Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a museum cum research institute set up to sponsor and promote research on the religion, history, language, art and culture of the people of the Tibetan cultural area which includes Sikkim. The foundation stone was laid by 14th Dalai Lama on 10th February 1957 and was opened officially by the then Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 1 October 1958. Institute main building in itself is a splendid example of tibetan architecture. The ground floor has a museum housing tibetan iconography and religious art. It showcases ancient buddhist manuscripts, icons, thangkas, tantric ritual objects, such as thopa (bowl made from human skull) and kangling (human thighbone trumpet). First floor of the building is a library containing old scriptures and manuscripts. There is a revamped souvenir store right outside the building selling collection of ritual objects, jewellery, mementos, books and documentaries on Sikkimese tradition and culture. A new addition to the facilities was made in 2008 in form of a new building housing a conference hall, a library, study rooms, studios and an administrative wing.