Sikkim's Past In the present
Sikkim, The Travelers Paradise, captures everyone’s hearts with the surreal sights of the Mighty Kanchenjunga & its ethereal natural beauty starting from glacial waterfalls, rivers & lakes to the high rising snowclad mountains. On the other hand this beautiful himalayan state also carries its significant past that portrays through several structures & monuments that stand on its land till this day.
The history of Sikkim unfolds with the ascent of the Namgyal dynasty which came into power in the 17th century. During their reign, Sikkim became a major center for Tibetan Buddhism, hence many monasteries and religious institutions were built across the state. In the year 1975 Sikkim became a part of India as the 22nd state and since then this beautiful Himalayan state has been an integral part of India, flourishing and adding significant values & growth to our country in different paradigms.
Here we are listing some of the major tourist attractions of the state that have remarkable historical values associated with them :
Rabdentse RuinsLet’s start our exploration of the place from where it was once ruled, situated in West, Rabdentse is the ruins of the Former capital of Sikkim that was built in the 17th century. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit for anyone interested in Sikkim’s history. Visitors can explore the ruins and see the remains of the palace, monasteries, and other such important buildings which still reflect the history of the glorious past.
Picture: Rabdentse Ruins – Sikkim | Photo Credits : Wikipedia
Pemayangtse MonasteryOnce the flock of birds fancy your eyes you can then take a short walk to the infamous Pemayangtse monastery nearby. Considered one of the most important monasteries in Sikkim, built in the 18th century. Constructed & designed with intricate wood carvings, ancient scriptures, and other artifacts that are housed in the monastery. The seven-tiered painted wooden structure in the monastery portrays Guru Rimpoche’s Heavenly Palace ‘Zangto Palri’. It was Late Dungzin Rimpoche who took 5 long years to finish this structure single-handedly.
Picture : Pemayangtse Monastery – Sikkim | Photo Credits : Tripadvisor
Namgyal Institute of TibetologyIf it is the History & Traditional Sikkimese culture that interests you, then a visit to the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology should be on your cards. Located in Gangtok, Deorali; the capital city of Sikkim, it is named after the 11th Chogyal of the state “Sir Tashi Namgyal”. The institute houses a vast collection of books, manuscripts, and various artifacts related to Sikkim and rich history and culture of Tibet.
Picture: Namgyal Institute of Tibetology – Sikkim | Photo Credits : Wikipedia
Dubdi MonasteryHaving visited the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and arousing the curiosity within you to know about the cultural past of Sikkim, Dubdi monastery is the site you should be heading next. Established in the year 1701, Dubdi Monastery stands at an altitude of 2100 meters and is also known as Yuksom Monastery and considered to be one of the oldest of Sikkim. It carries immense historical & religious significance and is a shrine dedicated to Tibetan Buddhism’s Nyingma branch with a rare collection of manuscripts and other ritual texts that have been preserved even to this day. The monastery is a significant stop on the pilgrimage circuit, which includes the Norbugang Chorten, Pemayangtse Monastery, Rabdentse, Sanga Choeling Monastery, the revered Khecheopalri Lake, and finally the Tashiding Monastery.
Picture: Dubdi Monastery – Sikkim | Photo Credits : Wikipedia
Norbugang ChortenContinuing our journey through Sikkim we now encounter the Norbugang Chorten, a pivotal site on the sacred pilgrimage circuit of Sikkim. It is about a 20-minute walk from the main Yuksom Market. The coronation of the first Chogyal (Monarch) of Sikkim “Phuntsog Namgyal” in 1642 took place here. Norbugang Chorten is a stupa famous for the footprints of one of the three Lama’s embedded in a rock who consecrated the Chogyal which can be witnessed by tourists. Regarded as one of Sikkim’s most significant emblems of sovereignty, Norbugang is a significant place of pilgrimage for the Sikkimese. For someone interested in Sikkim’s culture and history it is a must-visit location, surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of Yuksom.
Picture : Norbugang Chorten – Sikkim | Photo Credits : Wikipedia
Kecheopalri LakeIt is from this sacred lake that the water was collected to coronate the first Chogyal of Sikkim. The original pronunciation is Kha-Chot-Palri which means “Heaven of Padmasambhava”, located near the Khecheopalri village which is 147 km away from Gangtok. The lake is shaped as a representation of Buddha’s feet and also known as the “Wish-fulfilling lake”. Situated amidst a tranquil forest at an altitude of 1700 meters, it exudes solemnity, peace, and the rich cultural heritage of Sikkim and is the best place to witness Sikkim’s ancient roots. A must-visit for everyone.
Picture : Kecheopalri Lake – Sikkim | Photo Credits : Google
Rumtek MonasteryThe Monastery of Rumtek is also known as the Dharma Chakra Center. It is the seat of the Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism, and is one of the most important monasteries. Constructed in the 16th century and the monastery is well known for its stunning murals, intricate carvings, and architecture. It also houses several valuable Buddhist artifacts, such as ancient “Thangkas & Scriptures“. The monastery’s extensive library, prayer sessions, and traditional Buddhist ceremonies are all open to visitors.
Picture : Rumtek Monastery – Sikkim | Photo Credits : Udaan Hotels & Resorts ©
Sikkim offers a unique travel experience, from the majestic peaks of Kanchenjunga to the serene lakes of Gurudongmar and famous Kanchenjunga waterfalls, making Sikkim truly awe-inspiring. The state’s cultural diversity is also notable, with a mix of Hindu, Buddhist and Nepalese influences. Where most of the travelers fascinate over the natural beauty of Sikkim, a whole lot of them miss out on Sikkim’s historical & mesmerizing remnants of its past, still visible in the form of ancient monasteries, palaces and forts. All of these elements combined make Sikkim a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a peaceful yet adventurous travel experience amidst stunning natural beauty and rich culture.
Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a soul-enriching experience, Sikkim beckons with open arms, inviting you to immerse yourself in its captivating history and vibrant traditions.