Buddhist Circuit

Sikkim was blessed by Guru Padmasambhava, the great Buddhist saint who visited Sikkim in the 8th century and consecrated the land, meditating at its four corners to rid it of all negativity. Here he is believed to have hidden many secret teachings, which he prophesized would be discovered in the future by those specially blessed by spiritual powers. It was a realization of this prophecy when in the 17th century three learned lamas, Lhatsun Chenpo, Karthok Rikzin Chenpo and Ngadak Sempa Chenpo entered Sikkim from three different directions and met at Norbugang, Yuksom and decided to establish a Buddhist monarchy in the state. In 1642, the three monks crowned Phuntsog Namgyal the first monarch of Sikkim giving him the title of Chogyal [Dharma Raja].

While Phuntsog Namgyal worked on consolidating the kingdom, the three monks led by Lhatsun Chenpo concentrated on building monasteries and shrines all over Sikkim. The first monasteries built in Sikkim were the ones in Dubdi and Sanga Choling [both in West Sikkim], close to Yuksum. Soon nearly every village had its own monastery and these became not just places of worship but also educational centres.