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Home Sikkim Travel Guide Monasteries in Sikkim

Sikkim Travel Guide

Monasteries in Sikkim

Monastery, Sikkim Holiday VacationsSikkim's near about 200 monasteries or Gompas belonging to the Nyingma and Kagyu order have not only been influencing the cultural heritage and lifestyle of the people, but also demonstrates the ancient rituals in practice.

Devoted Lamas robed in red, chant ancient mantras to the rhythm of drums and trumpets while soft lights flicker from decorative lamps placed before statues of the great Guru Padmasambhava. Feel the peace and quiet of being one with nature and close to the almighty as sacred words mingle with the whirring prayer wheels.

The Gompas are adorned with life-like frescoes of hoary Buddhist legends, rare silk and brocade Thangkas. Also preserved here, are ancient Tibetan manuscripts, exquisitely carved wood work and icons of silver and gold.

PEMAYANGTSE MONASTERY
Pemayangtse Monastery is situated in West Sikkim at Gyalshing (140 kms. from Gangtok) and commands an impressive view of Mount khanchendzonga. It was originally a small Lhekhang build by Lhatsun Chenpo in the 17th century. Later during the rule of the third Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal, Lhatsun Chenpo's third reincarnate jigme Pawo extended it and rebuild the structure. This monastery belongs to the Nyigma order and all other Nyigma order monasteries in Sikkim are subordinate to it. The monks of Pemayangtse are usually from the leading Bhutia families in Sikkim. There are 108 monks in this monastery.

RUMTEK MONASTERY
24 Kms. from Gangtok, a drive through beautiful countryside takes one to Rumtek Dharma Chakra centre built in 1960'S by his holiness the late 16th GYALWA KARMAPA when he took refuge in Sikkim after the Chinese attack. It houses some of the worlds most unique art objects, ancient manuscripts and icons. Traditional in design, it is almost a replica of the original Kagyu headquarters in Tibet.

Rumtek monastery, a must for every visitor, where one can find some of the worlds most unique art objects , this place is the seat of the Kagyu order -- a close replica of the original Kagyu in Tibet.

ENCHEY MONASTERY
This monastery is situated in Gangtok on a hill top. It was built during the reign of Thutob Namgyal. This 200 year old monastery has in its premises images of Gods, Goddesses and other religious objects. Every year around January "Chaam" or religious masked dance is performed.

Lama Drupthob Karpa is supposed to have built a small hermitage at the spot he reached after he flew from Maenam Hill in South Sikkim. Later during the reign of Sikyong Tulku (1909-1910), the present monastery was built in the shape of a Chinese Pagoda.

PHENSANG MONASTERY
This monastery was built in 1721 during the time of Jigme Pawo. In 1947 it was completely gutted by a devastating fire. However it was rebuilt in 1948. It is present in North Sikkim. There are around 300 monks under the monastery and the main annual function in the monastery is on the 28th & 29th days of the tenth month of the Tibetan Calender which normally corresponds to the month of December.

PHODANG MONASTERY
This monastery is in North Sikkim 28 kms. from Gangtok. The original monastery is rebuilt and is today one of the most beautiful monasteries in Sikkim. It possesses the old mural paintings and has around 260 monks. Like the Ralong and Rumtek the main annual Puja is performed on the 28th & 29th days of the tenth month of the Tibetan Calender when the religious dances are performed.

TASHIDING MONASTERY
This is another important monastery belonging to the Nyingmapa order and is about 40 Kms. from Gyalshing by road via Legship (West Sikkim). It lies nestled on the top of a hill that looms up between the Rathong river and the Rangit river and is surrounded by a profusion of Prayer flags that flutter in the air. There are also many chortans dedicated to some Chogyals and some religious personalities of Sikkim. Carved skillfully on stone plates surrounding th emonastery are holly Buddhist mantras like "Om Mane Padme Hum" by the master crafts man Yanchong Lodil.


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