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Rumtek Monastery

Rumtek Monastery is also called the Rumtek Dharmachakra Centre.

Rumtek Monastery  is a gompa located in the Indian state of Sikkim near the capital Gangtok. It is a focal point for the sectarian tensions within the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism that characterize the Karmapa Controversy. The largest monastery in Sikkim, is home to the monks community, the place where they perform the sacred rituals and practices of the Karma Kagyu lineage. Surrounding Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre is the stupa walkway, where monks, pilgrims, and visitors alike perform kora.

History

The monastery was build under the direction of  Changchub Dorje12th Karmapa Lama in the mid-1700s. The monastery was served as the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage in Sikkim for some time. 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje  when arrived in Sikkim in 1959 after fleeing Tibet, the monastery was in ruins. Despite being offered other sites, the Karmapa decided to rebuild Rumtek.

After four years, construction of the monastery was completed. The sacred items and relics brought out from Tsurphu Monastery, the Karmapa's seat in Tibet, were installed. On Losar in 1966, the 16th Karmapa officially inaugurated the new seat, called "The Dharmachakra Centre, a place of erudition and spiritual accomplishment, the seat of the glorious Karmapa.

The monastery is currently the largest in Sikkim. It is home to the community of monks and where they perform the rituals and practices of the Karma Kagyu lineage. A golden Stupa contains the relics of the 16th Karmapa. Opposite that building is a college, Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies.

Nearby Places to visit

  • Tsomgo Lake
  • Nathula Pass
  • Bakthang Waterfalls
  • Hanuman Tok
  • Fambong La Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Saramsa Garden
  • Do-Drul Chorten or Stupa

Timings and Entry Fee

  • In summer : 8 am to 5 pm.
  • In Winter : 10 am to 5 pm.
  • Entry Fee is Rs 10 per person.

Best Season to visit

  • October - March and May - June is the best season to visit the Monastery.

Climate

  • Temperature ranges from 10°C to 28°C in summer.
  • Temperature ranges from  -5°C to 16°C in winter.

How to Reach

By Air - The nearest airport from Gangtok is in Bagdogra.

By Rail - The nearest railway station from Gangtok is in New Jalpaiguri.

By Road - Gangtok can be reached via road also as it is well-connected to all major cities.