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Phodong Monastery, Gangtok Overview

Located in Phodong near Gangtok in Sikkim, Phodong Monastery is one amongst the six most important Buddhist monasteries in the state. Besides being a popular place of tourism, the monastery is a very important place of Buddhist pilgrimage. Boasting of a striking architecture with vibrant coloured exteriors and delicate interiors that are adorned with gorgeous paintings, murals and frescoes, the monastery is also considered one of the most beautiful in all the country. It houses a total of around 260 monks at present.

Phodong Monastery is based at a vantage point, at a towering height of 4500 m, that provides a lovely backdrop of the lush green hills in the distance and the calm valley down below. Other than the regular devotees, the place is also frequented by tourists, nature lovers and wanderers. It is considered a perfect place to sit down to reflect and unwind as the pristine place reverberates with serenity, peace and calm.

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History of Phodong Monastery

Phodong Monastery was founded by the fourth king of Sikkim Gyurmed Namgyal in 1740 AD. It belongs to the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism and is one among the three important Kagyu sect monasteries in Sikkim. During the course of time, the monastery was destroyed by an earthquake and was later built by the Lamas in 1977.

Festival at Phodong Monastery

The Monastery celebrates a grand annual festival on the 28th and 29th day of the 10th month of the Tibetan calendar which mostly falls in the months of December and January. Along with several other rituals, the highlight of the festival is the Chaam Dance that is performed by the monks.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Phodong Monastery is during the time of the Phodong Festival hat falls some time in December or January. You can be a part of the festivities when the monastery is decorated in lights and streamers. The place comes alive with celebrations and it is an experience worth remembering.

How to Reach

The nearest airport is in Bagdogra in West Bengal which is 124 km from here. The nearest railway station is in Siliguri which is at a distance of 114 km. There are also regular buses plying from the neighbouring cities.

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