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Explore the Buddhist Monasteries of Sikkim

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Situated in the country's north-eastern region, Sikkim has many Buddhist relics to its name. You can travel through the state and admire the many Buddhist carvings and architecture that are subject of much awe. Though some of them are in ruins, you are still left to wonder as to how painstakingly such majestic structures were built in the past.

The intricate carvings on the life of Buddha is there on most of the architectures. Some also contain the carvings of the rulers under whose reign these monasteries were built. Still serving as a religious place for Buddhists, these monasteries are visited by many devotees round the year. Here is a small guide to some of the Buddhist monasteries you should visit in Sikkim

Dubdi Monastery

Dubdi Monastery

One of the Buddhist places in Sikkim is the Dubdi Monastery, which is the oldest Gompa of the state. It was established in 1701 by the Chogyals and is located on top of a hill. It has beautiful and artistic interiors, and the walls are painted with images of gods and saints. The monastery has a collection of books, texts and manuscripts. Tourists coming here can explore this monastery and also to learn more about Buddhism.

Photo Courtesy: Kothanda Srinivasan

Enchey Monastery

Enchey Monastery

The Enchey Monastery is another Buddhist monastery in Sikkim located at Gangtok, and was established in 1990 on a hill that gives a magnificent view of Mount Kanchenjunga. There are many legends as to how this monastery came into being. Tourists visiting this place can explore this monastery and also listen to its many legends from the monks here while sipping on a hot cup of tea.

Photo Courtesy: Kothanda Srinivasan

Pemayangtse Monastery

Pemayangtse Monastery

Another Buddhist place to visit in Sikkim is the Pemayangtse Monastery, located near Pelling. Established in 1705, it is one of the oldest monasteries to have been built here. Tourists coming to this monastery can explore it and be mesmerised by its beauty. You can also meet with the monks who are happy to indulge you with conversations on Buddhism.

Photo Courtesy: dhillan chandramowli

Phensang Monastery

Phensang Monastery

The Phensang Monastery in Sikkim was established by the Nyingmapa Order in the year 1721. The monastery has nearly 300 monks residing and is famous for hosting an annual festival during the Sikkimese New Year. Tourists coming here can see the various artforms that are performed during this festival.

Photo Courtesy: walter callens

Phodong Monastery

Phodong Monastery

Another Buddhist Monastery in Sikkim is the Phodong Monastery, built in the early 18th century. Tourists coming here can marvel at the beautiful carvings and statues inside the monastery and also browse through the many spiritual books available here. It is also an ideal place to meditate.

Photo Courtesy: dhillan chandramowli

Ralang Monastery

Ralang Monastery

Another Buddhist place in Sikkim is the Ralang Monastery, which was established by the Kagyu Order. The monastery is known to have a huge collection of paintings and thangkas and to host an annual festival called Pang Lhabsol, which celebrates the worship Mount Kachenjunga. The festival is held in September and tourists visiting this place can be a part of it.

Photo Courtesy: devadath 1008

Rumtek Monastery

Rumtek Monastery

The Rumtek Monastery, which was built in resemblance of the Tsurphu Monastery of Tibet, is the biggest monastery in Sikkim. Located at a height of 1767.84 mt above the sea level it gives a panoramic view of the city of Gangtok. Tourists coming to this monastery can pay respects to the gods and enjoy the heavenly view from here.

Photo Courtesy: Vikramjit Kakati

Tashiding Monastery

Tashiding Monastery

The Tashidinh Monastery in Sikkim is considered highly sacred as it is believed that Guru Padmasambhava blessed this place. The monastery is known to host the Sacred Water Festival, where devotees are blessed with holy water. It is said those who are blessed by this holy water have their sins cleansed off. Tourists coming here can explore this monastery and learn more about the culture and traditions of the people staying in this region.

Photo Courtesy: walter callens

Tsuklakhang Palace

Tsuklakhang Palace

Another Buddhist Monastery in Sikkim is the Tsuklakhang Palace, believed to have been the monastery of the high saints. It is said all the saints who used to come from other countries used to come here and pray. The monastery has an enormous collection of books, paintings and thangkas. Tourists coming here can browse thorough the history of this monastery and also learn more about the teachings of Buddha.

Photo Courtesy: Bogman

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