Popular Treks

Travel options for the base point of Goecha La trek (Yuksom)

 

Yuksom, a town that was the first capital of Sikkim, is the base point for Goecha La trek. It is one of the most scenic treks in India and Yuksom as the base point is like a cherry on the cake.

The town is beautiful and extremely well maintained. From lush green pastures, tall trees, a magnificent lake, to an ancient monastery, there are a number of places to visit in Yuksom that makes it a popular destination among tourists. This jewel of Sikkim seems to have been preserved by the Gods themselves.

Here's How to reach Yuksom, Sikkim

 
Reaching Siliguri/NJP
 
There are no buses to Yuksom but shared taxi or jeeps can be used. In case you are coming from outside Sikkim, you can come either to NJP by Train or Bagdogra by flight and then take the road on a reserved or shared taxi to Yuksom.
 

By Train

The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) that's 150 km away from Yuksom. From NJP one must leave early morning and reach Siliguri to take the shared taxi. In case one wants to travel by reserved taxi, one can book the same from NJP or Siliguri. It is advisable though to book the same from Siliguri. 

By Plane

The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, 12 km west of Siliguri and about 170 km from Yuksom. From here, one should move to Siliguri and use the road options as discussed below to reach Yuksom.

Siliguri/NJP to Yuksom

Road Journey

Timing: One should always leave NJP/Siliguri* by 8 am (latest) as it takes around 7-8 hrs to reach Yuksom via Jorethang. The road to Yuksom is poorly lit and it is not advisable to travel at night. This is irrespective of whether you come in a shared or reserved taxi.
 
*NJP and Siliguri are very close, only 20 Kms apart. One can always move to Siliguri from NJP & vice versa quite easily using auto-rickshaws, buses, or shared tempos.
 
Option 1: Reserved Taxi
 
One should preferably book a taxi from Sikkim and avoid the WB number cabs. Sikkim taxi drivers are more used to the roads towards Sikkim since they are regulars for the route. There is a taxi stand near SNT in Siliguri (close to Tenzing Norgay Bus Stand, Siliguri)  where one can find the Sikkim taxis easily. Alternatively, one can get Sikkim taxis from a taxi stand near Payal cinema in Siliguri. Here one can find taxis coming from Yuksom or Jorethang ( a town between Siliguri & Yuksom that is much better connected compared to Yuksom). Commuting from Tenzing Norgay Bus Stand (TNBS)* to Payal Cinema stand is easy and one can use shared tempos, reserved autos, or even cycle-rickshaws. From Siliguri, one could book a taxi to Yuksom for around Rs. 4000 to 5000. 
 
**The area close to the Tenzing Norgay bus stand (TNBS) is also known as "Junction" locally in Siliguri.
 
Option 2: Shared Taxi 
 
One should come to Siliguri for using this option. NJP is less connected for using a shared taxi option.
 
(Directly to Yuksom):
 
There are very few options to take a shared taxi directly to Yuksom. There is one regular taxi that starts from Siliguri at around 12 noon (sometimes even by 2 pm). This one starts from Yuksom every morning for Siliguri and goes back to Yuksom in the afternoon. Using this option is a bit risky since the taxi travels mostly through the dark and the road conditions are not so good. Having said that it's not a complete no-no as well!. One can use this option if money or time is a big constraint. Since the same person (Ramesh +91-8348134118) comes and goes daily, he sometimes gives the journey a miss for personal reasons :) 
 
One should also check out the Payal Cinema taxi stand for a shared taxi directly for Yuksom. Sometimes there are taxis coming to Siliguri for a drop on reserved basis but don't have a reservation for the back journey.
The fare for a direct taxi would be in the range of 400 to 500 per person in a Sumo / Bolero (or similar 10 seater vehicles).
 
(Via Jorethang):
 
This is a better, faster and more reliable way to reach Yuksom from Siliguri. The first taxi that starts from Siliguri to Jorethang is the guy carrying newspapers. This guy starts from Junction area at 5 am sharp. Post that there are 2-3 taxis more that go to Jorethang from Junction area. Taxis are available for Jorethang from Payal Cinema stand as well starting around 7 am onward. The fare would be around 150 to 250 per person in a 10 seater vehicle.
 
From Jorethang, one can move towards Yuksom in another taxi from the taxi stand. The taxi stand of Jorethang is a very well built 3-floor building. Taxis for Yaksum are available from the 2nd floor. The areas in the stand are well marked and easy to locate. The last taxi from Jorethang to Yuksom leaves at around 1 pm to 2 pm. The fare would be around 250 to 350 per person in a 10 seater vehicle.

Backward Journey from Yuksom

This is comparatively easier to plan and implement. One can reserve a taxi from Yuksom till Bagdogra/NJP/Siliguri as required. Only advice is to start as early as possible. 

As far as shared taxi options are concerned, the first one (and the only direct option) starts at around 5/6 am. The guy Ramesh (mentioned above as well) goes to Siliguri every day. One should come to the area in front of the Gupta Store in Yuksom and capture a seat as early as possible in this taxi because there can be many wanting to travel to Siliguri sometimes. Fare would be around INR 500 per person. Post this, there are 2-3 more taxis coming to Jorethang and the last one can be taken by around 8 or 9 am. There may be some going to Jorethang after that as well but then the onward journey from Jorethang to Siliguri / NJP / Bagdogra would become impossible on the same day. Fare would be around INR 250 to 300.

From Jorethang, one can get a taxi till Siliguri till 4 pm from the Jorethang bus stand. Take a ticket (with seat number and taxi number) from the counter in the taxi stand and board your taxi till Siliguri. These taxis would drop you at Payal cinema stand from where you can take a reserved auto or cycle rickshaw to move to Junction (TNBS) or NJP. Shared tempos can also be taken but none goes directly from Payal to Junction, one needs to change the tempo from a place in between. The fare would be around INR 150 to 200.

 

In case you have a flight from Bagdogra, you can get a bus from TNBS or junction till Bagdogra but the point where it drops is around 3-4 Kms away from the airport. One can take a taxi or auto rickshaw from here till the airport for around Rs. 50 to 150. 

Hope the above info is good to solve your travel problems for Goecha La Trek.  Now all you need to know is what would be the best time to do Goecha La, as this trek can be done in various seasons depending on how you want to see the trail - green or snow-laden.

Ritvij Kumar

A nature lover, "argumentative" person, I work as a Partner at Bikat Adventures and love to explore. Read more

Add a Comment

* Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.