Pemayangtse Monastery is situated at an altitude of 2085 meters, near Pelling town in Sikkim, India. Pemayangtse Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. Monks at Pemayangtse Monastery are of pure Tibetan lineage and are having the title, “Ta-tshang”.
Main Shrine of Pemangytse Monastery with prayer flags
Pemayangtse Monastery or Pemangytse gompa was founded by Lhatsun Chenpo in the 17th century. Pemayangtse means ‘Perfect Sublime Lotus’ and Gompa means a Buddist Monastery. During the reign of Chakdor Namgyal, the third Chogyal, this monastery was expanded. Pemayangtse monastery controls all other monasteries of the Nyingma Order in Sikkim. Nyingma Order of Buddhism was established in the 8th century by Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche.
Pemangytse gompa is a three-storied structure. Eight incarnations of Padmasambhava can be seen inside the Monastery. Seven tiered wooden structure of Guru Rimpoche’s Heavenly Palace can be seen on the top floor. It is called “Sanghthokpalri” or “Zandog-palri”.
Pemayangtse gompa overlooks the ruins of the Rabdentse Palace. These ruins were declared monuments of national importance. The ruins here are maintained by the Archeological Society of India.
Rabdentse was the second capital of the Kingdom of Sikkim, after Yuksom. This kingdom was earlier known as Dremoshong. Till 1814 A.D., Rabdentse remained the capital. This kingdom was reigned by the Chogyals (meaning righteous ruler) of the Namgyal dynasty (1642 to 16th May 1975). The Head of Pemayangtse Monastery was entitled to anoint the Chogyals, during the crowning ceremony.
The Chogyals faced constant threats from Nepalese and Bhutanese. Nepalese (Gurkha army) destroyed Rabdentse palace on one such occasion.
Dense forests surround the trekking path to the palace ruins. There is a lake on this pathway, which passes through dense forests.
Namphogang, the stone pulpit of the judges during the reign of the king, can be seen on the trekking route to the palace ruins. The entry point to the palace, ‘Taphap Chorten’, can be seen further down the trekking path. The fourth courtyard contains the palace ruins.
Three Chortens can be seen at the ruins site, where the royal family used to offer incense to the deities. Chorten means a Buddhist monument or shrine or a tomb of the saint.
There is a white marble stone of 7 feet by 5 feet at the ruins site, which is believed to be the original site of Risum Gompa.
Khanchendzonga, Himalayan Mountain ranges, can be seen from this area.
How Do I Go to Pemayangtse Monastery & Rabdentse Palace Ruins?
Pelling is the nearest town to Pemayangtse Monastery and the palace ruins, at around 9 kilometers distance. Three kilometers trekking from the yellow gate near the Pelling–Geyshing road takes you to the Pemayangtse Monastery and the nearby ruins of the palace. It takes around 15 minutes of trekking to reach these ancient palace ruins, situated on a cliff.
Gangtok, the capital of the state, is at around 140 kilometers distance. Darjeeling is around 73 kilometers from Pelling.
New Jalpaiguri railway station is the nearest railway station at around 132 kilometers distance from Pemayangtse Monastery.
Bagdogra airport is the nearest airport to Pemayangtse Monastery. Bagdogra airport is connected to New Delhi, Kolkata, and Guwahati. This airport is at a distance of around 9 kilometers from Siliguri town and 45 kilometers from Jalpaiguri.
Are you going in for the Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour to Pemayangtse Monastery?
The place looks amazing considering how old it actually is! I would love to visit both the monastery and the ruins! 😀
Pemayangtse Monastery was established in the17th century! You are welcome to visit this sacred Buddhist pilgrimage circuit Monastery and the palace ruins.
Wow this is so incredibly informative! Good levels of research
Thank you Mattie.
Keep it up…very good contents which are equally informative for anybody who likes travelling to various destinations in India.
Thank you Prakash.
It looks like a beautiful place. Great post. 🙂
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Thank you. Read your Uzbekistan post. Amazing.
This place shows its importance also on the pictures and it looks amazing! Thank you for sharing
I first heard about Pemayangtse from a friend who visited the town for her honeymoon! It sounded very zen and relaxing. I had no clue that the place is also home to ruins. Thanks for sharing the travel time information — it’s most useful!