Pemayangtse Monastery is situated at Pemayangtse, in the Pelling region of Sikkim. It is one of the oldest monasteries of the state, and stands tall on a hilltop overlooking the historical Rabdentse ruins, the former capital of the Kingdom of Sikkim. The word ‘Pemayangtse’ translates to 'perfect, sublime lotus' and is said to represent one of the four networks of nerves (vessels) in the human body. The monastery is dedicated to Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche who revived Buddhism in Tibet), the striking feature of this monastery are the statues of him and his consorts.
The Pemayangtse Monastery is situated at an altitude of 6840 feet and provides unmatchable serene views of snowcapped mountains, including the lofty Kanchenjunga peak. The architectural and engineering feats of the opulent monastery are impressive. The main prayer hall is spread over an area of approximately 140m2 (1500 square feet) and accommodates several statues, windows and doors adorned with vibrant colours. The main statue of Padmasambhava here portrays his wrathful form with multiple arms and heads.
Initially chalked and planned as a Lhakhang (the main temple hall with a shrine) in the 17th century by Lama Lhatsun Chempo, the building was further added on and enlarged during the reign of the third king of Sikkim - Chakdor Namgyal (1700-1717). In order to preserve Buddhist religion in Sikkim, he ordered that every three sons of a Bhutia family shall ordain as a monk at the Pemayangtse Monastery. Ever since, the regal monastery is home to 108 monks who here are traditionally chosen from a community of people of Tibetan ancestry called Bhutias. The location has been subject to several earthquakes in 1913 and 1960, which over the course wrecked its foundations. It has been renovated and rebuilt many times since.
Timings & ENTRY FEES
The timings to explore the Pemayangtse Monastery is between 9 AM to 6 PM. The entry fee is INR 20 for individuals.
Places to visit near by
Coronation Throne of Norbugang -Coronation Throne of Norbugang signifies the place where crowning of the first Chogyal king - Phuntsog Namgyal took place in the year 1642. Later after the ceremony, a wall like structure was erected and named as Norbugang chorten, which still marks the original site. It is believed that the people who had attended the ceremony offered huge amount of treasures that are still buried beneath the Norbugang Chorten.
Rabdentse Ruins -The Rabdentse Ruins are a part of the Buddhist religious pilgrimage circuit. The ruins at Rabdentse contain wall stumps which also has a decorative yellow entrance gate, close to the Pelling-Geyshing Road.
Dubdi Monastery – Also regarded as Yuksum (Yuksom) Monastery, Dubdi Monastery was established in 1701 by Chogyal Namgyal. The monastery belongs to the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism and is considered to be the oldest monastery in the state. The monastery is a two-storied structure made of stone. It is situated at an altitude of 2,100 m and has an elaborately painted interior.
Khecheopalri Lake – Khecheopalri Lake is a sacred place for both Buddhists and Hindus as it is a part of the famous Buddhist pilgrimage circuit. It is situated in the Khecheopalri Village in the West Sikkim district. Interestingly, the name of the lake, Khecheopalri, was originally known as, ‘Kha-Chot-Palri’, which refers to the heaven of Lord Padmasambhava.
Kanchenjunga Falls – Kanchenjunga falls, a perennial waterfall that is one of the major tourist attractions in the region. It is believed that the pristine waterfall originates high up in the glaciers of Mount Kanchenjunga. This waterfall is hidden due to the thick forest cover and is a perfect place to rejuvenate amidst the serene environs. This scenic destination offers mesmerizing views to the visitors.
Norbu Ghang Resort – Norbu Ghang Resort is a vast estate positioned gracefully on a hillock. This comfy hotel is flanked by the mighty Kanchenjunga and lush greenery. The hotel is designed in a traditional style and boasts an immense assortment of contemporary amenities. The staff of this hotel renders warm hospitality and an array of facilities that enhances the level of comfort of travelers.
Aryan Regency Hotel – Aryan Regency is undoubtedly the best location to stay in Pelling.Embrace the picturesque hills and mystic ambience, from the hotel in Pelling.
Chumbi Mountain Retreat – One of the best luxury hotels in Sikkim, the Chumbi Mountain Retreat Resort and Spa in Pelling is a wonderful retreat, away from the hustle-bustle of the city life. It is an ideal place to experience traditional, royal hospitality of Sikkim. A property of the Chumbi Group of Hotels owned by filmmaker and hotelier Ugyen Chopel, the resort is perfect accommodation option for family vacationers as well as business guests.
The Elgin Mount Pandim, Pemayangtse, Pelling – The Elgin Mount Pandim Hotel in Pelling offers a unique and personal tryst with the Himalayas. Set in eight acres of virgin forest and landscaped gardens, it revokes the old-world charm and offers a peaceful retreat about one hundred and fifty kilometers from Siliguri, with a glorious view of the Singalila range.
Royal Group Oak Valley Retreat, Pelling – Rejuvenate yourself at the beautiful surroundings of the hotel. The place offers affordable accommodations with amazing and scenic view.
Best time to visit
The Pemayangtse Monastery can be visited any time of the year. However, it is advisedagainst travelling during monsoon season as it can get quite damp. On the contrary, Summers are quite pleasant to enjoy the natural surroundings the area has to offer although winters can get pretty chilly during the months from October to February.
How to Reach
By Air: The nearest Airport to Pelling is Bagdogra Airport, Siliguri, which is a four-hour drive from Pelling. From here, you can take a taxi or bus to reach Pelling.
By Train: The nearest Railway Station from Pelling is Jalpaiguri Railway Station, which is at a distance of 170 Kms from Pelling. It is well connected to major cities like Chennai, New Delhi, Howrah, Alipur and Darjeeling through Guwahati Express, Ndls Bgp Express, Mas Njp Express and Dbrt Rajdhani.
By Bus: Pelling is well connected with the other cities of Sikkim via Sikkim State Road Transport Corporation (SSRTC) and some private travel services. Buses are available to get to Pelling.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Where is Pemayangtse Monastery located?
The Monastery is located in the Pelling region of Sikkim.
What is the best time to visit the Monastery?
The best time to visit the monastery is between the months of October and February.
How to reach the Monastery?
The monastery can be reached via road, train or flight.