RUMTEK MONASTERY, East Sikkim
The Rumtek Monastery is one of the largest and most significant monasteries in Sikkim, perched on top of a hill 23 km from Gangtok. Originally called as the Dharma Chakra Centre, it belongs to the Kargyu sect of Buddhists who originated in Tibet in the 12th century. Verdant green mountains surround the monastery and thus serves as a visual treat besides being a focal point for spiritual solace. If you climb on top to the Rumtek Monastery, you can have a breathtaking view of the whole Gangtok town situated right opposite the hill. Besides this, the architecture of the striking monastery is one of the finest in the world.
The glorious Rumtek Monastery houses a beautiful shrine temple and a monastery for the monks which were established with the aim of spreading the Buddhist teachings around the world. The sublime structure has a walkway around it on which the monks, pilgrims and visitors perform Kora (a circuit round of the monastery). The splendid Rumtek Monastery has preserved a golden stupa and various other sculptures which belonged to the 16th Karmapa. It also serves as the storehouse for many uniques objects besides storing some of the world's unique religious scriptures. The massive prayer hall inside the stunning monastery is a place worth seeing that is decorated with splendid murals, statues and thangkhas.
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.