Located in one of the most incredible landscapes, Phensang Monastery is a Buddhist site of immense significance for spiritual seekers in Sikkim. Belonging to the Nyingmapa sect, the monastery was established in 1721 by the 3rd Lhatsun Jigmed Pawo (1682-1735).
Built several times during its history, Phensang Monastery was rebuilt in 1840 to accommodate more number of monks. It is one of the six largest monasteries in Sikkim in terms of number of monks residing here. As things stand today, the monastery plays host to some three hundred monks.
In 1947 a fire engulfed the Phensang monastery which was rebuilt in the following year. The monastery also underwent reconstruction in the subsequent decades.
During the 28th & 29th days of the tenth month of the Tibetan Calendar which usually falls in the last week of December the Phensang monastery comes alive with excitement. Kagyad dance performed by the Buddhist monks two days before the Sikkim’s New Year symbolizes the destruction of evil of the previous year and embrace of the peace and prosperity in the next year.
How to reach Phensang monastery
Air: Bagdogra airport near Siliguri in West Bengal is the nearest airport to Phensang monastery and is some 130 km away from Phensang monastery. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or a private cab that will take you to the Phensang monastery.
Rail: The nearest railway station to Phensang monastery is about 156 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 Phensang
Road: Good motorable roads connect Phensang monastery with all the major places in Sikkim and India.
Best Time to visit Phensang monastery
October to June is the best period to visit Phensang monastery. If you want to see the Kagyad dance performed in the monastery you will have to come in the month of December.