Buddhist monastery is one of the most peaceful places to visit. There are a lot of monasteries in India where people can go, meet monks and explore Buddhist history. Lamas are being taught their culture and way to live simple life. The calmness and enchantment of monastery always attract people. Most of the monasteries have Lord Buddha statues, paintings, Mane, etc.
There are study rooms for monks along with rooms to stay. In few monasteries people can stay for some time to learn the routine life of monks as well as Buddhism. One has to take permission from concerned authorities of monastery for staying. Monasteries available in cities or major towns usually do not allow outsiders to stay, however, who are situated in offbeat or remote places have facilities for visitors.
Mainly when monks are less on monastery or accommodation space is available, outsiders can stay in monastery after getting permission from administration. In Sikkim, there are some monasteries where outsiders may stay for some days.
Pabyuik Monastery- Nestled in hills of East Sikkim, Pabyuik Monastery is 300 years old structure. It is an hour drive from Gangtok town in Bhusuk area. Anyone can get away with the mesmerizing surrounding of this monastery. On a clear day, view of Gangtok city with Khangchendzonga Range in backdrop looks enthralling.
Tashiding Monastery- Tashiding Monastery is described as the ‘Heart of Sikkim’. It is located in Tashiding hill in West Sikkim above the confluence of Rathong Chu and Rangeet rivers. In the 17th century, Ngadak Sempa Chemp built a small Lhakhang at this location. During the reign of Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal, this was enlarged into the present monastery.
Labrang Monastery- In North Sikkim, Labrang Monastery is among the most important monasteries of Nyingmapa sect. It is also called Palden Phuntshog Phodrang. Located 40 kms from Gangtok town, it is situated in green hill of Tumlong. It was established in 1826 by Gyalshe Rigzing Chempa.
Ralang Monastery- Ralang Gompa is 6 kms from Ravangla in South Sikkim and is dedicated to Kagyu sect of Buddhism. It has an extensive collection of paintings and thangkas. It was built in 1995 by the 12th Gyaltsab Rinpoche. It hosts to an annual festival, known as Pang Lhabsol when Mount Khangchendzonga is worshipped usually in September and ending in early December with the Kagyed.