Buddhist Trail
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Buddhist Trail

  • Darjeeling
  • Pelling
  • Yuksom
  • Gangtok
  • Kalimpong

Daywise Tour Plan

  • Day 1

    Bagdogra/NJP - Darjeeling

    Assistance at the airport/railway station on arrival and drive to Darjeeling en route visiting Sonada Monastery.


    Standing high in the Himalayas at an altitude of 2134m, ‘Dorje Ling’, or place of the Thunderbolt, offers breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks, with the Kanchendzonga rising higher than all the others. Often referred to as the “Queen of the Hills”, it remains just as alluring with its tiny waterfalls, little villages and a narrow gauge railway track. Surrounded by World Famous Tea Gardens and snow capped mountains, Darjeeling remains one of the most exotic destinations. Graeme Westlake in his book ‘ An introduction to hill stations on India’ refers to Darjeeling as having “A view Scarcely Unrivalled on Earth”.

    Overnight at hotel.

  • Day 2



    Early morning drive to Tiger hill to view sunrise and visit Ghoom Monastery on way back to the hotel.

    Tiger Hill :- It is 13 kms from Darjeeling and one can see beautiful sunrise and Himalayan Range like Kanchandzonga , Mount Everest etc. One can see the horizon changing colors just before sunrise and then the 

    entire Himalayan range turn golden. It is truly a majestic sight.

    Ghoom Monastery:- This is oldest Monastery in the area which was built in 1875 and one can see the image of Mythey Buddha 15ft. height on the way back from Tiger Hill.

    After breakfast visit Japanese Temple and Tamong Monastery.

    Japanese Temple: Constructed a few years back, the Japanese Peace Pagoda located up on the hill next to the Nipponzab Myohoji Bhuddist Temple. The all white structure is circular for circumambulation by devotees and has golden images of Buddha on four sides. The prayer hall at temple is upstairs and everyone is welcome to participate.

    Afternoon walk to Observatory Hill and Bhutia Basti Monastery.

    Bhutia Busty monastery or Karmaa Dorjee Chyoling monastery is a Buddhist monastery located in Darjeeling, India. It belongs to the Red Sect of Buddhist Lamas. Originally a branch of the Nygmapa sect's Phodang Monastery in Sikkim, it was transferred to Darjeeling in 1879. The original location was on the Obsevatory Hill. It was destroyed by a nepaleese invasion in the 19th century. The monastery relocared to its present location. However, the monastery in new location was also destroyed in an earthquake in 1934. Chogyal of Sikkim helped rebuilding it. The monastery has a collection of old Buddhist scripts.

    Observatory Hill is a hill near Chowrasta square, or The Mall as it is popularly known, in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. Magnificent views of snow-clad peaks, including Mount Kanchenjunga are visible from Observatory Hill. The Bhutia Busty monastery was originally located here. Now the hill has the temple of Mahakala. Two important arteries of the town, Nehru Road and Bhanubhakta Sarani, meet at Chowrasta.

    Rising abruptly from Chowrasta is the hill-top. Situated atop is the ancient temple of Mahakal, a cave sacred to worshippers of Shiva. In Sanskrit, the word 'Durjay Ling', means 'Shiva of invincible prowess, who rules the Himalayas.' There is a suggestion that the name Darjeeling could have emanated from this name.The place where the

    Mahakal Temple stands was once occupied by a Buddhist monastery. It is still a place of great sanctity for the Bhutias. Bells ring in the midst of fluttering flags, which are used to pray in the shrine. However, one has to be a bit wary of the mischievous monkeys teeming at Observatory Hill.

    Overnight at hotel

  • Day 3

    Darjeeling - Pelling

    Breakfast at the hotel and drive to Pemayangste.


    Located at a distance of 120 kms from Gangtok Pelling is another serene, mountain village which lies in the western districts of Sikkim. This village is situated at an altitude of 2000 mts(approx) and  the distance from this village to the mount Kanchandzonga, as a crow flies…is  26 kms approx.


    Afternoon visit Pemayangste Monastery.


    2.5 Kms. from Pelling and standing at 2085m. The Perfect Sublime Lotus, perched on a wooded hilltop, commands the most sublime view of the Khangchendzong.

    Built during the late 17th century, it is one of the oldest and most important monasteries of the Nyingmapa order of Buddhism in Sikkim. To the present day, it is only the monks of this monastery who enjoy the title of ‘Tasang’ or pure monks. The importance of this monastery grew with time and reached its peak when only monks from this monastery could anoint the reigning sovereign of the land with holy water.

    Pemayangtse monastery follows the Mindroling tradition besides holding the lineage of Lhatsun Chenpo. Mindroling monastery was founded by Minling Terchen Gyurme Dorje whose famous daughter Jetsun Migyur Paldon lived near Pemayangtse and taught there during her exile. Her stone throne is still to be seen in this monastery, which has 108 monks. The main attraction of the monastery is the wooden replica of Zangdog Palri; the celestial abode of Guru Padmasambhava built by Serdup Lhundrup Dorje Rinpoche in 1971. The annual chaam (monk dance) is held here on the 28th and 29th day of the 12th month of the Tibetan lunar calendar.

    Overnight at hotel.

  • Day 4

    Pelling - Yuksom 40 kms / 2 hours

    Pelling to Yuksum (40 kms 2 hours approx.)

    Breakfast at the hotel and walking excursion to Sanga Cheoling Monastery.


    About 45 minutes walk from Pelling, it is the second oldest Gumpa constructed by Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo in 1697 AD. This monastery is on the hill top and therefore commands an excellent view of the mountains.


    Later drive to Yuksum en route visiting Khecheopalri Lake.


    Past the ruins of ancient towns below monasteries tended by red robed lamas lie the crystalline wish fulfilling waters of Khecheopalri Lake. The sacred lake lies in a depression surrounded by prayer flags and forested hills. Above (1.5km) is the Khecheopalri Gumpa.

    YUKSOM (1840 M):-

    The first capital of the kingdom of Sikkim and site of the coronation of the first chogyal. Evidence of the enthronement ceremony can still be seen in the form of stone seats and a footprint of the Head Lama on a stone. The stone throne constructed for the great event stands today at Norbugang and has been declared a Heritage Site.

    Overnight at hotel.

  • Day 5

    Yuksom - Gangtok 125 kms / 5 hours

    Breakfast at the hotel and walking excursion to Dubdi Monastery.

    Dubdi Monastery: This was the 1st Monastery established soon after the consecration ceremony of the 1st Chogyal. The Monastery is located on a hill top above Yuksum surrounded by verdant forest.  It can be approached by trekking only, negotiating steep slope of something like 40 – 45 minutes.

    Later drive to Gangtok en route visiting Tashiding Monastery. 


    Sikkim’s most sacred monastery is perched atop a conical hill. A mere glance at the monastery is believed to absolve one of all sins. Common sights around the Gumpa are mantra engravings.

    Built in 1716, Tashiding was described as the heart of “Bayul Demazong”(Tibetan term for Sikkim) by Guru Rimpoche. The complex is also the location of the “Thogwa Rogdol” Chorten. A mere glance of this sacred Stupa is said to wash away one’s sins. The monastery is also revered for the “Bumchu”festival during which the ‘Bumpa’ or vessel containing holy water is opened and a small quantity distributed to the devout. The origin of the water dates back to the time of Guru Padmasambhava in the 7th century and is said to contain sacred soil, water and precious jewels from all the holy places in India. The level of the water each year is considered the indicator of the times ahead for this land.


    At an altitude of 1750m, Gangtok became the state capital in the mid 19th century and has undergone rapid development since then.The downtown area is dominated by huge government buildings decorated with traditional Buddhist symbols. Gangtok is also a resting ground for people traveling to North Sikkim. Surrounded by Monasteries and Orchids, Gangtok is truly a travellers delight.

    Overnight at hotel

  • Day 6


    Breakfast at the hotel.

    Morning visit Rumtek Monastery , Pal Zurmang Kagyad Monasery At Ranka, Tibetology and Do Drul Chorten.

    Rumtek Monastery: -24 Kms. from Gangtok is the awe -inspiring Rumtek Monastery, the world Dharma chakra Centre and the seat of His Holiness, the Gyalwa Karmapa, who is the head of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism. Behind the main monastery is the lavishly decorated Karmae Nalanda Institute of Buddhist Studies, which attracts students from the world over. Opposite the entrance to the Institute is a small hall featuring a beautiful jewel studded Chorten the Golden Stupa, which contains the ashes and remains of His Holiness the xvi Gyalwa Karmapa. According to legend, it is believed that after years of meditation, the first 

    Karmapa was said to have been visited by ten thousand fairies who came to congratulate him each of whom offered a strand of her hair as a gift. These were said to have been woven into a black hat, which was passed down and is still at the Rumtek Monastery today. It is said that unless held on to by the wearer (who of course, cannot be anyone else but the Karmapa) or kept in a box, the hat would fly away.

    Pal Zurmang Kagyad Monasery At Ranka: -The present Gharwang Rimpoche is the XIIth successive incarnation of Zurmang Gharwang. This monastery is situated on Zurmang Gharwang. This monastery is situated on the Rumtek Ranka Gangtok road at Lingdum about 45 minutes drive from Gangtok. The complex is a fine example of Tibetan monastic architecture.

    Namgyal Institute Of Tibetology: -Amidst a serene surrounding of oak, birch and ash lies the unique organization established in1958. Built in traditional style, the namgyal Institute of Tibetology promotes research in Mahayana Buddhism and the language and tradition of Tibet. It has one of the world’s largest collections of rare books and manuscripts on Mahayana Buddhism. The Institute also has a retail outlets where related books and commercially produced religious art and craft of Tibet can be bought.

    Adjacent to the institute are two exquisite stupas, the Do Drul Chorten, built to commemorate the victory of good over evil and the Jhang Chub Chorten, built in the memory of Thrukshik Rinpoche, an ardent devotee, a great spirtualist and interpreter of Buddhism. Near the Chorten are housed two giant statues of Lord Buddha and Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rimpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim.

    Afternoon Enchey Monastery and Cottage Industry.

    The Enchey Monastery: -Perched on a ridge above Gangtok, the Enchey Monastery is nestled within lush woods with a spectacular view of Gangtok town. Built in 1910 on the site of the hermitage of the great tantric saint, Lama Drutob Karpo, who was renowned for his powers of levitation, this monastery houses the monks of the Nyingmapa Order of Tibetan Buddhism.

    Directorate Of Handloom And Handicrafts: -This Directorate was set up to promote traditional Sikkimese art and handicrafts. Exquisitely carved wooden friezes, intricate bamboo work, along with beautiful hand woven carpets and handlooms are on exhibit here. Visitors can not only purchase these items here but also see the 

    artisans at work. Among others, a favourite item here is the choktse a wooden table with carved panels that can be folded into a portable pack.

    Overnight at hotel.

  • Day 7


    Breakfast at the hotel.


    Morning excursion to Phudong Moanastery and Labrang Monastey(38 kms / 1.5 hour approx.)  


    Phodong Monastery: Phodong monastery is 38 kms to the north  from Gangtok and it takes approximately 2 hours to reach there. Belonging to Kagyupa sect of Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism phodong monastery was built in 1740 and has been decorated with brillient paintings inside. Just 1 ½  kms up hill from Phodong monastery there is Labrang monastery which is small but, built in old Sikkimese  design.


    Overnight at hotel

  • Day 8

    Gangtok - Kalimpong

    Breakfast at the hotel and drive to Kalimpong.


    At an altitude of 1250m, Kalimpong’s location is ideal for a pleasant , relaxed getaway. Its clement weather has made Kalimpong’s orchids and gladiole well renowned. Up to the early 1700s, the Kalimpong area was part of the Sikkim raja’s domain.In the early 18th century, the Bhutan king also took it over. In 1865, after the Anglo-Bhutan War , it was annexed to Darjeeling. Scottish Missionaries came here in the late 1800s. The town thrived as a wool trading center with Tibet till 1950s. Today it’s a quiet hill resort and a haven for retired people.

    Later visit Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery.

    Zang Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery – This is a fairly new monastery located in Durpin Dara, from here one can get an exclusive panoramic view of the town and surroundings. The prayer room inside the monastery is adorned with wall paintings and there is a rare  three-dimensional mandala upstairs.

    Tharpa Choling Monastery at Tirpai hill on route to 

    Dr.Graham’s Home belongs to the Yellow Hat sect of Lamas to which the present Dalai Lama belongs.

    Thongsa Gumpa: this monastery is of Bhutanese origin and built around 1692.  It is the oldest in Kalimpong.The original structure was destroyed in the inter-clan wars before the British arrived

    Overnight at hotel.

  • Day 9

    Kalimpong - Bagdogra/NJP 83 kms / 3 hours

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    Later transfer to Bagdogra airport / NJP railway station in time for flight/train to onward destination.

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