Sikkim is perhaps the only state in India with more than hundred eighty Monastery. Enchey is an important seat of the Nyingmapa order, the Monastery is built on the site blessed by Lama Druptok Karpo. He is believed to be a tantric master known for his power of flying. This 200 years old monastery has in its premises images of gods, goddesses and other religious objects of historical importance. Every year around January, Chaam" or religious masked dance is performed with great fanfare for two days. It is situated close to the town of Gangtok and is one of the places of interest. Tourist generally visits this place in the nine points, half day or seven point package tours. It is only 3 kilometers from Gangtok Town.
The monastery is situated in Upper Chandmari, Gangtok, the capital state of Sikkim. Enchey Monastery is nearly 200 years old and is located 3 kilometers northeast of Gangtok. The monastery was first built in the 1840s by the eighth Chogyal and it became a pilgrimage place. The monastery as seen now was aesthetically built like a Chinese Pagoda during the rule of Sikyong Tulku (1909–1910). The walls of the monastery in the large prayer hall are fully covered with paintings and murals of four religious kings, the deities of the four cardinal directions as stated in the scriptures and the entire galaxy of Mahayan Buddhist deities.
It belongs to the Nyingma order of Vajrayana Buddhism. The location was blessed by Lama Drupthob Karpo, a renowned exponent of tantric art adept in Buddhism with flying powers. It is believed that initially a small Gompa was established by him after which he flew from Maenam Hill in South Sikkim to this site. The literal meaning of ‘Enchey Monastery’ is ‘the solitary temple’. It is also said that the Monk built a small hermitage at the site of the monastery, after he came here flying from Maenam Hill in South Sikkim. Its sacredness is attributed to the belief that Khangchendzonga and Yabdean are the protecting deitiesresiding here. As per legend Guru Padmasambhava had subdued the spirits of the Khangchendzonga, Yabdean and Mahakala here. The religious significance of Enchey Monastery is deeply ingrained in every household in Gangtok. It is also believed that these powerful deities always fulfil the wishes of the devotees
The Enchey Monastery was established in 1909. It belongs to the Nyingma order of Vajrayana Buddhism. Enchey Monastery today is a home to around 90 monks belonging to the Nyingma sect. It houses a number of idols / images of Gods, Goddesses and religious objects. The Buddha, Loketeswara and Guru Padmasambhava are the three important deities worshipped in the monastery. Special prayers are held at the monastery, on the 18th, 19th day of the 12th lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, corresponding to the dates during January, February each year. The vibrant and colorful “Chaam” or religious masked dance held here every January.
Detor Cham is the colourful and vibrant Cham dance festival that is held in the monastery during on the 18th and 19th day of the 12th Lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, corresponding to the dates during January/February of the Gregorian calendar. Other festivals observed in the Enchey Monastery are: the Singhe Chaam performed once every three years, Pang Lhabsol commemorating the swearing of blood-brotherhood between the Bhutias and Lepchas in the presence of Khangchendzonga as witness. The Cham dances are mask dances where the dancers wearing ornate robes perform dances representing the Tibetan deity figurines of Mahakala (the protector) and mythical snow lions; both depict a third eye on their foreheads to represent the "need for inner reflection." The dance festivals are usually held prior to the Losar, the Tibetan New Year day (February / March) and Losoong, the Sikkimese New Year (December / January)
Enchey is located approximately 03 kilometres from the center of Gangtok and its walkable distance from the capital of Sikkim. Nearest airport is located at Bagdogra Airport (IXB) in West Bengal which is around 128 kilometers from Gangtok. Flight from here connect to destinations like Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Paro, Bangkok, Mumbai and Guwahati. From Bagdogra Airport (IXB) airport daily helicopter services reach Gangtok and requires early bookings. Nearest railway link is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) at a distance of 128 kilometers from Gangtok. Trains from here link to destinations like Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati. From New Jalpaiguri jeeps are available to bring you to Gangtok. NH 10 connects Gangtok to Kolkata via Teesta Bazaar and Rangpo. Private vehiclesare available if booked early as there is shortage of registered Taxi.
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