The people here lead a self-sustained lifestyle. The place has a motor-able road that crosses over the top of Teesta river dam. The threat of landslides remains in the minds of villagers in the monsoons but they have come up with stronger management to prevent such calamities together. With all the spectacular offerings, this village is renowned for village tourism and the local lifestyle.
The stay is around a natural reserve of the Lepcha people in Dzongu. It falls entirely in the Kanchenjunga biosphere reserve with the far fringes in the Kanchenjunga national park. This hamlet is often ignored by the tourists but the real beauty lies in the surrounding destinations of Lachen, Lachung, Yumthang valley and Gurudrongmar Lake Inhabitants of the village consider the Folklore and lepcha teachings a lot and your stay with them will allow you to experience this, this village holds a big significance to the Lepchas of Sikkim with each place having its own story attached to it.
PLACES TO VISIT:
The pass that marks an important intersection point between India And China border, this historic Nathula pass forms an offshoot of the Old silk Route. If you crave adventure and like to have a birds eye view of things spectacular then Nathula pass will allow you a shooting view at an elevation of 14,140 feet.
Just 80 Kilometers away from the homestay you get an opportunity to witness life behind the valleys and mountains of Lachen.
The tranquility of the place and the beautiful surroundings will simply blow you away and will take you into a world of your own in the arms of nature.
80 KM from the homestay, Yumthang is a flower lover’s paradise in the most literal sense. The name Yumthang in local language stands for ‘Valley of flowers’ and it’s visual representation will bind you and make you fall in love when you witness the exotic flora and fauna of this valley.
1900 meters above mean sea level, this lake is the highlight as this is one of the highest altitude natural lakes standing at a pinnacle point in the middle of nowhere just sitting quiet and pristine untouched by even a speck of dirt.Lingdhem hot spring - Enjoy a quiet afternoon in the chilly climate by taking a dip in the natural hot spring found near the homestay.
This picnic spot is surrounded by the natural splendour of the green blanketed hills and cool breeze that swipes around making this space perfect for a quick picnic.
This monastery is in one of the remotest parts of upper Dzongu, which is one of the most sacred monasteries in Sikkim. Visit this monastery if you take interest in learning about the Sikkimese culture.
The house has two rooms and an attached washroom. The house is built partly with bamboo and mud and the open community kitchen allows the guests to be able to sit with the family while having their meals. You will be able to see that the cooking practice that takes place over the open and slow burning wood though takes a lot of time to prepare the food, but does not seem too long as the conversations keep going, the house gives a very rural feeling owing to the traditional manual methods adopted for the construction of this homestay, traditionally designed by the Lepcha communities, this homestay comes with one room and a common attached bathroom.
The village houses all Lepcha people who are the traditional dwellers of the Dzongu region for centuries. They are the worshippers of nature in her many hues and have always served as guardians to the Dzongu’s flora and fauna. They are known for their immense amounts of knowledge and wisdom of natural remedies along with their ability to be resourceful with bamboo for building their homes and musical instruments.
The Lepcha's are shy but very hospitable people. You are sure to have a memorable experience. From the self-sufficiency of their living, each of these aspects stays with you. The hospitality beats any five-star! Choose to go here only if you want to experience untouched nature, seclusion and total peace of mind.
The food is home cooked with every ingredient sourced from around you. The most amazing part of your stay will be the people you meet and interact with. The stay is perfect to experience Sikkim’s rich floral splendor. The sweet-smelling forests with blooming ododendron and magnolia trees fall very close to your stay along the mountainside slopes rich with Orchids and Bougainvillea. Come here if you like to enjoy the little things in life like the spring sun that slowly warms the snow-capped mountain peaks.
WHAT TO EAT:
Zero, is a popular Lepcha snack which looks like a bird’s nest, Khabjey is a delicate lattice of fried dough in the shape of a bee hive.
Local rice that is grown by the villagers is used to prepare the meals here. Khuri made with buckwheat is a local dish along with Sarongbi which is a common nettle grown in abundance here controls high BP and Kanchalbi that treat and controls gastric issues is rolled together and served.
They eat Khuri as a breakfast item along with Monkhu and kasotku where Khu means Roti made with Buckwheat and Millet Flour.
Tapioca wine is also made locally here along with Millet Chi which is a traditional indigenous drink.
The people here love to eat Kadaknath which is a black hen, it is not just the flavourful meat’s lean, amazing texture that makes it popular, but also its supposed medicinal properties. Urban legend has it that it raises haemoglobin levels, keeps asthma and other respiratory disorders in check.
Experience the bóngthíng religious practice (usually male) or a mun (usually female) who are healers, exorcists, nature worshipers/guardians, and responsible for guiding the dead to the afterlife.
You get to experience the local culture in every small habit of the locals living here, for example you will be able to see the wide practice of serving ‘Chi’ which is considered to be a religious practice where an alcoholic beverage brewed from millet is said to have a divine origin wherein, the recipe has been brought from a sorceress in the netherworld by a cockroach.
Chi or the fermented beverage is as symbolic as the blood that flows through the body in Lepcha culture.
The old people and young folk alike join hands to sing, dance and indulge in merry making. Traditional Lepcha traditional dance forms are showcased here. This famous folk dance of Lepcha community shows normal activities such as sowing, reaping and harvesting of paddy. The graceful movements of male and female dancers become more noticeable with the background of pleasant.
Experience the Lepcha language which is now to be seen in very few parts of India. Thanks to their mountain settlements, their language and their writing remains completely unique. The Lepcha speak a Tibetan dialect that is only spoken by the Lepcha people and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Cane and Bamboo artworks can be seen here as they form an integral part in the lives of the people of Sikkim. Bamboo is used in many ways to make several articles and generally people use it in many ways to make those things which are required in their day to day lives. It’s use can be seen in the ways their houses have been built too.
Prawn fishing- Local Prawn fishing ‘Tangyanmi’ can be experienced here.
Jungle walks and trekking can also be done with the help of an experienced guide.
HOW TO REACH:
By Road (from DELHI)
By Railway (NJP Railway Station)
ABOUT THE HOST:
Chogay is your host here and is a very honest and full filled person that will welcome you just as if you are a close friend he has not been able to meet for ages. Yes, that’s the exact quality of him that will make you fall in love with the place. He believes that one needs to interact to be able to learn about one another and he will be able to make even the most shy individuals open up with his energetic vibe.