Yuksom is a town from the Geyzing subdivision in West Sikkim situated at an altitude of 1780m. It is a popular tourist destination as it is the base and the gateway to Mount Kangchenjunga. Hoards of mountaineers flock to this place every year to undertake the popular Dzongri trek and catch a sight of the third highest mountain in the world. People with much more vigour take the trek till Goechala, an extension of the Dzongri trek, which is an adventure in itself. However, the treks are not the only attractions. This town is crucial when it comes to the history of Sikkim.
Yuksom is the first capital of what consists of modern-day Sikkim and was set up by ‘Chogyal’ or the Temporary and Religious King, Phuntsog Namgyal in 1642 AD. Yuksom’s history is crucial in terms of understanding the emergence of Buddhism in Sikkim and it holds a special religious and cultural significance for the Bhutia tribe. The name Yuksom, literally means, “The place where the three monks met”. The three monks met at Norbugang near Yuksom and coronated Phuntsog Namgyal on the Norbugang Throne. The Chogyal established the first Buddhist monastery, the Dubdi Monastery in 1701 and this dynasty ruled for a span of 333 years. The Archaeological Survey of India has declared Dubdi Monastery as a National Heritage Monument. Apart from the Dubdi Monastery, there is the Pemayangtse Monastery which was established by one of the three monks Lama Lhatsun Chempo in 1705. The Norbugang Chorten is definitely the highlight of the place where the Chogyal was coronated and is an hour’s walk away from Yuksom. The throne where Phuntsog Namgyal was coronated and the lake from where the water drawn to sanctify him is still extremely well maintained. The inhabitants of Yuksom, therefore, are considered model citizens as they took the initiative to preserve the history and local ecology seriously. These people are popular among other inhabitants of the state and inspired them to take the same measures to protect the ecology.
Apart from the Norbugang Chorten, the historical hotspot, Yuksom has a lot more to offer. The Khecheopalri Lake is a popular destination, especially for devotees as the water from this lake is considered holy. The lake surrounded by natural beauty is sure to please your eyes. Tashi Tenka Royal Complex sure has lost its earlier charm and hedges have validated its antiquity, nevertheless, it serves as a spectacular viewpoint. The Kangchendzonga National Park is also in proximity and fauna enthusiasts have a chance to spot Snow Leopards, Sloth Bear, Himalayan Black Bear, Red panda etc.
Accommodation is available in Yuksom, ranging from homestays, huts, modest hotels and lodgings to multi-starred hotels. Pelling is the nearest town which is just an hour and forty-five minutes ride away. Yuksom takes about 4 to 5 hours depending on the route taken from Gangtok and it takes 7 hours approximately from NJP or Bagdogra.
The best time to visit Yuksom is from March to May and September to October. This period sees the most amount of tourist influx as it is the perfect time to embark on a trek. It might get crowded but a call to WeCare Holidays will ensure a hassle-free trip.