Why Should I Go
Strategically perched on a magnificient ridge north of Gangtok, the Enchey (meaning solitary) Monastery lives up to its name. The monastery overlooks the city of Gangtok and offers a gorgeous view of the snow-covered peaks of the Kanchendzonga on a sunny day. Originally built in 1840, Enchey is one of the most important seats of the Nyingma order, the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Deeply revered amongst the locals, the transformation of Gangtok from a hamlet to a major town over the course of the last century can partly be attributed to the monastery’s establishment.
It was renovated in 1908 to resemble a Chinese pagoda, during the reign of the 10th Chogyal of Sikkim. Elaborately carved pillars support the spacious prayer hall while its walls are covered in splendid murals depicting the pantheon of Mahayana deities. The monastery also boasts of a glorious collection of masks that are often used for Cham dances during festivals. Unfortunately some portions of the monastery suffered severe damage during the earthquake of 2011.
How Do To Get There
Located on the road that leads to Nathula from Gangtok, the best way to reach Enchey is by foot if you don’t mind walking, for the route is blessed with some stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains. However, there are taxis available for hire from Gangtok.
WHEN SHOULD I LAND UP
The renowned Detor Cham ritual dance of Enchey is an experience of a lifetime. Usually held sometime between the months of January and February, the festival sees some exhilarating performances by resident monks donned in elaborate costumes and grotesque masks.
a festival that commemorates the blood oath between the local Bhutia and Lepcha communities with Kanchendzonga as the witness is also celebrated around August/September at the monastery.
Generally, the months between March to June and September to October are considered the best time to visit Sikkim.
The monastery is open to visitors everyday between 9 am to 6 pm.
According to folklore, Enchey was actually the original site where Lama Druptob Karpo—the legendary tantric master who was blessed with the abilty to fly—set up his hermitage when he flew here from the nearby Maenam Hill after achieving Siddhi.
Another legend says that the spirits of the mountain deities of Kanchendzonga and Yabdean took residence at this very site after Guru Padmasambhava tamed them.
Seek permission from monastery officials before taking photographs and avoid any activity that disturbs the monastery’s sanctity including talking loudly.