Friday, January 3, 2014

Phodang "Karma Thubten Tashi ChoKhorling" Monastery

Opposite of Monastery

Monks of Phodong Monastery

Phodang Monastery(Karma Thubten Tashi Chokhorling) is a majorKagyupa Sect Monastery. The gonpa is located about38 kilometers from Gangtok on the way This Monastery was actually founded by the fourthKing Gyurmed Namgyalbut unfortunately, he passed away in 1734 i.e. two years after the demise of the 12th Karmapa Lama. However, the Lamas with a support oflaities completed the Monastery in 1740 A.D.
In the course of time, an earthquake damaged the old structure and had to be dismantled. The Lamas rebuilt a new Monastery it in 1977 which was bigger in size than the previous Monastery with financial assistance from the Government in addition to their own contribution.
During the course of reconstruction, the experts of Delhi National Museum Institute extracted the old fresco paintings before  the old structure was dismantled . North Sikkim. These painting are now being preserved by the department for restoration in the new Monastery building. This gonpa came into international limelight through the writings of the famous French explorer Alexander David Neel who spent some years here learning Buddhism in the begining of 1912 under the guidance of the third Lachen Gomchen whom she accepted as her Root Teacher. She practiced meditation in a cave near the vicinity of this gonpa. She was patronized by Chogyal Sidkyong Tulku who also gifted her a Buddha Statue which was returned to this Gonpa after her death in 1969.
Some of her photos can be seen in the first floor of the Gonpa. Since the Phodangmonastery is one of the important places of tourist‘s interest in North Sikkim, department of Tourism had further taken up the funding of the remaining works of the monastery which includes the restoration of old fresco paintings. The main festival is an annual mask dance fair in winter corresponding to the month of December to January.


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