- Sikkim Diaries – Way to Pelling
- Pelling – Pemayangtse, Sanga Choling Monastery and Rabdentse Sanctuary
- Pelling – Darap Village, Kanchendjonga Falls and Khecheopalri Lake
- Yuksom- Coronation Stone and Norbugang Chorten
- Yuksom – Dubdi Monastery Trek
- Trailer of ‘Yuksom- Tsokha’ Trail
- Initiation into Birding @Bliss Resort, Biksthang, Sikkim
- Day Trek to ‘Kah-do Sang Phu-the cave of the Dakinis(Occult fairies)’
- Buddhism: Fluttering Flags and Floating Blessings
As told in previous post, we reached Yuksom by evening where we had booked hotel Tashigang for our stay. Hotel looked good at the first look, especially the lobby was spacious and tastefully furnished. We had a booking for super-deluxe room i.e. room with a balcony. Exterior of hotel had Tibetan color and architecture. Room was good and view from balcony was lovely. We just had to stretch our arms to reach out to those lush green mountains, at the foothills of which this hotel was situated. Heavy rains thinned down to drizzle and views of those mountains became fabulous. Peaks of the mountains were still covered with gray black clouds and rests of the mountains were visible, engulfed in mist, making all this very sensuous.
What now? What else? Manish went down for his ritual of gathering information to spend the beautiful evening. He came up and announced, “A guide and four foreigners (who were on their Tibetan/Buddhist trail) are going to ‘Norbugang Park’ and they have also invited us.” How come people invite him so soon! I said no, only to be persuaded to say yes and all three of us were out.
Norbugang Park has a prayer hall, a large prayer wheel, Norbugang Chorten and the Coronation Stone.
In seventeenth century, there developed a rift between yellow hat and red hat sects in Tibet. To escape that and to establish a Buddhist monarchy in Sikkim, Lama Lutsum Chembo from red hat sect came to Norbugang where he met two other lamas named Sempa Chembo and Ritzing Chembo. Coronation stone is the place where these lamas consecrated Phuntsok Namgyal as the first religious king of Sikkim, who was the great grandson of Guru Tashi. It is a small and simple stone throne of first Chogyal. It has four seats, three for lamas and one for the king. The pine tree under which coronation took place still stands as a witness.
This place where they met, was later named as Yuksom, meaning the meeting place of three superior ones. To this day, this place is considered sacred and important, by people of Sikkim, as from here started the political and cultural history of Sikkim.
Norbugang Chorten, (‘Chorten’ is the Tibetan word for Sanskrit word ‘Stupa’) was built with stone and earth from different parts of Sikkim. Latsun Chembo also buried offerings, which he received from people, in this Chorten.
In front of the throne there is a rock, having embedded in it, footprints of Latsun Chembo. There is a huge prayer wheel in a room near throne, which was built in a way that water streams would continuously rotate it. While trekking we came across many such water driven prayer wheels. Some of these were still working and others not, as water changed course over the years.
While returning back to hotel we stopped at holy Kathok Lake – I would say a puddlish pond, which provided anointing water for original coronation ceremony.
It started to rain again and we rushed to hotel, ordered for the dinner. While talking to the manager we found out that it was Danny Denzongappa’s elder brother’s hotel. Suman brought our dinner and on inquiry suggested two low altitude trekking. He was a nice, polite guy. He agreed to accompany us for our next day’s trek.
The day ended with an experimental dinner of Thupka and Momos. Later is a very popular Tibetan delicacy in Sikkim. Minced meat/vegetables are stuffed in dough and then molded in a shape of “Gujiya”. Then these are steamed for about half an hour in a three-tiered utensil that has tomato soup in lowest compartment. Steam of the boiling soup cooks them. They are taken along with soup and chilly sauce. Manish liked them a lot and I found them so-so. Thupka was great! It is a noodle soup with vegetables.
Off we went to sleep.