Rumtek Gompa

The Rumtek Gompa is one of the largest monasteries in Sikkim. The monastery is dedicated to the Kargyu sect of Buddhists which originated in the 12th century in Tibet. Created in the image of the original monastery in Tsurphu, Tibet, Rumtek’s architecture is magnificent.

In the 1960s, the monastery was built by Gyalwa Karmapa, the 16th Karmapa of the monastery. Karmapa is the head of the institution. He came from Tibet and settled here when the Chinese invaded Tibet. However the 16th Karmapa moved on to his heavenly abode in 1981. Since then, there is search for the 17th Karmapa.

What to see

The three-storeyed Rumtek Gompa is full of intricate treasures. It houses some of the rarest Buddhist religious artwork in the world, wall murals, thangkas (scrolls with intricate hand paintings), 1001 miniature golden models of Buddha, etc. The monastery is a world renowned center for Kargyu teachings.

Legend says, the first Karmapa ended his long years of meditation in a cave. He was greeted by 1000 fairies, each one of who gave him a strand of hair, all those hairs were woven into a hat which is till date kept here for visitors.

The ground floor of the main monastery building has a large prayer hall. Huge hand painted and intricate wall murals, thangkas, silk paintings and statues adorn the hall. The first floor was inhabited by the 16th Karmapa. The top floor has a terrace offering amazing views of the surroundings and a small stupa. The courtyard of the Gompa has few other buildings surrounding it where the monks live.

The Gompa complex also houses the Nalanda Institute of Higher Buddhist Studies. You will find a huge painting of Lord Buddha here. Marvel at the divine picture. Enjoy lovely view of Gangtok Township from the lawns.

Admission & Timings

Admission fee is 10 INR per person. Rumtek Monastery is open from 6am to 6pm.

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