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.

Sikkim today is a rapidly evolving society. Its major towns like Gangtok the capital city, Namchi and Jorethang already are urbanizing at a steady pace. More and more people are being attracted by business opportunities and gradually imbibing the cosmopolitan character. Though Sikkim is predominantly a Buddhist state its spirit is secular and here churches, monasteries, gurdwaras, mosques and temples co-exist peacefully. It is hard to define the true culture of Sikkim ? it could best be called a wonderful mosaic, a unique pattern made beautiful by the unusual harmony in its individually colourful threads. And that is its trait. The predominant communities are the Lepchas, the Bhutias and the Nepalese and over the years there have been inter-racial marriages among the three. People The Lepchas are the natives of Sikkim with very little known about their origin. A theory has it that the Lepchas moved in from the borders of Assam and Burma while another speaks of them migrating from Southern Tibet. But basically they are of mongoloid stock. The tribe were nature worshippers and belonged to the Bon faith. It was later that they converted to Buddhism and much later to Christianity. In order to preserve their tribe and their tradition the government also has a reserved area for the Lepchas at Dzongu that has been declared restricted area. The Bhutias are purely of Tibetan origin who migrated to Sikkim from Tibet somewhere after the fifteenth century. The language of the Bhutias is Sikkimese, a dialect of the Tibetan language and are mostly Buddhists. A predominant Bhutia population inhabits North Sikkim in the villages of Lachung and Lachen. The Lachungpas and the Lachenpas still retain their age old village administrative system called the Dzumsa with an elected village chief called the ?Pipen?. Lachen and Lachung are also restricted areas. The Bhutia men still wear their traditional garment called the ?Bakku? while women sport their ?Bakku?, ?Hanju? with the married one donning a colourful ?Pangdin? too. The Nepalese who migrated from Nepal from the mid-nineteenth century form the dominant population. It was the British who patronized the Nepalese for their warlike qualities and integrity and raised an entire army consisting purely of Nepalese soldiers. They were also allowed to settle down in the hill tracts belonging to British India. In Sikkim the Chogyal had granted a lease to some Nepalese traders sometime in the year 1860. It was these traders who reaped bountiful harvests in the fertile lands of Sikkim with the help of Nepalese farmers who later settled down completely. These early Nepalese settlers introduced terraced farming in the region and also brought the cardamom along with them which became a prized cash crop. The Kiratis who are also Nepalese are also believed to be the natives of Sikkim along with the Lepchas. The Kiratis include the Limbus, Rais, Tamangs, Gurungs, Magars and others. The Nepalese speak the Nepali language written in the Devanagri script and is the major language spoken in Sikkim. The Nepalese are mostly Hindus though we can also find Buddhists and Christians among them too. Apart from these three major ethnic groups Sikkim also has a growing population of other races like the Tibetans, the Marwaris, the Biharis, Muslims, Bengalis and a host of others. Growing business opportunities are still attracting people from other parts of the country. Sikkim is going the ?melt pot? way and as time flees, like all other societies it is going to evolve too. ance & MusicD Folk dances and songs are an ingrained part of Sikkimese culture. Most of the dances related to the amazing beauty of the natural surroundings, some signifies the harvest season and others are performed for prosperity. Many of the musical instruments that accompany the dances are unique to Sikkim. Almost all the dances are accompanied by the musical instruments. Some of the popular dances are described below : The Music and Dances of Sikkim The Dances accompanied with Songs and Music Lu Khangthamo It is dedicated to this day - a day of thanks giving to all Gods and deities of the three worlds, Heaven, Earth and Hell. This age old folk dance is performed regularly by the young and old folk alike in their traditional customs and ornaments accompanied by the pleasing song and music on the occasion like warming and New Year celebrations. It is a Bhutia folk dance. Experience The Dance & Music Gha To Kito It is a song cum dance which describes all about the treasures of Sikkim like Mount Khangchendzonga and the snow covered Himalayan ranges, rhododendrons and primulas, holy places, caves ad minerals. It is a Bhutia folk dance. Chi Rimu It is a popular Bhutia folk dance performed in praise of Sikkim by young and old folks. This dance is a regular feature in every happy occasion when Bhutias express reverence to great teachers and sacred places of worship. Gnungmala Gnunghey It is a typical Bhutia fold dance performed in praise, by both male and female to the accompaniment of devotional hymns and song of the multi purpose majestic bamboos, describing its use. Rechungma It is typical Sikkimese dance performed during the happy occasions like childbirth, marriage and other social gatherings, offer paying their sincere thanks to the god for his blessings. Be Yu Mista It is a popular Bhutia folk dance performed in praise of Sikkim by group of males and females with pleasing songs and prayers. Tashi Zaldha It is a dance depicting the Bhutia custom of offering scarves, performed by boys and girls. Experience The Dance & Music The Mask Dances of Sikkim Enchey Chaam Sikkim's famous mask dances provide a spectacle, perhaps nowhere to be experienced in the entire world. Performed by lamas in the 'Gompa' courtyard to celebrate religious festivals, dances demonstrate perfect footwork and grace. Costumed lamas with gaily painted masks, ceremonial swords and sparkling jewels leap and swing to the rhythm of resounding drums, trumpeting of horns and chanting of monks. It is the annual puja celebrated with religious masked dances on the 18th and 19th days of the 11th month of the Tibetan Buddhist Calendar corresponding to the month of December - January. Kagyed Dance It is performed on the 28th and 29th day of the 10th month of the Tibetan Calendar, around December. This dance is performed symbolizing the destruction of the evil forces and hoping for peace and prosperity to flourish in every Sikkimese home. The dancers of this are extremely popular Chaam are always monks who are accompanied liturgical music and chanting. The solemn nature of the dance is interspersed with comic relief provided by the jesters. Kagyed dances enact various themes from the Buddhist mythology and culminate with the burning of effigies made of flour, wood and paper. Rumtek Chaam It is the most important chaam (religious masked dance) performed on the 10th day of the 5th month of the Tibetan calendar, corresponding to the month of June. It presents eight manifestations of the Guru Rimpoche. This is highly colorful and spectacular and draws many pilgrim and visitors. Gouthor(Winter) Chaam It is performed on the month of February - 2 days prior to Losar.


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