phodong monastery - north sikkim
the phodong monastery in north sikkim which is a little more than 30kms. from gangtok.
there is an interesting link between the monastery and the famous french scholar on buddhism Madame Alexandra David Neel.
She visited many monasteries in sikkim and spent many months meditating in a cave near Lachen. When she finally left sikkim in 1913-14, Sidkeong Tulku, the Maharaja of sikkim who was also the abbot of the phodong monastery presented her with a bronze statue of buddha as a souvenier. She spent a lot of time in tibet and many parts of asia studying buddhism before returning to france in 1925. She published many papers and journals about her travels and learnings of buddhism and its mysticism, which made her one of the eminent international authorities on the subject.
Before she died in 1969 at the age of 100, she wished that the statue should be returned to sikkim. Her wish was fulfilled by her friend Mary Peyronnet who was also the secretary of the Alexandra David Neel foundation. She visited sikkim along with the statue in 1992. Amidst rituals and prayers, the statue was restored to Phodong on 24th April 1992
information courtsey - Sikkim, A guide and Handbook by Rajesh Verma