Enchey monastery is a popular Buddhist pilgrimage spot in the heart of Sikkim, Gangtok. It is one of the oldest monasteries in Gangtok. This holy place holds lots of ancient artifacts and history. The word ” Enchey Monastery ” means the solitary Monastery. It is a Tibetan word. Enchey Monastery is deeply connected with the heart of every Sikkimese and Buddhist around the world. The position of this monastery presents a wonderful view of Mt. Kanchenjunga. This monastery had a great impact on the life of Sikkimese citizens. They strongly believe that Lord Buddha fulfilled all their wishes here. This monastery belongs from Tibetian Buddhism
History of Enchey monastery
According to Buddha mythology, once a Buddha monk named Chinyer Lama meditated in a cave at Mainam hill. After a long year’s meditation, he got flying power. In that time he laid his footprint on a rock. After some years of this incident, a hunter passed beside the rock and discovered those surprising footprints. And he addressed chinyer lama as ” Drubthob Kapro” and invited him to his house. The word ” Drubthob Karpo” means a white saint. However, Chinyer Lama used his flying power to reach the hunter’s house from Mainam hill . Currently where the monastery is situated. Therefore, Hunter built a small shrine in this place where Chinyer spent some years of his life. Afterthat , Chinyer Lama went toh his own way .
Many years after this incident another monk was named Karma Sherab Come here. Strangely, he also gained the ability to fly after a few years of austerities. Karma Sherab left his last breath in this place.
The importance of the place for the devotees increased after this incident. Later, the followers of chinyere lama established a monastery in 1840 A. D. . where the ancient was built. Initially, this monastery was built for 15 monks.
Thereafter, during the Sidkyong Tulku’s kingdom, he rebuilt this monastery in 1909 that we see now. Then, it developed as a pilgrimage place.
Architecture of Enchey monastery
The arcitecher style of enchey adopted from Chinese pagodar.There are paintings about Buddhist deity and religion on the monastery wall. There are four walls around the monastery. These walls represent the significance of the religious view of both. Painting work of the Tibetan king can be noticeable on these walls. The lifestyle and the rules of Boudha artistically described on the pillars and walls inside the monastery. There are a total of four pillars that support the whole monastery roof. Some ancient manuscripts and artifacts are kept in the monastery. The windows and doors of the monastery are designed with colorful traditional Tibetian artwork.
The whole Sikkim region exists in an earthquake area. Being a part of this region, the Enchey monastery faced earthquakes many times. In 2006, an earthquake hit this monastery. The sharpness of that hit was 5.7 on the Richter scale. Due to this disaster, some of the parts were fully destroyed . nd the wall of the monastery cracked horizontally. However, before this hit, the monastery faced two major earthquakes in 1980 and 1988. But the restoration work was not so good, that way the monetary system faced a great disaster in 2006. One group of legends claimed poor constriction and were unprofessional for a major disaster in 2006. Even now, you can observe cracked lines on the monastery wall.
In recent renovation work, a new wall was built beside the old one to make it more strong. And, supporting constructed to support the monastery roof. Due to the last devastating earthquake, the wall plaster of some places in the monastery broke down. Anyhow it decreases the beauty of the monastery. However, the current monastery is really unbeatable architecture in Gangtok
Festivals in Enchey Monastery
The popular festivals that celebrate in the enchey monastery are cham dance, single cham, and pang job sole. There is a huge collection of masks inside the monastery. Masks basically used to dance in annual dancing programs. Cham dance held on 18th and 19th day of the 12 th Lunar Month, according to the Tibetan calendar. In the English calendar, this festival celebrated between January and February. Traditional singel cham festival held once in every three year.
Location and how to reach this monastery
Enchey monastery is situated on the northeast side of Sikkim. A magnificent horizontal view of Mt. Kanchanjunga can be enjoyable from this location. Gangtok’s main market is just 3 km away from the Enchey Monastery. You can easily explore the enchey monastery through your nature pass tour. It’s easy to explore Eanchey through the Nathula pass tour because Eanchey comes on the way to Nathula pass. The famous tv tower is located on the opposite side of the monastery. And surrounded by sylvan coniferous trees make a wonderfully peaceful place.
Read more : About Nathula pass
Best time to visit here
You can visit Enchey monastery anytime in a year. The atmosphere exists very calm and pleasant throughout the year. However, you can plan your trip for Enchey between December to march. Because at that time you can experience a traditional dance festival as a bonus gift of your journey.