Ralang Monastery is situated in the southern part of Sikkim. It lies at a distance of approximately 6 km from Ravangla. There is a story attached to the construction of the monastery. After the fourth Chogyal came back from his pilgrimage, the Karmapa performed the Rabney (blessing). As per the ceremony, he threw grains from the Tsurphu Monastery in Tibet (the main seat of Karmapa). The ground where the grains fell, eventually, became the site for the Ralang Monastery. The monastery belongs to the Kagyupa order.
One of the most significant as well as the most blessed monasteries in
Sikkim, Ralang also serves as the residence of approximately one hundred
monks. The period of 1975-1981 saw reconstruction work being carried out
in the monastery. Then, in 1995, a new monastery, known as Palchen
Choeling Monastic Institute", was built. Constructed by the 12th
Gyaltsab Rimpoche, the monastery still retains the genuine Tibetan
architecture. One of the major attractions of the Ralang Gompa of India
is its amazing collection of paintings.
Ralang monastery plays host to an annual festival, known as Pang
Lhabsol or the worship of Mount Khangchendzonga and Kagyad. Chaam masked
dances are also organized every year, on the 15th day of the seventh
month of the Buddhist calendar (August-September) and on the 29th day of
the tenth month of the Buddhist calendar (December). The sacred Mahakala
Dance takes place every year in the month of November.
How to reach Ralang Monastery
The nearest airport is that of Bagdogra in West Bengal. It is well
connected to Kolkata, Guwahati, Patna and Delhi.
The nearest railway station is at New Jalpaiguri.
Ravangla is approximately 4.5 hours from Siliguri by road. Regular bus
and taxi services are available from Gangtok, Darjeeling and Pelling.