Buddhist Monasteries in Sikkim
Monasteries in Sikkim
Buddhist Monasteries in SikkimBuddhism has been a part of Sikkim for centuries. There are numerous monasteries or Gompas that dot the landscape of Sikkim, belonging to the Nyingma and Kagyu order. These monasteries have been influencing the cultural heritage and lifestyle of the people of Sikkim. The Gompas/monasteries are adorned with life-like frescoes of hoary Buddhist legends and rare silk and brocades. These monasteries also preserve many ancient Tibetan manuscripts, gracefully carved wood work and numerous icons.
Enchey Monastery is situated in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. The monastery is approximately two hundred years old and follows the Nyingma Order. The name ‘Enchey Monastery’ means ‘the Solitary temple’. The monastery was built with the intention that no other construction would be allowed near it.
Pemayangtse Monastery is situated in the Pemayangtse town of Sikkim, India. It lies at a distance of approximately 140 km to the west of Gangtok. Perched at an altitude of 6840 ft, it is one of the oldest monasteries of Sikkim. Lama Lhatsun Chempo got the monastery built, mainly for the ‘ta-sang’ lamas (the purest of monks). However, with time, the monastery started serving the entire community.
Phensang Monastery is situated in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, on the gentle slope that spreads from Kabi to Phodong. This monastery dates back to the year 1721, the time of Jigme Pawo. It belongs to Nyingmapa Order and serves as the residence of approximately three hundred monks belonging to the same order.
Phodong Monastery is situated in the northern part of the state of Sikkim. It lies at a distance of approximately 28 km from the capital city of Gangtok. One of the six most important monasteries of Sikkim, Phodong dates back to the early 18th century. However, the monastery that we see today is not the original one and was rebuilt.
Ralang Monastery is situated in the southern part of Sikkim. It lies at a distance of approximately 6 km from Ravangla. There is a story attached to the construction of the monastery. After the fourth Chogyal came back from his pilgrimage, the Karmapa performed the Rabney (blessing). As per the ceremony, he threw grains from the Tsurphu Monastery in Tibet (the main seat of Karmapa).
Rumtek Monastery is situated in the state of Sikkim, India. It lies at a distance of approximately 24 km from the capital city of Gangtok. It serves as the seat of His holiness Gyawla Karmapa the XVI, the head of the Karma Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism.
Tashiding Monastery is situated in the state of Sikkim. It lies at a distance of approximately 40 km from Gyalshing and 19 km to the south east of Yoksum. Perched on top of the hill rising between the Rathong River and the Rangit River, it provides breathtaking views of the scenery below.