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Old 12th June 2016, 03:13   #1
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Default Yuksom, West Sikkim - Drive to the birthplace of Sikkim

On the evening of Christmas when the city of joy was planning for big day celebration, we riders have set off for an extended weekend trip to West Sikkim. Owing to the tight schedule of only four days and targeting a distance of total 2000KM, we decided to start at night. The decision of the night ride was backed with reason that the roads will be comparatively less crowded and we could save some energy as well as time. 2000KM is not too long but we need to travel through NH34 to reach Siliguri ..

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Day 0 and Day 1 (Kolkata -> Kalimpong):

We started off at 10:00 PM from Kolkata with four friends and a fife year boy boarded on the Bolero and the Hungry Hippo (Arony, Father of the boy) riding on KTM Duke 200. It was dark and foggy which added to the adventure.

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Bolero stock headlights are awesome to command the dark road


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Arony in front of me.


The road was full of fog and visibility was very poor, it was very difficult to complete the target but however the Hella Comet 450 helped us to combat the darkness and hence we were able to keep a good average on NH34.

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Hella comet 450 in it's work

We traveled over NH34 to Krishnanagar where we took our first break to have a dinner. Post dinner we stopped at Baharampur to sip a cup of hot tea and some boiled egg as the weather was chilling outside. Crossing the Farakka bridge at dawn was refreshing. The most tedious part was the truck jam encountered at nearly 20 KM away from Dalkhola which delayed our schedule by about 3 hours.

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Somewhere at NH34

After the morning refreshment & breakfast cum lunch at Dalkhola, we started off for the Christmas destination. As we reached Siliguri we were perplexed about our destination for the day as it was already 4:30 PM. While having coffee at Sevok Road, we decided to head towards kalingpong. And finally we reached there at 8:00PM after 22 hours of journey from Kolkata.

The place was lighted and people were in celebration mood in Kalingpong. As we were very tired we took a quick dinner and went for early sleep.

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While moving towards Kalingpong

Day 2 (kalimpong -> Yuksom):

26th December - 8:00 A.M.

We boarded again to head towards Yuksom via Pelling. It was my last time plan to explore Yuksom at the month of May (When I went to east and south Sikkim ), but unfortunately could not do so as my parents had a kin interest to visit Darjeeling. Although I have also a sweet memory attached with Darjeeling, I could not resist my parent's desire and we kept Yuksom for the next trip.

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Somewhere near Teest

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Between Teesta & Jorethang

To be continued ...
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Old 12th June 2016, 03:40   #2
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Day 2 continued ...


While travelling towards Yuksom, we took a halt at Naya Bazar (Near Pelling) to have some noodles as everyone was hungry. Yuksom, West Sikkim - Drive to the birthplace of Sikkim-tkd_2523.jpg
12 years old family member sun bath at the front of the noodle shop.

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on the way ...

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Fun time started

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Few more KM to reach Yuksom

Finally we reached Yuksom at 2:00 P.M and Just beside Yuksom general hospital, we were blessed to find a Home Stay named as Limboo Home-stay.

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Inside the home-stay

The Homestay was pleasing and the hospitality was beyond expectation. As it was off season for traveler in Yuksom, the owner gave a complimentary bonfire and spends lots of time with us discussing about the trekking routes and his treks. I got a very good compliment from him as – “Aap toh bimar ho” and the sickness is of traveling. But he grabbed very much interest about the bolero and he said that soon he will be buying a Bolero and next year if I revisit the place I can see it. Also he is making a new cottage and took some of my old picture to design the rooms and the furniture. I believe it will be really good time with him if I revisit Yuksom in future and I think I will.

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Rest area ..

When others were waiting for hot water to take bath, I decided not to waste time and miss the daylight to explore the place. Hence I took a quick bath with cold water and after that I realize my mistake as the water was ice cold.

Only me and my wife left the Homestay to visit the Helipad, Throne of Norbugang and Khecheopalri Lake. We were lucky enough to see the golden peek during sunset.

But the same time we could not enter the lake area as the visiting hours were over. This lake is of religious importance for the people of Yuksom as they spend their time dancing and singing near this lake.


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Khecheopalri Lake.

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The golden peek at the time of sunset

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My Bolero on H Pad

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The view of Yuksom from a army office


From here we headed towards the Throne of Norbugang, this is the coronation side of Phuntsog Namgyal as he was crowned here. It is situated on the other side of the city and also known as the birth place of Sikkim. Yuksom was born around the throne


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It was already evening when we reached throne

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As it was turning dark and the road was steep and water was tripping along the road it was very adventurous.


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While returning from throne

To be continued ...
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Old 12th June 2016, 13:19   #3
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Default re: Yuksom, West Sikkim - Drive to the birthplace of Sikkim

@PointZero. Apt. Interesting, Informative and Vivid. Waiting for more. Updates on route and waypoints with timings / distance can be very helpful. Rated 5 stars!

Last edited by Unavowed_X9 : 12th June 2016 at 13:23.
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Old 12th June 2016, 15:08   #4
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Default re: Yuksom, West Sikkim - Drive to the birthplace of Sikkim

Oh my! 3 travelogues in just one month! You really have a store house of stories to share. As usual wonderfully written and waiting for more. I am sure you enjoyed Hippo da's sense of humour.
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Old 12th June 2016, 15:38   #5
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Default re: Yuksom, West Sikkim - Drive to the birthplace of Sikkim

Thanks for sharing, brought back memories from 2005 when we used Yuksom as basecamp for our trek to DZongri. We didn't explore Yuksom itself much because our destination was something else.

The road to Dzongri was so bad, it took us 5 hours to cover 35kms from Pelling. We had hired Bolero taxi. How is the road now?
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Old 12th June 2016, 17:56   #6
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Default re: Yuksom, West Sikkim - Drive to the birthplace of Sikkim

Day 2 continued ...

Yuksom is situated at an altitude of 1780 mtr. in Geyzing sub division of West Sikkim district. It was the first capital of Sikkim which was established by Phuntsog Namgyal in 1642AD. Phuntsog Namgyal was the first Chogyal (Religious King) of Sikkim. The name Yuksom means “Meeting place of three learnt monks”. This place is a paradise for trekkers as Yuksom is the starting gate for the trekking trail to Khangchengzonga. It is also the best camp of Himalayan mountaineering institute of treks to Khangchengzonga.

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Inside Yuksom Monastery


For the evening snacks we went to the most renowned Gupta Restaurant, which is located at the center of the Yuksom. As our home-stay would not serve non-veg food we decided to have a some non-veg food out here. We ordered for Thuppa and some non veg items, every food was awesome.

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Yuksom at Night - PC - Soumyadip Maity

After having snacks we returned back to our hotel where the most awaited bonfire was waiting for us. The owner of the hotel has already gathered the wood and has placed a table and some chairs for us. The owner also shared with us his experience of trekking and invited us to join him for the same. Though I am not sure whether I will be able to join him for trekking as I am a very lazy guy.

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We circled around the bonfire with snacks served by the home-stay people and enjoyed the night and serenity of the place. We did not realize the chilling weather while sitting in front of the fire, until and unless we left the place at 11:00 PM for dinner.


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PC - Soumyadip Maity

11’o clock at night is midnight for the people staying on hills. It was very sweet of the wife of the owner of the hotel who had arranged the dinner in hot pots and kept it in the dining place

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Day 3 (Yuksom - Jorethang - Darjeeling):

27th December. 9:00 AM.

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Random snaps in and from our home-stay

As last two days we woke up early in the morning, I spent some lazy time in bed. When I got up I saw that everyone had already left to explore the nearby places. One of my friend has already suggested me to visit Dubdi Monastery to enjoy the SUV like off-roading. Dubdi Monastery is the oldest monastery present in Sikkim built in 1701 AD. It is located at top of a hill and can be trekked from Yuksom Health Center (1 KM). But as we had bolero and I really like to conquer off roads I took the road from the market to the Dubdi Monastery.

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PC - Soumyadip Maity

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PC - Soumyadip Maity

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SUV roads end here. need to walk / trek for 300 mtrs.

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Way to monastery

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Way to monastery

To be continued ...
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Old 12th June 2016, 18:14   #7
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Day 3 continued ....

We trek 300 meters to reach the Monastery and saw that the prayer was going on. Spend some time sitting on the grass and enjoying the Sun. We took some snaps here and there and returned back to start our new destination.

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Some random snaps at Dubdi Monastery

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Random pic at Yuksom Village.


Till then the destination was unknown for us. We were in dilemma whether we would stay at Pelling or Kaluk. As we offset from Yuksom we were still in dilemma to determine our next stay. There were two difficulties to consider, 1st – We had to reach Kolkata anyhow by 29th December Morning as we all had office on the same day. 2nd - The road condition has deteriorated from Pelling to Teesta Bajar. So If I stay at Kaluk or Pelling I would not be able to make Siliguri on next morning before Noon time. And so reaching Kolkata will be quite impossible on the same day.
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Way to Pelling

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Road condition between Peeling and Teesta.

To be continued ...
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Old 12th June 2016, 18:32   #8
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Day 3 continued...

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Near Jorethang

We have first consider to go to Rishop but as we reached Pelling we learn that Darjeeling is only 25KM away from Jorethang. I have also heard Sumitro Da that the road from Jorethang to Darjeeling is one of the steepest route in Noerth East India http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ex...ern-india.html (4WD destinations in Eastern and North Eastern India). And it was already dusk and we were in an adventurous mood. Initially the road was very slippery and I was getting continuous feedback from my tires. After certain distance the road become good but then the steepness rose with hairpin bend. And we reached Darjeeling by 6:00 PM.


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View of Khangchengzonga from somewhere near Darjeeling

Normally we stay in Alice Villa in Darjeeling, but it was already confirmed that they do not have rooms. So we thought that searching a hotel with parking facility would be tough in this festive season. So we decided to park the car at Alice Villa as the manager was well known to us and search for the hotel. Fortunately a pre booking got canceled in Alice Villa and we got rooms to stay there.

At night we enjoyed the festive lighting in Darjeeling and some street foods and Bengali Cuisine.


Day 4 (Darjeeling -> peshok -> Kolkata) :

28th December, 8:30 AM.

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Good Morning Darjeeling

After having a look of my favorite mall & Khangchengzonga at the early morning we set off to Ghum.

Sumitro Da (BlackPearl) was waiting there for us to join us for Kolkata. Together we took the Peshok road (Via Jore Banglo) to reach Siliguri.

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Peshok Tea Garden


Again another friend was eager to join us to Kolkata from Bagdogra. All of us meet at Dalkhola BP Dhaba.

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We meet together to complete the journey to Kolkata

After having some lunch and rest at 4:30 PM we started off towards Kolkata. As the road condition from Dalkhola to Kolkata via NH34 was dreadful we decided to take the road via Purnia, Bhagalpur, Dumka, Bolpur- NH2B-NH2-Dankuni-Kolkata.

We knew that the road from Bhagalpur to Dumka and specially Dumka to Suri is dangerous to cross at night. Though we decided to take this route as we had three cars and one bike. The road from Dumka to Suri was extremely breathe-taking because of the darkness and regular threat of dacoits at the forest area. We crossed the road at a constant speed of 120KM / Hour and reached Suri safely. After that we realize that we don’t have enough time to reach Kolkata and hence after taking a Quick tea break at Saktigarh we headed to Kolkata. Finally reached home at 6:00 AM again after 22 hours of driving.

The total journey was 1870 KM.

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Thank You
~ PointZero
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Old 12th June 2016, 23:31   #9
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Default re: Yuksom, West Sikkim - Drive to the birthplace of Sikkim

Thanks Unavowed_X9,

I have replied your PM. Actual distance I did not noted down. But I will try to provide you google map.

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Originally Posted by Unavowed_X9 View Post
@PointZero. Apt. Interesting, Informative and Vivid. Waiting for more. Updates on route and waypoints with timings / distance can be very helpful. Rated 5 stars!
Thanks IndiaSierra, but I really don't want to comment on anyone in this forum. As he was riding bike, he requested me to take his son in our car.

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Originally Posted by IndiaSierra View Post
Oh my! 3 travelogues in just one month! You really have a store house of stories to share. As usual wonderfully written and waiting for more. I am sure you enjoyed Hippo da's sense of humour.
The road from Pelling to Yuksom was not so bad. Now it will not take 5 hours for sure, 20 KMPH average should be doable easily.

Your travelogue is interesting one. Just gone through the snaps, but will go through the details very soon. Thanks for sharing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Thanks for sharing, brought back memories from 2005 when we used Yuksom as basecamp for our trek to DZongri. We didn't explore Yuksom itself much because our destination was something else.

The road to Dzongri was so bad, it took us 5 hours to cover 35kms from Pelling. We had hired Bolero taxi. How is the road now?
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Old 14th June 2016, 11:02   #10
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Default Re: Yuksom, West Sikkim - Drive to the birthplace of Sikkim

Kudos to you Point Zero, on the completion of a fantastic and adventurous trip safely. The pictures were great and refreshing! One advantage for those living in the north are the hill stations are nearby and can plan a trip much easier than to us living down south to plan a trip like this needs double the efforts. But it is worth in the end for the efforts put in... Regards.
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Old 14th June 2016, 14:36   #11
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Default Re: Yuksom, West Sikkim - Drive to the birthplace of Sikkim

Man!! The Duke looks killer with those fog lamps! Can you please share more pics of the bike too?

This is the first I'm hearing of a trip with family in a car behind and you get to ride on bike. An interesting thought to bounce it upon at home too for future tours
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Old 14th June 2016, 23:14   #12
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Hi 7heaven
Thanks for the appreciation....There are plenty of beautiful places in the south also which are equally strenuous for us as the north is for you people. But yes I agree with your last statement that a beautiful place is always worth such efforts. I am desperately waiting for a long leave to explore south.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7heaven View Post
Kudos to you Point Zero, on the completion of a fantastic and adventurous trip safely. The pictures were great and refreshing! One advantage for those living in the north are the hill stations are nearby and can plan a trip much easier than to us living down south to plan a trip like this needs double the efforts. But it is worth in the end for the efforts put in... Regards.

Hi Mafioso
I have already requested others to share some more pic with me as they are non Tbhpian.

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Originally Posted by Mafioso View Post
Man!! The Duke looks killer with those fog lamps!Can you please share more pics of the bike too?

This is the first I'm hearing of a trip with family in a car behind and you get to ride on bike. An interesting thought to bounce it upon at home too for future tours
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Old 15th June 2016, 12:14   #13
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Yuksom, West Sikkim - Drive to the birthplace of Sikkim-10887123_10205932215128960_5301685253450721701_o.jpg

Yuksom, West Sikkim - Drive to the birthplace of Sikkim-10911282_10205932167207762_8231283654388675377_o.jpg

Yuksom, West Sikkim - Drive to the birthplace of Sikkim-10911416_10205932178048033_1200086233112963687_o.jpg
Some pic from Arony's Camera.
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Old 15th June 2016, 16:10   #14
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Default Re: Yuksom, West Sikkim - Drive to the birthplace of Sikkim

Nice travelogue and great pictures. Thank you for the post.
Looks like you all covered a lot of distance in a short period of time.
Kudos to the biker, I am sure it was back breaking, must have been good to have a support vehicle close by though.
Pardon my naivety, but do dacoits still exist ?. It was scary to hear about the final run at speeds of 120 kmph just to avoid 'dacaity'.
Also can you share how you got those hella lamps fixed onto the Bolero?. Some close-up pics will be helpful.

cheerio !
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Old 16th June 2016, 22:17   #15
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Default Re: Yuksom, West Sikkim - Drive to the birthplace of Sikkim

Thanks alphadog,

Please see my comments inline -

Quote:
Originally Posted by alphadog View Post
Nice travelogue and great pictures. Thank you for the post.

Looks like you all covered a lot of distance in a short period of time.
Kudos to the biker, I am sure it was back breaking, must have been good to have a support vehicle close by though.



Pardon my naivety, but do dacoits still exist ?. It was scary to hear about the final run at speeds of 120 kmph just to avoid 'dacaity'.
-
Yes, Dumka to Suri is very dangerous SH which connects Jharkhand and Bengal. At this border area CRPF always warns before entering the road. Also CRPF instruct not to stop anywhere even if police asked to stop before Suri. Though the car was some what secure, the bike was a big risk at that time of the day. If not dacoits, there are other criminals who could have been dangerous.


Also can you share how you got those hella lamps fixed onto the Bolero?. Some close-up pics will be helpful.

- Bolero comes with metal bumper. So its very simple to make fit any light with nut and bolts after making a drill on the bumper, I used OEM mounting which comes with Comet-450. I will try to upload some closer pic.

cheerio !
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