Dzongu, a quaint Lapcha valley in North Sikkim

Dzongu is a valley in North Sikkim. This is a protected area for Lapcha tribe, who are the original inhabitants of Sikkim. I had no previous plan for going there. I suddenly decided to plan a short trip during 2018 Durga puja vacation. During Durga puja millions of Bengalis go out for their yearly trips. Sikkim being one of the nearest and cheapest destinations, the rush is maximum there during this period. So I thought to choose a place that is a bit different and not so popular among common people. After taking opinions of few of my travel freak friends I got an idea how to reach there.

I reached New Jalpaiguri by Tista-Tosha express at 3 Am. I waited 2 hours in the waiting room of the station. At 5 o’clock in the early morning when auto rickshaw service started I went to Shiliguri bus stand by an auto rickshaw. I boarded a bus which was going to Gangtok. I told the conductor that I wanted to get down at Singtam, a small transit town. The driver stopped the bus in front of a small bridge on the highway and informed that I have to enter into the town to get a shared jeep for Mangan. When I reached Mangan Taxi stand it was 1 PM, I found a shared jeep for Dzongu but there was no certainty when would it reach there. So I hired a taxi for myself on condition that the driver would help me to get permit from the police station as the DC office was closed during Durga Puja.

There were few villages in the Dzongu valley. I had no idea which village was suitable for stay. The driver arranged a home stay at Passindang village for me. At night I had a nice authentic Lapcha dinner with 2 types of ferns cooked in two different methods, daal, and fried beef with 2 rotis. They were very tasty, I was hungry too, I enjoyed the meal very much. I slept quickly as soon as I went to bed with the symphony of cricket and the sound of the stream that flowed nearby. In the mid night when I woke up I heard that the chirping of cricket had stopped, instead there was sound of rain drops.

In the morning Dzongu looked mystic with clouds everywhere. After breakfast I went to Lingthem monastery by the car of my home stay owner. They had black cardamom plantation field there. The monastery was small. There were few stupas. It was a long way which I had to come down by myself. Though it was quite tiring I enjoyed the picturesque and tranquil views of the villages of green Dzongu valley, river Tista, beautiful birds, butterflies, unknown wild flowers, quash hanging here and there in plenty.

N.B. I stayed in Pasingdang village where there was only one home stay at that time. The village is good but the village Lingthem is in a more strategic position from where the Kanchenjunga view point is very near. Normally tourists stay there. It is almost at the center of the Valley. It is situated between Lingthem Monastery and Pasingdang village. There are three/four home stays in the Village Lingthem and Tingvong. If someone books accommodation, they take required documents and make permit as well as pick up from Mangan and again drop to Mangan.

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