Blog on Sikkim.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pemyangchi is more correct form of Pemayangtse Monastery

Twice did i visited Pemayangtse Monastery but when i got to read from the century old books about the place, the romance of those words was something different. These days i am following Sir Richard Temple's visit to the Himalayan state of Sikkim in 1875 and his works about the Pemayangtse Monastery is just a poetry. I appreciate those visitors who really tried to their best to keep the correct pronunciation of the native places, rivers, mountains and others to the closest best. Sir Richard Temple writes "Pemyangchi" for more popular Pemayangtse as it is known better known world wide. In English language, as in recent English proficiency  training concluded at Gangtok;  Saroza Pradhan, my English resource person taught me that in phonetic English "ts" sounds as "ch" which makes the sound of Pemayang-"ts"e as Pemyang-"ch"i. It is not "Pemyang-say" as we say often but it should be "Pemyang-chi" as correctly pronounced by those Britishers.

Sir Richard Temple in his memoirs describes the Pemyangchi Monastery as ;

In the afternoon we examined both the exterior and interior of the building. The present structure is quite new, though the establishment is some 200 years' old; the original building having been sacked and rifled of all its ornaments and riches by the Nepali invaders in 1814, and the building which existed in Hooker s time, 1849, having been destroyed by fire. The exterior is of the same style as that described at Tasiding, except that it is on a much larger scale. The roof is topped by a copper gilt erection, equivalent to the hti, or sacred umbrella of Burma, and the great wooden doorway is elaborately pointed.
 


In the interior there are two storeys. In the upper storey, which is plain, some of the monks reside, and
 in the lower is the chapel already mentioned, all the wooden pillai's and beams of which are painted, 
and  all  its walls covered with frescoes : the entire decoration, whether on wood or plaster, representing 
debased forms of Buddhism, merging into pure idolatry. The colouring is rich and good and the designs are
 spirited, but the execution is rough, there being abundant cleverness, but hardly any real art. The work is
by Tibetan artists, and the idea and conception are of a Chinese character. The principal image represents 
Sakya Muni the founder of Buddhism, but is destitute of art or beauty. There are no valuable ornaments or other
property whatever. I should state the dimensions of the chapel in the lower storey, roughly, as length 60 
feet ; breadth 42 feet; and height 12 feet. 
 
At the entrance to the building there is a good-sized ante-room with painted pillars, and with frescoes, 
laid to represent the ideal kings of the regions over which Buddhism has spread ; also Chagdor, t.e., 
Chagnadorje, or Avalokitesvara, the well-known Bodhisattva, who is also the subduer of evil spirits."
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When i started my blog on Sikkim way back in 2007, i had it clear on my mind that this blog shall help people look out for knowledge on Sikkim. I always wanted a knowledge house about Sikkim, its past, present and future. I do not know over the years how much did i succeed but my determination to let other understand my Sikkim is always giving me a push. with regards Shital Pradhan (himalayanreview@gmail.com)

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