DO DRUL CHORTEN STUPA
Why Should I Visit
The Do Drul Chorten, a giant stupa in Gangtok town was built in 1946 by a teacher of the 14th Dalai Lama, Trulshik Rinpoche. The pearly white dome of the stupa with its shiny golden spire is dedicated to an important deity of in the Nyigma Order of Tibetan Buddhism known as Vajrakilaya or Dorjee Rinpoche.
The stupa is enclosed by cluster of 108 prayer wheels with sacred mantras carved on them. Several important sacred Kangyur manuscripts and relics associated with Dorje Phurba are carefully preserved inside it. These include a complete collection of mandala sets of Dorjee Rinpoche and Zurma mantras. The complex also has a few smaller stupas, one of them is Jang Jhap Chorten, dedicated to the Trulshik Rinpoche. Two giant statues of Guru Padmasambhava stand tall in the Chorten Lakhang area of the stupa. The complex is usually abuzz with tourists and monks from the nearby Tibetology institute.
How To Get There
The Do Drul Chorten within the town of Gangtok in Deorali area. It is an easy walk from the main town. However, if you’re not too keen on walking, several cabs are available in town to bring you here. The Namgyal Insitute of Tibetology built by another revered lama, the Dodhrubchen Rinpoche is at a walking distance from the stupa.
When Should I Go
Gangtok’s weather is at its best during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to October). Days are clear, sunny and breezy.
Nonetheless mountains lovers head to Sikkim almost all year through expect during monsoons. Winter months of November and December, though slightly chilly, bring out a different kind of beauty from the hills.
The Finer Details
Vajrakilaya or Dorje Rinpoche is a wrathful manifestation of yidam, an important deity in all sects of Tibetan Buddhism (Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Jonang schools) who revere Guru Padmasambhava. A yidam deity is considered to be the epitome of the enlightened activities of all buddhas who practice. According to belief, the yidam deity has the power to purify spiritual pollution, destroy forces hostile to compassion and remove all obstacles on the path to buddhahood. His yab-yum or primordial consort is called Diptichakra.
A popular story claims that the site of Do Drul Chorten before the stupa was built was infested with evil spirits who claimed the lives of all those who dared to venture out into this area. However, the Trushik Rinpoche who came from Tibet built his hermitage here in the early 1940s and drove away the evil entities.