Spreading the sublime teachings of the Lord Buddha -Perched on forest-clad spurs, beneath the eternal snows, and hoary with age, stand some of Sikkim's 67, Monasteries. The oldest is the Dhubdi Monastery or the Hermit's Cell, being the first to the south of the Kanchenjunga, clad with firs and weeping cypresses, the mountain sides make an impressive background for the temples and convents built atop a lofty hill.
THE PAIMIONCHI MONASTERY - THE SUBLIME PERFECT LOTUS
One the old capital of Sikkim, the ruins of the old palace, that scatter the area, speaks in their eloquent silence of a regal age. Great not only in its antiquity, but also in sanctity, the monastery walls and ceilings are painted with brilliant hued frescoes of Gods and demons.
This monastery is located in the palace premises near the ridge in Gangtok. It is two storied and was used during royal functions like weddings and coronations. The Phang Labsol and the Lossang festivals are celebrated in the ground adjacent to the monastery once-every year with the performance of the Chaams or the masked dances. more...
PHODONG AND LABRANG
Phodong, 38-km north of Gangtok on the Mangan road, is another living monastery but a far less ostentatious one. Lying on a spur of the hill 1km above the main road, and commanding superb views, it consists of a simple square main temple, plus several houses and residential quarters. Built in the early 18th century, this was Sikkim's pre-eminent Kagyu monastery until the growth of Rumtek each December. A rough road leads a further 4-km up to another renovated old monastery - the unusual octagonal labrang. A cluster of chortens between these two monasteries marks the ruins of Tumlong, Sikkim's capital city for most of the 19th century.
An important seat of the Nyingma order, the Enchey Monastery meaning the Solitary temple, was originally built with the solace that no other construction would be allowed near it is built on the site blessed by Lama Druptob Karpo, a Tantric master known for his flying powers.
This 200-year-old Monastery has in its premises images of God, Goddesses and other religious objects. The present monastery was built in the shape of a Chinese Pagoda. Following the Nyingma order, it has around 90 monks. The annual ritual is celebrated with 'Chaam' or religious masked dance on the 18th &19th days of the twelfth month of the lunar calendar around January.