Top 10 Famous Monasteries in North East India

Embark on an Enriching Spiritual Journey 

The enchanting region of North East India is a veritable treasure trove. It offers natural beauty, thrilling adventures, and ancient roots of Buddhism. The monasteries in this part of India provide a glimpse into religion in the North-Eastern region. Also, it sheds light on rich rituals and traditions practiced for centuries. After being hidden from the world for a significant period, these sacred temples are now open to eager exploration by visitors.

This blog post will discuss the importance of monasteries. Also, we have curated a list of the top 10 monasteries in North East India. These places deserve a place on your travel itinerary.

Importance of Monasteries

Before moving towards the top 10 famous monasteries in North East India, let us discuss their importance. Monasteries are essential in upholding and passing on religious teachings and traditions. They serve as centers for spirituality, knowledge, and cultural heritage. 

Monastic life encourages simplicity, discipline, and detachment from worldly desires. Individuals can focus on personal spiritual growth while serving others. Monasteries vary in size, architectural style, and location. They provide spiritual retreats for devoted followers and travelers seeking solace or solitude.

Top 10 Famous Monasteries in North East India

1. Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim

A Spiritual Haven Rumtek Monastery is also known as the Dharmachakra Centre. It holds great importance as a spiritual and educational center. It serves as a blueprint for other Indian Viharas with its exemplary architecture and design. 

This monastery dates back to the 9th century and is adorned with ancient and rare artifacts. The center of attraction is a golden stupa that houses the relics of the 16th Karmapa. The vibrant landscapes, undulating rivers, and cascading waterfalls surrounding the monastery are truly mesmerizing.

 Don’t miss the captivating masked dances during the Drupchen festival in May and June. The best time to visit Rumtek Monastery is in September and October.

2. Phodong Monastery, Sikkim

Phodong Monastery belongs to the Kagyupa Sect. It is the Tapestry of Colors, Situated at an elevation of 4500 ft. It is one of the most renowned Buddhist monasteries in India. Home to 260 monks of the Kagyu lineage, this holy place is adorned with colorful murals, frescoes, and paintings.

Founded in the 18th century by the 9th Karmapa, the monastery underwent extensive renovation after being damaged by an earthquake. In 1977 a revamped vihara was opened to the public, even larger than its predecessor. The best time to visit Phodong Monastery is during the pleasant weather conditions of March to May and October to December. 

The festive atmosphere during the Loosang Festival in December adds to the charm of this place.

3. Pemayangtse Monastery, Sikkim

An Ancient Abode Offering awe-inspiring views of Mount Kanchenjunga, Pemayangtse Monastery is the oldest monastery in Sikkim. 

Dating back three centuries, this abbey is still home to the monks of the Bhutia family. It holds the reins of all the other monasteries of the Nyingma Order of Tibetan Buddhism in Sikkim. It was founded in the 17th century by Lhatsun Chempo, one of the three Lamas in Yuksom. 

This monastery boasts historical paintings and sculptures of the eighth incarnation of Lord Padmasambhava. Make sure to attend the popular Cham Dance Festival, held annually on the 28th and 29th day of the 12th lunar month of the Tibetan Calendar. The best time to plan a trip to Pemayangtse Monastery is during March and May.

4. Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh

Majestic Grandeur Representing the Mahayana Buddhism sect, Tawang Monastery is also known as Galden Namgey Lhaste. It offers a visual retreat with its monks performing mesmerizing dances in the early morning hours. 

This priory is the second-largest monastery in the world. It stands three stories high and encompasses 65 residential buildings. The Torgya festival, celebrated with great zeal every year, is a grand affair to dispel any external negativity. The monastery dates back to the 19th century. It features a main assembly hall known as Dukhang, a library, and a court for religious ceremonies and festivals. 

Pay special attention to the thangkas painted with the blood extracted from the nose of the fifth Dalai Lama. The best time to visit Tawang Monastery is during the summer season and the onset of the monsoon.

5. Lachen Monastery, Sikkim

Tranquil Serenity Nestled amidst a serene backdrop at this monastery. It offers splendid views, and Lachen Monastery houses the idol of Guru Padmasambhava. Constructed in 1858 by the Nyingma Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, this vihara is a popular pilgrimage destination in Northeast India. 

Colorful flags and prayer wheels add to the charm of this small sacred place. Dressing up in traditional Sikkimese attire and capturing memorable photos is recommended. It is known as Launching Gompa or Ngodub Choling. This pilgrimage site is best explored during the salubrious weather from March to June. The festive atmosphere during Losoong and Saga Dawa brings Lachen to life.

6. Enchey Monastery, Sikkim

A Spiritual Haven Prepare for a profound spiritual journey in Northeast India awaits you at Enchey Monastery. It is another significant and ancient Buddhist abbey. Resembling a typical Chinese pagoda, the monastery’s exteriors are as appealing as its interiors. 

The religious place was established in 1901 by Lama Druptob Karpo, a Buddhist tantric master known for his mastery of the art of flying. This beautiful monastery in Gangtok, Northeast India, has stunning views of the Kanchenjunga Range. Also, it is decorated with colorful paintings and artwork. You can see monks meditating in and around the monastery. This further will give you a special understanding of how they practice meditation.

Don’t miss the chance to join the Losoong and Losar festivals in September and October. These celebrations are filled with joy and are a great way to experience the lively atmosphere of Gangtok Valley. 

7. Tashiding Monastery, Sikkim

Tashiding Monastery in Sikkim is a special place with enormous significance. It is located on a hill between the Rathong and Ranjit Rivers. It is dedicated to the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. 

Also, it is considered the most sacred and holiest monastery in Sikkim. It has a long history, dating back to the 17th century. The monastery proudly displays stone plates with sacred Buddhist mantras called Manis. 

One of the important festivals celebrated here is the Bhumchu Festival. It takes place on the 14th and 15th day of the first month of the Tibetan Calendar. Many tourists from different places come to witness and participate in this revered ceremony. It is believed that bowing down at this monastery cleanses one’s sins and offers redemption. Nearly 60 to 70 lamas reside at this lamasery, creating a spiritual and serene atmosphere.

8. Ghoom Monastery, Darjeeling

A Beacon of Faith Also known as Yiga Choeling Monastery, Ghoom Monastery was established in 1850 by a Mongolian astrologer. This religious site is on the wish list of almost every traveler planning a holiday in Darjeeling. 

People from far and wide visit this monastery to learn about the scriptures and teachings. Standing 15 feet tall, a magnificent Buddha statue steals the spotlight. Precious gems and gold adorn the statue, creating a truly captivating sight. Two immense oil lamps continuously illuminate the front of the idol. 

Take a moment to find inner peace while admiring the exquisite art and paintings of Tibetan Buddhism. The famous Gompa belongs to the Yellow Hat sect, also known as Gelukpa. It becomes vibrant and full of life during important Tibetan festivals. For instance, the Tibetan New Year, Saka Dawa, H.H., The Dalai Lama’s Birth Anniversary, Lhabhab Dhuchen, and Ganden Ngamchol. 

9. Samdruptse Monastery, Sikkim

At Samdruptse Monastery, the main attraction is a magnificent statue of Guru Padmasambhava. It symbolizes enlightenment. It stands proudly as the focal point of the monastery. As the golden rays illuminate the gilded face of the patron saint, a mesmerizing glittering effect is created. 

While exploring the monastery’s premises, visitors can enjoy the beauty of the mighty mountains and thick forests. A legend is associated with the Samdruptse Hill, which is believed to be a “Wish-fulfilling Hill.” Local inhabitants consider the hill a dormant volcano, and Buddhist lamas pray here to prevent its eruption. 

The iconic monastery was built in the 20th century and is a site of important mask dance festivals. The ideal time to visit this popular Buddhist Monastery is in June when the festivities are in full swing.

10. Dubdi Monastery, Sikkim

Dubdi Monastery is also known as Yuksom Monastery. It is a peaceful retreat located 7,000 feet above sea level. It provides a serene escape for visitors. The two-story structure is beautifully decorated with painted images of saints, divinities, and other symbolic figures. Inside the monastery, there is also a collection of ancient manuscripts. 

Taking a stroll through this 18th-century monastery allows you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty fully. It is surrounded by—snow-covered mountains, lush green valleys, and abundant foliage. 

Dubdi is often called the “Hermit’s Cell .”It holds historical significance as it was established after the crowning of the first king, Phuntsog Namgyal. The best time to visit Dubdi Monastery is from March to May when the weather is pleasant and perfect for exploration. 


You can gain spiritual enlightenment by embarking on a tour of these top 10 famous monasteries in North east India. Also, you can create long-lasting cherishable memories. 

With this comprehensive list of the best monasteries in North East India, you can plan your visit during your North East tour. 

 These top 10 Famous Monasteries in North East India will provide insight into Buddhist traditions. Also, it will provide a calm respite from everyday life.

Be ready for an unforgettable journey as the monasteries of North East India offer abundant peace and serenity.

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