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Everything you need to know about the Dzukou Valley Festival, 2018

The first Dzukou Valley Festival will be held in the month of October from the 19th to the 25th. While the festival is on for an entire week, we suggest a stay of around 3 days and 2 nights up in the valley to really get the experience we want you to have.

If you’re looking to be surrounded by other travelers, then the weekend would be an ideal time to head up, alternatively, you could have a quiet and peaceful experience in the valley during the weekdays of the festival. The choice is yours.

Now, a little planning and preparation never hurt anyone – so we urge you to read this article carefully before making your way to the festival.

What we give you:
A place in a tent, a simple sleeping bag and a mat on which to place your sleeping bag. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on all the days you’re up there. Fresh stream water to drink. Indian style toilets.

What you should bring:
Warm clothes, flashlight swimming trunks, towel, flash light, toiletries and medicines. More details in the advisory that you will receive on confirmation of your booking.

The fun we hope you will have:
An evening around the bonfire, with some local musicians entertaining you with their skills. A trek or two into the valley to explore the place or perhaps to fine tune your photography skills. A clear night sky [we hope] so that you get to see the milky way in all its glory and finally, what your momma told you not to do – meet strangers.

How do I get to Kohima?
The groups will start every morning at 6 am from Red Cross building in Kohima town. Now to get here from other towns you can choose either of the following:
a. Fly to Dimapur airport via Kolkata [2 flights a day on almost all days] and then hire a cab to head up to Kohima [70 km].
b. Fly to Guwahati airport [usually cheaper flights and better connected but far away from Dimapur], take a 5 hour train journey from Guwahati to Dimapur and then hire a cab to head up to Kohima.
c. Train to Dimapur Station from where you can hire a cab and head up to Kohima.

Please note: You will need to reach the night before the date of your trek. You can stay at Camp David in Kigwema village Rs. 1,400 a night or at a hotel right near the start point of the journey, Hotel Ura for about Rs. 2,500 a night.

Now about the trek up:
You must be at Red Cross building in Kohima at 545 am as the vehicle will leave at 6 am sharp. The drive to the trek start point is approximately an hour long. Our guide will meet you at the trek start point and after a head count, your trek begins.

The first 2 km is quite steep and taxing, however the remaining 4 km is flat and not tough at all. Don’t lose hope if you’re struggling in the beginning – almost everybody does.

Activities at the valley:
Here is what you could do up at the valley.
a. Landscape Photography – Dzukou is known for its majestic views. Head out on a walk through the rolling grasslands of the valley to capture postcard worthy shots. If you have the equipment, then you can try a shot of the night sky too.
b. Guided hikes – Hike around the valley and spend time exploring the landscape.
c. Nature Walks – Experience the sheer joy of enjoying nature walks at Dzukou Valley. Simply put, just nature and you!
d. Acoustic Nights – Sit around a bon fire under the night sky, friends and live music to accompany you. What can get better than that?
e. Camping – Build a tent and fall asleep to the sound of the misty mountains under a million stars, only to wake up to the gentle morning sunlight.
f. Meet strangers – Yes, we’ve all been advised not to talk to strangers, but at the Dzukou Valley Festival, it’s all about meeting fellow travellers, sharing new tales and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

We are almost set for the festival.

Every camper should take note of the following. First, we are organising this festival with the aim of creating environmental consciousness amongst travellers. The valley is rapidly becoming a very popular trekking and camping destination, and consequently, so is the growth of waste. We want to use this festival as an opportunity to highlight this issue. Second, we aim to make this festival a Zero Footprint festival. We therefore advise our campers not to litter the valley at any cost. We will have proper waste bins kept at different locations which we request our campers to use. You are not allowed to carry any plastic up on this trek. Trekkers are allowed one bottle of drinking water, and if it’s plastic, it needs to be brought back down with them.

This is ‘Fun and adventure with a great cause.’ How awesome is that?

So…are you geared up for the most memorable time of your life?

Join us this October at the Dzukou Valley Festival.

Let’s get packing!

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About Rohan K. Abraham

A simple attempt to document my travels, observations and experiences in this fantastic region of the world - The North East of India. Words cannot fully describe the beauty and diversity of this region, so click on the Instagram button here for the picture story.

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