Head To Yuksom, Sikkim To See Some Marvellous Monasteries

Yuksom in western Sikkim is a popular starting point for trekking. The town has beautiful monasteries and serene lakes, making it a must-visit destination for cultural enlightenment and inner peace
Tashiding Monastery
Tashiding Monastery Pravruti/Shutterstock

Yuksom is a town in western Sikkim known for its historical and cultural significance as the first capital of Sikkim. It is surrounded by the majestic Himalayan mountains and lush valleys, making it a popular starting point for treks and offering breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, waterfalls, and pristine lakes. The town also has several beautiful monasteries that emanate spirituality and tranquillity.

Whether you're a spiritual seeker or an avid traveller, visiting these monasteries provides an immersive experience, revealing the region's rich traditions, remarkable architecture, and serene atmosphere. Vibrant prayer flags and melodic chants create a unique glimpse into the mystical world of Buddhism, making Yuksom a must-visit destination for those seeking inner peace and cultural enlightenment.

Tashiding Monastery

Tashiding Monastery is a revered Buddhist site with a rich history dating back to the 17th century. Situated atop a hill, this sacred sanctuary offers panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and snow-capped Himalayan peaks. The monastery is an architectural masterpiece adorned with vibrant murals, intricate woodwork, and ornate statues of Buddhist deities. Pilgrims and tourists flock to Tashiding Monastery to seek blessings and witness its spiritual aura.

The monastery is famous for its holy chorten, which is said to contain relics of revered lamas. The annual Bumchu festival draws crowds from far and wide, where the sacred water is distributed, believed to bring good fortune and cleanse one's sins. The festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of the Lunar calendar corresponding to February/March.

Tashi Tenka Monastery

Tashi Tenka, formerly the imperial royal residence complex at the southern edge of town, now serves as an open ground, providing a stunning view of the surrounding area. If you face south, you can see the ruins of Rabdentse, which is part of the Buddhist pilgrimage circuit. It is located slightly higher and to the left of the Pemayangtse Monastery. Looking towards the north, you'll be greeted by the peaceful Rathong Valley nestled among towering mountains. When you turn east, a picturesque road to Tashiding unveils itself, flanked by lush forested slopes. Lastly, when you cast your gaze westward, you'll be treated to a panoramic view of Khecheopalri.

Dubdi Monastery
Dubdi Monasteryhttps://www.indianetzone.com/

Dubdi Monastery

Declared a national monument, Dubdi Monastery is a revered Buddhist temple affiliated with the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It was established in 1701 during the reign of Chogyal Namgyal and is recognized as one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. The name "Dubdi" translates to "retreat," which aptly represents its captivating location amidst dense chestnut forests.

Taking a stroll to reach this monastery allows you to immerse yourself in a natural paradise adorned with towering trees and a picturesque stone pathway, all embraced by snow-capped mountains and lush valleys. This intricately painted two-storey stone structure, also known as Yuksom Monastery, stands at an elevation of 2,100 meters and showcases vivid images of deities, revered figures, sacred symbols, and an impressive collection of manuscripts.

Kartok Monastery
Kartok MonasterySikkim Tourism

Kartok Monastery

Kartok Monastery is one of the three significant monasteries in the area, alongside Dubdi Monastery and Ngadak Chorling Monastery. Kartok Monastery's elegant red structure is adorned with vibrant yellow and blue Tibetan motifs. This beautiful monastery is a prominent attraction in Yuksom, enhanced by colourful prayer flags fluttering in the breeze and complemented by the serene Lake Kartok. Its name is derived from a Lama who played a significant role in the coronation ceremony of the first ruler of Sikkim.

Ngadak Monastery 

Ngadak Monastery is located a short distance from the main town of Namchi in Sikkim. It was constructed during the reign of Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal by Tensung Namgyal as a palace for Her Highness Pendi Ongmu. Iron railings support the monastery, and a new Gumpa (prayer hall) is being constructed to replace the old structure damaged in an earthquake during the 17th century. Being one of the oldest monasteries in Namchi, Ngadak offers a perfect environment for seeking peace and practising meditation amidst natural surroundings. Visitors are said to promise to return to the monastery when they visit, as the name "Ngadak" itself means "promise."

Getting There

Those travelling via air should arrive at Bagdogra Airport, the nearest to Yuksom. Located in West Bengal's Siliguri, the airport is approximately a 5-6 hour drive from Yuksom. The town is well-connected by road to neighbouring cities such as Gangtok, Siliguri, and Darjeeling. New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Railway Station is the nearest railway station for train commuters in Siliguri, West Bengal. From there, a 5-6 hour drive will take you to Yuksom.

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