Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is an important Tibetan institute that promotes and carries on researches in the field of Tibetan language, art, religion and its culture. Its building boasts of traditional Tibetan architecture amidst lush greenery, which is a striking sight for the visitors. It is embellished with golden lined towers, colorful frescos, attractive murals and array of windows on the top floor overlooking beautiful sun-lighted mountains and natural scenery. On its first floor, there is Tibetan library that has one of the largest collections of Tibetan documents and literature in the world. However the center of attraction here is the majestic image of Manjushri ‘the Bodhisattva of knowledge’ that was brought from Tibet. The land on which the institute is built was donated by the late King of Sikkim Tashi Namgyal, because of which the institute bore its name. On 10 February 1957, the foundation stone of the institute was laid by the 14th Dalai Lama and was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India late. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 1 October 1958.
The premise has a Museum located on its ground floor, which has the unique collection of statues, coins, masks, thangkas, Tibetan art work & objects, and ancient manuscripts contributed by the great monks and kings. To stuff your bag with gifts and souvenir like intricate items including German silverware and typical Sikkimese clothing, there is shop just opposite to the institute building named as Asta Mangala Art. Within short walking distance is Do-Drul Chorten Stupa, top among the must visit places in Gangtok.
The institute can be visited all through the year.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is 2 km from Gangtok town. One can hire a taxi to reach here in just 10 to 15 mins. And if one’s fond of walking, he can even cover the distance by foot. The institute is in the walking distance from Deorali Bazaar Ropeway Station and Deorali taxi stand.
To enter the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, the admission fee payable is Rs. 10/- per person. It is open to public from 10 am till 4 pm (Monday to Saturday). And it is closed on every Sunday, second saturdays of each month and public holidays. It is a tradition to take off the shoes before entering the place. Photography is not allowed inside the museum.