RUMTEK MONASTERYGangtok being influenced by "Buddhism", is a place of Monasteries; Rumtek being the most famous and Largest Monastery in Gangtok, it’s house to hundreds of Monks. Number of "Prayer Wheels" were arranged up to the Monastery, we spun them as we moved up to the monastery. I somehow managed to get clicked with three little Monks; they were quite shy and composed to themselves.
Located in eastern Sikkim, India, at an altitude of about 1547m above sea level, Rumtek Monastery or the Dharma Chakra Centre is one of the most important centers of Kagyu lineage of Buddhism, after Tibet. The monastery is a replica of the Kagyu headquarters in Tibet and it is the seat of His holiness Gyalwa Karmapa, the 16th Karmapa, the charismatic leader of the Karma Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. It was originally built by the 9th Karmapa but was rebuilt by the 16th Karmapa as it was in ruins when he arrived here after fleeing Tibet. The monastery is also an important education and spiritual centre. The architectural design and layout follows a traditional Buddhist template, which is followed by many other Indian Buddhist monasteries since then. The complex comprises of a shrine-temple, monastery, retreat center, monastic college (Shedra), nun's hostel, Stupas and many other community administration centers and also other religious institutions. It is the largest monastery in Sikkim. There is a Golden Stupa which contains the relics of the 16th Karmapa.
Beautiful monastery between the mountains
I was amazed to see how beautiful the architecture of the monastery was. The hymns played there make the whole environment spiritual. One has to walk up a little, I see a smile on trekkers' faces now !!, to reach the monastery. Indian nationals shall have to show their photo ID cards. Foreign nationals need a permit which is made at the entry gate.
There is Nalanda Institute just beside the monastery which is also worth visiting.