70 km away from Gangtok in North Sikkim is Dzongu, an area reserved for the Lepchas, the original inhabitants of Sikkim. Bordering the Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve and at an elevation ranging between 3000 ft and 20,000 ft above sea level, Dzongu still retains an air of exclusivity. The Lepcha Communities in Dzongu live in relative isolation from the outside world with their own traditional practice and believe.
30 minutes ahead of Dzongu is the Seven Sisters Waterfall, seven waterfalls falling down cliffs amidst dense forests, it is a sight to behold. Dzongu is surrounded with panoramic views of Mt. Kanchenjunga and is particularly rich in flora and fauna.
Dzongu offers a unique home-stay experience. You can stay with local families and experience the Lepcha lifestyle and cultural traditions amidst luxuriant landscape and spectacular mountain scenery. You can go for village hikes, visit the rich cardamom fields or check out the cane bamboo bridge at Passingdon. Go angling on the Teesta River or learn how the Lepchas use medicinal plants for healing. In the evening a special cultural programme can be arranged on demand.
Dzongu offers an authentic and alluring experience of Sikkim.
At an altitude of 4,200 m Dzongri is among the best trekking destinations not only in Sikkim but also in India. The sights of the milky white peaks all around Dzongri are bound to keep you gazing with awe. The view from this place has too much to be recommended: a patchwork of green and gold streaked with blue – reminiscent of an abstract etching, framed by the majestic snow-capped peaks shining not very far away.
The awesome presence of the great mountains thrusting their snowy peaks deciphers the strength of the Tethys Sea protruding its muscles to reach this towering height. No less than 14 of them soar majestically to 20,000 ft. plus. The center of attraction of course remains the Kanchenjunga.
Snowfall is common especially during the winter months. The trekker should be well prepared to face the cold. The temperature may go below freezing point any time around the year.
The trek to Dzongri is among the tougher ones in Sikkim. Even the experienced porters and guides get tired after reaching here. Nature beyond recommends trekkers should go for regular fitness exercise before coming for this trek. The beauty of the mountain, we also guarantee, will make all the effort worthwhile once you reach here.
Eat and Drink
Almost all of the vegetarian food that you get in Dzongu is grown there. Lepcha people do not use any modern fertilizer or pesticide in their farming. Hence everything grown there is Organic.
Rice and Large Cardamom are the two main crops grown there. Rice is grown in contour farming at the sides of the hills while cardamom can take root on slopes as well. The weather conditions suit the growth of cardamom.
Lepchas prepare non-vegetarian fare as well. These include dishes made of chicken, beef, fish and pork. Fish is usually caught from the nearby river.
Chee, a traditional Lepcha drink, brewed from Millet.
Yuksom (1740 m) is the end of the motor able road. This is the starting point for treks to Dzongri. A tourist destination on its own right, there are nice resorts in Yuksom including the famous Hotel Tashi Gang.
Bakhim (2700 m) – A trek of about 16 km from Yuksom leads you to Bakhim. This is the first and one of the most treacherous phases of the entire trek. There is a trekkers hut at Bakhim. Apart from the family members of the caretaker this region is devoid of any human settlement.
Tshoka (3400 m): Tshoka is one of the ideal places to watch the sunrise over Mt. Pandim. Settlement is sparse but cultivation of various crops in summer is a common practice. It is about 2 km from Bakhim. This is your next night halt after Bakhim. Or trekkers may travel directly to Tsoka and skip a night stay at Bakhim.
Thansing is a days trek from Tshoka. You can go to Dzongri directly without coming to Thansing also. It is the base camp of the virgin peak, Mt. Pandim. The razor sharp peak of Narsing is a sight to be gazed at. From Thansing you can trek to Dzongri or to the Samiti, a place famous for its beautiful lake and the reflection of Pandim in its water.
Goecha La – The trek from Jemathang to Goecha La is to be traversed through a desert of huge chunks of boulders.
Camp & Trek in Mt. Kanchenjunga at Dzongu with Royal House – Trekking Services.