Popular as one of the most stunning shrines in Sikkim, Rumtek Monasteries is culturally and visually appealing. These monasteries are located in Gangtok. This temple is meant for the priests and brings forth the desire and vision of the 16th leader of the Monastery, Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje of building up his seat in exile. This helped him in lightening the world with Buddha’s knowledge and spread his teaching all across the world. It is one of the best places to visit in Sikkim to refresh Mind, Body, and Soul. An important seat of one of the major sects of Kagyu, it beckons a large number of Buddhist monks, looking for spiritual solace.
Perched atop an incredible height of 4900 feet, the Rumtek Monastery seems to overlook the lovely city spread around. From a high vantage point, the views of the panoramic valley around the city are strikingly beautiful. Besides enjoying this magnificent sight, people seem to lose themselves in the beauty of nature abundantly bestowed on the city. The distinctive topography of the monastery makes it look fascinating. Every year, it brings hordes of travelers from all over the world and the country. The place is famous among soul seekers, who wish to spend some quiet time in the hills. Upon reaching here, there is a strong sense of feeling one with the all-powerful or the God. The peacefulness of the area brings people to this beautiful place where they feel a sense of quiet and harmony washing over them. The picturesque views of the city and environment from the highest point of the Monastery leave people speechless. The monastery is located approximately 24 km from the city.
Best Time to Visit Rumtek Monastery
September to June is the best time to visit Rumtek Monastery. The minimum temperature hovers around -5°C and the maximum temperature goes up to 16°C. The weather is very comfortable. This is the time when the Destination witnesses mild to peak summers. Visitors can also plan a visit to this monastery during any of the festivals celebrated here through the year. One of the major festivals is Tibetan New Year or Lhosar. It is celebrated in February every year for three days with great pomp and show. A week-long Mahakal Puja is also performed just before Lhosar. This is the best time to experience traditional Cham rituals. In the month of May or June, Dungdrub Puja is performed to celebrate the anniversary of Buddha’s enlightenment. Every year, on June 26th, the birthday of 17th Karmapa is celebrated with a lot of cultural programs. Plan a trip to this monastery such that you can witness these festivals celebrated with great pomp and show. On regular days, the monastery opens from 10 am to 5 pm in winters and 8 am to 5 pm in summers.
History Of Rumtek Monasteries
Built in the middle of the 1700s, the Rumtek Monastery was designed and constructed under the direction of Changchub Dorje. This monastery is the main power of the Karma Kagyu lineage for quite some time in Sikkim. The monastery fell in ruins and was discovered by Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa. He decided to reconstruct Rumtek after he fled from Tibet and arrived in Gangtok. The construction work took four years to complete. The new seat was officially inaugurated in 1966 at the Losar event of Losar. It was referred to as ‘The Dharmachakra Centre’. It is a place known for spiritual accomplishment and erudition. It is believed that many years were spent meditating by the first Karmapa. After completing his meditation, the Karmapa was congratulated by ten thousand fairies, with each of them sharing a strand of their hair. These strands of hair were worn as a black hat by the Karmapa. It was passed down from generation to generation and today it is worn on ceremonial occasions by the Karmapa.
Top 8 Attractions in and around Rumtek Monastery
A famous Gompa, Rumtek Monastery is also referred to as the Dharma Chakra Center. The monastery is home to many ancient religious scripts and texts and many religious art objects. Its locations, its unique architectural style, and its spiritual significance also make it a popular attraction in Gangtok. Have a look at the top 8 attractions in Rumtek Monastery that will surely help you to sync your body, mind, and soul and feel a peaceful existence.
1. Unique Architectural Design
The Rumtek Monastery in Gangtok, Sikkim is designed as Tsurphu. It looks vibrant and truly magnificent. This three-storey building is home to some very rare and ancient Buddhist artwork like Thangkas, divider wall paintings, 1001 models of Buddha, and a lot more. The main temple has a monastic college that houses the relics of the 16th Karmapa. The magnificent Buddha Statue and its Golden Stupa attract a lot of visitors to witness this grandeur.
2. Tsomgo Lake
Tsomgo Lake is a stunning glacial lake, located at an elevation of 12, 400 ft. It is one of the most enchanting places to visit in Gangtok. The vast expanse of a serene lake, below the cerulean sky, and a magical backdrop evokes stunning images that stay with the visitors forever. Enjoy piping hot tea, spicy noodles on your way to this lake, and a yak ride along the lake.
3. Nathula Pass
A lovely passage connecting Tibet and India, Nathula Pass is a major corridor located at a height of 14, 450 ft. It is one of the major adventure attractions in Sikkim and boasts of the highest motorable roads globally. This is a restricted area and visitors need to seek prior permission from the authorities to reach here.
4. Hanuman Tok
A serene and peaceful place, Hanuman Tok is known for its ancient Hanuman Temple. The temple is perched atop 7500 feet from where stunning views of Kanchenjunga can be enjoyed. The peace and quiet of this place combined with its spirituality make it one of the most-visited places in Gangtok.
Soak in the mesmerizing views of Rangit Valley overlooked by soaring Kanchenjunga Ranges from the high vantage of Namchi, the 135-feet high statue of Guru Padmasambhava. Well-landscaped and maintained verdant lawns and gardens surrounding the statue make it one of the most glorious places to visit. Believe us, add this attraction to your itinerary and you will not feel disappointed.
6. Ranka Monastery
This monastery is all about exploring nature. The religious significance that this place carries is really worth knowing. However, it is not that much talked about as compared to Rumtek Monastery. But rest assured, it will definitely charm you with its aura. Anyone visiting Gangtok must make a visit to this place.
7. Banjhakri Water Falls
It is approximately a 100-foot waterfall which attracts a lot of tourists on an annual basis. The paved pathways, along with the footbridge around this park, are spread across an area of 2 acres and are filled with many trees as well as flowering plants. It is quite a view to behold!
8. Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden
This garden helps you relish the immense beauty of nature. It is a collection of about 1.5 lakhs of ornamental plants along with a huge collection of various oak trees. For people who are interested in botany, this place is no less than heaven.
How To Reach Rumtek Monastery
Crisp mountain air, the amazing smell of incense wafts, sounds of gongs and more make this place truly awe-inspiring. One of the most venerated places in Sikkim, this monastery attracts a lot of Buddhist monks, history buffs, archeology enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those who are looking for some peace and quiet. Explore the unique Tibetan architectural style of this monastery by visiting it using any mode of transport. This monastery is located in Gangtok which is well-connected with different parts of the country through diverse modes of transport.
By Air. The nearest airport to reach Gangtok is Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal which is located 124 km away from Sikkim. It serves the city and nearby areas. After deboarding the flight, visitors can hire a taxi or a cab to reach Rumtek Monastery. They can also arrive at Gangtok by private and state-run buses.
By Train. There is good connectivity of train routes from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station from all parts of the country. From the Railway Station, tourists can take a cab or just a walk to the center of the town. State-run and private buses are also available to help passengers reach Rumtek Monastery from New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri.
By Road. Depending on your geographical location, you can consider traveling to Rumtek Monastery by road as well. The overall road network which includes national highways is well-maintained and easily accessible. As per your convenience, you can choose to travel by state-run buses, cabs, or by your personal vehicles as well.
Frequently Asked Questions About Rumtek Monastery
Ques 1. What makes Rumtek Monastery famous?
Ans 1. Popular as one of the most stunning shrines in Sikkim, Rumtek Monasteries is culturally and visually appealing. These monasteries are located in Gangtok.
Ques 2. What is the best time to visit Rumtek Monastery?
Ans 2. September to June is the best time to visit Rumtek Monastery. The minimum temperature hovers around -5°C and the maximum temperature goes up to 16°C. The weather is very comfortable. This is the time when the destination witnesses mild to peak summers.
Ques 3. Which is the closest airport to Rumtek Monastery?
Ans 3. The closest airport to reach Rumtek Monastery is Bagdogra Airport. The airport is just 124 kilometers away from the monastery.
Ques 4. What are the major tourist attractions in Rumtek Monastery?
Ans 4. Some of the major tourist attractions in and around Rumtek Monastery are Namchi, Nathula Pass, Tsomgo Lake, and more.
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