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Monastery in Sikkim

Monasteries are the centre of Buddhism belonging to the Nyingma and Kagyu order has been influencing the cultural heritage and lifestyle of the people of Sikkim. In general these monasteries are situated in commanding and picturesque sites. Sikkim's has about 185 odd monasteries or Gompas. They belong to the Nyingma and Kagyu order. One can almost feel the tranquility / peace, while visiting this site. The compound is quiet and makes one feel being one with nature and close to the almighty. Inside each of this monastery are ancient Tibetan manuscripts, exquisitely carved wood work and icons of silver and gold.  Some of the internationally famous monasteries are Pemayangtse Monastery, Rumtek monastery, Do - Drul Chorten, Dubdi Monastery, Old Ralang monastery, Phodong Monastery, Labrang Monastery and Enchey Monastery. 

There are nearly 180 odds monasteries or Gompas of the people. They also demonstrate the ancient rituals in practice. Monasteries usually occupy commanding and frequently picturesque sites. Buddhism is divided into the red and yellow sects. The red sect comprises of the Nyingma, Kagyu and Sakya lineages and the yellow sect consists of the Gelugpa lineage. The sects and the lineages are differentiated from each other by the rituals performed, monastic discipline and the founder. There is a monastery trek famous among tourist. Some of the famous monasteries in Sikkim are Rumtek, Tashiding, Pemayangtse, Phodong Dubdi, Enchey, Do - Drul Chorten, Sanga Choeling, Lachung, Lachen and Ralang.

Sikkim's monasteries or gompas usually occupy commanding and frequently picturesque sites. These monastery belonging to the Nyingma and Kagyu order have not only been influencing the cultural heritage and lifestyle of the people but also demonstrate the ancient rituals in practice. Lamas robed in red, chant ancient mantras to the rhythm of drums and trumpets. There are soft lights flicker from decorative lamps placed before statues of the great Guru Padmasambhava. While on monastery compound one can feel the peace and quiet of being one with nature and close to the almighty. The gompas are adorned with frescoes of hoary Buddhist legends, rare silk and brocade thangkas. Preserved in this monastery are ancient Tibetan manuscripts, exquisitely carved wood work and icons of silver and gold. Generally there are two conditions laid in a guiding couplet on where a monastery should be built; "Back to the hill-rock, and front to the tarn". Hence, wherever possible, monastery are built on a ridge and have a lake in front. Monasteries in Sikkim are of three types  and they are Tak - phu, Gompa & Mani Lakhangs

Tak - phu - Literally meaning "rock-cave" or cave hermitage. Although there are many such hermitages in Sikkim, there are four which are of special importance, one in each direction. The four are hallowed as caves where Guru Rimpoche and Lhatsun Chhembo are said to have halted and meditated. They are

Communication / Connectivity

Airways – Gangtok to Bagdogra Airport (IXB) is approximately 130 kilometers and is 4 to 5 hours drive by national highway 10. Pelling , Mangan, Jorethang, Rhenock, Ravangla, Namchi are well connected with Bagdogra Airport. The drive is all 4 to 5 hours drive. Helicopter Service from Gangtok takes approximately 30 minutes to reach Bagdogra. Railways – Nearest major Railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP). Sikkim has no railway system but planning for a transit system is on the card. The nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP), Siliguri Junction and Siliguri Town Station and is assessable from all the major town / cities of Sikkim. NJP is well linked up with the rest of the country with frequent trains.  There are three railway stations nearer to Sikkim Bengal borders but the frequency of trains are less. Roadways – The network of roads in Sikkim are good compared to its difficult terrain. Gangtok is approximately 130 kilometers from New Jalpaiguri Station (NJP) / Bagdogra Airport (IXB). Tourist destinations like Pelling, Gangtok, Jorethang, Namchi, etc are well served by buses of Sikkim Nationalized Transport (SNT). Chungthang is 95 kilometers grom Gangtok, Lachen and Lachung is nearly 120 kilometers from Gangtok and requires special permit. Gangtok is 130 kilometers, Pelling is 140 Kilometers and Namchi is 100 kilometers from Siliguri by road.  Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Dooars, Phuentsholling in Bhutan, Kakarvitta in Nepal is connected by road. 

Tags: Monastery Visit, Monastery Tour, Religious Tour, Rumtek Tour, Enchey Monastery, Pemayangtse, Kalchakra visit, Monastery Trek

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