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Religious Places in Gangtok

The holy capital town Gangtok in Sikkim has a number of religious spots which bear deep religious sanctity for its followers. A religious tourist would be delighted to visit Gangtok as the place has a number of religious spots. These religious spots in Gangtok witness large numbers of visitors who are enchanted by the beauty of the places and get peace and tranquility here. The religious spots in Gangtok are:

Monasteries in Gangtok

Gangtok has a number of monasteries which are well built, beautifully decorated and are set amidst beautiful valleys and green surroundings. Tourists visit these monasteries in Gangtok for getting peace and solace. Some of these beautiful monasteries in Gangtok are:

Rumtek Monastery

Rumtek monasteryAlso called the Dharmachakra centre, Rumtek monastery is located at a distance of 24 kms from Gangtok and is the main seat of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism in Sikkim. Rumtek monastery is the largest monastery in Sikkim and is home to community of monks.

Situated at an altitude of 1500 metre, the main structure of Rumtek monastery has been made according to the traditional architectural designs of the Tibetan monasteries. The monastery was the first one to be built in India in the traditional design and became the model for various other monasteries built later. Murals and traditional Tibetan style paintings cover the whole structure of the monastery. The roof peak of the monastery comprises four golden sculptures known as ghanzira. There are paintings of the Kagyu lineage, 16 arhats, the eight great Bodhisattvas and the Genduk Chogngi inside the monastery. There is a three year retreat centre, a sherda or monastic college where the relics of the 16th Karmapa are enshrined, a nunnery and stupas.

In the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar the Guru Rinpoche or the Vajrakilaya Drupchen takes place for ten days in the monastery. At the end of the lunar year a ten day practice of the festival of the Mahakala Protector is held. The Tibetan new Year is celebrated on the first day of the first month for 3-8 days in the monastery.

Enchey Monastery

Enchey monasteryLocated about 2 kms from Gangtok, Enchey monastery is one of the important Tibet monasteries in Gangtok. The monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa order. The Lama Durptob Karpo, a tantric master known for his flying powers, is believed to have flown in here from the Maenam Hill more than 200 years ago and he built a small hermitage in the spot of the Enchey Monastery. Literally Enchey Monastery means a ‘solitary monastery’. The monastery is located close to the Sinolchu Tourist Lodge and the TV tower in Gangtok. The Kanchendzonga range can be seen from here.

The Enchey monastery is 200 years old and was built during the reign of Thutob Namgyal on the site blessed by Lama Druptob Karpo. During the reign of Sidkeong Tulku the monastery was built in 1901 in the form of Chinese Pagoda. The monastery is intricately designed. The monastery is topped by a shining golden cupola and the walls of the monastery are covered with paintings. The four pillars supporting the roof are elaborately carved. Images of various Gods and Goddesses are installed in the monastery. Lord Buddha, Loki Sharia and Guru Padmasambhava are worshiped here in the monastery. It is believed that Kanchendzonga and Yabdean, the protecting deities, reside in the monastery. Annual puja is celebrated here on the 18th and 19th days of the 12th month of the lunar calendar. In January every year 'Chaam' or religious mask dance is performed here which continues for a couple of days. Pang Lhabsol festival is also celebrated in the monastery.

Tsuk La Khang Monastery

Tsuklakhang monasteryLocated inside the premises of the royal palace in Gangtok, Tsuklakhang monastery is the principal seat of worship in Sikkim. Many of the Chogyals and kings of Sikkim have been coronated in this monastery as well royal wedding also takes place here. The monastery has many Buddhist scriptures and artifacts and hosts the Phang Lhabsol and Losoong festival every year.

Karthok Monastery

This monastery is situated around 32 kms from Gangtok. It is the sixth oldest monastery in Sikkim that was built during the Chogyal Thutob Namgyal. The original monastery was destroyed and a new one constructed in its place, however the original designs of the old monastery are still preserved.

Lingdum Monastery

Located around 14 kms from Gangtok on Ranka road in Lingdum, Lingdum monastery is a fine example of Tibetan monastic architecture.

Taktse Ogyen Choekhorling Monastery

Located around 5-6 kms north of Gangtok, Taktse Ogyen Choekhorling Monastery runs exclusively for nuns.

Temples in Gangtok

In addition to the large number of monasteries in Gangtok, the capital town is also the home to few temples where devotees from far and wide come to receive divine blessings from the deities. The temples in Gangtok include:

Hanuman Tok

Hanuman TokHanuman Tok is situated 5 km rising from White Hall on a bifurcating road of the Gangtok-Nathu La highway. A Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, the temple is managed by a division of the Indian Army. Located 8-9 km from the Gangtok town, Hanuman Tok is a peaceful place of worship and meditation.

Ganesh Tok

Ganesh TokLocated uphill about 5 km from Gangtok, Ganesh Tok is a small temple dedicated to lord Ganesha in Gangtok. The temple is situated at an altitude of 6500 feet on a hill top from where one can have a view of the Gangtok town. The entrance of the temple consists of long upstairs.

Thakurbari Temple

A Hindu temple located at Gangtok, the Thakurbari temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Sikkim. Almost all the major deities of Hindu religion are worshipped in the temple. Inside the temple there are images and idols of almost all the Hindu deities. The temple is an important centre of convergence for the Hindu community of Gangtok. The temple was built in a land donated by the erstwhile Chogyal of Sikkim in 1935. It  was upgraded to a major temple complex in 1945-47.

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