September 15th, 2022
You must have read about Mount Kangchenzongha in your Geography book or at least heard about it! But have you ever wondered what it would be like to view the highest mountain peak of India from a trail of quaint hamlet? If this thought excites you, Yuksom is a perfect leisurely getaway for your most awaited desire.
Located in West Sikkim, Yuksom is a serene, unexplored village. This tiny village is also referred to as the Gateway to Mount Kangchenzongha. It has intriguing trails that are worth exploring. The renowned Goechala trek begins from here for you set your foot to unravel the hamlet.
Yuksom, once the site of the first chogyal’s coronation ceremony, has lot to offer. Hence, a visit to this place would undoubtedly help you learn more about Sikkim’s past.
The following locations in Yuksom can help you explore Sikkim’s adventurous and cultural side:
Khecheopalri Lake, also known as Kha-Chot-Palri, is one of Sikkim’s largest lakes. This lake is situated 6,000 feet above sea level, and a dense forest surrounds it. It is a lake in the shape of a footprint that boasts an exceptional level of biodiversity and a heavily forested area. If you visit Khecheopalri Lake for a day excursion from Yuksom, be sure to trek to the viewpoint through the ridge encircling the water and find the spot from which the lake looks to be shaped like a footprint. According to a folktale, the lake is Tara Jetsun Dolma’s footprint, a female Bodhisattva known as the Mother of Freedom.
It is situated across the picturesque Kartok lake and is one of Yuksom’s most prominent monasteries. The monastery has the name of a lama who played a significant role in Sikkim’s first king’s coronation. It is thought that the water from this lake was used to anoint the three lamas and the first king of Sikkim. It’s a secret location that may be found if you continue on the road that passes the elementary school rather than taking the Norbugang bifurcation. You can bring fish feed for the fish in this lake.
UNESCO has designated Khangchendzonga National Park as a World Heritage Site. You can visit the national park which is home to a number of Himalayan wildlife species such as snow leopard, sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, and red panda. You can also give your eyes a captivating experience as you spot a number of bird species like the Black-necked Crane, Grus nigricollis, Grey Peacock Pheasant, Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, and many others.
Importantly, do not forget to view the picturesque scenery of Mount Khangchendzonga. Khangchendzonga National Park has about 19 Himalayan mountain peaks, amongst which Mount Khangchendzonga is the most popular.
The monastery is located on a lush piece of land that skillfully integrates the natural and spiritual realms. It has beautiful ornamentation and is painted and carved in a traditional Buddhist style. Ancient literature and images can also be found here. As a traveler, you can visit the Monastery to get into the depth of Sikkim’s history.
The first Chogyal or King of Sikkim founded Dubdi Monstery in 1701, making it the oldest monastery in the entire state of Sikkim. Phuntsog Namgyal was crowned the first monarch of Sikkim by the three ascetics or lamas at Yuksom in 1642. As a reminder of the first royal and religious institution in Sikkim that supported Buddhism, Dubdi Monastery still survives today.
Board a flight to Bagdogra Airport which is the closest airport to Yuksom. Take a cab to Siliguri from the airport where you need to book another cab to Jorthang. Then, take a cab or taxi to Yuksom.
Alternatively, you can also travel by train. The nearest railway station to Yuksom is New Jalpaiguri station, from where you can take a cab to Siliguri. Take another cab from Siliguri to Jorthang. After that, you need to book another cab to reach Yuksom.
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