2. Gangtok – Yuksom
Yuksom is a historic town in the north eastern frontier state of Sikkim. A state surrounded on 3 sides by 3 separate countries in Nepal, China & Bhutan, the 140 odd KM long route from the state capital of Gangtok to Yuksom, is a breath-taking course, cutting through the eastern Himalayas.
The 3 hour long drive is significant in many ways, because depending upon which side you travel towards, a small detour could easily land you up in another country altogether. The Yuksom side of the road will provide brilliant views of the legendary Kanchenjunga range – the 3rd highest peak in the world, whereas a few KMs east off Gangtok on the same route, and you will reach the Nathu La Pass – one of only 3 open passes between India & China, to cross into Chinese Autonomous Tibet.
There’s a striking Tibetan & Buddhist influence in this mountainous frontier state. The state is also a rich bio-diverse ecosphere for rare, ancient & extinction threatened species of flora & fauna like the snow leopard, Asiatic black bear, red panda, Himalayan musk deer, chestnut-breasted partridge, rhododendrons & several exotic orchids. A visit to the Khangchendzonga National Park will open you up to several popular, challenging trek routes deep within the Kanchenjunga valleys. Visit the Sikkim Tourism Board’s website for further details here .