Monasteries in Sikkim
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
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 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.
The monastery houses numerous religious idols and other objects of worship,
most of which are precious because of their antiquity. On the top floor of the
monastery there is a wooden sculpture depicting the Maha Gurus Heavenly Palace
"Sanghthokpalri". This master piece was completed by the late Dungzin
Rimpoche, who took five years to craft it single handed. The main festival of
the monastery is on the 28th & 29th day of the 12th month of the Tibetan
calender, normally corressponding to the month of february. During these two
days religious dances are performed and pilgrims come from all over Sikkim to
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.
About 2 kms. away from Dharma Chakra Center is the rebuilt 300 year old Rumtek
monastery which was originally built by the fourth Chogyal. His Holiness late
Gyalwa Karmapa lived in this monastery till the completion of the Rumtek Dharma
Chakra Center. The annual dances are held here on the 28th & 29th day of
the Tenth month of the lunar calendar.
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.
Following the Nyingma order, it has around 90 monks. The annual Puja is celebrated
with dances on the 18th & 19th days of the twelfth month of the lunar calendar.
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
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.
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
The monastery was built in 1717 by Ngadak Sempa Chembo during the reign of the
third Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal. The sacred ceremony of Bumchu is held here at
midnight of the 14th & 15th of the first Tibetan month. There is a bus service
from Gyalshing to Tashiding. Atrekkers hut is available for the tourist at Tashiding.
monastery is situated near Rabongla in South Sikkim. Belonging to the Karma
Kagyu order, it was built after the return of the fourth Chogyal from his pilgrimage
to Tibet. H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa performed the 'Rabney (blessing on its completion
from Tsurphu itself, and grains from this ceremony fell on the ground at Ralong.
Between 1975-81 A.D. the government rebuilt the monastery which today has around
100 monks. The main ceremony falls on the 28th and 29th day of the tenth month
of the lunar calendar, when the 'chaams' are performed.
SANGA CHELLinG MONASTERY
Sanga chelling means ' the island of esoteric teaching'. This monastery was
built in 1697 and is situated about 7 kms. from Pemayangste. It is said to be
the oldest monastery in Sikkim.
Dubdi means 'the retreat' and this monastery was built in 1700. It is located
near Yuksum on a hill top. One has to travel by foot to reach it.
This monastery is located just above the famous near Yukusm.
Melli basically means 'a lepcha village'. This monastery is also located near
Sinon means 'the suppressor of intense fear'. The monastery was built in 1716
and is located about 10 kms. from Tashiding on a hill top.
Dalling means 'the thunderbolt'. This monastery was built in 1840 and is situated
near kwezing in .
means 'the ridge of fortune'. This monastery was built in 1840 and is situated
at a place called Yangyang 10 kms. downhill from Rabongla.
This monastery is located in Namchi, the district headquarters of south district
and was constructed during the reign of Chogyal Gurmed Namgyal.
This monastery is located near Kwezing in South Sikkim. It was built during
the reign of Chogyal Thutob Namgyal.
This monastery is situated in near Singtam town. It was built during the reign
of Chogyal Tsudphud Namgyal.
HEE GYATHANG MONASTERY
This monastery is located in and follows the Nyingma sect of Buddhism.
This monastery is located in the Zongu area of North Sikkim.
CHAWANG ANI MONASTERY
This monastery is located near Phensang which is on the highway between Gangtok
amd Mangan. It was built during the reign of Chogyal Tshudphud Namgyal .
monastery is located in East Sikkim near Pakyong. The present structure of the
monastery was built during the reign of Chogyal Thutob Namgyal.
This monastery was constructed in 1952 and follows the Nyingma sect of Buddhism.
It is situated in South Sikkim above Singtam.
This monastery in North Sikkim was built in 1806 and follows the Nyingma sec
This monastery in North Sikkim was built in Sikkim 1880 and also follows the
Nyingma sect of Buddhism.
This monastery is situated near Rumtek and was built in 1912.
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