History of Enchey Monastery
Enchey Monastery is built on the site blessed by Lama Druptob Karpo, a revered tantric master known for his power of flying. Lama Druptob Karpo is supposed to have built a small hermitage at this spot after he flew here from Maenam Hill more than 200 years ago. Later, during the reign of Sidkeong Tulku, this monastery was built here in 1909 in the form of a Chinese Pagoda.
Geography of Enchey Monastery
Enchey Monastery is built on a ridge of a hill above the Gangtok city. The Kanchenjunga Peak is visible from here. It is located on Gangtok-Nathula road and passes through an avenue of sylvan coniferous trees. It is about 3 kilometres from the northeast of the main market place in Gangtok.
Architecture of Enchey Monastery
A shining golden cupola crowns the Enchey Monastery. It houses several icons of Gods, Goddesses and religious objects including Buddha, Loki Sharia and Guru Padmasambhava. The monastery has a large prayer hall, the walls of which are adorned with paintings and murals of four religious kings, the entire galaxy of Mahayana Buddhist deities and the deities of the four cardinal directions as per the scriptures. Elaborate carvings can be spotted on the pillars. The windows are also embellished with carvings and paintings. A number of masks are there which find their utility in annual ritual dances. It also houses a good library. Colourful prayer flags flutter around the monastery.
Festivals in Enchey Monastery
An annual Puja is celebrated in the monastery on the 18th and 19th days of the 12th month of the lunar calendar. During this festival, ‘Chaam’ or the annual religious masked dance is performed in this monastery. Singhe Chaam is also performed once in every 3 years at the monastery. Pang Lhabsol festival is also an important festival which is celebrated in this monastery. This festival marks the swearing of blood-brotherhood between the Bhutias and Lepchas which had Kanchenjunga as the witness.
Visiting Information of Enchey Monastery
Enchey Monastery is situated on the Nathula-Gangtok road which is why it can easily be reached via road. One can also hire a taxi from Gangtok and reach Enchey Monastery in 15 to 20 minutes or walk all the way till there. The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport (124 km) and the nearest railway stations are at Siliguri (114 km) and New Jalpaiguri (125 km).