Rumtek Monastery is worth your time if you are fond of architectures with beautiful paintings and murals and want to see the buddhist way of living. Roam around, relax and have a peaceful moment of few hours here.
Rumtek is a famous monastery among the Tibetan Buddhists, and is situated 24 kms from Gangtok. Previously known as the Dharma Chakra Centre, it includes a beautiful shrine temple and a monastery for the monks. The shrine was established to spread the teachings of the Buddha throughout the world.
The architecture of the monastery is one of the finest in the world and resembles the original one in Tsurphu, Tibet. It was built by Gyalwa Karmapa in 1960s, who was the 16th Karmapa of the monastery. Karmapa is the head of a monastery. He came from Tibet and settled here when the Chinese invaded Tibet.
However the 16th Karmapa passed away in 1981. Since his death, search began for the 17th Karmapa. Ugen Thinley from Tibet was identified by Dalai Lama as the next reincarnation of Karmapa.
The main building of the Rumtek monastery is three storeyed. It houses some of the rarest Buddhist religious artwork in the world in form of wall murals & thankas (scrolls with intricate hand paintings), 1001 miniature golden models of Buddha etc.
The ground floor of the main monastery building has a large prayer hall. The hall has large hand painted and intricate wall murals, thankas, silk paintings and statues.
Just opposite to the Nalanda Institute is a building where you will find the Golden Stupa of 16th Karmapa which is made of pure gold. Few meters from the Nalanda Institute is a bird aviary with many beautiful birds. Another half a kilometer uphill walk will lead to the hermitage point of the monks where they meditate for up to 3 years in complete seclusion.