The famous silk route that connected Lhasa (Tibet) to Kalimpongwas in use even a few decades ago until the Chinese invasion in Tibet. Zuluk / Dzuluk, located in East Sikkim, used to be a small village on this route. It was commonly used by traders traveling to Tibet through Jelep-la ("La" stands for mountaipass) (It is and overnight base) Today it is fast emerging as a new tourist destination in East Sikkim. Zuluk derives its tourism importance due to the excellent view of the eastern Himalayan mountain range including the Kanchenjunga that it offers. A trip to the area requires special permits. The permits though would be arranged by naturebeyond, and as a guest you would only need to provide your id proof and photograph. Zuluk is a small village with population of about 700 people. There is an army base which is used as a transit camp for the army movement to the Chinese boarder a few kilometers away. During the summer months, the area and its surrounding hills are covered with thousands of blooming rhododendron. Zuluk during these months, is a riot of colors due to the variety of rhododendron that can be seen here.

Weather: Zuluk at an altitude of about 7,000 ft offers pleasant weather during most of the year. The rainy season is a little protracted and heavy to very heavy showers are common. The winter may see snowfall in the area. The summer temperature would be varying near 20 degree Celsius with substantial difference between the day and night temperature. Tourists visiting the area are advised to carry worm clothing and umbrella. Wildlife sanctury: Zuluk is surrounded by wild forest, some of the forests are completely virgin. Sighting of Deer, Wild Dog, Himalayan Bear the red panda is not very uncommon. Some tigers have also reportedly been sighted in the area. A variety of birds can also be seen such as Monal Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Khaleez Pheasant, Snow Pheasant and others. How to reach zaluk: Zuluk is about 3 hours from Gangtok. You need to pre arrange special permit for visiting this restricted area that is issued from a place called Rangli or it can be arrange at sikkim infromation center at gangtok.
Itinerary for 1N/2D
Day 01 Pick Up from Gangtok, NJP (Siliguri) or Bagdugra to LIngtam via Rangpo, Rongli Bazar, Sisney Aritar lake (lampokhari lake) and overnight stay in Lingtam or Zaluk.
Day 02 Lingtam or Zaluk to Gangtok(Silk Route) via Phademchen view points, Q-khola Falls, dhupidara, Lungthung, Salamidara, Tukla Dara (Baba dham), Gnathung, Kupup, Sarathang (China Market) Nathula Pass, Changu Lake, Mandakeni Falls.
Itinerary for 2N/3D
Day 01 Pick Up from Gangtok, NJP (Siliguri) or Bagdugra to LIngtam via Rangpo, Rongli Bazar, Sisney and overnight stay in Lingtam.
Day 02 Sunrise at Ganak Dara (1200ft. Alt) via Zaluk Silk Route (Zig Zac Road 1, 2 & 3, Thambi View, Salami View points, Bhutan View, Black Lake, Old Baba Mandir, Gnathang Velley, Tugla Battle Field, Elephant lake, Jelepla Pass, Mac Mohan Line ( Indo China Border). Overnight Zaluk.
Day 03 Kupup Valley, Memen-chu lake, New Baba Mandir, World Highest Golf Course (Gunnies Record), Young husband treck, Sharathang Trade Mart, Thangu lake, Nathula Pass and Gangtok Overnight stay at Gangtok.

Darjeeling produces world famous Darjeeling teas, which has been fancied by the Connoisseur world over. As the tea plantation was started in 1847 by Dr Campbell planting the Chinese species. Labours were recruited from Nepal to work on the plantations nurseries of tea seeds which were established in Lebong. Darjeeling manufactures Orthodox variety of tea. 

While in the process of manufacture, green leaves plucked from garden containing about 80% of moisture is laid in a dryer box which is known as -Withering. After withering, when the leaves have become soft, is subjected to the second stage of manufacture called Rolling. Here the Rolling Machines rolls and press the withered leaves without breaking or cutting them while only breaking the cells within enabling the juice from inside to be pressed out and aminate on the outside surface. Normally two rolls after every 40 minutes are given by varying pressures to press the juice out. In between the rolls, the leaves are subjected to sifting in which the sifting machine separates the coarse from fine. The rolled leaves are now covered in juice and chemical constituents are subjected to the third stage of process called-Fermentation, where they are kept very thinly spread on clean and impervious trays or racks in a high humidity room. Here the leaves start developing aroma, flavour and other qualities by bio chemical reactions. After fermentation, leaves are dried under fire to check further fermentation. Over fermentation and under fermentation is harmful to the development of proper character in tea. While in the process of drying leaves are spread on the trays in the chamber of drying machines where the dry heat with the extension of temperatures of 240 F to 250 F are passed. The tea which is ready after these manufacturing processes contains only about 2% to 3% moisture contents. Nowadays, many forms of teas are manufactured where some of them are known as Bio-Organic, Clonal, White tea, Green tea, etc., which needs more expertise. Last process is known as-Sorting where grading is done on the basis of Full Leaf and Broken Leaf. Full Leaf grade is known Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe, while the Broken Leaf Grade is known as Golden Broken Orange Pekoe. 

Darjeeling teas are exported to many countries where today U.K, Japan and Germany are the major importers. 
Darjeeling teas are categorised according to flushes where First Flush and Second Flush have higher prices which consist of only about 25% to 30% of total annual production. Teas manufactured during rainy season are in bulk quantities. 
The flavour of Darjeeling tea as it is said is very much influenced by external conditions as well, like the elevation and soil conditions on which the bushes are grown, the weather conditions on which the leaves are plucked and the shift of workers handling the manufacturing process. 

Experimental Success of Darjeeling Tea: Story of Darjeeling Tea is that when Dr. Campbell, also British surgeon, experimented with tea seeds in his garden at Beechwood in Darjeeling at an altitude of 2,134 metres. He was reasonably successful in raising the plant following which British Government elected to put up tea nurseries in this area in 1847. 

According to records, first commercial tea gardens planted by British tea interests were, Tukvar, Steinthal and Allobari Tea Estates. By 1866 Darjeeling had some 39 gardens producing a total of 21,000 kgs of tea. In 1870, the number of gardens increased to 56 that produced 71,600 kg teas harvested from 4400 hectares of land. During 1860 64, the Darjeeling tea company was established with four gardens, while Da5rjeeling Consolidated Tea Company was established on 1896. It is said that by 1874 tea business in Darjeeling was a profitable venture with 113 gardens covering the approximate area of 6,000 hectares of land. 

At present there are 86 tea gardens producing pure Darjeeling tea on a total of 19,000 hectares of land. Apart from tourism, tea is the biggest industrial activity in Darjeeling. 

However these days, package tours to tea gardens are available to fill the trip with romantic adventure and knowledge in relation to Tea Culture and village activities. Imagine sitting in a bungalow that is surrounded by vast expanse of tea plantations. The scenic beauty of Darjeeling has a subtle ambience - a mental and sensory quietude - rarely to be experienced elsewhere. Or one could opt to go for camping for overnight along the river side, where one could spoil oneself by enjoying timeless relaxation or endless hours of leisure by listening to the music of the wind and sleep down to the sound of the moon and the entire cosmos. One can still go for fishing at night and come to enjoy the barbecue feast along the pure white sands of the pristine waters of river. An ideal romantic trip for honeymooners.


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