Pilgrim site in tea garden – 74ft stupa ready for visitors

The Telegraph

Kalimpong, March 30: Upper Phagu tea estate near Gorubathan, 70km from here, is set to become the latest Buddhist pilgrimage site with the inauguration of a stupa on Saturday.

Dedicated to Atish Dipankar Srigyan, a 10th century Buddhist prince of a kingdom in north Bengal, the 74.2ft tall stupa has been erected by Hoishwar Rimpoche along with the Upper Phagu Tamang Gumba Committee (UPTGC) on a plot gifted by the estate.

Lobsang Tamang, the Kalimpong branch president of the All India Tamang Buddhist Association, said the site was selected on the basis of a prediction made to Chhattal Sangay Dorji Rimpoche by his Tibetan guru 65 years ago. Sangay Dorji, who is the head of the Tamang gumba in Salbari near Siliguri, had performed the “bhumi puja” for the construction of the stupa in January 2006.

The garden authorities had gifted 0.70 acre of land to the UPTGC in 2002 for constructing a gumba. However, the committee handed over the land to Sangay Dorji who asked the Rimpoche, who also sits in Salbari, to erect the stupa.

The stupa has been constructed on a barren garden plot near the Chel river and is surrounded by lush green hills on all sides. The Rimpoche hoped that the place would not only become another tourism site, but a place where people would find inner peace.

The tea estate is about 60km from Siliguri and its nearest tourist spot is Lava, 25km away.

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