Zuluk: The village above the clouds in ancient Silk Route
Catching a glimpse of the snow capped mountain ranges or sun rising on the sea from the window of hotel room is something that you might have experienced a lot of times. But have you ever discovered yourself at a place so serene where even the wind is audible? Have you ever stayed a night at a remote village on the lap of a valley guarded by high mountains covered with lush greeneries? If you are trying to visualize it then stop imagining and pack your bags for a trip to Zuluk, a hamlet at an altitude of over 10,000 feet in the Eastern part of Sikkim.
Zuluk is a small village with limited number of houses on a valley on the way to the Old Silk Route. Once upon a time Chinese traders used to come to India crossing the border to sell silk products and that’s why the route has been named Silk Route. Though days of silk trading are gone and you can see Army jawans, jeeps and tents here and there on the slopes, the scenic beauty of the hamlet will surely mesmerize you. For its location at a high altitude and extreme climatic conditions, Zuluk has not yet witnessed what you call a ‘crowd’. It is still a virgin destination that you can explore on your feet. Though a few hotels have started offering comfortable accommodation, the real charm of Zuluk is home stay, which is being offered by some local villagers. Certainly these traditional village houses lag way behind in competition with hotels, in terms of comfort and convenience; you will get a local feel, which will make your relation with the village even more intimate.
The journey to Zuluk is hectic in terms of road conditions and length of the route but if you have the eyes of an explorer, the journey will remain memorable forever. You have to change vehicles a number of times to reach Zuluk and by the time you reach the village the sun would get down. There would be no activity after the sunset but you can make great use of the scope of experiencing absolute silence prevailing over the valley. You will wake up the next morning with the whistling of the Himalayan birds. Sacrificing the warmth of the quilt will be difficult but you must overcome the weakness to experience something breathtaking. Get out of your village ‘home’ and see what lies in front of you. You will be astonished to see the scenic beauty of the surroundings. While roaming through the narrow village roads you will notice a signboard saying “Welcome to the Abode of Cloud Warriors’.Looking at the surroundings you will surely agree with the complement. By looking up you will see the mountain in front appearing like a stair case. Well, it’s the spiral road that has gone up to the top of the mountain towards some sites that you will be visiting next.
Location & How to Reach: Zuluk is a small village in East Sikkim. It is located close to Rongli town, around 32 Km from Rongli.
|Place from||To||Distance (KM)||Approx Road Journey Time
|Sillery Gaon||Zuluk||76||4 hrs|
By Rail: New Jalpaiguri Railway Station in West Bengal is the closest railway station. A drive of around 6-6½hours drive form NJP will take one to Zuluk.
By Air: Nearest airport is Bagdogra. One can reach Zuluk by 7hrs drive from Bagdogra.
By Road: Zuluk can be reached from Siliguri by various hired vehicles in roughly 6-6½hours. Tourists can also travel to Zuluk from Gangtok in roughly 3½-4 hours by hiring vehicles.
Nearest town- Rongli , 33 km from Zuluk
Accommodation: There are no traditional hotels in Zuluk. Naturewings offers their guests an exclusive Eco Nature Resort with all facilities. All rooms are provided with geyser, western-type toilet, floor carpets. Facilities for secure car parking are also available.
On Demand Services
• Camp Fire
• Guided jungle Tour
|Package: Zuluk is part of the NatureWings’s most favorite package Unforgettable Silk Route Trail.|
There are lots of places around Zuluk where tourists can go for sightseeing. Thambi view point, Lungthang, Kupup, Memencho Lake, Old Baba Mandir, Gnathan valley Nathula gate are some of the sightseeing spots around Zuluk. Tourist can reach Gangtok from Zuluk after seeing these spots.
Thambi View Point: A car ride of few kilometers will take you to Thambi View Point, which is famous for the stunning view of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga. Though its beauty is at its best during sunrise, beauty of the spot will delight you at any point of the day.
Zig Zag Road or Bhulbhulaiya: If Kanchenjunga is there to attract your eyes straight, there is something that will surprise you once you look down from Thambi View Point. You will see a ribbon-like serpentine road spread across the valley. The unique Zig Zag nature of the road has fetched the name ‘Bhulbhulaiya’ from local people. The road has spiralled the mountain 95 times and it looks simply amazing from an altitude of 12,000 feet. The Zig Zag Road is the biggest USP of the ancient Silk Route since you will not find anything like this anywhere else in the world.
Lungtung: Cover 1000 feet more and you will reach Lungtung, a valley covered with thick layers of ice. Small huts and tents of the soldiers are the only sign of human civilization here and you are absolutely in care of Mother Nature. From Lungtung Kanchenjunga looks even better and closer, but apart from that you will get a grand view of the Zelep La and the mountains standing side by side. You may ask your driver to move forward a bit to reach Laxman Chowk, from where the valleys of Sikkim and Bhutan look stunning.
Adi Baba Mandir: You can continue your drive from Lungtung towards North- East to visit the Adi Baba Mandir, the original temple dedicated to Indian Army soldier Harbhajan Singh, who sacrificed his life trying to rescue another person.
Kupup: At an altitude of 13,500 feet, Kupup will surprise you with a golf course, which is the highest in the world.
Memenchu Lake or Elephant Lake: It’s a natural lake which appears like the head of an elephant from top.
Beauty and weather: The beauty of Zuluk changes with the weather. In winter it gets completely covered with ice and you can enjoy a great sight of the Zig Zag road which appears like haphazard strokes of gray on a white canvas. But as spring comes, the whiteness changes into diverse colors as the entire valley gets covered with Rhododendron. Monsoon is foggy and moist and autumn is lifeless in Zuluk.
Climate: Summer 10ºC to20ºC, Winter–5ºC to 2ºC
Altitude: 9000 ft
Special Requirements: A special Inner Line Permit is required to reach Zuluk. All tourists are required to carry one original Indian ID proof document along with one photocopy. Naturewings arranges the necessary permits for the tourists.
Clothing & Luggage: Travel as light as possible with least minimum clothes, toiletries and other essential commodities & as these areas is cold throughout the year it is advisable to carry warm woolen clothes, woolen mittens, gloves, cap etc. During the month of Dec to Feb , Zuluk is very cold and often experiences heavy snowfall. Please carry heavy woolen garments during winter.
Food And Drink: Drink only bottled water. Please carry your water from Rongli, Pedong ,or Siliguri. Since this area doesn’t have any single shop , it is always advisable to carry dry foods like biscuits, chips, dry fruits, fruits etc.
Foreign Liquors / Alcohols are not also available in Zuluk.
Health Facility & Health Precautions: It is advisable to carry specific medicines as there are no pharmacy shops in Zuluk. Always carry a kit of the basic emergency medicines you might need for diarrhea, fever etc, also band aids and an antiseptic ointment. The nearest health facility /medicine shop is available at Rongli.
Card Payment & ATM: Credit/Debit Card is not accepted in Zuluk. In Zuluk there is also no ATM. Please carry cash for all your transactions.
Telephone / Mobile phones: Most of the major mobile operator covers Zuluk. However, in many occasions signals are not strong. It is advisable to carry mobiles phones from two different mobile service providers.
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