SIKKIM

SIKKIM

Sikkim is a mountainous state in India
surrounded by Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.
Originally the Lepcha ethnic tribe lived
here and later, a Tibetan tribe migrated in
the 17th century. Thus the architecture of 
Sikkim mirrors mainly the traditions of
these two tribes. The noteworthy buildings
mostly comprise Buddhist gompas
(monasteries) because the state has
cultural links with Ladakh and Tibetan
Buddhism.
Situated in the eastern Himalayas, the
serene environment of Sikkim offers its
tourists with a rare experience. The
temples, monasteries and ruined palaces
make Sikkim one of the most visited places
of east India. 

most of which are expensive because of their antique value. The Labrang monastery situated in north Sikkim is a much older structure. The Pemayangtse monastery of Sikkim is the second oldest and the most important of all monastery. It is the main monastery of the Kargyupa Sect. A closed corridor and smaller shrines surround the main shrine.MONASTERIES     There are almost nearly two hundred monasteries or Gompas belonging to either the Nyingmapa Sect or the Kargyupa Sect. Rumtek monastery was started in the 11th century. The monastery is a home to numerous religious idols and other objects of worship. It is endowed with a unique architectural style and is one of the premier monasteries of Sikkim. .

can be seen on nearly every temple in Sikkim. along with two dragons. colourful and splendid form of art. in the cultural regions of the Tibetan people. cement and earth are the primary building materials.TIBETAN ARCHITECTURE         Tibetan architecture is one of the most simple. the Buddhist prayer wheel. has been highly influenced by China and India. Due to frequent earthquakes. sunny sites facing the south. walls are usually sloped inward at 10 degrees. . Tibetan Buddhist architecture. Many of the houses and monasteries are typically built on elevated. Rocks. For example. Flat roofs are built to conserve heat and multiple windows are constructed to let in the sunlight. Its simplicity brings out the temperament and character of the lives and people of the place. wood.

giving them a special status within the iconography of Tibetan architecture. . called the shu-chung. of which the first piece. which represents the three levels of existence. In both the Tibetan temple and dwelling. as well as the triad of the Buddhist religious order: the teacher (the Buddha). called the shu-chen. with the column supporting a capital made up of two pieces. Particularly significant is the number three. The column and capital are made up of three wooden members. supports the second and top piece. these framing members are also richly decorated with carved and painted motifs. the teachings (the Dharma) and the religious community (the Sangha). This proportional hierarchy appears in the construction of the columnsand capitals which support the heavy timber floor beams and in the three levels of the temple. in the design of the structure. which is prevalent in Tibetan Buddhist teachings.TIBETAN ARCHITECTURE The symbolic importance of the timber frame structure is reinforced by the use of numerology. according to Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.

THE PRAYER TURBINES CALLED MANÉ THE RICH COLOURS OF THE MUSEUM O TIBETOLOGY .

HAND-CARVED PILLAR OF TIBETOLOGY RABDENTSE RUINS OF THE 17TH CENTURY .

Most of it was probably always found in the monasteries. Made primarily from pine and other Himalayan soft woods. TRADITIONAL TIBETAN FURNITURE . and the population of Tibet has always been so small that not much was ever made. Tibetans used very little furniture in their homes. it is noted more for its sometimes lavishly painted surface and/or carved decoration than for its joinery. and of course most of these monasteries were destroyed by the Chinese during the “Cultural Revolution” along with huge amounts of furniture.TIBETAN FURNITURE    Furniture from Tibet has always been quite rare. Except for the wealthy.

the great treasure vase. for example the Jains and Newar Buddhists. The symbols differed between different groups. 8 SYMBOLS OF GOOD FORTUNE . a lotus. In Buddhism these symbols of good fortune represent the offerings that were made by the gods to Shakyamuni Buddha immediately after he attained enlightenment. the banner of victory and the wheel of dharma. pair of golden fish.TIBETAN MOTIFS & SYMBOLS    The eight Buddhist auspicious symbols consist of – a parasol. the endless knot. the right turning conch.

representing Shakti or the Feminine. a lotus of sixteen petals. and an earth square resembling a temple with four doors. SRIThe Sri Chakra or Shri Yantra is formed by nine YANTRA interlocking triangles that surround and radiate out from the bindu point. Together the nine triangles are interlaced in such a way as to form 43 smaller triangles in a web symbolic of the entire cosmos or a womb symbolic of creation. It also represents Tripura Sundari. the goddess of abundance on all levels. in abstract geometric form. Five of these triangles point downwards. representing Shiva or the Masculine. the junction point between the physical universe and its unmanifest source. Thus the Sri Yantra also represents the union of Masculine and Feminine Divine. “the beauty of the three worlds. Sri-Yantra . This is surrounded by a lotus of eight petals.” Four of the triangles points upwards.     It represents Sri Lakshmi.

WOOD ART IN SIKKIM MONASTERIES – WINDOWS. DOORS AND PILLARS   The design of the Buddhist Monasteries in Sikkim is heavily influenced by Tibetan designs and bears a close similarity to the visuals seen on the other side of the Himalayas. But the use of softer colors. . floral motifs and curvilinear patterns give the Sikkimese monasteries a unique character that is probably prettier.

.

  . is the largest monastery in Sikkim. Rumtek is located at an altitude of about 5800 feet (1547 metres). institutions for the lay community and other establishments.RUMTEK MONASTERY. also popularly known as The Dharmachakra Centre. stupas. The place around the monastery has many holy objects. which contains the precious relics of 16th Karmapa. a protector's shrine. It is 24 kilometers away from state capital. also the home for monk community. a monastic college. SIKKIM  Rumtek Monastery is situated in eastern part of  Sikkim. This monastery.Gangtok. One of the beautiful objects is the Golden Stupa. nunnery. a three-year retreat centre. where the relics of the Sixteenth Karmapa are enshrined.   The Dharma Chakra Centre comprises a beautifully structured main shrine temple and monastery with monks' quarters.

  .   The key structure of the monastery is sternly according to the conventional architectural designs of the Tibetan monasteries. The major part of the construction was funded by the royal family of Sikkim and the Government of India.CONSTRUCTION OF RUMTEK The construction for the new Rumtek Monastery MONASTERY and other essential facilities started in the year  1962. Pandit  Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister then. and became an example for several other monasteries built later throughout the country. murals and frescoes of traditional Tibetan style paintings. This monastery was the first monastery built in India in the conventional style. The monastery was completed in the year 1966. It took four years for the completion of construction process. The entire monastery is gorgeously wrapped with wall paintings.

a monastic college where the relics of the Sixteenth Karmapa are preserved. The monastery contains a marvelous main temple. One will be able to see the harmony of the lives of monks. a golden stupa and a magnificent Buddha statue. experience the heritage of Buddhism and get a chance to know more about the ancient history of Buddhism.ARTISTIC SIGNIFICANCE OF RUMTEK MONASTERY  The architecture of Rumtek is unique and fabulous. .

and traditional Tibetan style paintings.ARCHITECTURAL STYLE      The entire complex of the Rumtek Monastery encloses a beautifully structured shrine temple and a monastery for the monks. and the Genduk Chogngi. The entire structure is magnificently covered with beautiful murals. The main structure of the Rumtek Monastery is strictly as per the traditional architectural designs of the Tibetan monasteries. The rooftop of the Rumtek Monastery is comprised of four storied golden sculpture. frescoes. Within the monastery are the paintings of the Kagyu lineage. the eight great Bodhisattvas. amongst others . known as ‘ghanzira’. the sixteen Arhats. carved and painted woodwork. There are also monks’ quarters where the Karmapa resides and where most of the important relics are enshrined.

Exterior detail of monastery Interior detail of monastery .

. The complex is a fine example of Tibetan monastic architecture.Gangtok road at Lingdum. about 45 minutes drive from Gangtok.PAL ZURMANG KAGYUD MONASTERY. LINGDUM (RANKA MONASTERY)    This monastery is situated on the Rumtek Ranka .

FEATURES .

.

CARVED AND PAINTED COLORFUL ENTRANCE BUDDHIST MONASTERY. SIKKIM .

SIKKIM .EXTERIOR OF BUDDHIST MONASTERY.

.LARGE COLORFUL PRAYER WHEEL IN BUDDHIST MONASTERY.

HAND CRAFTED AND PAINTED WINDOW AND PRAYER WHEELS IN BUDDHIST MONASTERY .

HAND CRAFTED AND PAINTED WINDOWS IN BUDDHIST MONASTERY .

LEPCHA TRADITIONAL HOUSE .

BHUTIA TRADITIONAL HOUSE .

NEPALI TRADITIONAL HOUSE .

MODERN TIBETAN TRADITIONAL HOUSE .

THANK YOU .