Yuksom was the capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Sikkim when the Chogyals ruled the land. According to historical records, the first Chogyal of Sikkim was crowned in 1642 A.D. It was here in the mid-seventeenth century that Lama Lutsum Chembo arrived from Tibet to find the first Buddhist monarch to rule ‘Denzong’, as the state was known in ancient times, meaning the valley of rice. Eventually, after a long journey the Lama reached Norbugang and there he met the other two lamas named Sempa Chembo and Rinzing Chembo; the trio together would re-write the history of Sikkim.
After a long process of searching, they found the right candidate in the form of Phuntsok near Gangtok; he was the great grandson of Guru Tashi. Thereafter, Phuntsok was taken to Yuksom and crowned the King of Sikkim on a stone throne and awarded the title of Chogyal. To this day, in Norbugang Chorten, the stone throne and foot prints of the head Lama remains intact; a milestone that signifies the origin of the state’s political, social and cultural history. No doubt, the place is considered sacred and important by the people of Sikkim. Yuksom, in Tibetan simply means a place where three great people meet.
The sleepy hamlet of Yuksom has become an important tourist destination in Sikkim because it is the base for treks to Dzongri, Goecha-la and other mountaineering expeditions conducted by the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. However, it has more to offer than just being a base for trekkers and mountaineers; it has a history, beauty and charm of its own.
Dubdi Monastery – The Dubdi Monastery was built in the year 1701 after the crowing of the first Chogyal of Sikkim. It is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. Perched on a hill-top that overlooks the small town, the monastery can be reached within 30 minutes through a well marked road. Small but elegant, the monastery preserves some rare and beautiful paintings; provides excellent view of the surrounding areas and is an ideal place for meditation.
Norbugang Chorten – Norbugang Chorten or the Throne of Norbugang is the stone seat where the first Chogyal of Sikkim was crowned. The stone throne consists of four seats arranged in order: the topmost belonged to the Head Lama, Lutsum Chembo, and the immediate lower one belonged to the first Chogyal, Phuntsok; the remaining ones belonged to the other two lamas. The coronation of the Chogyal was conducted below a pine tree which still stands tall; facing the stone seat on the opposite side is the ‘Chorten’ or Stupa. The coronation site of the first monarch has been declared a monument of national importance by the Archeological Society of India.
Yuksom also offers plenty of exciting natural trails and a short hike or tour around the pristine surrounding is highly recommended. Good accommodation and food is available in hotels and resorts in Yuksom like the Hotel Tashi Gang and Hotel Pemathang. Home stays and paying guest accommodation are also available at Yuksom.
Yuksom can be reached directly from Siliguri via Jorethang or from Gangtok. It is located 32 km from Pemayangtse.