Perched on top of a magnificent hill, Rumtek Monastery is one of the largest places of religious worship in all of Sikkim. Located at a distance of approximately 25 km from Gangtok. this destination is all about relishing the glorious past and wonderful architecture of the place.
What’s even more interesting to know here is that this place was originally known as the Dharma Chakra Centre. The centre belonged to the Kagyu sect of the Buddhists, sometime in the 12th century Tibet.
The lush green mountains that stand tall and proud surrounding the monastery serve no less than as a visual treat. The breathtaking view of almost the entire Gangtok, that you are able to see after climbing up, feels no less than a miracle. And, the fact that it is also a place of spiritual reverence makes it all the more fascinating to explore.
If you are planning to visit Rumtek Monastery, you need to know the Rumtek Monastery timings as well. The monastery follows a strict opening and closing routine.
It stays open from 10 am to 5 pm during the winter months, and from around 8 am to 5 pm during the summers. Overall, the months of March, May, October and December are considered the best time to visit the Monastery.
Rumtek Monastery was built by Wangchuk Dorje, who is the 9th Karmapa Lama, in the mid-18th century. It also served as the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage for some time. However, as time passed, the monastery went into ruins.
It was then that Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa, decided to rebuild Rumtek Monastery. To him, the site possessed many auspicious qualities and was surrounded by the most favourable attributes. For example, flowing streams, the backdrop of mountains, a snow range in front of it, and a river just below. With the generosity and help of the Sikkim royal family and the local folks of Sikkim, the rebuilding work began.
After four years, construction of the monastery completed. On Losar, in 1966, the 16th Karmapa officially inaugurated the new seat, and called it ‘The Dharmachakra Centre, a place of erudition and spiritual accomplishment, the seat of the glorious Karmapa.’
The monastery is currently the largest one in Sikkim.
1. 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.
2. Tsomgo Lake. This is a glacial lake located at an approximate altitude of about 12,310 feet in Sikkim. The name Tsomgo essentially means the source of water. The Lake is considered as one of the few that are sited at the highest altitude in our country. And, when you see the reflections of the sky and stars in the waters, all you feel is the immense beauty of life.
3. 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 is filled with many trees as well as flowering plants. It is quite a view to behold!
4. Hanuman Tok. It is mainly a Hindu temple complex situated in the upper region of Gangtok. Specifically dedicated to Lord Hanuman, this religious spot is maintained by the Indian army. Visiting here, you will surely get to experience a calm and soothing change from the usual bustling chaos of city life. Truly, it is one of the best places to visit near Rumtek Monastery.
5. Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden. This garden helps you relish the immense beauty of nature. It is a collection of about 1.5 lakhs 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.
Reaching here is not much of a task and to help you with the same, we have shortlisted some best ways for you to reach Rumtek Monastery.
By Air. The nearest airport is the Pakyong Airport that is located at a distance of around 30 km from Rumtek Monastery. This airport is spread over an area of around 201 acres and is also considered one of the five highest airports in our country. This airport is also well connected with other Indian cities like Kolkata, New Delhi, Bangalore. Did you know that it is also the first greenfield airport specifically constructed in the northeastern region of India?
By Road. To reach this destination via road network would also be a convenient experience. From places like Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore you will need to cover a total distance of about 1,574, 2,658, 2,399 km respectively.
By Train. Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri are the nearest railway stations from this place. Some good options to reach here would be Avadh Assam Express, Mahananda Express, and Brahmaputra Mail.
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