Nga Dak Monastery once a Palace of Pende Ongmoo

Nga-Dak Monastery at Namchi

Nga Dak Monastery is situated 2 Kms above Namchi that offers substantiation about the early Namgyals in a most voluminous manner. It was primarily constructed as a palace for the most disastrous Princess of Sikkim Pende Ongmo (Pendi Wangmoo) by King Chagdor Namgyal (Tensung Namgyal?) in or around 1700 AD. This edifice has tolerated two major jolts in the recent years and amidst nudges, the structure is yet standing and updating the times of yore of the early Sikkim in general and the Namgyals in particular. Nga Dak is a Tibetan word that corresponds to “promise”. Apart from abhorrence, the monastery also symbolises a struggle for supremacy between Princess Pende Ongmoo and Chagdor Namgyal that took place in the 2nd decade of the 18th century. 

King Chagdor Namgyal succeeded his father Tensung Namgyal at the age of 14 in 1700 AD. Soon after his succession, trouble arose between him and his half sister Pendi Ongmoo, who claimed that she was entitled to the throne. Pendi Ongmoo, whose mother was a Bhutanese, approached her maternal relatives for help and invited Bhutanese force to attack Sikkim to evict her brother. As a sequel to this, the Bhutanese attacked Rhabdentse, the then Capital of Sikkim and the areas adjoining to the Capital remained under Bhutanese for more than seven years. The young King was rescued by Yugthing Teshi, a loyal Councillor who took him to Lhasa via Elam and Walong in Nepal. The King remained in Tibet for eight years leaving everything rampant in his Kingdom.

Room where Pende Ongmoo was executed 
Chagdor returned to Sikkim accompanied by a Tibetan named Jigmed Pao and began to consolidate his position in Sikkim by driving out the Bhutanese elements from Sikkimese territories. Under the guidance of Lama Jigmed Pao, Chagdor accomplished the construction of Pemiongchi monastery, one of the oldest and most famous monasteries in Sikkim. The monastery consisted of 108 monks including the Raja himself who was an ardent Buddhist. The most significant works of Chagdor Namgyal include Changa-Yig, a book on monastic discipline, Rong-Chham, a religious dance in the honour of the Takpoo or war like demons and he is also credited of the designing of Lepcha alphabets.

An old wooden printing system preserved at Nga Dag 
Pendi Ongmoo, the King’s half sister however, was not solaced and the anomaly between them continued and culminated into a crisis. She conspired with a Tibetan physician to kill the King and to secure her position on the Sikkimese throne. During a visit to Ralong hot spring in 1717, Pende Ongmoo insisted the physician to open the main artery of the King which eventually caused the death of Chagdor Namgyal. After the death of the King, a force was sent to Namchi to execute the princess. The doctor was granted a fierce death by the Sikkimese ministers. Likewise Pende Ongmoo was put to death with a silk scarf inside a room of the Nga Dak palace.The place is also known as Pende Lhaptse and it needs a serious attention of the concerned officials for its preservation. 


anusia said...

Its a very beautiful place with this lovely Monastery. I have been to many parts of Sikkim and enjoyed the view.