Sikkim Monasteries – Rumtek Monastery, Lingdum Monastery, Ralang Monastery, Do-Drul Chorten Monastery

Sikkim is extra-special! One can feel the solemn peace to the almighty in this northern-east state. For it is here the people live in harmony and the air-breathe peace. And amidst them lie the ancient Buddhist monasteries. There are more than 200 monasteries or Gompas in Sikkim belonging to the Kargyupa Sect or the Nyingmapa Sect, other than few of the Sakyapa, Gelugpa, and Bon faith.

These Buddhist monasteries are not only special because of their scenic view but also because of the legacy they carry. Known for the ancient existence, amazing architecture, splendid surroundings, these monasteries are not less than a treat. Perched on cliffs, most of these monasteries in Sikkim are scattered across all over the state. Most of these Buddhist monasteries belong to 17th and 18th century. Here is the list of 10 best Buddhist monasteries of Sikkim that one should definitely visit while traveling to the Northeast:

Rumtek Monastery

Perched on the top of the hills, Rumtek Monastery is one of the most significant and largest Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim. This monastery lies in East Sikkim and it was founded by Wangchuk Dorje, 9th Karmapa lama in the sixteen century. It is also known as a Dharma Chakra Centre that includes a monastery and a shrine temple for the monks.

Situated at a distance of 23 Km from Gangtok, this monastery was established to spread the reaching of the Buddha all over the world. To reach the main gompa from the main gate, one has to walk for almost a half kilometer. And then, vantage points from this Buddhist monastery would give you an eye-pleasing view and fine architecture would leave you in awe.

Visiting Hours: 0900 Hours to 1800 Hours

How To Reach There?
Private taxis are available from Gangtok to Rumtek Monastery. One can also take sharing vehicles that are available in a large number. Also, bus service is also available from the city to the monastery.

Lingdum Monastery

Lingdum Monastery lies in East Sikkim that is 20 Km away from Gangtok. Its sprawling complex, beautiful murals, adornments, and statues, bring the joy of happiness to every visitor’s face. This monastery is also known as Ranka Monastery that is completed in 1998 and it is the most recent Buddhist monasteries among all. Surrounded by Forest Mountains, the monastery has been a preferred location for the Bollywood filmmakers, thus making it a most popular monastery in Sikkim.

Visiting Hours: 0600 Hours to 1800 Hours

How To Reach There?
One can easily reach there by a private vehicle from the capital city.

Ralang Monastery

Ralang Monastery is beyond comparison to any other monastery in all over Sikkim. This is the biggest monastery which is a blend of wonderful assimilation of colors, amazing Tibetan culture, and unique traditions. Situated in the exquisite of Ravangla, the monastery was built in 1995 which is 6 Km from Ravangla. To begin with, the Ralang monastery’s symmetry offering a welcoming view to the tourists. It has various thangkas and paintings that indicate the opulence of the Buddhist art.

The intention was to make this monastery more accessible than the previous one situated 13 Km from Ravangla. Also, this monastery is famous because it hosts the most popular festival in the region called Pang Lhabsol. During the festival, Kagyed Dance performed by the monks which makes it more interesting.

Visiting Hours: 0800 Hours to 1700 Hours

How To Reach There?
Bagdogra is the nearest airport and New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station to Ravangla. From Siliguri and Bagdogra, taxis are available for Namchi. Namchi is just 22 Km away from Ravangla and it can easily be covered by a private or shared vehicle. Keep in mind that the last leg of 6 Km from Ravangla to Ralang Monastery has to be trekked.

Do-Drul Chorten Monastery

Do-drul Chorten Monastery is a Buddhist stupa that is 3 Km away from Gangtok city. It is one of the biggest Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim that was built in 1945 under the guidance of late Rimpoche and Truslshi. This monastery has approximately 108 Mani Lhakor or prayer meals. The wheels are inscribed with some mantras that are turned by the Buddhist while chanting to invoke the Buddhisattva.

Visiting Hours: 0800 Hours to 1700 Hours

How To Reach There?
Located nearby the Tibetology Institute, one can easily reach there by just hiring a private taxi within 10-15 minutes only.

Enchey Monastery

The Enchey Monastery is approximately 200 years old and it is just 3 Km away from the capital city Gangtok. The location of this monastery is adorned with the natural beauty. This monastery belongs to the Nyingma order of Vajrayana Buddhism. The land on which this Buddhist monastery is located is believed to be blessed by Druptob Karpo who was a tantric master. It is said that he had amazing flying powers and the master flew from the Maenam hills to this monastery and build a small hermitage. The literal meaning of “Enchey Monastery” is “The Solitary Temple”. The three god worshipped in this place are Loki Sharia, Buddha, and Guru Padmasambhava. The iconic monastery is home to around 90 monks. Special prayers are held at this monastery every year during the lunar month (January & February) as per the Tibetan calendar.

Visiting Hours: 0600 Hours to 1400 Hours

How To Reach There?
It only takes 10 minutes taxi ride from the capital city Gangtok to reach Enchey Monastery.

Tashiding Monastery

Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, Tashiding Monastery is one of the popular Buddhist monasteries of Sikkim that reflects an old world charm. The Buddhist monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa and it was built in 1716 on top of the hill between the two exquisite rivers, Rathong and Rangit.

With a host of fluttering holy chants and hovering prayer flags, it is indeed the perfect place to spend some magical moments in the lap of nature. Moreover, this monastery is quite popular to cleanse every sin of those folks who are willing to regret and seeking forgiveness.

This is a must visit attraction for its very famous festival, Bumchu that is celebrated during the 15th day of the first month of the Tibetan calendar. This monastery houses approximately 60-70 monks.

Visiting Hours: 0700 Hours to 1900 Hours

How To Reach There?
Situated in the western Sikkim, Tashiding Monastery is situated near Pelling. It is around 40 Km from Gyalshing and 30 km from Ravangla. Private cabs are easily available from all of these major towns in Sikkim to reach the monastery.

Labrang Monastery

Labrang Monastery is located at Phodong of North Sikkim and it is 2km far away from Phodong Monastery. This monastery has a unique architecture and is one of the leading Buddhist monasteries in the north-east state Sikkim. This monastery was built by Gyalshe Rigzing Chempa in the remembrance of Latsun Chembo of Kongpu (Tibet).

The word Labrang means “The Lamas dwelling”. Dissimilar to Phodong Monastery, this monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism. This Buddhist shrine has a very charming appeal. Better yet, this monastery still holds its original structure with its embellished roof and white walls in the mixed Indian and Tibetan style of architecture. The location of Labrang Monastery offers an untold stretch of land which is impeccable for a mass congregation. On the overall, this is one of the best Buddhist monasteries where tourist can spend some quality time.

Visiting Hours: 0800 Hours to 1800 Hours

How To Reach There?
This monastery is situated 38 Kms from Gangtok and one can easily reach there by private taxi.

Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery

Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery is situated on the top of Durpin Dara and it was established in 1970. It is consecrated by the Dalai Lama that belongs to the yellow hut sect of Lamas. The significance of this Buddhist monastery lies with the holy Kunguyar kept here. This monastery features 108 volumes followed by Dalai Lama in his banishment. This Gompa is adorned by splendid wall paintings with an exceptional three dimensional Mandala upstairs.

Visiting Hours: 0900 Hours to 1700 Hours

How To Reach There?
Bagdogra Airport is the nearest airport to Kalimpong and it is 80 Km from this place. Private cabs are also available from this place. Also, you can hire a taxi to Siliguri junction and then a bus as buses ply very frequently from Siliguri to Kalimpong.

Kartok Monastery

Kartok Monastery is one of the most picturesque monasteries out of all. Situated opposite of Kartok Lake, this monastery is the pride of Yuksom village. Hundred of wanderers come to explore the enchanting beauty of this monastery which bears red color. Golden and yellow motifs that indicate Tibetan designs can be easily found all over the exterior of this monastery. Fluttering prayer flags, slow chants, and the exquisite lake Kartok make this place a center of attraction in Sikkim.

Visiting Hours: 0700 Hours to 1900 Hours

How To Reach There?
Yuksom is just 3 Km from Pelling. One can easily be reached there by a private vehicle.

Tsuklakhang Monastery

Located in the complex of Royal Palace, Tsuklakhang Monastery was established in the 19th century and it is one of the eminent structures in the Northeastern state. It is quite a popular religious spots for Buddhists from all over the world. Also, this monastery is vital from the cultural point of view as it preserves and promotes the cultural heritage of Sikkim. At each and every corner of this Buddhists monastery, there are wooden sculptures which are designed in the form of Snow Lion’s Head. Also, the walls of this monastery are embellished with altars and murals.

In addition to this, there are several festivals celebrated in this monastery throughout the year. Losoong and Phang Lhabsol are two major festivals that held in this monastery.

Visiting Hours: 0700 Hours to 1700 Hours

How To Reach There?
It is 124 km from Gangtok and one can easily there by a private taxi. New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station from Gangtok which is 148 Km far.