Pemayangtse Monastery is the second oldest monastery in Sikkim. Popular for this monastery, Pemayangtse is located about 107 km west of Gangtok. At an elevation of 5840 ft, the town has the backdrop of snow-capped mountains and valleys with dense forests cover. Pemayangtse means ‘perfect sublime lotus’ and it is believed to symbolize one of the four retes (a network of cells) in the human body.
Pemayangtse Monastery is the main tourist attraction of the town. Despite being over 300 years old, the monastery is in excellent condition and is well maintained by the monks. At elevation of over 6500 ft, the monastery is a three-storied structure with several statues including those of Padmasambhava (Lotus Born).
The first level of the monastery has beautiful sculptures, paintings and ancient scrolls along with the notable statue of Padmasambhava’s eight incarnations with the seven layered wooden structure depicting the heavenly abode of Guru Rimpoche.
The main prayer hall of the monastery is a huge room. The statues near the entrance of the monastery are exquisitely carved and have amazing attention to detail. There is a garden adjacent to the monastery which is well maintained.
Designed and founded by Lama Lhatsun Chempoway, the monastery in Pemayangtse was originally built as a crypt but it was later expanded. Earthquakes in 1913 and 1960 ruined the town and the monastery but they were rebuilt and have been renovated many times since. The monastery is home to the monks who are sworn to celibacy. These monks are given the title of ‘ta-tshang’.
The monastery is also the starting point of the 46 km long Dzongri trekking trail through the dense forests in Khangchendzonga National Park. This trekking trail is considered to be the most popular in Sikkim. You can also visit the ruins of Rabdentse that are located near the town.
WHERE TO EAT
There are limited options to eat in Pemayangtse which are limited to food stalls selling snacks like momos and thupka.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Pemayangtse is between March and June.
NEAR PEMAYANGTSE MONASTERY
Khecheopalri Lake: About 27 km northwest of the town, the lake is considered to fulfill all wishes and is believed to be sacred by Buddhists and Hindus. The water of the lake is clear and reflects the dense forests and monastery overlooking it.
Darjeeling: About 106 km south of the town, Darjeeling is one of the most scenic and hugely popular hill resorts in India. Nestled among the backdrop of the mighty snow clad Himalayan peaks, Darjeeling is popular with tourists for its beauty and salubrious climate. One can get a clear view of the world’s third highest peak, Kanchenjunga, from the town on a sunny day.
Gangtok: About 107 km east of the town, Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim and a hill resort. It is one of the most frequently visited places in the North-East. It is known for its scenic beauty and striking views of the mount Kanchenjunga, 3rd highest peak in the world.
Kalimpong: About 82 km southeast of the town, it was a part of Bhutan until it was wrested by colonial British and joined to Indian Territory. The hill station of Kalimpong boasts of ancient Buddhist monasteries, quaint old churches and popular temples.
Namchi: About 65 km southeast of the town, Namchi is famous for its Buddhist monastery, scenic locales and is a bio-diversity hotspot. It is also renowned for housing the world’s largest statue of Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim.
Pelling: About 9 km northwest, Pelling is a small town located at the foothills of Kanchenjunga in Sikkim. The Sangachoeling Monastery here attracts tourists from all over the country.
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Pemayangtse Monastery is as given below. The best time to visit Pemayangtse Monastery is also specified.