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They say, the roads which are less traveled, are the most glorious. And when you find something which is undiscovered yet so magnificent, your heart stops, tears flow, you can’t express your feelings and mind gets settled there. It’s the time when someone reach at the place, he/she have been searching for lifetime, the ultimate destination, the heaven on earth.  Old silk routes, also known as Zuluk loops,has got great historic reference. It was a part of ancient trading route’s network, connecting India to China and Europe, through East Sikkim and used to trade paper, tea, herbs and spices, porcelain and cotton.

zuluk photoPhoto by tirthankargupta

Established in the majestic hills of eastern Himalayas, Zuluk is an isolated village in Sikkim, at a height of around 10,000 feet.This small village of around 700 people, is now an emerging tourist destination in India because of the stunning views, mesmerizing landscapes and peace one finds here and it is the first village also offers home stay for the tourists, exploring nearby places within the silk route journey. Zuluk was a transit point in the old silk route from Tibet to India. A few kilometers away from Chinese border, there is an Indian army base, which has been used as a transit camp for the army movement.

Due to international boundary with China, most of the route is restricted. To visit this place, one needs to get inner line permit. Zuluk is famous for the zig-zig and roads for 32 hairpin shaped turns, covered with snow. Along with these other jaw-dropping view, the view of snow-capped Himalayas with the mighty Mt. Kanchenjunga is just stunning and eye-catching.

zuluk photoPhoto by tirthankargupta

Let’s see which all other places make Zuluk the best place to visit:

  1. Thambi View Point –Around 14 km from Zuluk, is Thambi view point at a height of around 11,000 feet, offers magnificent and panoramic view of mighty snowcapped Kanchenjunga.Don’t forget to capture the best sunrise view here, when the golden rays of sun spreads over the snow-clad mountains and offering an array of colors.
  1. Kupup Lake –A hill without a serene lake is so not fair.Kupup lake, also known as Elephant lake is one of the sacred lakes of Sikkim and it is locally known as Bitan Cho. It is situated at a height of 13,066 feet near India-China border.
  1. Baba Mandir –The mandir is dedicated to a soldier of Indian army named “Baba Harbhajan Singh”. The old Baba temple near Chhokya Chho and new Baba temple is built near Changu Lake. The temple has been visited by several devotees every year and holds a tragic story. The temple is of great importance as per the locals.
  1. Tukla Valley –The valley is situated at a height of around 12500 ft. and offers stunning view of giant Kanchenjunga. A must-see place to experience the real beauty of Tibetan Plateaus.
  1. Nathang Valley –Located at a height of 13,500 feet, Nathang valley is the most scenic place to stay on the old silk route circuit. The valley shows shades of different colors during different seasons. In autumn, it becomes golden, as the grass dries. In rainy, it blooms with multi colored flowers and lush green all around, whereas in winter, it wears snow cap.
  1. Changu Lake
  2. Eagle’s Nest Bunker
  3. Four Lake Point
  4. India Lake
  5. Lungthung
  6. Memenchu Lake
  7. Strawberry Lake
  8. Laxman Chowk
See Also -   Odisha

Along with these major attractions, a must-see location is Indo-Chinese border. Chinese army camps can be seen bare eyes.

The best time to visit Zuluk:

Zuluk is covered with a layer of white shawl, due to heavy snowfall in winter. Most of the time in winter, i.e. during January-April, temperature is very low and place is completely occupied with snow. Whereas in summer, weather is foggy and wet. During August-September, Zuluk and nearby hills are flooded with blooming wild flowers and riot of rhododendron. The whole region looks colorful and the view is just spectacular. Zuluk gets drenched in the season of rain in May-July.

Here are some travel options:

By Road:

Best way is to travel from Kalimpong.  Tourists can hire vehicles from here to Zuluk. The road is around 90 km from Kalimpong.

One can also find some feasible travel options from Gangtok and Pelling.

By Rail:

The nearest railways station is in West Bengal which can take 7-8 hours to reach to Zuluk.

By Air:

The closest airport is in Siliguri, West Bengal.

The snow-clad mountain ranges, mighty golden Kanchenjunga, placid and tranquil water of lakes, colorful and mesmerizing valleys, zig-zag snow-clad roads to Zuluk, the challenging bends, photogenic landscapes and unforgettable sunrises and sunsets. The challenging yet remarkable trip to Zuluk, is definitely hard to not to fall in love with!

Photo by tirthankargupta

Zuluk – The Hidden Beauty Of Sikkim

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