Located on a hilltop the Tashiding monastery was built in 1717 by Ngadak Sempa Chembo during the reign of the third Chogyal of Sikkim, Chakdor Namgyal. One of the holiest and oldest monasteries in Sikkim, Tashiding features beautiful carvings of the sacred texts and Buddhist deities on the stone tablets.
On the premises of the Tashiding monastery are a number of ornately carved shrines and many stupas dedicated to the saints. The Buddhist mantra ‘Om Mane Padme Hum (hail the jewel in the lotus)’ is carved almost everywhere.
There are many Buddhist festivals which are celebrated with zeal in the region. Bhumchu is the most sacred festival associated with the Tashiding Monastery. During the festival the sealed vessels (tings) are opened to predict the prosperity of Sikkim. This is done by measuring the level of the waters which were put into the vessels one year before. The waters are from Rathong river in west Sikkim. Bhumchu is held every year in the month of February.
How to reach Tashiding monastery
Air: Bagdogra airport near Siliguri in West Bengal is the nearest airport to Tashiding monastery. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or a private cab that will take you to the Tashiding monastery. It is a four hour drive from Siliguri to Tashiding.
Rail: The nearest railway stations to Tashiding monastery is 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 Tashiding.
Road: Good motorable roads connect Tashiding monastery with all the major places in Sikkim and India.
Best time to visit Tashiding Monastery
Though anytime is good time to visit the Tashiding Monastery, best to visit it is in the month of February when the monastery plays host to the Bhumchu festival.