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Why you should be going there - Yuksom


We went to Sikkim during our semester end break with not a plan in mind. On an early morning outing in the bazaar of Gangtok, we had a thorough look at trekking agencies on the offering and chose one with the best looks from outside (all of us were graphic designers in the making).They informed us of a trek, Yuksom to Dzongri, a 4 day deal (part of the main trek route that goes up to Goecha La). It was one of the most sought after trek routes in Indian Himalayas for the fine views of Khangchendzonga it offered. Also we would get to traverse through the pretty villages of west Sikkim on our way to Yuksom. How could we resist the multitudinous benefits, the photographers in us would say?


We didn’t really think of Yuksom as anything more than a ‘starting-point’ of a trek and considered it to be true even upon our arrival. As our jeep entered a relatively open area after hours of winding, climbing, empty roads, all that we could see were a couple of hotels and 3-4 restaurants, kind of shacks. It was almost dark and bodies were too lazy to venture out on walks.


It was only the next day that we could marvel at our beautiful surroundings. Neatly spread out houses, within an area of a square kilometre, a small murky lake and a temple gave the whole area an impression of being some sort of a ‘model’ village. Our guide offered an explanation; Yuksom lacks a direct view of Khangchendzonga or for that matter any mountain range and so this place hasn’t seen much ‘development’. All that you could see around you would be land rising to a couple of thousand feet with thickly forested slopes of Rhododendron and oak. And that’s where in lay the beauty of this place. It seemed disconnected from the outside world and yet one could feel the presence of colossal Khangchendzonga just behind one of those hills.


We had to leave early, for we had a long day’s walk to reach our first camp at Tsokha village (3050 mts.) and so couldn’t really venture out into other attractions of the place. On the top of the agenda should be a visit to Dubdi monastery (45 minute’s trek). Established in 1701, Dubdi gompa is touted as Sikkim’s oldest monastery. Then an additional whole day could be spent relaxing at the beautiful Phamrong waterfall, which is roughly 8 kms from Yuksom.

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