Pemba Tendup Lepcha


Dubdi is the name of the oldest Monastery in Sikkim. It is located in Yuksom, the craddle of the old royal kingdom of Sikkim. Here was the kingdom established with the crowning of Chogyal Namgyal Phuntsog in 1641 by three important monks. One of them was Lhabtsun Chenpo, who used to meditate close by. At this place people built the Dubdi monastery. Lhabtsun Chenpo also ordered that all monks in Sikkim should follow the buddhist order of Nyingma. These follow mainly the teachings of Guru Padmasambhava, the great tantric from the 8th century. Most of the sikkimese monks are allowed to marry and follow common professions even after passing their exams as monks as long as they know how to do the rituals.



Yuksom is a large village of 2.000 inhabitants and located at approx. 1.850 m. It is the starting point for famous Dzongri- and Goecha-la-Trek in the Kanchendzonga National Park. The people are a good mixture of different tribes in Sikkim with the Bhutias in a slight majority. Tourists usually marvel about the relaxed and friendly atmosphere around. People earn their money in tourism, especially trekking, farming (especially cardamom) and little trading.



Lama Passang Tshering Bhutia, 40 years, was asked by the Panchayat in Yuksom to start a special monastic school as the village monks became old and people worried for new blood. In 2010 the hostel with a classroom and kitchen next to the monastery of Dubdi was finished and he moved in with a bunch of boys. Gouvernment secures salary for the teaching, the books, a midday-meal and school-uniforms (in this case the monk’s robes), everything else is dependend on sponsoring. Unfortunatly the earthquake in 2011 and the trembles from the 2015-quake in Nepal damaged the buildings and it looks already older then it should. Heavy rain in monsun makes life hard. The boys suffer from leeches – but usually they are in a good mood and joke around.