I botanized for two days on the Yoksun flat, searching for evidence of lacustrine strata or moraines, being more than ever convinced by the views I had obtained of this place from Mon Lepcha, that its uniformity of surface was due to water action.
Hoar-frost formed copiously in the night, and though above the sun's rays were very powerful, they did not reach this spot till 7.30 a.m., the frost remaining in the shade till nearly 9 a.m.; and this on plantains, and other inhabitants of hot-houses in England. Hence I ascended to Yoksun, one of the most curious and picturesque spots in Sikkim, and the last inhabited place towards Kinchinjunga.
From the top the view of the Ratong valley was very fine: to the north lay Yoksun, appearing from this height to occupy a flat, two miles long and one broad, girdled by steep mountains to the north and east, dipping very suddenly 2,200 feet to the Ratong on the west.
The route lay for the first mile over the Yoksun flat, and then wound along the almost precipitous east flank of the Ratong, 1000 feet above its bed, leading through thick forest. It was often difficult, crossing torrents by calms of bamboo, and leading up precipices by notched poles and roots of trees.
On the following day we marched to Yoksun: the weather was fair, though it was evidently snowing on the mountains above.
To reach Tashirukpa by the eastern route from Yoksun, being a journey of about twenty-five days, requires a long detour to the southward and eastward, and afterwards the ascent of the Teesta valley, to Kongra Lama, and so north to the Tibetan Arun.
Plenty of news was awaiting me here, and a messenger with letters was three marches further north, at Yoksun, waiting my expected return over the Kanglanamo pass. Dr.
The view of the flat of Yoksun from Lungschung village, opposite to it, and on about the same level, is curious; as is that of the hamlet of Lathiang on the same side, which I have before noticed as being placed on a very singular flat shelf above the Ratong, and is overhung by rocks.
Ratong river below Mon Lepcha Ferns Vegetation of Yoksun, tropical Araliaceae, fodder for cattle Rice-paper plant Geology of Yoksun Lake Old temples Funereal cypresses Gigantic chait Altars Songboom Weather Catsuperri Velocity of Ratong Worship at Catsuperri lake Scenery Willow Lamas and ecclesiastical establishments of Sikkim Tengling Changachelling temples and monks Portrait of myself on walls Block of mica-schist Lingcham Kajee asks for spectacles Hee-hill Arrive at Little Rungeet At Dorjiling Its deserted and wintry appearance.
These structures are said to be common in Tibet, but I saw no other in Sikkim. On the 14th January I left Yoksun for the lake and temples of Catsuperri, the former of which is by much the largest in Sikkim.