monastery: Dubdi Monastery: A day at the oldest monastery in Sikkim

At first, it might seem a bit strange to experience the calm of Yuksom, a long five-hour journey from Sikkim’s bustling capital, Gangtok. Devoid of any heavy foot traffic, let alone car traffic, the place has an eerie yet eerily peaceful feel.


Dubdi Monastery, also locally known as Yuksom Monastery, is the oldest monastery in Sikkim. And a very important one at that. For the curious, Yuksom is a small hamlet in the Geyzing subdivision of West Sikkim. Expect a bumpy ride from Gangtok to Yuksom. But the endless views of Mount Kanchenjunga should make you forgive the many bumps in the road. It’s a majestic view of the mountain range!

Dubdi Monastery was established in 1701 by Chogyal Namgyal, then King of Sikkim. The monastery is a Buddhist shrine of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is an important part of the pilgrimage circuit which also involves other important monasteries in the state such as Norbugang Chorten, Pemayangtse Monastery, Rabdentse, Sanga Choeling Monastery, Khechopalri Holy Lake and finally the Monastery from Tashiding.

Trying to attempt the circuit in one day might sound great, but can be a little tricky considering the roads have their own minds.

Dubdi Monastery is beautifully situated on top of a hill, surrounded by greenery and offering a not-so-distant view of Mount Kanchenjunga. “Dubdi” in the local dialect translates to retreat or resting place, and one can see why. The ornate two-storey monastery is a picture of serenity amid the surrounding greenery.

The monastery is not always open to the public, but don’t be discouraged as the Norbugang Chorten, an important Buddhist stupa at the Norbugang Coronation Throne, is very close.

  1. What is the largest monastery in Sikkim?
    Rumtek Monastery near Gangtok is the largest monastery in Sikkim.
  2. Where is Pemayangtse Monastery?
    Pemayangtse Monastery, also the second oldest monastery in Sikkim, is located in Pelling, West Sikkim.
  3. Is a domestic line permit required to visit Sikkim?
    Unless you plan to visit a civilian-only area, Indian nationals can visit Sikkim without an Inner Line Permit. However, the Inner Line permit is required for all foreign nationals.