Set against the incredible backdrop of Khangchendzonga, Bhutia Basti in Darjeeling is home to one of the oldest and most venerated Buddhist monasteries of the region. Originally built on Observatory Hill in 1765, the monastery in its present location was rebuilt by the Chogyals (kings) of Sikkim in 1879.
Bhutia Basti monastery belongs to the Red Sect of Buddhists. You will find the original copy of the Buddhism’s guide to the afterlife, The Tibetan Book of the Dead in the monastery.
The main prayer hall of the monastery houses a statue of Buddha in a glass case. You will also find the statues of Tara Devi and goddess Lakshmiswari with thousand eyes and hands in the Bhutia Basti monastery which is adorned with large murals and paintings depicting sense from the life of the Buddha.
How to reach Bhutia Basti Monastery
Air: Bagdogra airport near Siliguri in West Bengal is the nearest airport to the Bhutia Basti monastery which is 80 km from Siliguri. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or a private cab that will take you to the Bhutia Basti monastery.
Rail: The nearest railway station to the Bhutia Basti Monastery is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in West Bengal which is 86 km from the place. NJP railway station is well-connected to major cities and places in India including New Delhi and Kolkata. From NJP you can hire a taxi to reach Bhutia Basti monastery.
Road: Good motorable roads connect Bhutia Basti monastery with all the major places in Darjeeling.
Best Time to visit Bhutia Basti monastery
October to March is the best period to visit Bhutia Basti monastery.