As the literal meaning of Enchey Monastery i.e ‘the solitary temple’, this sacred Buddhist pilgrim is the mystical wonderland surrounded with splendid natural beauty. The tall pine trees, the exhilarating whiff of flower-bedecked meadows and the scenic view of the Kanchenjunga Hills infuse the devotees with the feeling of being amidst a serene and blessed environment. This 200 years old Monastery lies 3 km to the north-east of Gangtok. It is an important seat of the Nyingmapa order of Vajrayana school of Buddhism. It is believed that Lama Druptob Karpo; a renowned tantric blessed with flying powers, flew from Maenam Hill and constructed a hermitage at this mesmerising location. That had been renovated in Chinese pagoda style under the reign of Sidkeong Tulku (1909 1910). At present, this sanctimonious monastery is home to 90 monks. The Monastery pays its reverence to Buddha, Loki Sharia and Guru Padmasambhava. The large metal roofed prayer hall inside contains several images of God, Goddesses and other Tantric murals. There are wheel of law on the porch that gurgles in perfect symphony with the monks chantings.
Other than its surreal location, Enchey Monastery is most popular tourist spot in Sikkim because of its very famous Chaam dance; a special prayer offering by masked monks, which is organized on the 18th, 19th day of the 12th lunar month of the Tibetan calendar. The monastery also celebrates the Pang Lhabsol festival that brings together the Bhutias and the Lepchas by swearing of blood-brotherhood keeping the mighty Khangchendzonga as its witness.
Things To Do And See :
One can witness the famous Chaam dance, which is organized on the 18th, 19th day of the 12th lunar month of the Tibetan calendar (June). The monastery also celebrates the Pang Lhabsol festival; a common festival that brings together the Bhutias and the Lepchas.
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, renowned as an important centre for Buddhist philosophy and religion, is situated in close proximity to Enchey Monastery. It is just 15-20 mins ride away from Enchey Monastery. Another very popular tourist destination Do Drul Chorten is just at the walking distance from the institute.
The Hindu deity believer can visit Ganesh Tok that takes just over 15 minutes through the forest. One can opt for a combined visit to all these places, as they are very close to each other.
Getting there :
Situated at Nathula-Gangtok road, makes it easily accessible by road. You can hire a taxi from Gangtok and reach Enchey Monastery in 15 to 20 mins time, or you can even cover the distance by walking. You can take the help of the locals on the way for directions.
Best Time To Visit :
The visitors who wish to get acquainted with the vibrant culture of Buddhism, can visit in the month of Sept and October to witness the yearly Festival ‘Detor Cham’ to enjoy the very famous Monks Cham Dance. Being a high altitude monastery reaching here can be a problem during winters when there is heavy rainfall. There is no entry fee to visit the Enchey Monastery. It is open for visitors everyday between 9 am to 6 pm.