Sang-Ngang Monastery (1649-1650 A.D)
Sangag Choling monastery is situated at the southwest side of Gyalzing, west District.
History:Sang-ngag Cholingmonastery is claimed to have founded by Lama Lhatsun Chhenpo during the reign of first King Phuntsog Namgyal (1604-1670) but date and year of its founding is not specifically found.However, as per record found in theGazetteer of Sikkim, it is said thus- “It was commenced under the direction of Lhatsun Chhenpo during the reign of First King and brought to completion, at the time of second King Tensung Namgyal
Image Not Available
(1670-1700)”.As per record in ‘The Gazetteer of Sikkim’, Lama Lhatsun Chhenpo went back to Tibet for a short period in 1648 A.D. During this visit, Lama Lhatsun offered the Rigdzin Sogdrub Initiation to the Fifth Dalai Lama and conferred on him as Chhodag or Care Taker of Dharma. Thereafter, Lama Lhatsun and Chhogyal Phuntshog, after returning from Tibet, proceeded to demarcate the Rabdentse area as the proper site for building a befitting Palace in the future. Afterwards they went on building many other objects of worship such as Golden Stupa, Bodhi Stupa etc. At the same time, Lama Lhatsun consecrated many sites in the surrounding areas before returning to Tibet. Later, he passed away at Sheldrak monastery in the water-dragon year, which corresponds to 1652 A.D. Therefore, taking into account the time of his visit to these areas, the commencement of the Sang-nags Choling monastery must had been taken place during the year between 1649 and 1651 A.D. The founding date ‘1697’as indicated by H.H. Risley contradicts to the historical facts as its founder lama had evidently passed away in 1652 A.D. in Tibet.
Later, Lama Jigmed Pawo, the third successor of Lhatsun Lama, reconstructed the monastery in the wood-horse year i.e. 1714 A.D. during the reign of Third Chhogyal Chhagdor Namgyal. The admission to this monastery was open to all i.e. irrespective of caste. However, this monastery is identified today as the second Gonpa next to Dubde Monastery. It is very unfortunate that the original monastery, rebuilt by Lama Jigmed Pawo, was gutted by fire in 1950, which was later rebuilt in 1960 with government aid and provided with mural paintings in the year 1981.
Next to the Kangyur Lhakhang in the first floor is the Naychu Lhakhang containing statues made by Lama Lhatsun Chenpo. They are Buddha Amitabha, Guru Tsokye Dorje , Chukchi Shay and Lhatsun Chenpo. This is the only Lhakhang which contains the statues of the local guardian deities of various 'Nay' or pilgrim sites of Sikkim made by Lhatsun Chenpo himself. Among them is a statue of Thekong Mon Salong, the great Lepcha Chief who was also a powerful Bongthim (Shamman). This was the only Mon Salong Statue made in Sikkim. Outside the monastery is a Phagmo Lhakhang containing statues made by Lhatsun Chenpo. It is said that when Lhatsun Chenpo was meditating at this site, he heard the grunt of a pig and neighing of a horse at the same time which he took as a sign of the presence of these Deities. In order to please these Deities he erected statues of these two Deities along with his own statue. The monastery belongs to Nyingmapa Sect of Mindroling lineage and functions all the major ceremonies throughout the year.
Home Annual Reports Disclaimer RTI Gallery