Discovering Dzukou: Northeast India’s own Valley of Flowers

Dzukou Valley flowers

Tranquil, calm and abundant in a bounty of nature’s beauty, like most remote places happen to be especially in a part of the country seemingly cut off from the mainland is one of the most picturesque of locations that sits in glory along the mountainous trails of the haven that northeast India is. Nestled somewhere in between the borders of the states of Nagaland and Manipur, along the former’s village of Viswema to be precise, is the ‘soulless’ Dzuko valley of immense vibrancy. With such contrasts in play in its description, the verdant vale of exquisite natural bestowings presents itself as already intriguing a lesser known place that should be more enticing of travelers and tourists alike. And indeed it would be, if not for its remote location in the northeastern hinterland, shielded securely away from the prying eyes of the world and therefore saved from the perils of overtourism and overexploitation, at least of yet. But what it still continues to be, despite all its placing in obscurity, is its being as a place where the choiciest blessings of nature has been bestowed.

Endowed a vision of beauty that comes alive in its premises of the rolling hills carpeted with evenly dwarfed bamboo plants even as meandering rivulets and grassy meadows of the greenest greens further paint a picture of natural gaiety, the Dzukou valley bears indeed the enchantment to lead you to a stupor with its range of surrealness on offer- such is the exquisite allure of this land radiant in every hue of nature’s color palette. And indeed, as the Valley of Flowers that it is popularly known as, the bewitching expanse of beauty that plays out along the range of the eyes has this particular distinction asserting its prominence in rather profusion. With a multicolored carpet of flowers blooming across this trail of impeccable beauty through the vivid days of the summer, the Dzukou Valley bathes itself in a radiance that is a gorgeous sight indeed of the pinks and the reds and the purples and the yellows outlined of course by the forever continuing enigma that the greens and the blues pour unto it.

Sitting high amidst the clouds at an elevation of some 2452 meters above sea level is this valley of pristine wonder, where the colors of nature splash about their dazzle at will, bringing to forth picture perfect views of the brightest measure possible. Throughout the months of April to July when the valley’s many a wildflowers are in full bloom, the breathtaking majesty of what unfolds before the eyes is indeed an experience unmissable. Particularly in the first couple of weeks in July, the valley comes resplendent in all its array of smiling flowering beauties, even as the other peak season months are no less gorgeous as well. With the Dzukou lily endemic of course to the valley descending upon its green swathe a striking contrast of the prettiest of pinks there ever can be, the vision is one to behold in all the extravagance it guarantees. As the lilies make way for other wilderness to take precedence over the many exciting turn of the seasons, Dzukou valley continues to be the harbinger of all things beauty. Even with the cold making inroads into this pristine abode just beneath the majestic facade of the hanging clouds that tower over the valley and the wildflowers shying away from their full blossom, the view still would be one that is no less dramatic, albeit in an expression that ventures away from the medley of colors that dictate its summertime glory.

Come the magical months of December and the like, the magic stemming from Dzukou valley takes upon a different aura altogether. As temperature dips and rivers freeze, the lush green carpet laid out on the ground allows for a layer of frost to settle down upon it even as pure white snow takes over mountaintops and hillocks, creating a mesmerising medley yet again, this time though in very definite hues and somewhat less vivid an expression, but not in any way subdued in the beauty of its graciously decorated premises set to tune with the winter vibes. But even through the dreamy days of December, the flowery flair continues to entice in some way or the other, most notably through an abundant offering of the delicate cherry blossoms that flower away to full glory through the icy days of winter. Dry and clear through that period, ranging from the months from September through February, the Dzukou valley glistens in its blue skies and less frequently in its snow capped expanses lit by the gleaming rays of the bright mountain sun, intertwining in its visage a peculiar weave of the colors for its trademark charm to still work wonders, sans even the dancing stalks of its ‘wind savvy’ wildflowers.

But for a place the identity of which is inextricably associated with being the ultimate epitome of beauty no matter what time of the year you choose to yield in to its enduring appeal, the name of the Dzukou valley is a rather misnomer of sorts. Literally meaning soulless and dull, the name Dzukou was endowed upon its enchanting expanses by the ancestors of Viswema whose pursuit of cultivating a village of sorts in the valley was hampered seriously by the unfavourable climatic conditions prevailing in the region. A more ‘cheerful’ theory however attributes the name dzükou to have been derived from an Angami/Mao word that means cold water, probably in reference to the many an icy cold streams criss crossing across the expanse of the valley. Located just behind the Japfu peak that which itself is another of the prominent tourist attractions and entails an ideal trekking trail, the picturesque sprawl of the Dzukou valley offers itself also incredibly well to adventure enthusiasts. Accessible through a steep climb up the hills through either the scenic villages of Viswema, Jakhama or Khonoma, the Dzukou Valley reveals an abundance of amazing vistas to gape about in wide mouthed anticipation of the enormous beauty it holds. As panoramic views of scenic serenity unfold along with an array of amazing experiences that satiate truly the soul and spirit, every wandering purveyor of Dzukou feels indeed a certain calm taking over them, across the bliss of nature that bathes everyone in its essence, manifesting as gentle an assertion of its beauty as possible in a manner that goes beyond just the folds of the real to dwell also along the realms of the transcendental. Such is the serendipitous realisation afforded by a jaunt into this valley perched somewhere amidst the clouds almost that Dzukou stands loud and clear a diversion from the dull monotonicity embedded into popular perceptions of how it spelled out to be.

Across its sweeping range of perfectly contoured hilltops carpeted in alluring shades of emerald green along which the Dzukou valley finds its expression of beauty making exquisite imprints upon its identity, there lurks however a surreptitiously peculiar tint of black dousing the life of its natural profusion. A vision of burnt trees proliferates throughout the expanse of the valley, reminiscent of the many wildfires that are rather common an occurrence here. But despite bearing the burnt of such ravaging fury in rather sure but sporadic measure, the valley continues to be as much the exemplary manifestation of beauty as it has always been. Peppered by many a dark silhouettes of trees once infused with the riches of life is the Dzukou valley that has still managed to embrace essentially the blacks into this expanse of the greens in a manner that further enhances its allure in exquisite vibrancy. As a stark play of nature plays out once again through an unexpected scheme of colors across this vale of immense gorgeousness, the Dzukou valley lends itself still exceedingly well to exploring each hue of what the heavens has generously decked it up with. And that precisely is what beckons the world through this enchanting allure of a land silently letting nature work its most spectacular way out for a canvas of a rich canopy of colors to take centerstage, making the Dzukou Valley truly the most sublime of discoveries to chance upon in the north eastern wonderland of India.