Straddling the border between Nagaland and Manipur, Dzukou Valley is a spectacular landscape of emerald hills in India’s north-east. It lies at an altitude of 2,452 metres where a wide variety of wildflowers grow, with the most well-known being the deep pink Dzukou Lily that is endemic to the region.
Things to do
Follow the trekking route that leads from Viswema village through the Dzukou Valley to experience its seasonal flower displays, which peak following the arrival of the monsoon at the beginning of July. Keep your eyes peeled for the rare Lilium chitrangadae, which is only found in the Dzukou Valley and was named after the mother of the flower’s identifier, Hijam Bikramjit.
Once you’ve reached the rest house at the top of the Viswema trail, you can descend along the Zakhama trail, a steep downhill route that offers breathtaking views across the Dzukou Valley. It passes through a forest of twisting vines and moss-adorned trees, as well as over several streams, with inspiring quotations posted along the way.
Despite its incredible beauty, the Dzukou Valley’s name translates from the Viswema dialect as “soulless and dull”, referring to the difficulty villagers had in harvesting crops here. If you’re visiting in the winter months, temperatures drop surprisingly low and a scattering of white snow is known to cover its rolling green hillocks.
Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Imphal is just over three hours’ drive from the Dzukou Valley and has flights to destinations across India while the city of Kohima is 1.5 hours away. Buses are the main means of travelling between the region’s towns and villages and taxis will transport you to the start of the Dzukou Valley’s main trekking routes.