Four Sacred Caves of Sikkim

Sikkim has four sacred caves. These caves are located at four cardinal directions of Tashiding, namely- Sharchog Bayphug in the East, Lho khando Sangphug in the South, Nub Dechenphug in the West and Jhang Lhari Nyingphug in the North. Tashiding according to Holy text, is the Navel Point of "Bayul Demajong".

Two Cave are Located in South District of Sikkim Sharchog Bayphug and Lho Khando Sangphug and Two Caves in West District of Sikkim Nub Dechphug and Jhang Lhari Nyingphug.

Guru Padma Sambhava sanctified these Caves as the abodes of various Protective Divinities of the Esotertic Buddhism. Today these caves have become the most important pilgrim destination of the buddhist followers all over the Worlds.

Tashiding Monastery Tashiding Monastery

1. Sharchog Bey Phug (The Eastern Cave)

This Cave is situated at Sangmo Village, 33 Km ahead of Namchi South Sikkim, and lies under a huge rock with a small entrance facing eastward. As per the traditional practice , it is highly recommended that devotees commence their pilgrimage from this eastern cave as a mark of opening the door to the sacred land of Sikkim. One needs to offer prayers here for the success of one's pilgrimage and eliminate any obstacles that may occur on the way.

Sharchog Bayphug literally means "Hidden Caves of Eastern Direction" it has varying height, roughly between five feet to hundred feet. According to Dejong Ney-Yig text, Lamyig or Clues of secret treasures of this holy land were hidden in this Cave. This may perhaps be the reason,for calling the cave "Bayphug" or "Hidden Cave". There are various self-emanated mystic semblances on the cave walls and roof bearing religious significance ascribed to various deities and ritual objects. Inside the Cave you will get to see a figure on the roof of the inner entrance signifies MANDALA of Shitro deities. You will find a "Tuikang" or a "Holy Spring" Visitor can drink this sacred as a healer of Chronic Diseases. This cave bear religious significance ascribed to the various deities and ritual object blessed by Guru Padmasambhava during his sojourn to this Cave. Merit of offering Tshog and Lamp at this cave is immeasurable. It is said that visiting this cave can overcome all kinds of obstacles.

Sharchog Bey Phug Sharchog Bey Phug Holy Water Inside Cave

2. Lho Khandro Sang Phug (The Southern Cave)

This Cave Lies Near Reshi and just beside the Phur Tshachu Hot Spring situated at the east bank of the river Rangit. Khadro Sangphug literally means "Secret Cave of Dakinins" which is significantly located to the southern direction of Tashiding Hill. It can be entered through a low entrance on the foot of rocky hill. Once entered inside, one can certainly see a wide-open space where upon a huge upright rock with its top touching the cave celling that depicts the Shamari dongphug (hell tree). Near the tree. Lies a narrow upright hole with a length of approximately 8ft through which devotees enter from its bottom hole and exit from top with a belief that this act will get rid of the sin. Moving ahead one can see a mystic pattern on the cave ceiling which depicts the lungs and heart of the demoness hung up by Guru padmasambhava after subjugating her. The main cave is literally like a tunnel with a length of 14 to15 feet and its height not more than 2 - 3 feet.

While entering this cave, one has to crawl in with a Flashlight. This eventually leads to the end of the cave, which is terminated, by a hollow space said to be Guru Padmasambhava's meditation seat. This is not more than 4 feet high. A deep imprint on the ceiling above is said to be the impression left by Guru's crown. As per denjong Ney-Yig Text. This cave is virtually a heavenly abode of khadroma (Dakinins). It is very interesting to note that people who visit this cave and offer prayer can get blessings to fulfill their noble wishes and dreams. Especially for a woman who is expecting a baby to whom this blessing may prove more beneficial. An Oral Tradition has it that the Great Guru Padma Sambhava came to Tashiding hill with his 25 disciples to consecrate this hidden land in the 8th Century A.D.

However, the evil spirit disturbed their peace. A demon couple who has been following Guru and his disciples from Tibet also reached Tashiding to foil Guru's spiritual work. When Guru began his prayer on the Tashiding hilltop, the demon on the other hand also initiated their evil work. It is said that the male demon transformed himself into a giant snake and entered itself from the foot of the tashiding hill and reared its head out of the ground near the spot where Guru was performing his ceremony. Following which a fierce battle began between good and evil and eventually the male demon was killed in this combat. Guru then immediately converted the snake body into rock with his spiritual powers. Substantial evidence can be seen to this day at Tashiding in form of rock in the premises of Choedten Thongwa Rangdol.

Inside Lho Khandro Sang Phug Cave Inside The Lho Khandro Sang Phug Cave

3. Dechen Phug (The Western Cave)

It is situated on the top of western mountain range to the west of Tashiding hill and approachable from Pelling that takes two days journey westward. From Nambu Village one has to walk on foot to reach the Cave. "Dechen Phug" is a bhuddhist word which means "Cave of Great Happiness".

This Cave is seen like a sleeping pig lifted by a three storied house with 12 pillars. It is described in Dejong Nay-yig that whoever reaches this Cave obtains the blessings of Maha Mudra (Cha-gya Chenpo).

At its four corner, lies concealed Kapalas (Skull cups) containing a nectar of immortality. That is why in Denjong Neygig Text, it is described thus: "CHIMED TSETAR DRUBPA NUB DECHEN PHUG" meaning western cave of great Happiness showers a blessing of longevity, in other words, one could extend one's life span by means of visiting this cave.

4. Lhari Nyingphug (The Northern Cave)

It is situated to the north of Tashiding hill and almost two days journey from labdang Village, West Sikkim. The word LHARI NYINGPHUG translates to " Heart Cave of Gods Hill".

Lhari Nyingphug Cave has 07 Chambers. Three located facing eastwards and four in the southern side. Each cave signifies an abode of different god and Goddesses.

As per Dejong Ney-yig, it is described thus: "DZONGAI TERKHA MANGDU CHE GYUI JHANG LHARI RINCHEN NYINGKYI" meaning "precious heart cave of god's hill is a place to open vast treasures of Mount Khnachenjunga".

As per Dejong Ney-yig text, Padma Sambhava had hidden a great deal of sacred treasures in Lhari Nyingphug Cave for the prosperity of this hidden valley. It is believed that the northern cave is the holiest in the series.

Inside The Lhari Nyingphug Cave Inside The Lhari Nyingphug Cave