Dubdi Monastery, also known as Yuksom Monastery, is Buddhist Vihara or monastery located in West Sikkim. Dubdi Monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, and is situated close to, in the Geyzing subdivision of the district of West Sikkim. The Monastery of Dubdi, which means retreat in the local language, was established by the Chakdor Namgyal in the year 1701 and is the first monastery at Yuksom in Sikkim. The region is a religious pilgrimage for followers of Buddhism, which also includes Pemayangtse Monastery, the Norbugang Chorten, Sanga Choeling Monastery, the Rabdentse ruins, Tashiding Monasteryand Khecheopalri Lake.
History of Dubdi Monastery
Located on the top of a hill, Dubdi Monastery is the oldest monastery in Sikkim and lies 3 km away from Yuksom. The ascetic founder of the Vihara, Lhatsun Namkha Jigme, with 2 other Tibetan lamas, crowned Phuntsog Namgyal as the first Chakdor or Chogyal, that is, the King of Sikkim at Norbugang, near Yuksom, in the year 1642. Dubdi monastery is very imperative to Sikkim's history. The state of Sikkim was founded by Lhatsun Namkha Jigmea and the 2 other lamas in the mid 17th century. The image of the founder of the Kingdom of Sikkim is enshrined at the monastery to commemorate him. Amongst the 4 monasteries built during that period, it is the only one that has survived. The rest of the monasteries had now turned into ruins, covered by juniper trees. At some time, around 30 monks took shelter in Dubdi Monastery.
Architecture of Dubdi Monastery
The 2 storeyed square shaped structure of the monastery is built in stone and faces towards the south. The Vihara is located at a height of 7000 ft. The interiors are decorated exquisitely and adorned with various paintings. The lavish paintings contain images of saints, divinities, demons and other religious symbols. Moreover, a compilation of manuscripts and ritualistic texts are also conserved at the passageways on both sides. The statues of the 3 lamas, who are considered as the founders, are mounted inside the monastery. Dubdi Monastery contains a tapering tower and a flat roof of iron sheets with projecting attic. There is a bell shaped dome at the roof top, known as Gyaltshen.