It is known to one and all that Lord Buddha was a reincarnation of God himself hence people from all over the world have tremendous belief in his teachings and truthfulness.
The Lhabab Duchen festival, dedicated to Gautama Buddha, is celebrated in Sikkim that marks the arrival of Gautama Buddha for the second time on earth from heaven.
Also, Sikkim is the place where there are several Buddhist monasteries and people have immense faith and respect towards them. Buddhism followers from across the country and the globe arrive in the state to offer prayers and explore the monasteries.
History of Lhabab Duchen Festival
Like any other religion Buddhism too had many folklores and stories that are hard to believe but are the only basis of many popular rituals and the only answer that connects many unanswered questions and mysteries.
As per the famous folklore, Gautama Buddha ascended to heaven where 33 gods lived which is known as Tryastrimsa at the age of 41 to share his teachings. It is said that Gautama Buddha’s mother Queen Maya also resided there as she got stuck into the circle of life and death when she died after giving birth to Gautama Buddha.
After spending a few months there and sharing his teachings with his mother and the gods, Gautama Buddha forgot to return to Earth. When he did not return to earth, one of his disciples Maudgalyayana decided to bring him back.
Gautama Buddha, after a long debate with his disciple, on a full moon night, agreed to come back. Legends have it that Lord Vishwakarma the chief architect of gods made a ladder for Buddha to return to Earth.
This festival marks the arrival of Buddha from heaven to earth for the second time. Today, this festival of Sikkim is celebrated in many Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar.
Major Attractions of Lhabab Duchen Festival
All the Buddhists come together in the monasteries on every 22nd day of the 9th month, according to the Tibetan calendar which is October mostly, to celebrate the festival.
Every year this festival is celebrated with a lot of zeal and fervor by Buddhist Followers. A lot of tourists from across the country especially visit Sikkim to witness the rituals and festivities. Lhabab Duchen festival is a unique way of celebrating preeminence and paying homage to the Lord.
How to Reach
Gangtok is a beautiful capital city of Sikkim. The place is visited by domestic and foreign tourists and some of the most visited tourist attractions of Gangtok are Nathu La Pass, Rumtek Monastery, Ganesh Tok, Kanchenjunga, Himalayan Zoological Park, and Seven Sisters Waterfalls. Owing to a well-developed transportation structure Gangtok is easily accessible from all parts of the country via rail, road, and air.
Tourists who are planning a trip to Sikkim may opt for inter-state tourist buses to reach the state or may drive their personal vehicle to the state. Both ways one has to travel nearly 1,600, 2,400, 750km, and 2,500 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively.
Listed below is the distance estimate in kilometers and the best route that you may consider if planning a trip to Gangtok.
Guwahati - 543 km via NH 27
Jorhat - 800 km via NH 27
Shillong - 635 km via NH 27
Darjeeling - 100 km via NH 10
New Jalpaiguri is the railway station where one must deboard to explore the beautiful Indian State Sikkim. The station receives trains from the major cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru. Listed below are the direct trains that you may consider for traveling to Gangtok.
Guwahati - North East Express, Saraighat Express, Kamrup Express
Bagdogra is the nearest airport located at a distance of 150 km. The airport receives flights from all parts of India. From the airport, one may take local transport to reach the desired place in Sikkim. The airport receives direct and connecting flights from all parts of the country hence one may book tickets in advance and also a few days before the trip.