Zuluk-Pedong-Aritar-Jelep La-Chumbi Valley-Nathula-Gangtok

Zuluk, with the magnificent Kanchenjungha with its mighty range, a very rich and dense flora and fauna, chirps of innumerable never-seen-before species of birs, sloopy green mountain cultivation, the famous Jeep-La pass leading to Tibet – This are the features that build a place called Zuluk. Located at 10,000ft, Zuluk is a tiny hamlet in East Sikkim with a population of around 350 people.

Tourism is in its adolescence in Zuluk as the place got started explored only a few years back. A very small accommodating capacity of around 60-70 tourists, Zuluk remains unspoiled due to this sort of restrictions. Mostly Home stays and a few lodge have come up to cater the growing needs of tourism in the area. A local Self Help Group also provides accommodation to the tourists.

The Old Silk Route originates from Kalimpong and passes through Pedong, Aritar, Zuluk and Jelepla to Chumbi valley located in Tibet. However, after the Chinese aggression, this route was closed and Nathula was made the official corridor between India and China. In earlier days, before construction of any pucca road, traders used this route for trade with Tibet. Later, a Briton named Young Husband had used for a trip from Kalimpong to Lhasa in earlier 20th century. The track got closed in 1962 after the Indo China War errupted.

It appears, that Mother Nature had been quite spendthrift while preparing Zuluk. With abundant natural beauty and mightly Kanchenjungha in the foreground, Zuluk is rapidly becoming a very popular destination. Apart from cultivation and cattle rearing, the locals had adopted tourism as a means of earning. The socio-economic conditions of families living here in Zuluk improved quite steadily.

A paradise for Bird Watcher’s , Zuluk is becoming a hot spot in the birding map of India too. Species found in this route consists of the following including the famous Monal and Satyr Tragopan. Though a rare appearance, but a glimpse of Monal could be a life timer.

Yellow-breasted Greenfinch
Fire-tailed Sunbird
Chestnut-tailed Minla
White-browed Fulvetta
Black-faced Laughingthrush
Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush
Scaly Laughingthrush
Olive-backed Pipit
Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush
White-capped Water Redstart
Yellow-breasted Greenfinch
Greenish Warbler
Whistler’s Warbler
Aberrant Bush Warbler
Dark-breasted Rosefinch
Grey-backed Shrike
Little Forktail
Dark-sided Flycatcher
White-collared Blackbird
Himalayan Monal – female
Barred Cuckoo Dove
Common Stonechat
Striated Yuhina
Whiskered Yuhina
Oriental Turtle Dove
Common Hoopoe
Satyr Tragopan
Blue Whistling Thrush
Blue-fronted Redstart
Black Redstart
Verditer Flycatcher
Grey Bushchat
Rusty-rumped Treecreeper
Grey-Hooded Warbler
White-crested Laughingthrush

bird list courtesy – Kolkata Birds

Zuluk is mostly inhabited by Nepali migrants and therefore the village is dominated by Sikkimese Nepalese culture. Dashain, which is being celebrated in the month of October, is the biggest festival here in this region followed by Tihar which falls after a fortnight from Dashain. The ‘Dhan Naach’ and ‘Maruni’ are two popular dance forms of this region.

Zuluk is also famous for its Sunrise Point, Tsomogo Lake, which is a popular picnic , the Nag Temple and the Adi Baba Mandir. In addition to this, Lungthung and the Luxmi Chowk are popular among wildlife and nature lovers.

How to Reach
The nearest airport is Bagdogra, located at a distance of 128 km from Zuluk. The nearest Railhead is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) from where one can avail direct hired vehicle to Zuluk. Another option for those who wants to cover Lava, Lolegaon, Rishyap, Kolakham in this tour is New Mal Jn. , which is a bit shorter than the NJP route.

The best time to visit Zuluk is during the summer season, when the village is blooming with a variety of rhododendrons.

What to see
An oval shaped Tsomogo Lake is a must see during your Zuluk Tour, Nag Temple, which is dedicated to the Nag Devta, houses a beautiful statue of King Cobra or Nag. Naturally formed, this statue has been made through cracks in big rocks. In addition to this, the Adi Baba Mandir is also a popular spot to go.

11000 ft. high Thambi View point offers three level zigzag roads on the hilly terrain with typical curves. Lungthung, another 2000 ft ascent from Thambi view point is a popular point covered mostly by Ornithologists and bird lovers due to existence of Khaleez Pheasant, Monal Pheasant, Monal Pheasant, Snow Pheasant. While proceeding further, Luxmi Chowk is also a point to halt due to beautiful surroundings of Forestry and Rhododendrons which is also a bird watching place. The Kalpakhari Lake, enroute the Adi Baba Mandir can let you see beautiful Ducks swimming in the lake itself.

Do not forget to carry 2 Copies of Passport Photographs along with Photo Identity Proof (In Original)

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9 Responses to “Zuluk-Pedong-Aritar-Jelep La-Chumbi Valley-Nathula-Gangtok”

  1. Saibal Biswas Says:

    I prefer itinerary-2 but I want to stay at Day-3 somewhere near Kupup or some offbeat destination. Could you please suggest the place? I don’t go to Gangtok for the 3rd night stay. Thanks a lot for all the informations.

  2. somdatta Says:

    want to know how to book car and hotel at zuluk for travelling this route

  3. admin Says:

    Get in touch with 9830788403. He will get your car booked. Regarding accommodation, you can stay at local people’s residence thereat.

  4. admin Says:

    You can stay at Kupup itself at local resident’s houses. Alternatively, opt for Tsango.

  5. Catering Says:

    nice blog post it useful for all to get some ideas before they plan

  6. Dipankar Dey Says:

    #Day 01: Pick up from airport/railway station and move towards Rishyap via Damdim, Gorubathan, Lava & stay at Green Valley at Rishyap. Photography of sunset from Rishyap after Lunch.
    #Day 02: Photography of Sunrise at 04:00AM to witness the changing colours on Mt. Kanchenjungha & Himalayan Range from Green Valley. After breakfast visit Lava – Lolegaon and back to Rishyap.
    #Day 03: Trek to Teffin Dara and start for Reshi after break fast. Reach Reshi Eco- Tourist Camp in the Bank of River Reshi Khola via Pedong.
    #Day 04: After breakfast move for Zuluk, enroute covering Lampokhari Lake at Aritar, Rongli, Lingtam, Kuehola waterfalls, Nimachen, Padamcnen & night stay at Dil Maya Retreat at Zuluk.
    #Day 05: Start for Sunrise at 04:00AM to witness the changing colours on Mt. Kanchenjungha & Himalayan Range from Ganek / Thambi View Point / Lungthung.
    # Day 06: After Breakfast Start for Gnathang Vlley, Tukla Valley, Kupup, Elephant Lake, Menmecho Lake, Old Baba Mandir, New Baba Mandir, and Tsomogo Lake and reach Gangtok.
    #Day 07: Gangtok full day rest
    #Day 08 : Gangtok to NJP
    8 adults & 4 children
    6th may to 12th may (7night and 8days)

  7. Bowman Cladero Says:

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  8. Meredith Anon Says:

    Very good post with useful information. Great stuff!

  9. Kalyan Kumar Das Says:

    I visit old silk route on 26th Dec 2014.its beautiful,unexpressive. Risikhola,shilarigaon,zuluk,etc we stayed in home stay basis. Mr pasan Sherpa one of pioneer of home stay.very good person, mob 9733188456,almost total view of Kanchenjunga can be observed. I request you all to visit that place

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