Nestled around 70Kms away from Gangtok, Dzongu is a spectacular place to visit in North district state of Sikkim. The terrain of Dzongu is delimited by the mighty Kanchenjunga along with two animated rivers ‘Teesta’ and ‘Tholung Chu’, which are positioned towards the south-east and north-east direction of the place respectively. Dzongu is officially a homeland of the indigenous populace of Sikkim called the ‘Lepchas’. Likewise the wintry ambience of Sikkim, the Lepchas are also quite cool and gracious by nature. Most of them are Buddhist by religion and they follow a simple standard of living. The Lepchas are mainly hardworking inhabitants and they grow their own food. Presence of natural abundance gives the Lepchas a great opportunity to involve themselves into cultivation of crops. The prime produce here is cardamom. The local language here is Nepali.
Being a rich landscape of snow-clad mountains, Dzongu is also crowned as the ‘God’s Own Set of Villages’. The natural exquisiteness of Dzongu has a wide range of attractions for you including its jade bush, captivating glacial streams, lively cascade and fascinating rivers. Dzongu is a place that you can visit all round the year. In winter, Dzongu is a very cold place to visit. Nevertheless, the climate here in summer is equally soothing and delightful. During summer, you can enjoy here a pleasant climate between 12°C to 21°C. In winter on the other hand, the temperature in Dzongu is nearly 5°C. Therefore, the best times to visit Dzongu are between April and May (in summer) and between October and January (in winter).
Places to Visit
Situated amidst the peaks of Kanchenjunga, the valley of Dzongu is recognized for its profusion flora and fauna. In addition, a blend of immaculate climate and small Lepcha hamlet has turned this place to an eminent tourist hub in the North district of Sikkim. Let’s take a look into some of the attractions here that pull plenty of visitors throughout the calendar:
#Traditional Lepcha House
Located at Namprikdong, merely 10 minutes away from the Sangkalang police check post, Lepcha House is famed for its primeval construction on an open surface and a museum inside the house. While exploring the existence of this great traditional house, you can also have a picturesque vista of the convergence of river Teesta. One of the distinct features of Lepcha House is that no nails were used during the construction of this traditional house.
Bamboo made bridges are the key connector between two adjoining vicinities in Dzongu. The Lepchas split the long sections of bamboos and utilise these parts in constructing such bridges. Walking over such cane-made hanging bridges gives visitors an amazing experience. One such long bridge can be observed above Tholung Monastery.
Built in the 18th century, this divine place is known as the meditation point of Guru Rinpoche. Tholung Monastery was constructed by Lhatsun Chenpo. The key purpose behind the construction of this monastery was to conserve the Buddhist manuscripts during Gorkha incursion. Tholung Monastery is surrounded by dense greeneries, elevated mountains and electrifying waterfalls. So, all together this is an amazing site to visit. This place offers an amazing vista of the mighty Kanchenjunga and Dzongu valley. Visitors also flock this site for practicing trekking activities.
Dzongu is a tiny hamlet. During your visit to Dzongu, you will come across many such small beautiful sites that will amaze your presence to a large extent. One such splendid site is Tingvong Village, which is located on a mild slope and within a green farmland. From here visitors can have a wonderful view of beautiful environs filled with flora and fauna and free flowing waterfalls. The uninterrupted tranquillity of Tingvong Village makes this place a perfect leisure destination for visitors.
#Sakyong and Pentong
These are twin villages amidst the legendary Kanchenjunga, which append more magnetism to the natural splendour of Dzongu. Elevated facing each other, the prettiness of Sakyong and Pentong are surrounded by verdant meadows, cardamom fields and lively waterfalls. Visitors flock here from various parts of the country to experience the prettiness of these twin villages.
The dense bush of Dzongu houses more than 200 various species. It is said that out of total species of birds that are visible in India, majority of these species are found in Sikkim. The wide dense bush of Dzongu thus offers you a wonderful experience of bird viewing. Lack of much human intervention makes Dzongu a perfect abode for birds. The melodious sounds of colourful birds in a tranquil paradise simply take the visitors to a different level of delight. In order to get a clear view of birds, you must prefer a bright sunny day. This is because, in winter birds cannot be observed clearly due to mist.
How about stepping towards a mysterious lake village amidst lush bush? It sounds breath-taking, isn’t it? Located in the heart of green woods, Hee Gyathang can be reached by jeep from the Passingdang village, which is famed for its dazzling silver fishes. This is a religious lake where you will find several colourful flags nestled by the Lepcha community between the bushes and trees. One of the intricate beliefs the villagers have about this sacred lake is that death of silver fishes in the lake will cost the lives of entire Lepcha family. This will happen as a result of mystical curse from the fishes. During your visit to this mysterious lake village, try to spend more time with the Lepchas. This will help you to explore many such supernatural tales about the place and villagers.
Apart from the amazing attractions listed above, you can also explore some historical lakes like Dawathang, Tung Kyong and Kishong. Dzongu is also popular for various lively waterfalls. On your way to the twin villages Sakyong and Pentong, don’t miss the 250 ft elevated Ruk Shot waterfall. Additionally, Passindang Village and Kusheong Valley are two more exciting attractions in Dzongu Valley that you can also visit.
How to reach Dzongu? For every visitor this is quite an obvious ask before travelling to Dzongu. Located nearly 70Kms away from the capital city Gangtok, reaching Dzongu is not a matter of concern for travellers. One can reach Dzongu by any of the following modes of transport:
The road connectivity to reach Dzongu is quite convenient for the visitors. Please note that prior accessing to the territory of Dzongu, one must obtain a by road travel permit from the Government of Sikkim. If you are travelling from Gangtok by taxi or through any other private vehicles, it will take around 3 hours to reach Dzongu. Depending on the type of car you hire, the charges may range between INR 1500-INR2000. Additionally, you can also reach up to the main market of Mangan and from there hire a cab or shared taxi to reach Dzongu. The distance between Mangan and Dzongu is merely 10Kms.
If you are travel by road from Siliguri, you can reach Dzongu through Singtam road. It will take around 5 hours to cross this 153Kms distance between Siliguri and Dzongu by road.
Dzongu has no separate railway station. Visitors may reach up to New Jalpaiguri Railway Station by train and from here they can hire a taxi to travel further. One more convenient option is from Darjeeling Railway station, which is merely 64 Kms away from Dzongu. From Darjeeling Railway station, you will find taxis to reach Dzongu.
The nearest airport to Dzongu is Bagdogra, which is well-connected to several other parts of the country. Once you reach Bagdogra airport, hire a pre-paid Taxi towards Dzongu. In addition, from airport premises you can also hire a taxi to reach Siliguri from where you will find many shared taxis to reach Gangtok. From Gangtok, it is hardly 3-4 hours ride to reach Dzongu.
Please to Stay:
Because of its natural magnificence and picturesque attractions, Dzongu is visited by many tourists round the year. Accordingly some small hotels and lodges are established in the nearby locations of Dzongu. By spending INR 2000 to INR 3000, you will get some good accommodations to stay near Dzongu.
Some of such accommodations are listed here for your convenience:
#Garden Reach Hotel
Below Bankim Chandra Park, Upper Cart Road,
Kalimpong, Kalimpong – 734301
Charges: INR2000 to INR2800 (approximately)
Yuksom; West Sikkim; Sikkim;
Pin code- 737113 , Yuksam
Charges: INR1600 to INR2100 (approximately)
#Sonam Palgey Aritar Retreat
Aritar; Sikkim; Pin code- 737102, Aritar
Charges: INR1600 to INR 3000 (approximately)
Apart from finding some hotels and lodges, visitors may also prefer the local home stays in Dzongu. At home stays, you will be catered fresh and delectable homemade eatables with great amount of generosity. You will be served boiled drinking water here with the traditional foods. The accommodations here are also well-maintained and are quite hygienic. A part from trying the local eatables, you must try here the millet made local beer. The Lepchas will serve you the beer with a bamboo straw.
During day-time, you can explore some of the nearby medicinal plants that are used as preventive measure by the Lepchas. The open space at home stays offer you a spectacular panorama of striking mountains along with an eye-catching view of sunrise and sunset. Sometimes the villagers also arrange some cultural shows for visitors. Thus, home stays are likely to render you a homely ambience in all aspect.
Two such home stays are listed here for you:
#Dzongu Lee; Home Stay
Lingdong Village; Dzongu; North Sikkim;
Mangan; Sikkim 737116; India
#The Planter s Home
Dr.Lobzang Tenzing Marg; Pentok;
North Sikkim; Mangan; Sikkim 737116; India
If visiting Sikkim is in your next voyage list, don’t miss this wonderful location in the North district state of Sikkim.