Gangtok, Sikkim is the land of monasteries and has at least two hundred. Yes. Really. Each one is more beautiful than the other. We only had time to see three. But my heart was full. The interiors are gorgeous and the expression on the larger than life statues of the Buddha is just wonderful. Here are some pictures of the Gonjang Monastery in Gangtok.
A beautiful entry arch
A brief history: (Yes, get ready for a real tongue twister!)
Gonjang Monastery is near Tashi View Point and established in the year 1981. Thee founder is H.E. Tingkye Gonjang Rimpoche. He was recognized as an incarnation of Yolmo Terton Ngakchang Shakya Zangpo, a 15th century Nyingmapa Terton.
The monastery follows Jangter tradition of Nyingmapa school of Tibeten Buddhism. In the early 19th century, it was Rigzin Pema Choephel who was also responsible for constructing the first ever Gonjang Monastery at Tingkey, Tsang province which was named as “Gonjang Samten Choephug”. Monk students study for nine years and are taught all kinds of monastic stuff along with Tibetan language and English. Their education includes comparative studies of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy based on moral values.
Take a look at the door knocker
Looking out from this entry way, is this little prayer room where they light the butter lamps. Where you see blank in the background, should have been a panoramic view of mountains. Rains. Hence zero visibility!
Want a closer look? Visitors are not allowed inside. This is what it looks like from the outside:
Let’s go inside the monastery, shall we? This breathtaking sight meets us – Padmasambhava Rinpoche (or the coming Buddha)
I just love the expression on this Buddha’s face! Like he’s privately amused by the way the world is going.
A close-up- did you notice that little tooth showing on the left? That’s what makes it so charming.
Men at work – creating a brand new Buddha
I looked up. More men at work repainting the colorful interiors.They were quite unperturbed with our photography attempts
The prayer drum. Turning it dissolves all your sins 😀
It is so tough to choose from hundreds of photos! Next week I’ll show you what I brought home
Now let’s head over to the lovely Unknown Mami’s
blog and join the others and travel the world and….have a great week ahead, folks!