Perched at an elevation of approximately 10,100 feet amidst the rugged terrain of the lower Himalayas in East Sikkim, Zuluk (also known as Dzuluk) is a quaint village nestled along a winding road. This charming town served as a vital stopover on the historic Silk Route connecting Tibet and India. Offering a unique and lesser-known experience, Zuluk is an off-beat destination in East Sikkim, home to a population of around 700 residents. Notably, Zuluk houses an Indian Army base that serves as a transit camp for army movements towards the nearby Chinese border, a few kilometers away.Zuluk captivates visitors with its awe-inspiring vistas of the eastern Himalayan Mountain range, including the majestic Kanchenjunga. To explore this region, special permits are required. However, rest assured that we will handle the permit process on your behalf, so as a guest, you only need to provide your identity proof and a photograph.
Explore the Beauty of Zuluk and its Surroundings
Once you reach Zuluk, get ready to embark on a thrilling journey up steep mountains. The renowned Zig Zag Street takes you on a 14 km adventure filled with turns and curves, leading you to Thambi View Point. Thambi View Point is situated at an elevation of 11,200 feet. This vantage viewpoint point offers a breathtaking view of the zigzag road. From here, you can feast your eyes on the majestic Kanchenjunga and the entire eastern Himalayan range. Imagine the beauty in the untouched dense forests that surround you. Keep an eye out for vibrant avian species like the Satyr Tragopan and the Himalayan Monal. Take a leisurely stroll and try to uncover remnants of the ancient Silk Route, still visible in parts of the stone-paved road.
During your journey to Thambi View Point, make a stop at a spot where local residents claim to have sighted the legendary Yeti. As you sit by a cozy fire under the open twilight sky, the enchanting tales of the Yeti, Bonzhakri, and other folklore come alive. While in Zuluk, be sure to spend time here, listening to captivating stories shared by the locals.
Just 4 kilometers ahead of Zuluk, you’ll find Lungthung, situated at an altitude of 13,000 feet. This marks the end of your steep uphill journey as you begin to follow the mountain ridges. Along the way, you’ll encounter a couple of small, lush green tea estates. Many of the inhabitants of Lungthung are Tibetan refugees who fled during the Chinese invasion. If you’re curious about the past, some of the older residents may share stories from those times.
Around 4 kilometers ahead of Lungthung lies Tukla, renowned for the Battle of Tukla. In 1903, Lt. Col Francis Younghusband led a surprise British army invasion of Tibet through this route. They faced fierce resistance from Tibetan warriors, resulting in the Battle of Tukla. Many Tibetan warriors valiantly fought and sacrificed their lives during this conflict. A memorial has been erected here to honor these brave warriors.
At Tukla, the road diverges. The left road leads to Nathang Valley, which has become a popular tourist destination in Sikkim. Please note that accommodation options here are more limited compared to Zuluk. As Nathang Valley is situated at a high altitude, spending a night here without acclimatization may lead to altitude sickness.
Know more about Nathang Valley
Your next stop should be Old Baba Mandir, which you can also visit on your way back. Unlike the more touristy sites, Old Baba Mandir offers an authentic experience. The original bunker of Baba Harbhajan Singh, along with his belongings, bed, and even his writing desk, are preserved here. The template area is dedicated to Baba Harbhajan Singh.
After traveling around 5 kilometers from the point where the roads of Baba Mandir and Nathang Valley converge, you will reach Kupup. This place is famous for several reasons. The Yak Golf Course of the Indian Army is said to be the highest in the world, located at an impressive elevation of 13,025 feet (3,970 meters). Kupup Lake, locally known as Hatisure, is shaped like an elephant or “Hati” in the native language.
Know more about Kupup Lake
About a kilometer before reaching Baba Mandir, on your left side, you can spot Memenchu Lake. The road to Memenchu starts from Baba Mandir but requires a special permit to access. Night stay facility is available on the lake sight house.
Zuluk is surrounded by pristine and untamed forests, home to a diverse range of wildlife. Keep your eyes open for animals such as deer, wild dogs, Himalayan bears, and even the exclusive red panda. Some reports even suggest the presence of tigers in the area. Bird enthusiasts will have a treat as well, with opportunities to spot the mesmerizing Monal Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Khaleez Pheasant, Snow Pheasant, and other avian species.Discover the captivating sights of Zuluk and its environs, where natural beauty and wildlife thrive in harmony.
Zuluk blooms with a vibrant display of wildflowers in August and September, painting the entire area in a kaleidoscope of colors. From January to April, Zuluk transforms into a snowy wonderland. The rainy season from May to July is generally foggy, adding a touch of mystique to the surroundings.
Located approximately 90 kilometers (about 4 hours) away from Gangtok, Zuluk can be reached via two main routes. One option is to travel from Gangtok to Zuluk through Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir, although acquiring the necessary permits for this route can be challenging. A more common route is through Pakyong and Lingtham.
If you are traveling from other places such as Darjeeling, Pelling, NJP, or Bagdogra, your journey begins at Rongpo, the entry point to Sikkim. From here, you can take the lesser-known route that leads to Dzuluk through Rorathang.
Travelers coming from East Sikkim or the Kalimpong subdivision in Bengal can explore the Pedong, Reshi, and Aritar routes to reach Zuluk.
Embark on your adventure and uncover the hidden gems of this charming town!
Your Next Adventure Awaits!