Pelling • A Buddhist ceremony at the monastery • Sikkim, India

Explore sacred Sikkimese traditions in our video over 19 minutes long about Pelling. Immerse yourself in Buddhist ceremonies at the Pemayangtse Monastery and explore the mystical ruins of Rabdentse. A spiritual and cultural journey unveiling the hidden beauties of the Himalayas.
00:00 • intro | 00:13 • Pelling • Sangchen Pemayangtse monastery | 13:01 • Rabdentse | 14:53 • Sangocholin monastery (Sanga Choeling)

made with photos and videos taken during the trip Buddhist India • Sikkim • Bihar • West Bengal (EN)

Tibetan New Year in Pelling

Cham dance ceremonies were planned at Pemayangtse Monastery on the occasion of the Tibetan New Year celebrations. Cham dances are masked and costumed dances accompanied by music performed by Tibetan monks.

Due to the death of the grand lama of the temple in the previous days, these dances were canceled.

Sangchen Pemayangtse monastery

We had the privilege of attending a Buddhist ceremony in the Sangchen Permayangtse temple near Pelling in Sikkim, in the Indian Himalayas.

This bewitching religious ceremony during which the monks recite their prayers accompanied by the sound of the drum and Tibetan horns called randong and very gripping. This ceremony lasts for hours on end, and honestly, it's hard to be a welder. We could walk around the monastery at our leisure, but it is not recommended to take pictures there. The ceremony shown in this film was therefore filmed discreetly, which explains the sometimes lower quality of the video.

The monastery overlooking the site of Rabdentse is one of the oldest in Sikkim.


A few hundred meters from the Sangchen Permayangtse monastery are the ruins of the ancient capital of the kingdom of Sikkim, Rabdentse. Rabdentse was the capital of the kingdom between 1670 and 1814. The city was destroyed by Nepalese and Bhutanese troops and currently only sees the ruins of the palace and the chortens (stupas). On a clear day you can see the Himalayan Range very well from the ruins of Rabdentse, but unfortunately when we went it was very foggy.

the Sanga Choeling monastery

The Sanga Choeling (or Sange Choeling or Sangacholin) monastery was built in the 17th century and is one of the oldest in Sikkim. Located on a ridge at the top of Pelling, you have to take a winding and steep path to get there. But this sanctuary is well worth these efforts ...

It is a monastery of Tibetan architecture. This monastery houses a number of paintings as well as ancient clay statues, some dating from the 17th century.


Spoken comments in the film: 

We had planned to attend a Cham masked dance in a monastery in Pelling on the occasion of the Tibetan New Year. 

Unfortunately, the lama of the monastery has just passed away, the show has been cancelled. 

We attended a prayer session instead of the choreography. I'm not sure we lost out.

decoration of the monastery, Pelling, Sikkim • India

What's the weather like in Pelling?

about the place, Pelling:

Pelling is a small town in Sikkim in the Indian Himalayas. The whole region has remained strongly Buddhist and there are among others the Pemayangtse and Sanga Choeling monasteries. 

Pelling was until recently relatively isolated from the world, with a somewhat haphazard bus service connecting the city to the capital Gangtok. However, the tourist attraction of the city has greatly changed the infrastructure and road works have greatly improved traffic conditions.


Sangchen Pemayangtse Monastery, Pelling • India • Sikkim

Sangchen Pemayangtse Monastery

Ceremony at the monastery, Pelling • India • Sikkim

Ceremony at the monastery

Rabdentse, ancient capital of Sikkim, Pelling • India • Sikkim

Rabdentse, ancient capital of Sikkim

Sangacholing Monastery, Pelling • India • Sikkim

Sangacholing Monastery

Pelling, Sikkim. India