Pemayangste monastery is a Buddhist monastery located in Pemayangste in the north-eastern Indian state of Sikkim. It is located near Pelling that is 140 kilometers west of Gangtok. It was planned, designed and founded by Lama Lhatsun Chempo in 1705. It is one of the first and oldest monasteries in Sikkim and was built by Gyalwa Lhatsun Namkha Jigme.He was the main amongst three monks who consecrated the first religious king of Sikkim at Yuksam in 1641 AD. The monastery derives its name from “Padma yang tse” which literally translates into the ‘sublime perfect lotus’ which is believed to symbolize one of the four retes (a network of cells) in the human body.
The monastery is the headquarters of the Nyingmapa order of the Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery was built for monks. Pure monks, (ta- tshang), as defined by Lhatsun Chempo, are monks who are “of pure Tibetan lineage” pure and without any physical abnormality. Only the monks of Pemayangtse Monastery are entitled to the title “ta-tshang”.
The monastery is located on the summit of the hill above Gyalzing Bazaar, West Sikkim and lies at the beginning of a popular trek route in Sikkim- the Dzongri trek, which is a 46 km long trekking trail through the dense forests in Khanchendzonga National Park.
The main festival of the monastery is celebrated on the 28th and 29th day of the 12th month of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar (around February). The two day festival sees sacred religious dance called the Chham. The dance concludes on the third day with the unfurling of the Ghyo-Ku’ and a huge embroidered Buddhist scroll.
The monastery is located at an elevation of 2085 m and is built with a scenic backdrop of snow-capped mountains on two sides. It is a three storied structure and depicts paintings on its walls and statues of saints and Rinpoches. It also houses statues of Padmasambhava (lotus born). The monastery was damaged by earthquakes in 1913 and 1960. However, it has been restored several times. It has manicured gardens in its surroundings and there is accommodation available for monks.
Also, check out: