Pemayangtse Monastery is situated at Gyalshing, near Pelling town in Sikkim. Perched at an altitude of 6840 ft, it is one of the oldest monasteries of Sikkim. Lama Lhatsun Chempo got the monastery built in the 17th century, mainly for the ‘ta-sang’ lamas (the purest of monks). However, with time, the monastery started serving the entire community. Pemayangtse Gompa of India boasts of a splendid collection of ancient Buddhist antique idols, scriptures as well as sculptures.
Magnificent sculptures and gracefully decorated paintings adorn the first floor of the monastery. One of the major attractions of the Pemayangtse Monastery is a seven-tiered painted wooden structure, portraying Guru Rimpoche’s Heavenly Palace ‘Santopalri’. Late Dungzin Rimpoche took five years to finish this structure single handedly. Presently, it is situated on the top floor of the monastery. The Chaam (monk dance) is held every year, on the 28th and 29th day of the 12th month of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar.
The lamas also take part in the dance and dress up in beautiful costumes, to represent Mahakala and Guru Drag-dmar. The dance comes to an end, on the third day, with the unfurling of the Ghyo-Ku’ and gigantic embroidered Buddhist scroll. During these two days religious dances are performed and pilgrims come from all over Sikkim to watch them.