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Yuksom Tourism And Travel Guide
5.5° C / 41.8° F
March to May
2 to 3 Days
Bagdogra Airport, West Bengal (154 kms)
New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (148 kms)
A charming ancient town in the Geyzing subdivision of western Sikkim, Yuksom was the first capital of this north-eastern state that was established by its first king or Chogyal back in 1641. While it is well known among trek enthusiasts for being the base camp location of the mighty Mt. Kanchenjunga, it is also a quaint little area perfect for those looking for a relaxing retreat away from the city life.
The presence of Kanchenjunga National Park in the vicinity of Yuksom also makes it a favorite among animal and bird lovers. For those looking to explore a little more about this ancient town’s heritage, head over to its numerous monasteries and historical landmarks and watch the cultural roots of Yuksom come alive in front of you.
Yuksom can literally be translated to ‘the meeting place of the three Lamas’; signifying a story that is hidden somewhere in the name itself. A world away from the commercial hustle of mainstream hill stations, Yuksom has experienced an unparalleled rise in tourism. Head to Yuksom for your next vacation, and let this travel guide help you with your holiday planning.
How to Reach
The closest airport to Yuksom is the Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri, West Bengal. It is situated about 170 km away from Yuksom and can be reached via buses or private taxis in 4-5 hours after landing in Bagdogra.
The New Jalpaiguri Railway Station in West Bengal is the closest railhead to Yuksom and is located around 160 km away. It connects to all major cities in the country through a number of regularly running trains. From New Jalpaiguri Station, Yuksom is easily accessible via state transport buses and private taxis.
Traveling to Yuksom via road can be accomplished from major cities in Sikkim like Gangtok, and other areas like Guwahati, Siliguri and Kolkata. Luxury bus services are available from Siliguri and Kolkata, which takes about 14-16 hours to reach, while other areas provide the option of private taxis and shared jeeps; the preferred route to get to Yuksom is the Jorethang Road.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Yuksom is during the pleasant months of summer. Unlike other tropical cities in the north, the climate of Yuksom in summer remains within cool ranges of 10ᴼC-30ᴼC. It features perfect weather conditions to enjoy outdoor activities like trekking and sightseeing.
The heavy precipitation during the monsoons don’t make for a great time to visit Yuksom, as all roads and trails in the region tend to get muddy and slippery, which can prove dangerous. While there are periods of ample sunshine and clear weather in between rain, outdoor activities still get severely hindered during the monsoons.
Winters in Yuksom get immensely chilly and experience sub-zero temperatures during the months of December to February. The maximum temperature usually lies in the range of 15ᴼC, with the highlight of the season being its snow covered landscapes and views of the snowy peaks.
Things to Do
Often termed the ‘Gateway to Kanchenjunga’, Yuksom forms the base camp location to hike up the trails of the third tallest mountain in the world, Mt. Kanchenjunga. Apart from that, the famous Dzongri trail and the Goecha La Pass trails also begin from here and are known for some amazing views of the snowy peaks in the region.
Explore the Monasteries:
Yuksom boasts the presence of a number of monasteries within its boundaries; the most notable of them being the Dubdi monastery, which is also the oldest in the region, the Tashiding monastery and the Kartok monastery. They provide a key insight into the ancient Buddhist culture in the region and are an intrinsic part of Yuksom’s heritage.
Visit Kanchenjunga National Park:
A little distance away from Yuksom is the well famed Kanchenjunga National Park, which forms one of the most notable tourist spots in the entire state. With rare species like the snow leopard and over 500 different varieties of plant and bird life, it is a haven for regional wildlife and an animal lover’s paradise.
Visit Norbugang Park:
This park is most well known for being the location of the coronation throne of the first Chogyal of Sikkim, and has marked historical importance for the locals as well as visitors looking to explore more about the history of Yuksom.
Stroll along the Lakes:
The lakes in Yuksom like the Kartok Lake and Khecheopalri Lake are great locations to visit and soak into the peaceful atmosphere around these regions. The Khecheopalri Lake holds great religious importance among the locals, whereas the Kartok Lake is situated within the grounds of the Norbugang Coronation Throne and can be coupled with a trip to the latter.
What To Eat
One of the unanimously loved places in Yuksom is Mama’s Kitchen; it serves the most authentic home-cooked regional food in the area and will provide you with some real taste of Sikkim. It is best experienced through prior booking and ordering since they prepare dishes from scratch.
Gupta’s Restaurant and Traditional Inn are also popular spots for great regional cuisine. The locals are friendly and make for good company while enjoying scrumptious delicacies from these eateries.