Tashiding Monastery


Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Pelling): 36 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 2 Hours

Place Location: At Tashiding

Transportation Options: Cab

Travel Tips: None

At a distance of 25 km from Yuksom and 36 km from Pelling, Tashiding Monastery is a Buddhist monastery situated at Tashiding in Sikkim. Located atop a hill between the Rathong Chhu and the Rangeet River, it is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim and among the top places to visit in Pelling.

Tashiding Monastery was built in 1641 CE by Ngadak Sempa Chempo Phunshok Rigzing. Ngadak was one of the three wise men who held the crowning ceremony of the first King of Sikkim at Yuksom. The monastery was extensively renovated in 1717 CE during the reign of the third Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal. Tashiding means 'The Devoted Central Glory' and the monastery belongs to the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

The famous spiritual shrine is the most sacred and holiest monasteries in Sikkim. According to local legend, Guru Padmasambhava shot an arrow into the air to select the place. Where the arrow he shot landed, he sat in meditation and that site eventually became the site of the Tashiding Monastery. It is a part of the Buddhist religious pilgrimage route which starts with the first monastery at Yuksam, known as the Dubdi Monastery, Norbugang Chorten, Pemayangtse Monastery, the Rabdentse ruins, the Sanga Choeling Monastery, and the Khecheopalri Lake.

Tashiding Monastery attracts tourists with its beautiful architecture and a snowy backdrop provided by majestic Mt. Kanchendzonga. The shrine is surrounded by fluttering prayer flags and holy stupas that are built for spiritual benefit of the devotees. In the monastery, visitors can see 'manis' (stone plates) that are engraved with holy Buddhist mantras. The premises of the monastery are adorned with 41 chortens - known as 'Chortens of Enlightenment', preserving the relics of Sikkim Choygal and lamas. The most famous amongst these are the 'Thong-Wa-rang-Dol' which literally means 'Saviours by mere sight'. It is believed that even a slight glimpse of this chorten can cleanse mortals of all sins.

The monastery is also widely known for its festival, Bhumchhu. Bhumchhu is a sacred water ceremony that is celebrated jubilantly during the 14th and 15th day of the first month according to the Tibetan calendar. The water of Rathong Chhu is stored for a year and kept in the Tashiding Monastery. It is opened during the festival by the lamas who inspect the water level and hence it is called the festival of holy water. The belief is that alteration in the quantity and quality of the water stored in the vase over a year would indicate the fortune of Sikkim and its people in the following year.

Timings: 7 AM to 7 PM