Pemayangtse is a small town that boasts of one of the oldest monasteries of Sikkim. Pemayangtse can be termed as a hub of religious activities of the Buddhists in Sikkim, India. Pemayangtse Monastery gets the major attention owing to its origin and religious significance. Elevated at the height of 2085 meters, Pemayangtse Monastery is positioned at a distance of 6 kilometers from Geyzing, the headquarters of West Sikkim District. One can easily reach the monastery by taking regular buses or by hiring private taxis from Geyzing.
In 1705, Pemayangtse Monastery was built by Lhatsun Chempo (one of the
Lamas who performed the consecration ceremony of the first Chogyal) for
the 'ta-sang' lamas (the purest of the monks). The monastery had been
the leading monasteries, where all religious activities of the monarchs
took place. Made out of wood, the edifice of the monastery looks divine
along with Mt. Kanchenjunga as its surrounding landscape. The exotic
surroundings add to the spiritual ambiance of Pemayangtse Monastery.
Initially, the monastery was meant only for 'Pure Monks', but
eventually monks from all classes got the right to enter it. Pemayangtse
Monastery is the focal point of the Nyingamapa sect, a Tantrik sect of
Buddhists. The followers of this sect sport in red caps, whereas yellow
caps are the usual ones in other monasteries. During the reign of Chador
Namgyal (the third Chogyal), the present structure of the monastery was
built by Lama Jigme Pawo. The literal meaning of 'Pemayangtse' is a
'Perfect Sublime Lotus' and the place actually is one.
Inside the monastery, the walls are decorated with traditional frescoes
representing various themes of Tantrik Buddhism. Pemayangtse Monastery
encompasses a rare assortment of ancient Buddhist antique idols,
carvings, scriptures and sculptures. The highlight of the monastery is
made by illustration of 'Sangthopalri' or Heaven that is artistically
sculpted on wood by Dungzin Rimpoche himself. Every year, 'Chaam' (Mask
Dance) is organized here, which attracts people from all parts of Sikkim