Dzuleke, just about 10km from Khonoma (the first ‘green village’ of India) and about 40km from Kohima (the capital of Nagaland) is a treat to the eyes of the traveller. It is one of the most underrated places to visit in Nagaland. That’s because it has the sparsest population of about 200 households, mostly inhabited by the Angamis – one of the major tribes of the state.
Dzuleke is a delight to visit because of its serene beauty. Having gotten its name from river Dzuleke, there’s not just gorgeous flora and fauna but also incredible wildlife, especially ever since this hunting village banned hunting to protect wildlife. So, don’t be surprised if you spot animals such as the stump-tailed macaque, barking deer, mountain bamboo partridge and even Blythe’s tragopan – the state bird of Nagaland.
Keep an eye out for the monoliths dotting the way to Dzuleke; that is how the Nagas mark important events and places of significance. In fact, these erected monoliths are a common sight in many places around Nagaland.
Interestingly, the road from Kohima to Khonoma is mostly ‘kaccha’ but motor-able. But beyond Khonoma, though the cars may find it difficult to go, the drive is especially enjoyable and refreshing. Once you are in the tiny village of Dzuleke, the best way to make use of time is by having a picnic. There are several giant huts made of stone walls and tin roof, where you can roll out your picnic basket and have the time of your life.
If you’re not in a rush, camping in Dzuleke is highly recommended. There are tour operators in Kohima who can arrange camping packages for you. Dzuleke is a great place for photography enthusiasts; the landscape is extremely picturesque especially during the summer months when the place looks fresher and greener.