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TSONGA GUMBA

AN ELGIN EXCLUSIVE FEATURE​ By Aishwarya Bhatt

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Prayer Wheels wrapping around themselves centuries worth of prayers, unfulfilled wishes and whispers of travellers that revolve around them as whispered secrets.

The location of The Elgin Silver Oaks makes it the epicentre of the activities that can be carried out throughout the day to enjoy Kalimpong’s delightful hospitality.

With a treasurable rich history, Kalimpong forms a feast of an experience to learn and witness the varsity of Tibetan and Buddhist culture, all dating as far back as 1630. The oldest monastery in Kalimpong, just 1.5 kilometres away from the Elgin Silver Oaks, Thongsa Gompa locally known as Bhutanese Gompa was rebuilt in 1964. The present Gumba has undergone renovation after it was demolished by the Gorkhas in Sikkim.

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The serenity of Tsonga Gumpa transcends into its surroundings and is reflected in its architecture as well.
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Tsonga Gompa in Kalimpong is considered as the oldest Bhutanese monastery in the district of Darjeeling which highlights the existence of Bhutanese culture and tradition in Kalimpong. The exact year of construction is not yet clear but many scholars believe that it was built around the 16th century.

There are claims that when scholar surgeon Rennie in his book “Bhutan and the story of Dooar war” speaks about a monastery in Kalimpong as Tusso Cimpa which was inhabited by three monks, he is referencing the Tsonga Gumba.

The morning is the best time to visit the shrine as one can witness the tranquillity and divine peace of the morning prayers. If one is lucky, they get to experience the beauty of walking through a flock of pigeons that often rest at the entrance of the monastery. The place is perfect for someone who wishes to attain peace and solitude in this beautiful town of Kalimpong.

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