Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
It is one of the most important and famous institutes in the world that does research in the areas of Tibetan language and culture. It also has in its premises a museum, a Tibetan library with rich collections and also a reference center about Tibet and Himalayas in general.
Located in Deorali and less than 2 kilometers from the main town of Gangtok, the institute is perched in a small forest of birch trees, oak and magnolia ... a wonderful serene ambience.
The main building is built on Tibetan architecture and remains as one of the finest traditional Tibetan designs in the world. The foundation stone of the Institute was laid by 14th Dalai Lama in February 1957. It was inaugurated by Late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in October 1958.
Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok
The museum is located in the ground floor and has many rare collections of statues, coins, thangkas (that are scrolls with hand paintings & embroidery work), Tibetan art work & objects, and ancient manuscripts in Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese and Lepcha.
However the most prominent of all is the grand and majestic image of Manjushri (bodhisattva of knowledge and wisdom) which was brought all the way from Tibet.
Inside Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok
The library is located in the first floor of the building and holds one of the largest collections of Tibetan documents and literatures in the world.
It has over 60,000 volumes that includes translation of original teachings of Lord Buddha, thesis and articles from imminent Buddhist scholars from all over the world, and xylographs (that are created from wooden plates where the transcripts are embossed in reverse order).
The land area of the institute was donated by the late King of Sikkim Tashi Namgyal and hence such name of the institute. Next to the institute main premises you will find a bronze statue of the last king of Sikkim - Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal.
Just opposite to the Institute premises is a nice Gift & souvenir shop known as Asta Mangala Art. It has many nice and intricate items including German silverware, typical Sikkimese clothing for women etc. All items are very reasonably priced.
I bought an exquisite small model of Hukkah made with German Silver for Rs. 700/-. The lady packed it nicely and told me that it would never blacken or lose its shine. I trusted and she was right.
Adjacent to the gift shop is a cafe which is a branch of original Baker's Cafe of MG Marg. You will get coffee, cappuccino, pastries, patties and even ice creams here. Several nice cute tables with chairs are laid out under shades and with plants all around creating a nice cozy ambience.
Souvenir Shop Opposite Institute of Tibetology Gangtok
Admission & Hours
The museum and the library is open to public between 10am to 4pm from Monday to Saturday. It is closed on Sundays, public holidays and second Saturdays of every month. The admission fee is Rs. 10/- per person. You need to take your shoes off before entering the museum. Photography is not allowed inside, but you can take a picture through the open door.
How to reach
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (NIT) is covered as part of all standard local sightseeing tours of Gangtok. It's only 2kms from Gangtok town. You can also take a taxi and reach. Nearby within 100 yards or so is the Do-Drul Chorten Stupa
, another great attraction of Gangtok. You can easily walk across to the stupa.
Address: Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Deorali, Gangtok, Sikkim - 737 101, India
Share your experience.