(Last Updated on : 20/10/2014)
Ralang Monastery is one of the popular Buddhist monasteries located in the Sikkim state of India
. Built in 1990s, Ralang Monastery is one of the major monasteries of the Kagyu sect. It is situated six kilometres from Ravangla
. The monastery is home to various ancient paintings
and thangkas. Attractive mask dances
and various festivals are the other attractions of this monastery. Throughout the year, it draws an impressive number of tourists from various corners of the world.
History of Ralang Monastery
It was built by the fourth Chogyal who returned from his pilgrimage
. It was built on the instructions of the 9th Karmapa when he visited the place to perform Rabney under which he would bless all his disciples for their well being. Like other monasteries this too has a number of legends.
Ralang Monastery is often claimed to be located exactly on the place which was selected by Karmapa. According to the existing legends, when the Karmapa came to this place he threw grains from his place and wherever these grains fell became the site of the monastery. This monastery was finally constructed in 1974- 1981 which was further renovated in 1995.
Attractions of Ralang Monastry
The monastery is mainly known for the extensive collection of paintings and thangkas. It also hosts the annual festival known as Pang Lhabsol. This is celebrated during the time of worshipping Mount Kanchenjunga
which is one of the traditional festivals of Sikkim
. The celebration of this festival begins during the month of September and ends in early December with the Kagyad. Kagyad is a Buddhist festival which is celebrated during the 28th and 29th day of the 10th month of the Tibetan calendar. This monastery also hosts a number of mask dances among which the most popular are the Chaam Mask Dance and the Mahakala Dance which attract a large number of tourists from all over the world. These mask dances are some of the biggest attractions of Sikkim which depicts the legends of the land as well as their cultural heritage.
Connectivity of Ralang Monastry
The nearest airport is located at Bagdogra (112 km from Namchi
) and the closest railway
station is New Jalpaiguri
(107 km from Namchi). From Siliguri
, it takes around three hours to reach Namchi. From Namchi, jeep, car or buses can be hired to reach Ravangla which is just 22 km away.