If you love the grace of God on nature then visit some of the popular rural destinations across India to experience the real essence of Village life. The influence of nature and its blessings on humanity is not limited to a certain specific region and you can feel the essence of natural diversity, heritage and local culture in some hidden and less known parts of India as well.
Dzuleke- It is situated 40 km from Kohima in Nagaland. This small and less populated village (total population of around 200) describes all about such splendid beauty of nature.
The tourists from all over the country would feel astonishing to watch such a wide variety of natural activities, homestay facilities and the outstanding hospitality by the villagers. They will be desperate to explore this village and love to participate in the following 5 must-do activities in Dzuleke.
1) Activities in Dzuleke Community Forest
The Dzuleke people belong to the “Angami tribe” of Nagaland, so you may face a little language problem in the beginning while communicating with local villagers. But, it won’t be much difficult as soon as you start a conversation with them by using normal sign-language.
Once you set a fair communication with the villagers then you will not face any major problem in experiencing the natural activities in Dzuleke community forest. However, you can also find a trained guide out there, who will walk you through the entire forest and helps in spotting charming butterflies and birds.
While walking around the village, there may be certainly a question arise in your mind when you watch the local people weaving the basket of cane and bamboo at their door front- How they have acquired such beautiful skills? The moment you will see the wide variety of Natural Bamboo and Cane Plantation in this rich semi-evergreen forest, you automatically get to know that those “Skills” are in the blood of the villagers.
You would be lucky if you find the rarely seen “Snow Trout” and the glimpses of several species of Orchids and Rhododendrons in the vicinity of the forest.
2) Nature Walks in Home Gardens
You will find one of the most exciting activities in Dzuleke , when you walk through the fascinating home gardens of the villagers. The guide will take you to their home garden where you will see the variety of vegetables grown completely organically along with the methods of the special kind of rice cultivation.
The interesting thing to see in some home gardens is the glorious “Medical Plants”. The local community of the village is always available to teach you the utilization of these medicinal plants in various purposes.
There are other interesting activities in Dzuleke to experience in its backyard – “Fishing and Hunting” in the local rivers. The Angami tribes are also very skilled in Fishing, but unfortunately, this activity is banned in this area for the conservation of wildlife. However, the village community allows the Fishing during few selected months of the year.
3) Trekking and Camping
Trekking and camping being the two most adventures activities in Dzuleke to experience. The guide will take you to the hills of the village for trekking. You can hold a bamboo in one hand and start the journey along the rocky hills of the track.
If you are trekking in a group, the picture looks like the “Gang of Refugees” walking along the way to cross the border. You might meet with the few small water lakes in the middle of the way which contains numerous tiny rocks over which the water is flowing gently with calm and silent noise.
This brings the small, but sweet challenges along the journey when one has to cross over these small water lakes by putting each leg one by one upon the tiny rocks with the help of bamboo.
The journey moves further and reach to the more dense forest with continuous lake water crossing challenges along the way. The shrinking leaves of the enormous trees produces the dazzling noise which makes the trekking more adventures for the tourists.
After trekking, when you feel tired, you will meet with the number of eco-friendly camps located in some specific parts of the village. You can take your breath away, relax your mind, staying inside the camps for few hours and enjoy the hospitality of the local hosts. They will serve you meals especially Cold Pork or Chicken.
The Camping and Trekking adventure will help you in establishing the close relationship with the villagers. This would also reduce the communication and language gap between them and the Sign language become more effective as the internal bonding with villagers strengthens.
4) Home-stay Experience
Dzuleke is an inspirational destination for the tourists who love to explore the lifestyle of the villagers who are staying with them in homestays for some time. Dzuleke offers an outstanding homestay facility in Kohima. As the population of this village is very less, the NEIDA currently introduced four homestay facilities out of 35 households. These homestays will serve you their best hospitality by offering homemade food and meals to make you familiar with their local culture and traditions.
The homestay program offers facilities to the tourists on a rotational basis. Staying quality moments in homestays with local people will give you the proper understanding of the actual lifestyle of the Dzuleke Angami tribe. You will also get aware of the local arts and crafts and other commercial products which are also available here for sale.
You can purchase any local product from the villagers and paying for such local arts will also generate an alternate source of income for Dzuleke people.
5) Experience Exotic Food and Meals
The Dzuleke offers the variety of food to the tourists who spend time in homestays and eco-camps with local village hosts. They offer popular local dishes like Pork, freshwater crab, chilly chutney, fresh ginger and the variety of herbs.
The food is cooked in the traditional village style under the low flame Chulha, which uses thin sticks for catching fire. You can get involv with them to have some local cooking experience in homestays on a rotational basis. Another opportunity to taste the local food is when you choose to stay in eco-camps where the hosts will provide your favorite Chicken and Pork to make you relax and hustle free.
Best Time to Visit Dzuleke
The beautiful natural scenes of the Dzuleke village is always at its peak throughout the year. But, visiting here between October to April makes you feel the essence of this village more deeply. You can also take advantage of the best trekking and camping experience during this period.
The monsoon period between April to May is not an ideal period to visit Dzuleke, according to my opinion, as the bad roads from Kohima to Dzuleke could make your tasks a bit challenging.
Travel route to Dzuleke
The Village is just 40 Km from Kohima city. So the tourists can arrange a motorbike from any Bike Rental services in Kohima for at least 3 day trip to Dzuleke (If you want to experience each natural activities of the village). The roads are not in the better condition so it may take around 2 hours to reach the village if going with average speed.
Final Words: Useful tips and Limitations for staying in Dzuleke
Though, there are several activities in Dzuleke that will make you visit here anytime when you plan to spend your short vacation in North-East India to observe the lifestyle of Nagaland Village. Some useful tips are mentioned below which will help you in exploring the Dzuleke village:
Communication Challenge: There is no strong mobile or internet network available in the village right now so the visitors may face a little problem in communication with their own gadgets. However, NEIDA facilitates a few households with a strong network to communicate remotely especially with tourists.
Hunting Banned: The local community banned the fishing and hunting for certain periods. The tourists can enjoy fishing with the guidance of village hosts only during allotted period.
Language Problem: Though it is not the much difficult issue, the tourist can use normal sign language with villagers and slowly one would become comfortable with them.
Route problem: The road to Dzuleke from Kohima is not well maintained so it is advisable to hire a bike to overcome the road trouble.