ZANG DHOK PALRI PHODANG
AN ELGIN EXCLUSIVE FEATURE By Aishwarya Bhatt
The Monastery reflects purity and peace, within its ambience and the surrounding is something to look forward to. The top of the monastery gives a bird’s eye view of Kalimpong town.
One of the main attractions for tourists to Kalimpong is the various monasteries that thrive in the city. The Tibetan Buddhist culture is enriched within the people and their practices that can be observed throughout the travel through Kalimpong.
Zang Dhok Palri Phodang, popularly known as Lava Monastery, is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located atop Durpin Hill, one of the two hills at the ridge of which the town is situated. It is one of the few monasteries in India to be consecrated by his Holiness the Dalai Lama himself, in 1976. With China’s annexation of Tibet in 1959, Kalimpong saw the establishment of monasteries by the many Buddhist monks that fled Tibet. These monks brought many rare Buddhist scriptures with them. The monastery houses many such rare scriptures including 108 volumes of the Kangyur.
Bright colours and hand painted decorations adorn the Zang Dong Monastery.
The Monastery is located at a distance of 4 km from The Elgin Silver Oaks, Kalimpong. Visitors can make the most of the 12 min scenic drive to the Durpin Hill while some prefer to make the 40-minute trek to the hilltop.
Visitors of the monastery are often left in awe of its architectural structure. The typical Buddhist elegance with magnanimous ceremonial halls, life-like engravings in the walls, along with its breath-taking paintings speak volumes of the beautiful environment that the monastery houses.
The location of the monastery mirrors the tranquillity of its interiors with those of the awe-inspiring view from the hill-top. On a clear day, one would have the privilege to view the sun beaming at the snow-caps of Mount Kanchenjunga and the flow of the mesmerising Teesta River.