Yuksom

Yuksom is a small village in Sikkim. It is said that it was the first capital of Sikkim. It is very calm and peaceful, a real get-away for those who want to avoid the tourist crowd.

The main street in Yuksom

Understand

Yuksom means “meeting place of the three learned monks”. According to the legend, three monks from Tibet selected Phuntsog Namgyal as the first King of Sikkim and gave him the title Chogyal, meaning “religious King” or “the king who rules with righteousness”. Yuksom is part of Demazon (valley of rice), the sacred landscape consisting of four religious sites which have been blessed by Guru Padmasambhava and which are considered to be the four plexuses of the human body, in which Yuksom represents the 'third eye'.

Get in

By jeep or taxi

Reach here in 5 hours from Gezing using shared or private jeeps. There are no buses to Yuksom, there are taxis to Yuksom from Gyalshing (₹70), Tashiding (₹30), Pelling (₹60) and Gangtok (₹140). It might be difficult to find shared jeeps after 1pm.

By train

The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) which is about 150 km from Yuksom. From NJP, one could book a taxi to Yuksom for ₹2000, as of March 2009. Be careful to leave NJP by 11am as it takes around 6-7 hours to reach Yuksom via Jorethang. The road to Yuksom is poorly lit and it is not advisable to travel at night.

By plane

The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, 12 km west of Siliguri and about 170 km from Yuksom.

Get around

It is a very small village so getting around is on foot.

Yuksom is the base camp for many treks in Sikkim. One can trek to Tashiding/Dzongri peak/Goecha La from here. You can also trek to Kachupuri lake from Yuksom. Its a relatively tough steep trek (10kms) if you not a high altitude trekker. There are no shared jeeps to/from Kachupuri lake, but it might be possible to join a tour jeep for this journey.

See

Dubdi Monastery

It is a very beautiful place. It is surrounded by majestic mountain peaks (some of them are covered with snow throughout the year). There is a village Buddhist temple where prayers happen every evening at dusk, a must to experience. The place is so beautiful that you can just be here and relax and gaze at the nature for one whole week and you will not know when the week was over because time would fly by.

Do

Trekking

Buy

If you are one of those light weight carrying backpackers, you can buy basic clothes for your travel. Nothing fancy or touristy can be found here. It's not a regular tourist destination.

Eat

Please be ready to have vegetarian food here. Although non-vegetarian food is available, since it is a remote place, meat supplies are rare.

There are a few restaurants: Yak Restaurant, Norling, and Gupta restaurant at the main junction, which serves Indian, Italian and Mexican food.

The restaurants open at 5:30 in the morning and are closed by 10 PM. Although the quality of food is not so great (try Yak restaurant) sometime they have good food, especially the beef rice and morning alu parathas. But one may find decent pizzas and beer here.

You may also be lucky enough to encounter yak cheese momos. These are particularly fantastic after a long day's trek. They taste like they are filled with a very strong feta cheese.

Most of these restaurants also serve tongba (bamboo drink). Try this. It's a juice of the fermented millet served in a bamboo container, and you will also be given a small straw made of bamboo to sip the millet wine from the bamboo container.

Drink

There are two brands of bottled beer available Hit and Dansberg. Dansberg is a wonderful mild beer brewed and bottled in Sikkim. Hit on the other hand is a strong beer.

The other option is to go for the local brew called "Bamboo". It consists of fermented millet grains in a broad bamboo stem cut to be used as a tumbler. Warm water is added to the container, within a few minutes it acquires the flavour of port wine. It is drunk through a narrow straw also made of bamboo. More water is added to the tumbler when it runs out. With time the flavour of the Bamboo gets milder.

The potency of the drink is dependent on the aging of the millets used. Millets fermented for ten to fifteen days result in a medium to mild drink. Up to three month old fermented drinks can result in a very strong brew.

Sleep

A very beautiful government guest house with two dormitories. total # of beds 6. ₹50 each in Aug 2007. Three private hostels are also present.

Go next

There are several treks leading from this place. Also, there is a Khangchendzonga Natiional Park close by (which is a kind of heaven on earth). To get out of Yuksom, Jeeps are available but mostly they run in the morning, starts at 5:30 AM. You need to book it one day in advance to be sure you get a seat. Goes to Pelling, Geyzing and Jorethang.(2012)

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, January 12, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.