The Lachen Monastery also known as the "Ngodub Choling Monastery" is one amongst the most sacred monasteries of Sikkim. The Lachen Monastery is about 28 km away from the Sub Division Office called the Tsunthang. Initially during the time of Lachen Monastery being built that is in 1858 A.D there were only 8 monks involved in it and rest is right in front of you when you visit the monastery. The Monastery is situated in a very beautiful place and thereby is gifted with the utmost bounties of nature. The Lachen Monastery is today one of the most popular monasteries in Sikkim and has succeeded in attracting even more visitors year after year.
The Lachen Monastery is known to be one of the most picture perfect places which Sikkim has got. People love taking photographs here and dress up in the attire of the Sikkimese.
The Lachen Monastery was built in the year 1858 A.D and the person who made it possible was Lama Karchen Dorje. It is a known fact that the Lachen Monastery was in the form of a small hut and later took the shape of what we can see today. Initially Lama Karchen Dorje was a student of Jamyang Choki Rinzing and he in turn was a disciple of Terdag Lingpa who was a famous religious dignitary of Tibet. Lama Karchen Dorje did a lot for the Lachen Monastery for instance he also commissioned a clay statue which had 1000 hands called the Chenrezig and this was done during the three years of stay of his at the Lachen Monastery that is before going to Tibet.
Later another noble Lama, known as the Gelong Gonpu from Nepal came to Lachen Monastery and transformed the hut monastery into a new mud structure. This all took place in the Tibetan Earth Dog Year. Even he stayed at the monastery for three years and went back to Nepal.
The Lachen Monastery is having Tibetan Style of architecture and till today that look of the hut still prevails as a highlight of the monastery. The Monastery has two floors and a gompa made above the two floors which adds that extra charm to the monastery. To look at the Lachen Monastery it looks very colorful and attractive. Even though the monastery is of two floors its height is definitely more than any other normal two floored structure. The reason behind it is the architectural plan which involved giving a substantial height to the ceiling from the ground level so as to give a spacious and magnificent look to the monastery.
The interesting facts about the Lachen Monastery include:
- There is a flat stone available at the Lachen Monestery which possesses the footprint of one amongst the most privileged dignitaries of Buddhism, Late Kham Gomchen who once stayed at the Thangu Gonpa.
- A vase which is a symbol of religious belief in Buddhism, called as the "Tshebum" is preserved at the Altar. It is thereby, one amongst the main attractions of the Lachen Monastery.
Even today the monastery is functioning effectively under the eminent guidance of Lachen Gomchenn Rinpoche; however, there are other monks as well who help in maintaining the monastery.
The Lachen Monastery celebrates almost all the major festivals of the Buddhism religion and so you can spot the famous Mask Dance here. It is this Mask Dance which plays an integral part of all the celebrations here.
So, the next time you plan a holiday visit the Lachen Monastery as it is here that you will realize until visiting the monastery what joy and peace you were missing in your life.