Pemayangtse

Walk for 10 to 15 minutes uphill from Pellling for Pemayangtse, to the large chortens. The stone seat structure near the chortens are called the Choesay Gang. Where the steep road up to the monastery, there is a sign saying not even to bring tobacco up to the monastery - but there are large ashtrays at the gompa entrance.

There is a small fee to pay when entering the premises. The table where you pay is faced so that you will keep the gompa to your right. Most of the time it is O.K. to leave the shoes just outside the entrance doors.

Probably one of the young boy monks will accompany you, acting as "guides". It is a good idea to have some ballpoint pens for them, they need them. The correct way is to take left and circumbulate the monks that most of the time will be sitting reciting and chanting. This is a living monastery, so do not follow the boy monk that will try takes you the shortcut straight for the stairs to the first and second floors. There is a full wall of books at the first floor, and murals in the next room.

 

Then, at the second floor there is, behind glass walls, a large model of Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoce's celestial paradise. Turn the other way also, for the murals. They are very worn, and rather "tantric". If you don't know what I mean by saying this, go and see. The Korean Zen-monk at 3 years leave, and a writer, said this: "Maybe possible to attain enlightenment this way, but very, very dangerous. I not know."

 

Take some time at the schoolyard when there is a break at noon, monks are kids and teenagers, not just monks. Then, when leaving, still keeping the gompa at your right hand. They will practise baseball and musical instruments.

 

Between the small houses where monks live, you can see down to the Rabdentse ruins, and at a clear day, you will see the Sangachoiling monastery at the hilltop over Pelling.

 

Pemayangtse monastery is today an educational centre for both boys and girls, and a tourist attraction. Every other year an important ceremony for the sake of the state Sikkim is held here, every other in Gangtok.

 

 

This is a very prestigeous monastery, and at least by tradition this is a 100% Tibetan place. No Lepcha's were admitted.