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Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology 
About Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology 
Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology

The Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology is a premier institute in the world that was established to conduct research on the language and traditions of Tibet as well as the Mahayana sect of Buddhism. This institute houses a museum, a Tibetan library and a general reference centre. This research institute is situated at Deorali, in the south of central Gangtok. This institute was formerly known as the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, named after the late Chogyal of Sikkim, Palden Thondup Namgyal. The Dotrabu Chorten of Guru Padmasambhava, a small temple dedicated to the Guru Rimpoche and a memorial park in the honour of the late king of Sikkim are also located near the institute.

History of Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology 

The institute is located on the site that was donated by the late king of Sikkim, Sir Tashi Namgyal in memory of his departed son Paljor Namgyal. The foundation stone of the Institute was laid on 10th February, 1957 by the 14th Dalai Lama and was inaugurated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 1st October, 1958. The Institute is beautifully located in sylvan surroundings and extensive grounds.

Information on the Sikkim Research Institute 

The Sikkim research institute of Tibetology is constructed in typical Tibetan Buddhist style and is an imposing monument and a splendid example of Sikkimese architecture. The wall paintings on the verandah depict the four celestial guardians kings located in the four directions of Mount Meru. The institute contains a rare collection of the Tibetan literature, rare manuscripts, paintings, coins, thangkas, statues and religious objects and other works of art and history. There are about 30 thousand xylographs which contains the translations of the original teachings of the Lord Buddha and the treaties by distinguished Buddhist scholars from different parts of the world. It also has its own faculty of the eminent scholars. The library and museum of the Institute are open to the public on all days.

Museum in the Sikkim Research Institute

The museum is located on the ground floor of the institute. This museum contains a rare collection of statues, ritual objects, traditional art objects, thangkas (painted, woven and embroidered scrolls) and ancient manuscripts in Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese and Lepcha. The museum exhibits a majestic silver image of Manjushri, the Bodisattva of knowledge that was brought from Tibet. Some of the manuscripts are the Prajna Paramita and Astasahastra written in Tibetan golden script, an 11th century palm leaf manuscript of the Saratama Prajnaparamita by Ratnakara Shanti and a 12th century Chinese manuscript of the Prajana Paramita Sutra that was brought from South Korea. There is also a casket in the museum which contains the relics of two great Asokan missionaries, Madhyama and Kasyapagotra. There are also five sandalwood images of Padmasambhava, the three founding lamas of Sikkim and the first King Phuntsok Namgyal which constitute an example of Sikkimese art.

Libraries in the Sikkim Research Institute 

The Tibetan library is situated on the first floor of the institute's main building. This library holds one of the largest collection of Tibetan works in the world outside Tibet. There are about 60,000 titles which consist of Tibetan translations of canonical and non-canonical works from their original Sanskrit or Pali, as well as Tantric texts belonging to the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism. The library also contains the collected works of Padma Lingpa, Mipham Rinpoche and the great fifth Dalai Lama, and the hagiography of guru Padmasambhava.

The general library is situated to the right side of the main building. This library holds a good collection of books in different languages which covers Tibet, Sikkim, Nepal, Bhutan and Ladakh and as well as the journals and periodicals from leading institutions and organizations. This library does not lend or issue books for home use and as such the readers and visitors can only read them.

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