DZULUK, East Sikkim
Located at a height of around 10,100 feet on the rugged terrain of the lower Himalayas in East Sikkim, Zuluk or Dzuluk is a small village beside a winding road. It was once a transit point to the historic Silk Route from Tibet to India. It is relatively an emerging and offbeat destination in East Sikkim. This small village accommodates a population of around 700 people. There is also an Indian Army base at Zuluk, which has been used as a transit camp for the army movement to the Chinese border, a few kilometres away. It is the very first village within this whole Silk Route circuit to offer home-stay facilities for tourists. Zuluk itself does not offer views of the snow peaks but only 14 kms away the Thambi View Point offers a panoramic view of the entire Mt. Kanchenjungha range.
Zuluk is a relatively new tourist destination of East Sikkim. It is a small village with a large military settlement, given that the Indo-Tibet border is nearby. The village itself is an attractive tourist destination for visitors looking for a quiet sojourn. For most tourists, however, it is the base from which they explore the higher altitude tourist destinations of Nathang Valley, Kupup and Tsongmo lake. Here, one can experience the high altitude mountains of Sikkim without traveling to North Sikkim, which requires significantly more time to travel.
The famous silk route that connected Lhasa (Tibet) to Kalimpong was in use even a few decades ago until the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Zuluk / Dzuluk used to be a small village on this route. It was commonly used by traders traveling to Tibet through Jelep-la ("La" stands for mountain pass) as an overnight base.
Today it is fast emerging as a new tourist destination. Zuluk derives its tourism importance due to the excellent view of the eastern Himalayan mountain range including the Kanchenjunga from here. A trip to the area requires special permits. The permits though would be arranged by us, and as a guest, you would only need to provide your id proof and photograph.
During the summer months, the area and its surrounding hills are covered with thousands of blooming rhododendron. Zuluk during these months is a riot of colors due to the variety of rhododendron that can be seen here.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
If you are looking for snow then January to March ( Temp: 8°C / -20°C ) is the best time to visit these places. During this time the surrounding hills will be covered in snow. However, if you are looking for beautiful views of Rhododendrons & Orchids in the hills then April to May ( Temp: 18°C / -17°C ) is the best time to visit. During October to December ( Temp: 26°C / -10°C ) of the year weather is clear and you’d get to see the best views of the surrounding hills. So plan your visit accordingly.
HOW TO GET THERE
Airways: The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, West Bengal about 5 hrs drive from Gangtok. Sikkim also has got its first commercial airport at Pakyong, East Sikkim but weather hampers the operation of this airport most of the time. If you are lucky enough you can get a flight directly to Pakyong.
Railways: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in West Bengal which is about 118 km from Gangtok. You can hire a taxi to reach Gangtok which takes about 3-4 hours.
Roadways: Gangtok is connected to the rest of India via NH10, which links Gangtok to Siliguri. You need to halt at Gangtok and book a taxi and leave early morning to visit Dzuluk and adjoining areas.