DUBDI MONASTERY, West Sikkim
Dubdi Monastery, alternatively known as Yuksom Monastery, is a Buddhist shrine of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism near Yuksom. Established in the year 1701, during the reign of Chogyal Namgyal, is considered to be the oldest monasteries in Sikkim, carrying immense historical significance to it. The literal meaning of the word ‘Dubdi’ is ‘the retreat’ which clearly be seen authenticating itself through its mesmerising hilltop location amidst the thick chestnut forest. A fair walk to the monastery introduces you to the nature’s wonderland embellished with fine tall trees, gorgeous stoned path eventually leading to the panoramic view of the snow peaked mountains, and the far off valleys and greenery.
This elaborately painted two storied stone structure, stands at an altitude of 2,100 metres carrying images of divinities, saints, other symbols and collection of manuscripts and texts. Along with these, there are statues of three lamas positioned in the monastery, who worked towards the establishment of Yuksom. The ornamented bell shaped gilded dome on top of the roof is known as “Gyaltshen”. Dubdi is a sacred place named as the Hermit’s Cell after crowning of Phuntsog Namgyal as the first King or Chogyal of Sikkim at Norbugang Yuksom in the year 1642.
Dubdi Monastery has few other popular monasteries nearby to visit such as Kartok Monastery and Tashiding Monastery. Norbugang Chorten; another popular tourist spot considered to be a religious place that exhibit the seats of the 3 lamas and the first Chogyal King. The wildlife lovers can not consider their visit to west-Sikkim accomplished without visiting Khangchendzonga National Park blessed with exceptional variety of flora and fauna. An unforgettable destination is Tashi Tenka; the former grounds of Sikkim’s royal palace complex on the ridge to the south offering the stunning view of the picturesque Yuksom.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
March to May is considered as an ideal time for visiting Dubdi because of its fine weather. However you may vist this place anytime between September to May.
HOW TO GET THERE
Airways: The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, West Bengal about 5 hrs drive from Gangtok, 12 km west of Siliguri and about 147 km from Dubdi. Sikkim also has got its first commercial airport at Pakyong, East Sikkim but weather hampers the operation of this airport most of the time. If you are lucky enough you can get a flight directly to Pakyong.
Railways: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in West Bengal which is about 143 km from Dubdi. You can take a taxi to reach Dubdi via Jorethang, which takes about 5-6 hours.
Roadways: Dubdi is about 38 km from Gyalshing, the West District Headquarter and about 117 km from Gangtok, the capital city.