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Monasteries in Sikkim

Monasteries in Sikkim are the path to learn “Buddhist Way of Life” with wisdom and compassion. Sikkim in northeast India is surrounded by Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan. Its culture is mainly centered around Tibetan Buddhism, where monasteries are considered an integral part of worship. On average, there are 250+ Gompas, also called monasteries, available in Sikkim. All of the monasteries in Sikkim convey the heritage significance of this Himalayan Kingdom. Inside the monasteries, Buddhist Monks live and preach the Buddhism Way of Life to break the vicious circle of the materialistic world and attain peace.

Here Buddhist monasteries are perched on snowy mountains and lush green valleys. Although Sikkim is a major hit amongst adventure seekers for trekking in snow-wrapped hills, Sikkim’s rich culture and heritage are well preserved in its monasteries, an integral part of Sikkim Tourism.

Browse the must-visit Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim for 2021 vacations.

Rumtek Monastery

Find solace in Rumtek Monastery, which is also the largest monastery in Sikkim. This three-storeyed monastery houses ancient artifacts and precious manuscripts of Buddhist teachings. A visit to Rumtek Monastery is paying a visit to the shrine temple and monastery for the monks. The beautiful lush green surroundings of Rumtek Monastery is also a visual treat for tourists. The design of Rumtek Monastery is inspired by the Tibetan monasteries. The 16th reincarnation of his holiness - The Karmapa used to have his seat at Rumtek Monastery. It also has a monastic school for monks to pursue Buddhist studies with a golden stupa inside the premises.

Tourists will find the rare Buddhist religious artwork in the creative forms of wall murals. The ground floor has a large prayer hall decorated with paintings, murals, and tha on entrances. Also, a shrine is situated in the main building. The top floor of the monastery has a tinny stupa on the terrace.

Location: 24 kilometers (approx.) from Capital, Gangtok

Timings: 7 AM - 7 PM (every day)

Entrance Ticket: 10 INR (approx.)

Best time to Visit: May - June, and September - October

Festivals and Dance Observed: Vajrakilya Drupchen, Lama Dance, Gutor Dance, and Losar

Pemayangtse Monastery

At the higher end of Western Sikkim, indulge in a holistic aura and witness beautiful Himalayan views at Pemayangtse Monastery. It is a three-story monastery and houses several saints and Rinpoches statues. The most famous one is Padmasambhava (Lotus Born). The history of this Buddhist monastery dates back to 300 years old, and therefore, Pemayangtse Monastery has unwavering importance amongst the tourists and Buddhists alike. On your visit to the monastery, recharge your mind with meditation season while listening to the sound of nature. Inside the monastery, there is a prayer hall decorated with paintings, idols, and amazing scriptures.

You could reach Pemayangtse Monastery with an easy 2 km (approx.) walk from Peeling. Those who love trekking will find that Pemayangtse Monastery is the starting point of 46 km long Dzongri Trek that passes through dense forests of Kanchenjunga National Park.

Location: 126 kilometers/4 hours (approx.) from Capital, Gangtok

Timings: 9 AM - 6 PM (every day)

Entrance Ticket: 20 INR (approx.)

Best time to Visit: April - June, and October-February

Festivals and Dance Observed: Guru Drakmar Chham, Cham Dance Festival

Enchey Monastery

Built under the Nyingma order, Enchey Monastery is the perfect spiritual retreat amidst the Kanchenjunga Hills and tall pine trees; Enchey Monastery is another sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site. This monastery of Sikkim dates back to 200 years old and is a seat of Loki Sharia and Guru Padmasambhava. Enchey Monastery is a two-storeyed structure where around 90 monks (appro.) resides at the present time. Enter into the prayer hall for enlightenment practices. Watch the wheel of law gurgles with a perfect symphony of monks chanting.

The walls of the prayer hall are decked with murals and paintings. The 4 elaborate pillars support the monastery roof. Monks and locals attend the mask celebration carried out during the 8th, 19th day of the 12th of the Lunar Month of the Tibetan Calendar.

Location: 3 kilometers/10 minutes (approx.) from Capital, Gangtok

Timings: 9 AM - 6 PM (every day)

Entrance Ticket: Free of cost

Best time to Visit: April - June, and October-February

Festivals and Dance Observed: Detor Charm, Cham Dance.

Kartok Monastery

This monastery is founded by Thuthob Namgyal A purely meditative location in Sikkim, Katrok Monastery is one of the best heritage of Buddhist religion. It is located in the picturesque village of Yuksom. There are a total of 3 monasteries in Yuksom, and Kartok Monastery is amongst them. While the other two monasteries are Ngadak and Chorling. The architecture of the Kartrok Monastery is made by a red structure dotted with a yellow, golden outline crafted in Tibetan craft. A beautiful Kartrok Lake flanked by the monastery where colorful prayer flags are tagged. If you are looking for a peaceful holiday away from the hustle and bustle, make sure to visit Kartok Monastery.

Location: 28 kilometers/1.5 hour (approx.) from Capital, Gangtok

Timings: 9 AM - 6 PM (every day)

Entrance Ticket: Free of cost

Best time to Visit: April - June, and October-February

Things to Do: Explore the charming paddy fields around the monastery

Phensang Monastery

This monastery has the highest number of monks, around 300 (approx.), and its structure belongs to the Nyingma order of Buddhism. Phensang Monastery is located uphill and is amongst the largest monasteries in Sikkim. The folklore associated with Phensang Monastery states that it was founded by the 3rd Lhatsun Jigmed Pawo in 1721 AD. Afterward, in 1840, the revamp of the monastery was done to accommodate more monks. In 1883, the monastery structure was damaged by excessive rain, but it was constructed with government aid. Solace is the language monks, and people speak at Phensang Monastery.

Location: 27 kilometers/1.5 hour (approx.) from Capital, Gangtok

Timings: 8 AM -5 PM (every day)

Entrance Ticket: Free of cost

Best time to Visit: April - June, and October-February

Celebration Observed: Sikkimese New Year Celebration

Sikkim Monasteries Travel Tips

  • Respect the cultural and traditional beliefs
  • Don't make a loud noise
  • Switch off your mobile inside the premises
  • Don't photograph the monks without asking them
  • Photography inside the premises is prohibited
  • Wear clothes that protect your full body





Sikkim Cities