Places of Interest in West Sikkim

Places of Interest in West Sikkim, Places to Visit in Sikkim

Pemayangtse Monastery

The Monastery, located on a hill top at an altitude of 6840 ft. commands a magnificent panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges and the surrounding hills and country- side. This is one of the oldest monastary of the Nyngmapa sect of Mahanaya Buddhism, and was but by Lhatsun Chenpo during the reign of the 3rd Chogyal, Chagdor Namgyal in the 17th century. This monastary is about 6 kms from Gyalsing, the West district headquaters.

Rabdentse Ruins

This was the second capital of the erstwhile Kingdom of Sikkim after Yuksom and till the year 1814 AD, the King of Sikkim had ruled the State from this place.Today, the ruins lie hidden from the main road at a walking distance from the Pemayagtse Monastery.

Pelling

Pelling is fast emarging asa most favorite tourist destination in west Sikkim. Situated at an altitude of 6,800 ft., it offers a good view of the entire mountain ranges. Pelling is just 10 kms from Gyalsing.

Sanga-Choling Monastery


This monastery is situated on a ridge above Pelling and the famous Pemayangtse Monastery. Built in 1697 AD, it is considered to be one of the oldest monasteries in the State. In order to reach this Monastery one has to be prepared to spend at least 40 minutes walking up the steep hilly slope which leads through rich forest covers.

Khecheopairi Lake

Khecheapairi Lake is considered to be one of the sacred lakes of this State both by the Buddhist and the Hindus. The Lake remains hidden in the rich forest cover. It is believed that birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on he Lake surface. There is a rnotorable road from Pemayangtse right up to the lake area.

Yuksam

This was the first capital of Sikkim, where according to the historical records; the first Chogyal of the Kingdom of Sikkim was consecrated in 1641 AD by three learned lamas. The evidence of the consecration ceremony is still intact in Norbugang Chorten in the form of stone seats and a foot prints of the Head Lama on a stone. Since the history of the State began from this place, these areas are now considered sacred by the people of Sikkim. Yuksam is served by all weather roads from Pemayangtse, which is at a distance of 32 kms from Yuksam. The trek to Dzongri and to the base camp of the famous Mt Khang- chen-Dzonga begins here. Several categories of accommodation are available in Yuksam for those desiring to spend a few days there.

Dubdi Monastery

This was the first monastery established soon after the consecration ceremony of the first Chogyal. The monaster is located on a hill top above Yuksam surrounded by verdant forest. It can be approached by trekking only, negotiating steep slope for something like 32 to 35 minutes. It is an ideal place for Lamas seeking meditational recluse.

Tashiding Monastery

This monastery is constructed on top of a heart shaped hill with the back drop of the sacred Mt. Khang-chen- Dzonga. According to Buddhist scriptures, Guru Padrna Sambhava (Guru Rimpoche) blessed the sacred land of Sikkirn in the 8th century AD from the spot. The monas- tery, however, was built in the 18th Century AD by Ngadak Sempa Chempo, one of the three lamas who had performed the consecration ceremony of the first Chogyal.

Tashiding is also famous for the most holy chorten known as 'Thong-Wa-Rang-Doi'which literally means 'Saviours by mere sight'. It is believed that the mere act of beholding it is supposed to wash away the sins of the devotees. Another important feature of tashiding is the sacred water festival popularly known as ‘ Bhumchu’. It is a religious tradition unique to Tashiding Monastery only. Every year, on the 14th and the 15th day of the luner month, the bhumchu ceremony is celebrated with the devotees coming from far and near to get the blessing of the holy water. The sacred holy water is officially sealed for safety by t he Government and the lamas of the monastery and it is taken out once a year on the auspicious occasion, only to be put back with some freash additions. The sacred water which is taken out partly mixed with normal water to be distributed among the thousand of devotees.

Varsey

It lies at an elevation of 10,000 ft and motorable road access upto Hilley. An easy 4 kms trek from there takes one upto the Varsey Rhododendrons sanctuary. The place provides a magnificent view of the mountains.