Dzüdü Lake is situated about 3 kilometers away from Thüvopisü Village of Nagaland's Phek district and requires an hour of uphill trekking along the river that flows down from it. It also feeds the Thüvopisü microhydel project and is the main source of water supply for five villages in its vicinity. The word "Dzüdü" literally means "Water reservoir" or  "Dammed water". It is a natural lake serenely nestled up in the hills, surrounded by moss covered trees and has long been associated with many myths and legends.
Taking the first steps upwards.
One foggy August morning, we sisters headed out to our native village to see the lake and get some photographs out there. Turns out we paid this season's first visit to Dzüdü lake.
Mother kept us company and the rain too.
Acccompanied by ten young men from our village who cleared the path as we made the climb, it took us a good hour to get there. The forest had reclaimed its territory throughout the summer and the foliage was thick and almost unpenetrable with clusters of nettles and ferns. The path was slippery and the wet earth did not make it the easiest of treks. We startled a couple of snakes and leeches and so you can imagine the few ear splitting screams and screeches that ensued. We also came upon footprints of deer at their drinking spot (pointed out to us by our guides). Seems like they heard us coming and took off. We tasted the water from the spring and found it slightly salty.
Thick foilage along the way.
Abandoned tree house.
There are many versions of stories about the lake but the village elders say that it was first discovered by a villager on a deer hunt. After trailing a deer for about a week, he finally spotted the deer drinking at a spring and resumed the chase. The deer is said to have led him to the lake, then to his amazement, jumped right into the middle of the lake and rebounded to the other side without breaking the surface of the water. The poor hunter lost his speech for days but eventually recovered to recount his tale and led the entire village to his discovery.
Human like formation of moss on tree.
They say that the lake is the abode of a gigantic serpent who does not like to be disturbed. Every seven years, all kinds of snakes and serpents from near and far make the uphill pilgrimage to the lake to pay homage to the serpent. In the course of their journey, they are known to destroy rice fields and cause flooding of rivers from the splashes they cause.
Another interesting thing is that so far, the depth of the lake has not been ascertained. Circumstances have not allowed the measurement of the lake's dimensions. It is forbidden to tread into the water as it is considered sacrilege. People who have tried to swim or take bath in the lake have been haunted and troubled by what seems to be the guardian spirits of the lake. People have tried previously but failed and so it remains open to debate and speculation.
Wiping off the sweat and the rain
Not one fallen leaf can be seen floating on the surface of the lake. Nothing stays on the surface of the lake. Everything supposedly sinks to the bottom of the lake, including boats and other floatation devices. Attempts to introduce boating facilities were hence discarded and I firmly hope it stays that way.
Make shift green room
Outside elder mom's house at Thüvopisü Village.
After the arduous trek (our spirits refusing to be dampened by the slick rain), we made it to the lake.  Thankfully, the rain stopped when we reached and held off until the photo shoot was over. At first we could not see the lake at all because of the massive growth of foliage and a good half hour was spent clearing the area. Having snacked on sticky rice cakes and some few cups of tea, we got down to business. Two hours later, the photographer of the day, Rokovor Vihienuo had taken enough photographs for our requirement and as it was getting dark, we started the descent back to the village.
In discussion with Photographer Rokovor Vihienuo.
Locals warn visitors not to offend the spirit of the lake by keeping the surroundings clean and not  to violate the serenity of the lake by polluting it or disturbing the stillness of the waters. Violators have been known to suffer much unrest. How far this is true one cannot know for sure for I am not ready to do anything foolish and face the consequences. So we toed the line and all went well.
The plain truth is that the lake looks like a surreal picture, dark but clear water surrounded by tall moss covered trees which block out the sky: there is such calmness and silence except for the occasional bird and fluttering of leaves that one is sure to be bewitched. There is also an uneasy feeling of being watched by unseen eyes and a sense of loneliness even when with a large group. Even the bravest of men have refused to spend the night camped out at the lake.
The crew.
The feeling of reverence and being humbled are however natural in the face of such incredible beauty. One cannot help but feel the presence of a higher spirit who designs everything with meticulous detail for our enjoyment and perhaps for us to know and acknowledge His presence.
What lies beneath.....the still waters of Dzüdü.
Myth or no myth, Dzüdü lake is one place worth visiting once in life at least.
For more information on visiting Dzüdü, you can write to us: tetseosisters@gmail.com
©All rights reserved, Photography by Tetseos. Please do not share, post or use any images without prior permission.

7 comments:

Longyang
at: 18 August 2011 at 07:53 said...

Wow! Wish to be there someday!
Very exquisitely described; shine on, ladies ;)))

Tetseo Sisters says:
at: 19 August 2011 at 00:05 said...

Hey Longyang,
Thanks for stopping by.
Let us know if you decide to pay a visit.
We'll make sure you have a great time.
Take care and God bless.

triveni - one mind ,zillion things on it says:
at: 15 October 2011 at 11:40 said...

Heard about it long time ago from an uncle who had a his job posting in Phek,Never imagined it could be so beautiful ...Breathtakingly. May it remain pure and serene forever!

amoskrome says:
at: 24 October 2011 at 10:46 said...

Wow...! Wat a beautiful n wonderful place it is.... I wish to visit dis place very much....

Tetseo Sisters says:
at: 31 October 2011 at 01:27 said...

Do make some time to visit :)

athing rumthao
at: 2 March 2013 at 11:18 said...

TNB brought me here. I'am intrigued and captivated. thanks to your beautiful illustrations :)

Tetseo Sisters says:
at: 3 March 2013 at 15:11 said...

Dear Athing Rumthao,
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to write.
Glad you enjoyed the post. Continue to visit.
Hiyohey!