Dzongu is a triangular region in North Sikkim. It is bounded by the Teesta River in the south-east, Tholung Chu River in the north-east and by mighty mountains in the west. It borders the Kangchenjunga Biosphere Reserve. Dzongu has been established as an official reserve for the Lepcha people , the aborginal inhabitants of Sikkim. The Lepchas have strong ties with the nature and have lived here for centuries. An understanding of their culture, customs and language helps to foster an appreciation of the beautiful mountains, deep forests, and the emerald-colored Teesta River. The region sees little tourist activity and hence seems almost untouched. It is sparsely populated and most of it is covered with dense vegetation. Rice fields and Cardamom plantations can be seen near the villages.
Dzongu is about 70 Km from the state capital, Gangtok. It is easily reachable by road. Permission from Sikkim Government is required to enter Dzongu. One can obtain permission from the Tourism office in Gangtok or one in Delhi. Tour operators can arrange the permits in Mangan before reaching Sikkim.
The nearest Airport is in Bagdogra in West Bengal and 100th Airport of India Pakyong in Sikkim . From here one can either take a pre-paid Taxi (from within the Airport) or one can find a shared taxi. Indian Airlines, SpiceJet, Go Air have flights to this airport. One can either take a taxi upto Gangtok, which is about 5 hours drive from Siliguri and 1 hrs Drive from Pakyong Airport , or one can take a direct taxi to Dzongu which can take the route via Singtam & Dikchu the with RAP (Restricted Area permit )you can directly enter Phidang Checkpost.
The nearest Rail head is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station, not far from the Airport. One can take a taxi up to Gangtok or directly to Dzongu from here. Bus services from here can be availed up to Gangtok.
A shared Taxi from Gangtok, directly upto Dzongu, can be had from the Vajra stand in Gangtok. However these taxis may not ply at all times of the day. Another option is to reach Mangan and get-off in the main market. From there, one can easily find an exclusive vehicle/ Shared taxi to Dzongu. Lower Dzongu is only 10 Km from Mangan, which is the capital of North Sikkim District. Inner line permits are required which can be arranged by Local Registered tour operators only..
• Lingthem - A short but steep hike up from Passingdang village. Great views of Mt. Kangchenjunga and Dzongu Valley.
• Hee Gyathang - Is in Lower Dzongu. It has a small lake, considered to be sacred by the Lepchas.
• Pentong - Reachable after a trek. Quite close to snow-capped mountains. • Tholung Monastery - 20 Km from Passingdang. Every three years, Tholung treasures are put on display. It has a cane bridge one can try to cross - excellent experience!
• Traditional Lepcha House Museum - A model of the Lepcha house built in the traditional style. Houses a museum inside it. Located in Namprikdang, near the confluence of Teesta and Rongyung Chu Rivers. Surrounding area provides great opportunities for Butterfly watching.
• Waterfalls - Dzongu is full of waterfalls. They can be seen cascading down from every second hill. Lingzya falls is the best among them. Try a bath here!
• Tingvong & Kusong - Two beautiful villages, a short hike apart.
• Keushong - Reach here after backpacking for 3-4 days. The most pristine place in Dzongu probably. This place has a very beautiful lake and hills all around it. The valley is covered with flowers in the right season.
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Royal Dzongu Homestay, Sikkim, India
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