Phodong is a town 38 kilometres north of Gangtok
, in North Sikkim
district. Phodong is famous for the "Phodong Monastery" and the "Labrang Monastery." The main occupation of this town is farming on terraced slopes. Buddhism
is the state religion of Sikkim. Phodong serves as an eating hub for the tourists who come to visit the beautiful monasteries.
Tourist Spots in Phodong
There are many tourist places in Phodong that are visited by many tourists from different places.
The Phodong Monastery can be reached by a 15-minute walk along a much degraded former road. The monastery was established in 1740. The original monastery has been rebuilt and is today one of the most beautiful monasteries in Sikkim. The monastery was built by Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal in the first quarter of the eighteenth century. It possesses the old mural paintings and has around 260 monks. Like the Ralong and Rumtek the main annual puja is performed on the 28th and 29th days of the tenth month of the Tibetan Calendar when the religious dances are performed. The potentially beautiful two-storey prayer hall is somewhat marred by metal gratings but contains extensive murals and a large statue of the 9th Karmapa. This monastery has been a popular pilgrimage site for the Buddhist monks.
The Labrang Monastery is situated a km further from the Phodong monastery. The Monastery was established in 1884 and belongs to the Nyingmapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Its prayer hall murals repeat the same Padmasambhava pose 1022 times. There is a fearsome deity wearing a necklace of severed heads in the monastery. Chaam dances take place in early December.
Tumlong Palace Ruins
Tumlong Palace Ruins is situated between the Phodong and Labrang Monastery. Tumlong Palace was the third capital of the erstwhile Kingdom of Sikkim. The capital was shifted from Rabdenste to Tumlong in the beginning of the nineteenth century, where it remained for almost ninety years.
Phensong Monastery is situated on a gentle slope between Kabi and Phodong monastery. It is located amidst beautiful landscape and belongs to the Nyingmapa Order. The monastery was built in 1721 during the time of Jigme Pawo.