Sikkim, a vibrant Indian state of West Bengal is full of pictorial sites. Those who are eager to visit the state should know about the popular monasteries in Sikkim so that they can quite easily explore all these Buddhist religious sites. Visiting these monasteries brings complete serenity to the minds of the visitors and helps them forget all the worries of life.
Moreover, the monasteries in Sikkim are not just famous for their beauty and tranquility, they also let us know the rich history of Buddism in Sikkim and the lifestyle of the Sikkimese people.
Most of the monasteries in Sikkim are located on the hilltop. And due to their high elevation, they offer a magnificent pictorial view of the surrounding.
The mighty Kanchenjunga Peak of Himalaya also looks prominent and in its all glory from the premises of these monasteries.
10 Popular Monasteries in Sikkim (At a Glance)
|Monasteries||Best Time to Visit|
|Rumtek Monastery||October to December|
|Enchey Monastery||March to June and September to October|
|Lingdum Monastery||March to May and September to October.|
|Pemayangtse Monastery||March to June|
|Phodong Monastery||March to May and October to December|
|Tashiding Monastery||March to June|
|Sanga Chelling Monastery||November to February|
|Dubdi Monastery||March to May|
|Ralang Monastery||April to June and August|
|Kartok Monastery||March to June|
10 Best Monasteries in Sikkim (In details)
Here are the details of all the monasteries we have mentioned above so that you can easily travel to these splendid religious sites.
1. Rumtek Monastery
Being the largest, Rumtek Monastery is one of the most popular monasteries in Sikkim. It is also known as Dharma Chakra Centre and located near the capital city of Sikkim, Gangtok.
First inaugurated by Wangchuk Dorje who was the 9th Karmapa lama in the year 1966. Merely 23 km driving distance away from Gangtok, Rumtek Monastery’s unique location at the hilltop provides amazing sights of the Gangtok town and its surrounding area.
The monastery is stretching over a large area and from the gate of the monastery at the base, travelers have to walk for at least kilometers to finally reach the main monastery.
The monastery with its architectural excellence, colorful paintings, and statues awestruck every kind of traveler visiting the monastery for the first time.
Visiting Time: 6 am – 6 pm everyday
How to Reach: The monastery is easily accessible by road from Gangtok. Rented cars are available. If comfort is not a concern at all, you can also go for the shared car or the bus service. Bagdogra is the nearest airport whereas NJP is the nearest railway station.
2. Enchey Monastery
Enchey Monastery is another Buddhist site merely 3km from Gangtok, the capital town of Sikkim. The monastery belongs to the Nyingma order of Vajrayana Buddhism and nestled at a scenic location.
The name of the monastery signifies “The Solitary Temple”. The iconic Cham festival is held here in the month of January when the travelers can enjoy the mask dance.
The surrounding of Enchey Monastery looks surprisingly beautiful because of its lush greenery and the hilly setting. The colorful paintings drawn on the walls of the monastery are also a treat to watch.
Visiting Time: 6 am to 4 pm
How to Reach: From Gangtok, Enchey Monastery is just a few minute’s driving distances away. Hence, you can hire a car or taxi from Gangtok to Enchey Monastery. Bagdogra is the nearest airport whereas NJP is the nearest railway station.
3. Lingdum Monastery
Quite adjacent to Ranka is Sikkim, Lingdum Monastery is a gorgeous one amidst the thick lush greenery. It is included in our list of best Monasteries in Sikkim because of its scenic setting and beauty.
Also known as Ranka Monastery, the place is quite popular among the tourists due to its vast complex, alluring murals, and beautiful statues. Several Bollywood films were also shooted here at this monastery.
Completed in the year 1999, it is relatively a new tourist attraction in Sikkim. It is a perfect place to visit for travelers who seek solace while being surrounded by the forest mountains.
Visiting Time: 6 am to 6 pm
How to Reach: The monastery is approximately 20 km distance away from Gangtok. A rented car will drop you here within one hour. Bagdogra is the nearest airport whereas NJP is the nearest railway station.
Check our Sikkim Tour Packages that let you explore all these monasteries in Sikkim.
4. Pemayangtse Monastery
One of the oldest and outstanding monasteries in Sikkim is Pemayangtse. The word Pemayangtse signifies ‘Perfect Sublime Lotus’.
Founded in the year 1705, this monastery is approximately 300 years old and has a great historical significance. The three-storied building of the monastery looks beautiful from inside as well as outside.
The monastery is equipped with a good collection of wall paintings, sculptures, Tibetan motifs, and more. Also in this monastery, the Cham festival is celebrated in the months of January to February.
In the monastery, there is also a seven-tiered painted wooden model of the residence of Guru Rimpoche, complete with rainbows, angels, and the whole armor of Buddhas and bodhisattvas.
Visiting Time: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
How to Reach: From Gangtok or Pelling, you can easily get a car to this monastery. The distance from Gangtok to Pemayangtse Monastery is around 130 km. Whereas from Pelling, the distance is only around 10 km. Bagdogra is the nearest airport whereas NJP is the nearest railway station.
5. Phodong Monastery
It is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Sikkim located in a serene settlement. The monastery was built in the early 18th century by Gyurmed Namgyal of Kagyupa Sect.
Phodong Monastery will be truly worth visiting as you will get to see a huge collection of painting, murals and holy scriptures can be seen in the monastery.
Travelers can enjoy the surrounding view of the hills, the lush green vegetation, explore the inside of the monastery, and meet some of the Noble lineages of 260 monks.
Best Time to Visit: March to May and then again October to December.
How to Reach: Bagdogra Airport is the nearest airstrip to the monastery and the distance between them is around 125km. On the other hand, New Jalpaiguri Junction is the nearest railway station at a distance of 156 km. Gangtok is only 40 kilometers driving distance away. From all these destinations, private jeeps or cars are available to hire.
6. Tashiding Monastery
Enclosed by green vegetation and on the cliff side from where the snowy mountain peaks look stunning, Tashiding is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Sikkim.
Made during the year 1641 by Ngadak Sempa Chempo Phunshok Rigzing, this is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim whose name signifies “The Devoted Central Glory”.
With its beautiful location, unique location, fluttering prayer flags and the astonishing panoramic view of the surrounding, you will truly like to spend some quality time here.
Best Time to Visit: From March to June.
How to Reach: NJP is the major nearby railway station and Bagdogra is the nearest airport. From Pelling, Tashiding Monastery is just 40 km driving distance away. You will get to see plenty of cars available to hire in this town.
7. Sanga Choeling Monastery
Built in the year 1697, Sanga Choeling Monastery is another beautiful Buddhist monastery in Sikkim. First inaugurated by Lama Lhatsun Chempo, it is also one of the oldest monasteries in the region.
The fluttering prayer flags beside the monastery, its scenic surrounding and the calm and composed atmosphere will truly bewitch most of the travelers including you.
Best Time to Visit: November to February
How to Reach: The monastery is 9 km distance away from Pelling that only takes 50 minutes of walk to cover the distance. Bagdogra is the nearest airport and NJP is the nearesy railway station.
8. Dubdi Monastery
Dubdi Monastery is also one of the famous monasteries in Sikkim. It was constructed in the year of 1701 and it is one of the major pilgrimage sites in this state.
Dubdi at an elevation of 2,100 metres above the sea level bewitch the travelers with its unique architecture, beatiful mural, paintings as well as the scenic view of the daunting hills in the backdrop.
Best Time to Visit: March to May
How to Reach: Yuksom is quite near to it. It is just 1 hour walking distance away from Yuksom. Bagdogra is the nearest airport whereas NJP is the nearest railway station.
9. Ralang Monastery
Those who are in love with Tibetan architecture, Ralang Monastery is the best one to visit. Moreover, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful monasteries in Sikkim.
It was built during the year 1995 and offers a great combination of colors, traditions, and incredible Tibetan architecture that bewitch most of the travelers visiting here.
Best Time to Visit: April to June and again in August
How to Reach: Bagdogra is the nearest airport and New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station to this monastery. Taxis are available from any of these stations or airports as well as nearby destinationations like Ravangla and Namchi.
10. Kartok Monastery
Located in Yuksom, Kartok is another worth visiting monastery which is also considered the sixth oldest monastery of Sikkim.
Located opposite the Kartok Lake, its Golden and yellow motifs indicate Tibetan designs. This is truly prominent all over the exterior of this monastery.
Best Time to Visit: From March to June
How to Reach: Being located at Yuksom which is just 3 km from Pelling, you will not face any problem visiting the monastery. Private Vehicles can be hired even from its nearest airport Bagdogra and the nearest railway station NJP.