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Overview of Yuksom
Yuksom has seen many kingdoms ruling it ever since its inception. The Throne of Norbugang, where the first King of Yuksom held his coronation is still visible here. The reputed Chogyal dynasty ruled Yuksom for over 333 years. This town is known all over the country and the world for its brilliant monasteries and monuments. Tibetan architecture is in full form here. This is also an important tourist place because this is the fundamental point from where professional mountain climbers start their ascent towards the majestic peak of Mount Kanchenjunga. This town is a perfect ambassador for promoting eco-tourism as well as the inhabitants do all what they can towards ecological development.
History of Yuksom
Yuksom means “the place where three intelligent monks met”. This was the place that was chosen by three religious monks who travelled all the way from Tibet to choose the king. Phuntsog Namgyal was chosen as the first monarch of Sikkim and the monks gave his dynasty the name of Chogyal, meaning a king with spiritual inclination. This Chogyal dynasty went to rule Sikkim for 333 years. Legend has it that Yuksom is one of the 4 religious places of Sikkim that is blessed by Guru Padmasambhava, which is the tallest Buddha statue in the world.
It was as early as 9th century when the religion of Buddhism entered Yuksom. There was a severe war that ensued between the Yellow Hat and Red Hat sect of the Tibetans until a treaty was signed formally between them during 13th century. When the monks identified Namgyal as the first ruler, he was just 38 years of age. After some difficult years initially, the Chogyal dynasty ruled the place efficiently and it was during this time that the religion of Buddhism penetrated deep in to the place, thereby leading to the construction of many monasteries.
Geographical location of Yuksom
Yuksom located at a height of 5840 feet or 1780m above sea level is one of the most historic and cultural towns of Sikkim. It is located at 27.22 degrees towards the North and 88.13 degrees towards the East.
How to reach Yuksom and local modes of transport
Air – Bagdogra airport, at a distance of 160km, is the closest airport to Yuksom.
Rail – New Jalpaiguri railway station, at a distance of 150km, is the closest railway station to Yuksom.
Road – There are lots of buses from nearby places like Pelling, Gyalshing, Siliguri, Gangtok etc. to Yuksom all through the day.
Local mode of transport – Jeeps and taxis are available on hire for tourists who want to roam within Yuksom.
Attractions of Yuksom
Kanchendzonga Waterfalls, Phamrong Waterfalls, and Khecheopalri Lake are the major attractions of Yuksom. Especially, the lake is considered to be very pious and sacred. Located at a distance of around 27km from Yuksom, this is one of the most often visited places as the foot print on the shores of the lake are believed to be of the great Guru Padmasambhava. The monasteries at Tashiding, Sinon and Pemyangtse and the remnants of Rabdentse are some of the must-see places in Yuksom.
Things to do
Trekking, bird watching, hiking and nature walks are some of the activities that tourists can do while they undertake vacation to Yuksom.
Famous restaurants and local delicacies
Vegetarian food is the dominating food here. There are very few non-vegetarian restaurants and even in the ones that sell non-veg foods, one can be assured about the quality of the pork. Yak restaurant, Gupta Restaurant and Norling restaurant are some of the good options to eat in Yuksom. A dish made of green vegetables toasted and marinated with exotic herbs and spices are the local delicacies here.
Where to stay in Yuksom
Tashigang Hotel is the only option available in Yuksom for staying. This is an excellent hotel which is replete with all facilities and benefits for the travellers. It is also quite easy to travel from here to other tourist attractions. Tourists can also choose among 10 homestays for staying.
STD, PIN and other emergency contact numbers in Yuksom
The STD and PIN code of Yuksom are 03592 and 737113 respectively. Fire Brigade, Ambulance and Electricity services of West Sikkim District can be reached at 250810, 250823, 250817 respectively. The Medical Officer at Yuksom can be reached at 241243. All these numbers should be attached with the STD code of 03592 as a prefix.
Hospitals, Banks and Tourist Office in Yuksom
Banks – There are no banks in Yuksom as it is a very small town.
West Sikkim district,
Ph: 03592 251089.
Tourism Information Centre of Sikkim Government,
Close to Girls’ Hostel at Pelling, Upper Pelling,
West Sikkim District