YUKSOM

Yuksom is a small off-beat destination nestled in the western part in the state of Sikkim, India. Yuksom is known as the ancestral capital of Sikkim. Located at a distance of about 33 km from Pelling and about 173 km from New Jalpaiguri railway station and situated at an elevation of about 1780 meters (5840 ft). On the way to Yuksom one will come across many spots those are worth watching like Rimbi Falls, Rock GardenKhecheopalri Lake. To visit Khecheopalri Lake one needs to walk a distance of about 1 km. Rimbi Falls is on the road, while one is heading towards Yuksom. Another which is worth visiting is the Kanchenjunga Falls. As on leaves behind Kanchenjunga Falls the route to Yuksom starts. The beauty of the route to Yuksom is incomparable. On both the sides of the road numerous pine trees standing tall along with varieties of numerous flowers those blossom up and adds an extra beauty to this place. The forest cover at Yuksom consist of broad – leaved Oak, Birch, Maple, Chestnut, Magnolia, Rhododendron, Silver Fir, Ash and Alder which compliment the epithet of ‘biodiversity hot – spot’ given to Sikkim. The silence of Yuksom gets continuously debarred by chirping sounds of numerous Himalayan birds those inhabit the place. On the way to Yuksom at every hairpin turn, nature offers different wonders and beautiful sites for its visitors. At the entry point of Yuksom there is a beautiful Chorten for welcoming the tourists. Yuksom is a big village surrounded by dense greenness from all sides and beneath the feet lies green grasslands. Yuksom is a paradise for bird watchers. Apart from colourful birds, one will also get to see numerous colourful flowers all over the village. The word Yuksom means ‘meeting place of the three learned monks or Lamas’. In the year 1642 Phuntsog Namgyal the first Chogial King of Sikkim was nominated at ‘Norbugang’ in the presence of three Lamas. Beneath one legendary Pine tree at Yuksom the ‘Coronation Throne’ of the first Chogial King known as the “Throne of Norbugang” made of soil and stone is preserved. It says that this Pine tree was born from the stick of the first Lama of the Chogial. The tree is lies at a distance of 1 km. The whole place is on a hill top with dense wilderness all over. From this hilltop the panoramic view of the whole region of Yuksom is clearly visible along with the mountain peaks to the far horizon. One will hear nothing except the chirping sounds of Himalayan birds. On the way to the Coronation Throne at Yuksom, there is small village which is worth visiting. From there the next destination is the ‘Karthok’ Lake or ‘Kathaog’ Lake, a pristine holy lake for the locals. The Lake is surrounded by numerous prayer flags on all sides. The view of the mountain peaks along with the shadow of the prayer flags on the opposite side of the lake in the water portrays beautiful picturesque scenery. It takes around 30 minutes to take a walk around the lake. Others point of interest around Yuksom are Dubdi Monastery. Dubdi monastery is the second oldest monastery of Sikkim established in 1701, which is part of Buddhist religious pilgrimage circuit involving the Norbugang Chorten, Pemayangtse Monastery, the Rabdentse ruins, the Sanga Choeling Monastery, the Khecheopalri Lake, and the Tashiding Monastery The road to the monastery is around 2 km walking distance within the dense greenery of Pine trees. This monastery has a historical importance. In the year 1933 the monastery got severely affected by an earthquake, but in the later days the monastery was renovated. Though at Yuksom the local attractions are all these, but the main attraction of Yuksom is its scenic beauty. Yuksom is also a paradise for trekkers, as Yuksom is the gateway for Kanchenjunga National Park trek and Zongri- Goechela Trek route. Apart from these one can visit Ravangla via Tashiding from Yuksom. The village people, as stake holders in biodiversity preservation of the Rathong Chu valley, where the village is situated, have played a significant role in trendsetting and promotion of eco-tourism in the area. At Yuksom village, the Bhutias and the Nepalese constitute major communities, with the Bhutia community being the dominant ethnic group.

Biodiversity Festival: Every year a biodiversity festival was held at Yuksom for one day, the first of its kind. More than 200 villagers and foreign tourists visit the festival to create an awareness to conserve Biodiversity, natural heritage and cultural heritage of the village.

How to Reach: Yuksom is located at a distance of about 173 km from New Jalpaiguri and at a distance of about 33 km from Pelling. From NJP railway station by Sikkim National Transport buses are available upto Pelling, from there by hired cars Yuksom can be reached. Direct car facilities are also available to Yuksom from New Jalpaiguri railway station.

Best time to visit: Yuksom can be visited any time of the year except the monsoon season. In the month of March and April, Yuksom blossom up with colourful flowers. In the monsoon season at Yuksom, problem of Leeches are very frequent.

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