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Rinchenpong is a small village located in the South West of Sikkim. It is a great place to visit to get a true rural slice of Sikkimese life and experience the lush forested valleys of the area. It is also a popular place from which to start a trek to the higher reaches of the Eastern Himalaya.

The three- tiered Rinchenpong monastery, built in 1730, is worth a visit. Located at the top of a mountain pathway, the monastery has commanding views over the lush countryside. Inside the monastery is a little-seen Buddha known as Adi Buddha which is displayed in naked meditation with a woman embracing him, symbolising the power of the bond between male and female.

Nearby to Rinchenpong is the Resum Gompa, for those looking for something a little off the beaten track. In fact, there is no pathway to this gompa – so head through the forest, past ruined stupas until you reach this quaint, painted temple.

Located on the edge of the Richenpong ridge is Gurung Monastery – a newer addition to the monasteries of Richenpong. Distinctive for its red-hued exteriors, visitors come here to experience the peace and solitude of the craggy Himalayas around them.

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The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.
G. K. Chesterton

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