Tholung Monastery (1789 A.D)
This monastery (Rigdzin Chhodubling) locates in remotest part of upper Dzongu, which is one of the most sacred monasteries in Sikkim. Tholung literally means Tho or Thowa=means Areasima, Lung or Lunga means- place or country.
Some people believed that it is ‘Dolung’ the stony place. However, it is a place where divine beings reside and purity remains.
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History:The sacred place of Tholung was unveiled by 4th Lhatsun Kunzang Jigmed Gyatso in iron-Dragon year of 13thRabjung cycle of Tibetan century which corresponds to 1760 A.D.  Later 5th Lhatsun Pema Dechhen Gyatso built a monastery in 1789 A.D to house the spiritual properties. It possesses ancient holly texts, invaluable Art and Artifacts, which had been brought here in 1788 A.D.
It is said that the Gorkha invasion from Nepal had caused havoc and fear to the Buddhist monks in the west during the reign of Chhogyal Tenzing Namgyal (1769-1793). Therefore the Lama Gyatso transfered all the precious collections, invaluable write-ups, religious objects and many other belongings of former Lamas and Chhogyals from Dubde and Sangag Choling monasteries, west, to the present place of Tholung via Yangang Gonpa, South.
It is also said that the Articles were brought through Poentong route and kept for some years at a place called Fendey in Poentong Village of Upper Dzongu, North Sikkim. It is said that during the halt at Poentong the artifacts vanished and reappeared suddenly and one Vajra (Dorje) flew off towards Tholung. People carrying the artifacts followed the flying vajra which landed on a small pond created by a spring. Taking this as an omen, the artifacts were transported to this site and housed in a small Hut built on the side of this pond. Later, Lama Dechen Gyatso founded a small monastery upon this pond as Tholung Gonpa.
It is said that the Lama Dechhen Gyatso went back to Tibet where he choose two devoted and trustworthy persons called Jo Tshongpon Dablha and Tagye Tshampo as caretakers of these precious belongings and sent them to Sikkim. The two mistook the “Tholung” for “Wolung” and went to Nepal and settled there. The lama learnt of this mistake after a lapse of three years and redirected them to come to Tholung in Sikkim.The descendants of the former still exist in that area as Tholung Nangpa family. They carried on the task of looking after the artifacts till the 1940s. Thereafter, the Ecclesiastical Department, Government of Sikkim took over the charge. The Nangpa family continues to be the chief patron of this Gonpa.
The cold climate and moisture in the area is unsuitable to the holy artifacts in the Monastery. Therefore, the religious treasures kept in the monastery are taken out for sunning and airing once in every three years as ‘Kamsil Ceremony’ under the supervision of the Department of Ecclesiastical, government of Sikkim. In the process of ceremony, their blessing is imparted to the devotees as well. The present monastery was reconstructed in 1980, as the earlier monastery was dilapidated. The route to this monastery diverts from Mangan. It follows Nyingmapa Sect of Buddhism.
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