RANKA MONASTERY, East Sikkim
Also known as Lingdum Monastery, the Ranka Monastery which follows the Zurmang Kagyud lineage of Buddhism is situated at a distance of 20 km from Gangtok. The regal monastery is spread over a vast area and provides fantastic scenic views to the tourists. Considered as one of the most significant and glorious monasteries in East Sikkim, being relatively new is one of the primary reasons why it is not talked about a lot. The beauty of the Ranka Monastery has, however, attracted some filmmakers here, and it has been a part of several Bollywood movies that have been shot here.
The Ranka Monastery is one of the most pictorial monasteries in East Sikkim due to the presence of beautifully forested mountains on its borders. Near it lies a 2-storey building with classrooms for the young lamas to study in. Whenever there is a break, the courtyard gets filled with monks wearing beautiful robes coloured in red and saffron. Visitors can also click pictures with the monks who stay in full energy. There are a restaurant and a gift shop on the premises for relaxation.
Another major attraction here is the Banjhakri Falls which is situated near the sublime monastery. Adventure lovers are going to have a great time here for they can experience the fun of paragliding from here to a nearby place. Ranka Monastery is going to provide you with a lot of spiritualism combined with exquisite views. The beauty of this place is worth admiring and do not forget to interact with the young monks who are trained here.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
This place is very close to the capital city Gangtok, so if you wish to explore this place, you don’t need to look for the best time to visit. However, September to May is considered as an ideal time since Sikkim receives continuos rainfall during monsoons.
HOW TO GET THERE
Airways: The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, West Bengal about 5 hrs drive from Gangtok. Sikkim also has got its first commercial airport at Pakyong, East Sikkim but weather hampers the operation of this airport most of the time. If you are lucky enough you can get a flight directly to Pakyong.
Railways: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in West Bengal which is about 118 km from Gangtok. You can hire a taxi to reach Gangtok which takes about 3-4 hours.
Roadways: Gangtok is connected to the rest of India via NH10, which links Gangtok to Siliguri. You can book a local taxis for local commute.