Yuksom, West Sikkim
22nd Nov 2004 - 7:00am - I took a share jeep from taxi stand near the State Assembly at Gangtok and arrived at Yuksom around Noon, after a 5-hr scenic ride (pic left) from East to West Sikkim passing through several smaller towns viz. Singtam, Ravangla, Legship and Tashding. We stopped for breakfast at Ravangla (pic left).
At Yuksom, checked into Hotel Demazong right next to the jeep stand and took a dormitory bed there. Pic below [taken on 29th after my Dzongrila trek] shows Hotel Demazong with yellow prayer flags fluttering in the air and the Main Street of Yuksom.
Just as I was lying on my dorm bed and was wondering how to find some trekking agents/guides, I heard a loud Bengali conversation outside my dorm door. Went to check and found three trekkers (from Kolkata), just returned from the Dzongrila trek, checking into three adjoining room. What luck! I put on my best smattering of Bengali (remembered from my IIT-Kharagpur college days; 1965-70). No Bengali can resist liking a non-Bengali speaking broken Bengali to him; and so they became my instant friends and guides, and helped plan my trek.
The pic left shows - L to R - Satyajit Banerjee, Ishenjit Datta & Pranab Chandra.
Later at 5:00pm that day Ishenjit, a trained mountaineer and their team-leader, helped me plan my trek in detail including rations to carry. More details of that in Dzongrila Trek pages.
That evening had a beer and dinner at the friendly and popular Gupta Restaurant (pic left) opposite my Hotel Demazong and had Yuksom's only two Policemen and some foreign tourists for company!
23rd Nov 2004 - Next day after breakfast went out exploring Yuksom. Yuksom is a small, pretty, village (alt: 1880M/6200ft) practically a single street village. Yuksom means "meeting place of three Lamas" - the three who crowned the first Chogyal of Sikkim in this village. Yuksom is also famous for the oldest Gompa of Sikkim - Dubdi Monastery - built in 1701AD. The Gompa is a steep 3Km 40 minutes climb up a hill overlooking Yuksom village. The narrow winding forest path to Dubdi starts next to the health center, where an old sign (looking a century old itself, pic left) points the way to Dubdi.
The view of Yuksom looking down from the path in Pic left below.
I reached Dubdi Monastry (pics left and below) a little after 11:00am. The monastery looked beautiful and appeared to have been recently renovated and painted in colorful hues.
On my way back, I met 4 kids from the village going up to the Gompa. They neatly lined up for my picture (below) in return for toffees.