Origin of the Kalimpong Sakya Monastery

Learn how Tsechen Thinley Dargay Ling was built on Kalimpong Hill

Establishing a monastic community

The Sakya Tsechen Trinley Dargye Ling Monastery is located in Kalimpong, near the snowy land of Tibet, yet blessed with moderate climate. This area was formerly a busy trading center that many Tibetan merchants frequented. Today, many Tibetans have settled in the region. As many of the residents in the area are from the Himalayan region endowed with rich Buddhist cultural heritage, they have great devotion to Buddhism. With the aim to sustain and propagate the Buddha Dharma more widely, Khondung Ratna Vajra Rinpoche has taken great liberty to establish a Buddhist learning centre in Kalimpong. Here follows the history of the founding of the monastery « Sakya Tsechen Trinley Dargye Ling », the name given by His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, the 41st Patriarch.

Since the early 1960s, His Holiness the Sakya Trinzin, the crown of millions of knowledge, Dharma king, the holder of mantras, has visited Kalimpong many times. He fulfilled the wishes and tamed the minds of many with his profound Dharma teachings, and gave advice concerning what to adopt and what to abandon to all of his devotees.

When His Holiness the Sakya Trizin graciously visited in Kalimpong in 1994 with both his elder and younger Dungsays, the Sakya Tsechu Association in Kalimpong expressed their deep wish to establish a monastery in the area. Consequently, at the request of the Sakya Tsechu Association, the two Dungsays and the late Solpon Sangye-la went to inspect a proposed site. However, at that time the land could not be purchased as the owner did not wish to sell.

In 2005, during the opening ceremony of the bridge of Ghoom Sakya Monastery, a Sakyapa devotee who was living in the area expressed his wish to offer a plot of land in Kalimpong and promised to sponsor the providence of 100 monks. But unfortunately since the person was unable to remain in Darjeeling due to some unforeseen circumstances, that wish could not be fulfilled.

In 2006, Khondung Ratna Vajra Rinpoche got the present site. Later four monks Sakya Monastery in Rajpur, and one monk from Ghoom Sakya Monastery were sent to start the monastery. During that time, the original monks, future staff and newly admitted monks faced many hardships. They lived for many years in the dilapidated old building of the previous landlord, using it as their living space, shrine hall as well as classrooms.

A ceremony was conducted, marking the virtuous beginning of the admission of new monks, which auspiciously started on the triple sacred day, 6th July in 2006 – the birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama which coincided on the 10th of the 5th lunar month, which is also the birthday of Guru Padmasambhava and Khondung Gyana Vajra Rinpoche according to the Tibetan calendar.