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Dzongu

Dzongu is the official reserve for Lepcha people in Sikkim. The Lepcha are the original inhabitants of Sikkim and Darjeeling hills. Over the years with migration from neighbouring areas such as Nepal and Tibet, the Lepcha people have become minority and their culture is slowly getting lost. The Dzongu Lepcha reserve is an effort to preserve the people and cultural heritage of the Lepcha. People other than the Lepchas are not allowed to visit or stay here without permission. Tourism is allowed to a limited extend with government permission. Please contact our experts for further information on the same.

Why visit

Dzongu offers the best of Sikkim; unexploited and serene. If you are a nature lover and want to enjoy the stunning beauty of the mountains unhindered by vehicles and high-rise hotels, this is the place to be. The Lepcha people are quite friendly and welcoming with whom you can freely interact. There are treks and hikes through the villages around for you to explore. Trekking, Birding, Angling and other activities can be organised here for the visitors on request. If you are looking for modern day tourist amenities over unspoiled natural beauty, Dzongu will not be the right destination for you.

Tourism in Dzongu

There is strong sustainable tourism initiative at Dzongu offering simple homestays in ethnic Lepcha villages. There are several Homestays where accommodation and food are arranged for the visitors. All basic amenities with clean room, hot water, and local Lepcha meal are provided here. However the Lepcha people prefer to have their toilet outside the house and hence attached bath is relatively rare. mytourideas organise tours to Dzongu for special interest guests who want to visit this remote region of Sikkim.

Dzongu is situated in North Sikkim not far from the district headquarter Mongan. The district capital is located on the eastern side of Teesta river and the entire hills on the western side of the river is the location of the Lepcha reserve.

The area used to be treated as forbidden for the outsiders. Lying at the close proximity to the Kanchendzonga Biosphere Reserve at an elevation ranging between 3000ft and 20,000ft above sea level, Dzongu is an unpolluted and least trodden territory in Sikkim Himalayas.

Still uninfluenced of modern civilization the traditional Lepcha Communities in Dzongu live in relative isolation from the outside world with their own traditional practice and believe. Most part of Dzongu is forested region and fed by two important rivers, the Teesta and Tolung. Nestled in the shadow of Mt Kanchenjunga and the icy castle of Mt Siniolchu, the region offers some fabulous high altitude treks in the Kanchenjunga reserves. A number of treks can be organised in the area. The most important trek originates from Dzongu is Tolung- Green Lake trek in North Sikkim. This is one of the most strenuous treks in Sikkim, which crosses some of the highest passes over 17000ft at Kishongla and Kishongda. Most of the region is still unexplored because of its inaccessibility and the forests in these area has a rich variation of flora and fauna.

The nearest airport is Bagdogra and the rail station is New Jalpaiguri. From here you have to come to Mangan. Although there is a direct road that bifurcates at Singtam in Sikkim, the road to the right going to Gangtok whereas the road to the left follows river Teesta to reach Mangan (150 kms 6 hours from Bagdogra). However most tourists prefer to go to Mangan via Gangtok which road is normally in better shape (180 Kms, 7 Hours). You would probably do better to spend one night at Gangtok before travelling to North Sikkim. Also note that to travel to North Sikkim the vehicle needs special permission and the vehicles at New Jalpaiguri or Bagdogra are unlikely to have the same.

From Mangan, Dzongu is just about 10 kms away. There is a steep descent to river Teesta from where a north west bound road will soon take you to Lingtham, the heart of Dzongu area.

Hee-Gyathang – It is one of the southernmost villages of the area belonging to Lower Dzongu. There is a very old monastery here which was renovated in 1932 after a major fire but again got damaged in 2011 earth quake. The local villagers have renovated and restored the Monastery recently. There is also a small lake near the village which is considered sacred by the local.

Barfok – Not far from Gyathang, this is a village located at a steep ascent from river Teesta on its western Flank. There is a monastery at Barfok which can be reached on foot. It offers great view of the surrounding hills but the Kanchenjunga range is not visible from here.

Lingdong – This is the first village you are likely to come across as you enter Dzongu area from Mangan. As you cross river Teesta and enter the Lepcha reserve area, you have to take a left turn and drive a kilometre of steep ascent to reach this village.

Noom Panang – Another small village in the Pasingdong block. There is a homestay in the village.

Namprikdang – Another small village close to the confluence of Rongyaong and Teesta river. Since the village is on the roadside and offers some good homestay options, many tourists prefer to make this there base to visit the rest of Dzongu.

Passingdang – This is the block headquarter with a BDO office, health centre and govt school. 

Lingthem – This is a village in Upper Dzongu that can be reached on foot from Passingdang. The village offers great view of snow peaked mountains of Kanchenjunga range. There is a monastery at the village where Cham dance is organised.

Pentong – This is one of the last few villages in Upper Dzongu bordering the Kanchenjunga biosphere reserve. The other villages in the area include Sakyong, Sabrung, Tolung etc. This area can be reached by trekking through some natural forests. Upper ridges of Pentong offers excellent view of the snow capped mountains of Himalaya.

Map of Dzongu

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