Enchey Monastery

Set on a hilltop, on the outskirts of Gangtok, the Enchey Monastery is more than 200 years old. The word 'Enchey' means a  solitary temple, and the monastery is a vibrant spectacle surrounded by rolling greens.

While the present structure was built during 1909-1910 under the rule of Sidkeong Tulku, Namgyal ruler of Sikkim in 1919, the original structure is much older and was installed by Lama Druptob Karpo. Lama Karpo was a tantric master, who was supposedly renowned for his ability to fly. It is believed that on his way from Maenam Hill, he stopped here, built a small hermitage for personal use to meditate and gave structure to the monastery. Lord Buddha, Loketeswara and Guru Padmasambhava are deities worshipped here.  

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Enchey Monastery

Lingdum Monastery

Set amidst forested hills, Lingdum (also known as Ranka) Monastery is an example of sacred Tibetan architecture, located 12 km away from Gangtok. Adorned with exquisite murals, and statues, along with an impressive edifice, the site has been the shooting spot for several Bollywood films. Lingdum follows the Zurmang Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. 


What catches the visitor's eye is the monastery's apex, carved with parasols, finials and pagoda roofs over a vast courtyard, where the younger monks are trained. The senior monks keep an eye on the activities of the monastery from the balconies of the second floor. A gigantic statue of Lord Buddha, with a height of five meter, sits at the end of the prayer hall, where monks sit in rows reading their prayer books. The walls of the hall display hand paintings, with thangkas hanging from them. The monastery also has a retreat centre on a hillock behind it, where the monks retire to meditate. 

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Lingdum Monastery

Phensang Monastery

Located in North Sikkim, 27 km uphill from Gangtok, on a slope stretching from Kabi to Phodong, Phensang Sangag Choling Monastery is among the largest monasteries in Sikkim. On his way to Northern zone in 1721, the 3rd Lhatsun Jigmed Pawo founded this monastery. Later in 1840, the monastery was rebuilt. 

At the moment, around 300 lamas of the Nyingmapa Buddhist order live in Phensang Monastery. Phensang hosts an annual festival on the 28th and 29th day of the 10th month of the Tibetan Calendar (usually December). Sacred dances are performed by the monks at this festival, which falls two days before the Sikkimese New Year.

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Phensang Monastery

Phodong Monastery

Set at a height of 4500 ft, giving a picture-perfect view of deep valleys and towering mountains, Phodong Monastery is one of the six most important monasteries in Sikkim, built in the 18th century, circa 1740, by Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal, the then ruler of Sikkim. It belongs to the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism and houses beautiful paintings and murals. 

The original structure was destroyed in an earthquake, and rebuilt by the lamas in 1977 with the help of government funds. The new building is bigger and grander than the old one. The old fresco paintings were extracted by the Delhi National Museum Institute, and were preserved till they could be transported to the new monastery. 

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Phodong Monastery

Hanuman Tok

A famous temple in the vicinity of the city, Hanuman Tok is dedicated to the worship of Lord Hanuman. About 11 km away from Gangtok on the road to Nathu la Pass, the temple is at an elevation of 2,195 m. The hilltop is calm and serene, not to mention one of the best places to enjoy moments of relaxation away from the bustle of the city. It is also an architectural attraction for the circular structure of the temple, a one-of-its-kind in Sikkim.

According to a local legend, this is where Lord Hanuman stopped to rest while flying with the sanjeevani herb to Lanka, to save Lord Rama’s brother, Lakshmana.

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Hanuman Tok