Guwahati: A 137-ft statue of Chenrezig, in Sikkim, claimed to be World’s tallest statue, is set to woo tourists from November 1. According to the Sikkim Government, this new pilgrimage site in Pelling will feature the world’s tallest statue at an elevation of 7200 m. Apart from its picturesque beauty; the state now adds another feather to its cap with this statue standing tall in the midst of snow-capped mountains.
As per the locals, Chenrezig or Avalokiteshvara is the earthly manifestation of eternal Buddha, Amitabha. Referring to this latest addition to the Tourism sites in the state, Tourism Minister of Sikkim, Ugen T Gyatso, said that around Rs. 46.65 crores has been invested to develop the spot at Choeling in Pelling, and it is part of the Sikkim Government’s policy to promote it as a Buddhist Pilgrimage Tourism Circuit. He further mentioned that building the world’s tallest Chenrezig statue and a new complex, replete with a café and a gallery, and a skywalk, has been a challenging task for the engineers because of the terrain. However, everyone is happy with the outcome.
The minister also added that as per popular Buddhist belief any altar is incomplete with the presence of Lord Buddha, Guru Padmasambhava, and Chenrezig statues. While Sikkim already has two more Buddhist pilgrim circuits in South Sikkim, which play host to a 135-ft statue of Guru Padmasambhava and 130-ft of Lord Buddha, and now with the latest statue of Chenrezig, Sikkim can turn into one of the best Buddhist pilgrim circuits in the world.
Clean, green and 'all organic' since 2016, Sikkim is mostly a maze of plunging, super-steep valleys thick with lush subtropical woodlands, rising in the north to the spectacular white-top peaks of the eastern Himalaya. The state attracts a lot of tourists every year from both India and abroad. Gifted with nature’s bounty the state boost of 28 mountain peaks, more than 80 glaciers,227 high-altitude lakes including the Tsongmo, Gurudongmar and Khecheopalri Lakes, five major hot springs, and more than 100 rivers and streams. Eight mountain passes connect the state to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal.
Founded by the Namgyal dynasty in the 17th century, the Kingdom of Sikkim was ruled by a Buddhist priest-king known as the Chogyal and became a princely state of British India in 1890. After 1947, Sikkim continued its protectorate status with the Republic of India. A referendum in 1975 led to Sikkim joining India as its 22nd state. It is also among India's most environmentally conscious states, having banned plastic water bottles and styrofoam products.