It means "The Retreat". It is the first monastery built
in Sikkim in 1701 and is located on a hill-top, 3 kms. trek from Yuksom.
Built in 1717 by Ngadak Sempa Chembo (one of the three lamas who coronated
the king) belonging to the Nyingmapa sect. It is nestled on a rooftop
between the Rangit and Rathong rivers and is surrounded by a profusion
of prayer flags. It is a 45 minutes hike up from Tashiding village (West
Sikkim) The Bumchu festival is held here in the month of January.
"The perfect sublime lotus" is one of the state's most important
monastery of the Nyingmapa order and was built around the seventeenth
century by Latseen Chembo (one of the three lamas who coronated the
king). It is a three storied structure filled with wall paintings, sculptures
and antiques. On the third floor there is the Zandog Phalri - an amazing
seven tiered painted wooden model of the abode of Guru Rimpoche, complete
with rainbows, angles and whole panoply of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
The model was built single handedly by the late Dugzin Rimpoche in five
years. In February each year the Chaam or Masked Dance is performed
by the monks.
A 45 minutes walk, west from Pelling, past the helipad and through the
forest, leads to Sangachoeling Monastery. It is the second oldest monastery
in Sikkim and has a magical position high on a ridge.
About 40 Kms. North of Gangtok is the monastery belonging to the Kargyupa
sect. After the 16th Karmapa fled from Tibet and before he established
himself at Rumtek in 1959. Phondong was the most important of Sikkim's
three Kargyupa monasteries. Phodong is a fairly recent structure though
the original one was founded in 1740. The main puja is performed on
the 28th and 29th day of the tenth month of the Tibetan Calendar.
The place is situated on the gentle slope stretching form
kabi to Phodong with perhaps one of the best landscapes in the region.The
Phengsong Monastery, under the Nyingmapa Buddhist Order, was built in
1721 during the time of Jigme Pawo.It was gutted by fire in 1947 and
rebuilt in 1948 through the efforts of the Lamas. The annual festival
of Chamm is performed on the 29th and the 28th days of the tenth month
of Lunar calendar (Tibetan Calendar).
A kilometer uphill from Phodong is the Labrang monastery established
in 1844 belonging to the Nyingmapa order.
Situated in North Sikkim is a small village belonging to the Nyingmapa
sect, built in 1806.
Perched on a hill-top surrounded by apple orchards in the quaint Bhutia
village of Lachung is the beautiful monastery of Lanchung. It belongs
to the Nyingmapa sect and was built in 1880.
2 kms. away from the main Gangtok town, near the Telecom tower is Enchey
monastery. Lama Druptob Karpo is said to have flown in here from Mainam
Hill more than 200 years ago and he built a small hermitage at this
spot. In 1901 during the reign of Sidkong Tulku, a monastery was built
in the from of a Chinese Pagoda. It follows the Nyingmapa order. The
main puja is held here on the 18th and 19th of the 12th month of the
24 Kms. away from Gangtok is the huge and wealthy monastery of Rumtek.
It is the seat of the Gyolwa Karmapa, the head of the Kagyupa order
of Tibetan Buddhism. The order was founded in the 11th century
by Lama Marpa, the disciple of Indian Guru Naropa. It was built in 1960
and is said that the 1st Karmapa spent many years meditating in a cave
and ten thousand fairies came to congratulate him and each offered a
strand of her hair. These strands of hair were woven into a black hat
which was passed down and is still worn by the Karmapas on ceremonial
occasions. Behind the main monastery is the Nalanda Institute of Buddhist
Studies and the building opposite to it is a small hall featuring a
beautiful jewel studded Chorten, which contains the ashes and bones
of the 16th Gyolwa Karmapa. The religious dance called the Tse-chu is
performed on the 10th day of the 5th lunar month (May) and depicts events
in Guru Rimpoches' life. A Chaam, representing the battle between good
and evil, takes place two days before the Tibetan New Year (around late
February or early March). A few meters away is an aviary which boasts
of a collection of the most exotic of birds. Half a kilometer uphill
from the aviary is a hermitage in which monks go into complete seclusion
and can meditate for a period up to 3 years.
It is situated towards the north of Rabongla
and is 45 minutes' drive from it. It is one of the oldest monasteries
in Sikkim, belonging to the Kagyupa sect. The annual dance ritual and
fair is held every year in the month of December during ' Lossong '