Etymology of Pakyong
The name Pakyong has been derived from the lepcha word ‘pa yong’, which means ‘bamboo of the bow’. It was a common practice of the lepchas to name a place after the essential items found at that place.
Geography of Pakyong
Pakyong is located in East Sikkim at an altitude of 1700 meters. It is a hilly area and is good for agriculture. It shares its borders with Bhutan and Tibet. Some of the villages surrounding the small town are Namcheypong, Raigoan, Pachey, Samsing, Dikling, Pachak, Pacheykhani, Dugalakha, Karthok.
Economy of Pakyong
Agriculture and cultivation is an important means of earning here as the geographical location of the town is suitable for cultivation. Schools and minor businesses run by the locals here are also other source of income. Ginger is cultivated here on a large scale and floriculture is also popular. ‘Dalle Khorsani’, the red hot chili is also a famous product for cultivation for the local vegetable cultivators. Goondruk, Kinema, Sinki are some of the popular fermented foods sold in the local markets of Pakyong. Cow milk, Curd, Churpi i.e. residue of boiled buttermilk are other means of earning income.
Culture of Pakyong
Majority of the population of Pakyong comprises of the ethnic Nepalis. They had settled down here during British rule and still continue to stay here. The place is also inhabited by the Lepcha Tribe and the Bhutias who constitute a sizable portion of the place. Apart from these, there are many other immigrant resident communities residing here like the Marwaris who own the majority of the shops and are known for business. Biharis coming from the Bihar State are employed in different sectors of trading. Bengalis who have involved themselves in art and craft work are mostly in carpentry work. For the excellent schooling facilities, people from far down south like Kerala and Tamil Nadu also reside here.
There are a variety of languages spoken here. Nepali is the most widely spoken language in Pakyong. People also speak Bhutia (Sikkimese), Tibetan and Lepcha language here. Apart from these, English and Hindi are also spoken in most parts of the state. Pakyong celebrates all the major festivals of the country like the Diwali, Holi, Christmas, Easter, Eid, and Makar Sankranti. They also celebrate Buddhist festivals like Losar, Loosong, Bhumchu, Saga Dawa, Lhabab Duechen and Drupka Teshi on a grand scale. During these festivals the town is beautifully decorated with lights and the people adorn themselves in rich clothes. Most of the government offices and schools remain closed during this time.
Many public functions are also organized here like Independence Day celebrations and many others. Residents here also prefer engaging in different types of nature sports. Football (soccer) and cricket are the two most popular sports played here. People here prefer eating momo, thukpa, chowmein, gyathuk and wonton which are also available in most of the small restaurants.
Local Attractions of Pakyong
There are few places to visit in Pakyong like the Shivalaya temple, Pacheykhani cave, Changey monastery, Devi Mandir, Karthok monastery and Monks' Retreat Centre. Tourists can also visit RDD complex during the winters to get a glimpse of the pine trees surrounding it. There is also a small park here. Trekking to Jhandi dara located at the top most part of Pakyong is an interesting activity here. One can get an imposing view of the Kanchenjunga Peak from here. The ‘National Research Centre for Orchids’, (ICAR Institute) is also located here.
Education in Pakyong
Pakyong has proper education facilities for the residents. St. Xavier's School, Dikling Sr. Sec School are some of the popular educational institutions here. Pakyong Palentine College provides higher education to the local students and students from outside town such as Gangtok, Rhenock, Ranipool. The Government Senior Secondary School Mamring was established in 1952. There are education facilities for children in village areas too. St. Xavier's was regarded as one of the best schools in Sikkim during the nineties. Baichung Bhutia is one of the notable alumni of this school.
Visiting Information to Pakyong
Pakyong is connected to all modes of transport and can be easily reached. The town is well connected to all major parts of Sikkim. Tourists can avail the taxi services from Gangtok, Kalimpong, Rhenock, Jorethang and Siliguri to reach Pakyong. The total distance from Pakyong to Siliguri is 120 km. The NH-31A highway which runs from Siliguri to Gangtok connects to Pakyong. Lastly Pakyong airport is also there to avail flights.