Monasteries in Sikkim

There are about 200 monasteries in Sikkim. The famous monasteries in Sikkim are the Tsuk-La-Khang Monastery, Enchey Monastery, Rumtek Monastery, Phodong Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery and Tashiding Monastery. Besides these monasteries there are also some less known monasteries in Sikkim. These monasteries belong either to the Nyingmapa sect or the Karugpa sect or Gelugpa, Sakyapa and Bon faith.

Enchey Monastery

Enchey monastery is one of the most important monasteries of Sikkim. The Enchey Monastery meaning the Solitary temple, was originally built with the solace that no other construction would be allowed near it. The Enchey monastery is constructed on a site blessed by Lama Druptob Karpo. Lama Drupthob Karpo 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 Sidyong Tulku 1909 - 1910 the present monastery was built. This 200 year old monastery has in its premises images of god, goddesses and other religious objects. The present monastery was built in the shape of a Chinese

Tsuk-La-Khang Monastery

Tsuk-La-Khang Monastery is located in the Palace premises near the Ridge in Gangtok. Tsuk-La-Khang monastery is a two storied monastery and and is the principal place of worship and assembly and the repository of a vast collection of Buddhist scriptures. This monastery was used during royal functions like weddings and coronations. Interiors of this building is covered with murals and lavishly decorated altars holding images of the Buddha, Bodhisattva and tantric deities. A magnificent portal breaks the starkness. At each corner of the building, is a wood sculpture relief, the formidable head of a snow lion. Resplendent Buddhist murals span the stoutly ornate wood of the wall, while the eternal butter lamp burns before the floor ceiling altar. The Phang Labsol and the Loosang festivals are celebrated in the ground adjacent to the monastery once in a year when the Chaams or the masked dances are performed. The chapel is the site of many festivals and the most interesting of them being one dedicated to the God of Khangchendzonga. The other important festival is the celebration of New Year, when the famous Black Hat dance is performed demonstrating the triumph of good over evil.

Tashiding Monastery

Tashiding monastery is located on the top of a conical hill, near Pemayangtse, about 40 kms. from Gyalshing. This monastery is the Sikkim’s most venerated shrine. The Tashiding Monastery was built in 1717. At first only a small Lhakhang was built by Ngadak Sempa Chempo in the 17th Century. The main monastery was built by Pedi Wangmo during the reign of Chakdor Namgyal and some of the statues built then still exist. The sacred objects of worship in Tashiding are the chorten Thongwa Rangdol and Bumchu (holy water). The chorten was built by the Lhatsun Chenpo and it is believed that merely to view the chorten is enough to cleanse one of all sins. The countless of prayer flags whisper in the air as one approach this holiest site. The word "Om Mani Padme Hum" written on these prayer flags fills the air. In the spring season thousands of Buddhists visit the Tashiding monastery to participate in the Bhumchu festival and sip the sacred water from a sacred Bhumpa (water vessel), filled with waters collected from the Rahthong and Rangit rivers.

Rumtek Monastery

The Rumtek monastery is located on a hill, about 24 kms from Gangtok. This monastery is said to be a replica of the Tsurphu monastery of the Kagyupa order in Tibet. The first monastery was built at Rumtek in 1717 but crumbled to ruins due to aging. The second monastery was constructed by his Holiness, the Gyalwa Karmapa in 1960. The monastery belongs to the Karmapa Sect of Buddhism and is the largest monastery in Sikkim. This monastery has beautiful traditional architecture, carved and painted woodwork, magnificent murals, manuscripts and icons. The annual dances also

Sanga Choeling Monastery

Sanga Choeling means 'the island of esoteric teaching'. This monastery was built in 1697 and is situated after only 45 minutes walk from Pelling, about 7 kms. from Pemayangtse. Sanga Choeling monastery is one of the second oldest gompas in Sikkim. This gompa is another of Lhatsun Chenpo's creations, and is highly venerated among the Nyingmapa.

Labrang Monastery

Labrang monastery is situated in North Sikkim, built 2 kms further up hill from Phodong Monastery on the North Sikkim Highway. This monastery was built in 1814 but belongs to the Nyingmapa sect. This is a much older structure. It is also unique in the sense that unlike most monasteries which were razed by fires, this one still retains the original structure. It is also one of the premier monasteries of Sikkim. Gyalshe Rigzing Chempa commissioned Labrang Monastery in 1814, who then resided in Wangdiche, a palace in the vicinity. Its name literally means "the Lamas dwelling". It was consecrated to the memory of Latsun Chembo of Kongpu of Tibet, who initiated and propagated this school of Buddhism in Sikkim. Just below the road between the Phodang and Labrang Monastery are the ruins of Tumlong, the third capital of Sikkim

Kwezing Monastery

Kwezing Monastery is located near Kwezing in South Sikkim. It was built during the reign of Chogyal Thutob Namgyal.

Simik Monastery

Simik Monastery is situated in the East District near Singtam town. It was built during the reign of Chogyal Tsudphud Namgyal.

Hee Gyathang Monaster

Hee Gyathang Monastery is located in North Sikkim and follows the Nyingma sect of Buddhism.

Khechopari Monastery

Khechopari Monastery is located just above the famous Khechopari lake near Yuksom.

Melli Monastery

Melli basically means 'a lepcha village'. This monastery is located near Yuksom..

Pemayangtse Monastery

Pemayangtse Monastery is situated about 6 kms from the Gyalsing town, about 140 kms. from Gangtok in Pelling, West Sikkim. It is one of the most important monastery of the Nyingmapa order and was first built as a small temple in the late seventeenth century by Latsun Chempo. Later during the reign of the third Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal, Jigme Pawo extended and rebuilt the structure in the form of a big monastery. It is perched at a height of 2085 mts and is the second oldest and perhaps the most important monastery in Sikkim. This monastery belongs to the Nyigma order and all other Nyigma order monasteries in Sikkim are subordinate to it. The monastery houses numerous religious idols and

Sinon Monastery

Sinon means 'the suppressor of intense fear'. The monastery was built in 1716 and located about 10 kms. from Tashiding on a hill top.

Dalling Monastery

Dalling means 'the thunderbolt'. This monastery was built in 1840 and situated near Kewzing in South Sikkim.

Yangyang Monastery

Yangyang means 'the ridge of fortune'. This monastery was built in 1840 and is situated at a place called Yangyang, 10 kms. from Rabangla.

Namchi Monastery

This monastery is located in Namchi, the district headquarters of south district and was constructed during the reign of Chogyal Gurmed Namgyal.

Chawayng Ani Monastery

This monastery is located near Phensang which is on the highway between Gangtok and Mangan. It was built during the reign of Chogyal Tshudphud Namgyal.

Phodong Monastery

Phodong monastery is located within an area of one square kilometer and about 40 kilometers from Gangtok on the North Sikkim Highway. Phodong Monastery belongs to the Karugpa Sect (Karmapa) and was built by the Chogyal Gyurmed Nammgyal in the first quarter of the eighteenth century. It is said to be the first Kagyupa monastery to be set up in Sikkim. It is famous for its exquisitely delicate mural painting and frescoes. The original monastery has been rebuilt and is today one of the most beautiful monasteries in Sikkim. It possesses the old mural paintings and has around 260 monks. The main annual puja is performed on the 28th and 29 day of

Bermoik Monastery

Bermoik Monastery was built in 1952 and follows the Nyingma sect of Buddhism. It is situated in South Sikkim above Singtam.

Lachen Monastery

Lachen Monastery was built in 1806 in North Sikkim and follows the Nyingma sect of Buddhism.

Lachung Monastery

Lachung Monastery was built in 1880 in North Sikkim and also follows the Nyingma sect of Buddhism.

Sang Monastery

Sang Monastery is situated in a small village called Sang near Rumtek in 1912.

Dubdi Monastery

Dubdi means 'the retreat'. Dubdi Monastery, one of the oldest monastery in Sikkim, is located at the hill top about an hour's walk from Yuksom. This monastery was built in 1701. This monastery is also known as the Hermit's Cell after its reclusive founder Lhatsun Namkha Jigme, it was built by the followers of the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. For bird watchers, an early morning or late afternoon visit is particularly rewarding.

Gnathang Monastery

Gnathang Monastery is the only Gelugpa monastery in Sikkim and is situated near the Tibetan border.

Shurishing Yungdrung Dungdrakling Monastery

Shurishing Yungdrung Dungdrakling Monastery is situated in Sosing in South Sikkim. This is the only monastery in Sikkim that follows the Bon faith