack your bags, lace up your boots, and embark on a journey to Dzükou Valley. Let the serenity of the surroundings calm your soul and the breathtaking landscapes ignite your passion for exploration. The adventure awaits, ready to unveil its hidden treasures in this exquisite corner of India.