|Facts and Figures|
|Languages||Sikkimese and English|
|Best time to visit||March-May|
The small town of Pemayangtse is an important Buddhist religious center in the state of Sikkim. Pemayangtse is not only a religious center, but it offers a panoramic view of the eastern Himalayas to the traveler including the mighty Kanchenjunga peak that overlooks the town. The area around Pemayangtse offers to the adventure seeker a number of trekking and hiking trails.
Pemayangtse is located in the southwestern part of the state of Sikkim, in the northeastern region of India.
The best time to visit Pemayangtse is between the months of March and May
The state of Sikkim was originally the home of the Lepcha tribesmen. In the 15th century ad, this region saw the migration of Tibetan Buddhist sects. The Nyingamapa sect/order established its base in Sikkim and their religious teachers or Lamas helped establish the Kingdom of Sikkim. The ruler of this kingdom was called the Chogyal. The capital of this kingdom was at Yuksom and later shifted to Rabdentse, both of which are near Pemayangtse. The kingdom of Sikkim included parts of eastern Nepal, the Chumbi valley (Tibet), Ha valley of Bhutan and foothills of India up to Darjeeling. The kingdom of Sikkim tried to resist the advancing British rule in the 19th century, but the British annexed it in 1849. The power of the Chogyal was thus reduced and Sikkim made a British protectorate. This action of the British infuriated the Tibetans, who had an unsuccessful armed clash with the British. This area became a part of India when India annexed Sikkim in 1975.
The Pemayangtse monastery is the main attraction of this small town. It is one of the principal monasteries in the state of Sikkim, as it is the second oldest monastery in the state and was built in 1705.
This monastery is the main center of the Nyingamapa sect, which is a tantrik sect established in the 8th century ad.The followers of this sect wear red caps rather than the yellow ones worn by monks in other monasteries. The walls of this monastery are adorned with traditional frescoes depicting tantrik Buddhist themes.
An interesting feature of Pemayangtse monastery is the depiction of sangthopalri or heaven, intricately sculpted on wood by a single monk, which took several years to complete. The monastery also houses a treasure trove of antique carvings. Near the monastery, one can find traditional austere dwellings of the monks. Pemayangtse is endowed with rich natural beauty, as it is set amongst picturesque mountains, glaciers and has abundant shrubs of the exotic rhododendron. Walks around the town are refreshing and one can explore the sylvan environs of Pemayangtse.
Pemayangtse is a base for travelers seeking to explore the exhilarating trekking routes of western Sikkim.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
Pemayangtse is famous for its Buddhist festivals. The festival of Losar marking the Tibetan New Year is celebrated in the month of February/March every year with great fanfare in the Pemayangtse monastery. The traditional religious Kagyat Dance festival, involving mask dancing, is held every month in the monastery. The gaiety and the rhythm of the mask dance will haunt and enchant the traveler, once he has seen it.
HOW TO REACHPemayangtse does not have an airport or railway station but it connected by road with other parts of Sikkim.
INFORMATIONTourists cannot stay for more than 15 days in the state of Sikkim. A further extension of 15 days can be obtained from the Home Office in Gangtok (Capital of Sikkim). With a standard permit, travelers can visit Pemayangtse. However, special permit has to be obtained from the Home Office in Gangtok to visit areas around and beyond Pemayangtse. Tourists can obtain permits from Indian embassies in foreign countries and from the towns of Siliguri and Darjeeling. To get these permits the tourists are required to present a photocopy of their passport and one photograph to the concerned officials. There is no fee for getting these permits but the traveler must mention his date of entry into Sikkim, while applying for the same.
Permits can be obtained from the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Offices in Delhi, Mumbai (Bombay), Calcutta and Darjeeling. Alternatively, tourists may contact the Resident Commissioner, Government of Sikkim, 14 Panchsheel Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi (Ph: 011-6115346).
|Indian Culture History|