Located at a height of 10,100 feet on the tough terrain of the lower Himalayas in East Sikkim, Zuluk, also known as Dzuluk, is a quaint town next to a winding street. Initially, it was a travel point connecting Tibet to India via the memorable Silk Route.
Zuluk is now one of the best offbeat destinations in Sikkim. Only 700 people call this village their home. There is also an Indian Army base in the village, which has been used as a campsite for the development of the armed forces.
The ideal time to visit Zuluk is between August and September when the atmosphere is pleasant and the entire region is covered with wildflowers. The region receives heavy snowfall from January to April, while it remains foggy between May to July.
Zuluk was once a transit point between Tibet and India on the historical Silk Route. This route was still in use connecting Lhasa and Kalimpong until the Chinese invaded Tibet a few decades ago. The village was used on a daily basis by traders traveling to Tibet via Jelep-La as an overnight base. The starting point of the route was Kalimpong which then passes by Pedong, Aritar, Zuluk, Jelepla and ending at Chumbi Valley in Tibet.
Lungthung has situated around 4 km ahead of Zuluk at a height of 13,000 ft. As you begin following the mountain edges, your tough voyage will end. As you proceed further, you will come across few lush green little tea estates. A great majority of inhabitants here in Lungthung are those that escaped from Tibet during the Chinese intrusion. If you are willing to know about the past, then there are some old individuals present that can disclose accounts of those days.
Tukla is around 4 km in front of Lungthung and is known for the battle of Tukla. In 1903, an unexpected British armed force driven by Lt. Col Francis Younghusband attacked Tibet. They faced ferocious opposition from the Tibetan warriors and thus began the battle of Tukla. A memorial is built to pay tribute to warriors who suffered and died during the battle.
The street divides at Tukla. The left street goes to Nathang Valley and the right street goes to Old Baba Mandir. These two streets will meet again after around 7 to 8 km.
Nathang Valley street has come up as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sikkim. Homestay options here are more constrained than in Zuluk. This place is at a high elevation therefore staying here at night may prompt height ailment.
On your way back, you are likely to visit Old Baba Mandir. This place is much isolated and does not attract many tourists but is more realistic. The first bunker of Baba Harbhajan Singh, his dresses, bed, and even his work area is safeguarded here.
You will reach Kupup where the streets of Baba Mandir and Nathang Valley meet. This place is well known for the Indian Army’s Yak Golf course that is said to be the most astounding on the planet (13025 feet, 3970 meters). The Kupup Lake is known as Hatisure as it is formed like Elephant.
Before reaching Baba Mandir, on the very left you can see Memencho Lake. To reach the streets of Memanchu that begins from Baba Mandir itself but requires a special permit. You can spend a night in a house beside the lake.
Zuluk is around 4 hours from Gangtok (90 km). You may travel from Gangtok to Zuluk through Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir, yet the permit for this course is moderately hard to get. The more typical route is via Pakyong and Lingtham.
The nearest airport from Zuluk is the Bagdogra International Airport (IXB). It is considered the gateway to the northeastern hill stations of Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kurseong, Kalimpong, and Mirik.
After deboarding at the airport, you can cover the remaining distance by public transportation like a cab or a bus.
The nearest railhead is New Jalpaiguri which is also located in Siliguri. After you deboard at the station, you can cover the remaining distance to public transportation like a cab or a bus.
From Gangtok, you have to go to Rongpo, the entry point of Sikkim. And then a less trodden course will take you to Zuluk village through Rorathang.
Zuluk in Sikkim is a harsh and cold region so bring enough warm clothes with you and essentials like a torch, an extra pair of socks, and gloves. The permit is rarely given to visitors, so make sure you apply it way before your departure.