Rinchenpong Monastery forms a part of the recently developed tourism spot and is situated above the twin villages of Rinchenpong and Kaluk in West Sikkim. It is located at a height of more than 5576 feet. This 18th century monastery is a tremendously popular tourist attraction of West Sikkim. This spot is surreally dream-like that commands a wide area of magnificent mountain views, along with sunrise and sunset, exotic flora and fauna. The monastery promotes village tourism and is a notable historical site and heritage of Resum Monastery. The area is covered by rich forests and has ample scope of short picturesque treks across hills, valleys and meadows. From the monastery site, there can be enjoyed mesmerizing views of the beautiful Kanchenjunga range of mountains. Apart from the natural beauty of the region where the monastery is located, the place also holds a considerable amount of historical significance.
Rinchenpong Monastery was established as early as in the year 1730 by the Ngadakpa Lama. This monastery is famed worldwide as it is the third oldest monastery in Sikkim. It was started with approximately 98 lamas. The villages of Rinchenpong earns its fame mostly from the importance of this monastery. The monastery has a rare Ati Buddha statue in the Yab-Yum posture. Ati Buddha is also termed as the Primordial Buddha and is considered to be the true Buddha. This reverend form of Buddha is symbolically represented as a naked Buddha in blue. The Yab-Yum position represents Buddha meditating while embracing a woman and this posture signifies the power and importance of the union of male and female.
Rinchenpong Monastery is set amidst natural glory and has infinite scenic beauty and along with the all-important singular statue of Lord Buddha. It is located in the spectacular mountain trail above the scenic village of Rinchenpong. Both the villages of Kaluk and Rinchenpong are located at an height of 5,500 feet and can be reached by a road journey of 5 hours from Siliguri.
From the main Rinchenpong bazaar, the mountainous trail that originates gradually leads to a bifurcated junction. In the left of this junction lies the infamous Poison Pokhri, the poisoned lake, which played a vital role in keeping away foreign invaders. After reaching the Poison Pokhri, one needs to continue along the trail through maize fields and up a series of stony steps. This final climb of the stone staircase will help you reach the destination, the glamorous Rinchenpong Monastery. It is situated amidst lush green mountains and looks ethereally astounding with floating clouds all around. An enthralling panoramic view is one of the major attractions of visiting this place.
The entrance to the monastery is lined with colourful prayer flags. Housed in a traditional hut, the outer periphery is decorated with prayer wheels. Child lamas can be seen in and around the monastery as the place also serves as a training centre for lamas. The main door and windows have intricate detailing in a myriad of colours. Inside the monastery one can see the Buddha statue placed gloriously on a platform. Visitor entry is allowed in the sanctum but photography has recently been prohibited.
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