Located on a beautiful hill top on the northern outskirts of Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, the Enchey monastery commands spectacular views of the town and the Kanchenjunga peak. Established in 1840, it is the seat of the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Tradition has it that the famous tantric and lama Lama Druptob Karpo who had acquired flying power actually flew here from Maenam hill in South Sikkim and built a hermitage here for performing meditation.
The lovely prayer hall of Enchey monastery is adorned with beautiful murals and houses a statue of Buddha as well as other Tantric statues.
You can see the monks performing prayers and traditional rituals. The Enchey monastery is at its exuberant best during its Chaam dance also known as the mask dance usually held in December. Only lamas can participate in Chaam.
How to reach Enchey monastery
Air: Bagdogra, 9 km west of Siliguri in West Bengal, is the nearest airport to Enchey monastery and is some 124 km away from Enchey monastery. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or a private cab that will take you to the Enchey monastery in two hours. The drive from Bagdogra to Enchey monastery is a bewitching experience with River Teesta and scenic mountains as the backdrop.
Rail: The nearest railway station to Enchey monastery is about 150 kilometres away in New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in West Bengal. NJP railway station is well-connected to major cities and places in India including New Delhi and Kolkata. From NJP you can take a taxi to reach Enchey monastery or go to Siliguri Bus Station and board a state-run bus to Gangtok. From Gangtok you can hire a taxi or cab.
Road: well-maintained roads connect Enchey monastery with all the major places in Sikkim and India.
Best Time to visit Enchey monastery
October to June is the best period to visit Enchey monastery. If you want to see the Chaam dance performed in the monastery you will have to come in the month of December when temperature drops to an average low of about 4°C.