Do-Drul Chorten Stupa
This huge stupa or monument is located at a short walking distance from the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
and on a hill top. The car will drop you at the base from where a short but steep uphill pathway leads to the stupa (i.e. the chorten). The Chorten or the Stupa is marked by a golden top with a deity enshrined on it. This golden top can be seen from far away places in Gangtok.
Locals believed that this entire place was once haunted by evil spirits and many people who wandered around this place became victims and died. Later a very respected and celebrated lama of Tibet Trulshik Rinpoche who followed Nyingma Order of Buddhism came to this place for hermitage. He built this stupa in 1946 to drive away the spirits.
Do-Drul Chorten, Gangtok
Actually, in 1940s and at the time of Second World War, the Royal Family of Sikkim (the Namgyals) were passing through a troubled time. So, the queen of Sikkim invited Trulshik Rinponche from Tibet for hermitage and guide and build this chorten for the wellbeing of the countrymen and the royal family. Trulshik Rinpoche could not communicate in any language other than Tibetan, but he was loved and revered by the common people because of his charm and polite behavior.
When the chorten was built, many valuable items were kept inside it including the Buddhist religious book 'Tanjur', complete mantras, various religious relics and articles, and many valuable items donated by the rich and the elite. In fact, the Rinponche also kept his own priceless Swiss watch that was gifted by the queen who brought it personally from Switzerland.
The deity enshrined on top of the chorten (stupa) is known as Dorjee Phurba or Vajra Kilaya, and therefore this chorten is also known as Phurba Chorten, and is regarded as one of the most important chortens or stupas of Sikkim.
The stupa is surrounded by 108 prayer wheels all of which have mantras ('Om mani padme hum') inscribed on them in Tibetan. If you rotate the prayer wheels, do it in clockwise direction.
Prayer Wheels at Chorten Stupa, Gangtok
There are several other small stupas around the main one. One of them is Jhang Chup Chorten which was built in memory of Trulshik Rinpoche after his death in 1962. In an adjacent gompa, you can find the statues of Guru Padmasambhava and Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.
Following demise of Trulshik Rinpoche, another celebrated lama Dodrubchen Rinpoche came here and established his dharma preaching center in the same premises. The building can accommodate about 700 monks. You can also enter and offer your prayers there.
There is no admission fee. However donations are accepted.
Lamps at Do-Drul Chorten, Gangtok
How to reach
Do-Drul Chorten is covered under all standard local packaged tours offered by the taxi drivers. It's only 2kms from Gangtok Town in Deorali area. You can otherwise just take a taxi and reach here in 10-15 minutes. Within short walking distance is Institute of Tibetology
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