Rumtek monastery is one of the most popular and vibrant places in the nation. It is also called as the Dharmachakra Centre which is a known tourist attraction. This is one of such places where one can explore and find the practice of Buddhist religion. The place is known as Sikkim’s biggest monastery where the shrine is known for the Golden Stupa. It contains the relics of 16th Karnapa. Besides, this is also the historical place for the third largest monk in the Tibetan Buddhism popular as the Karnapa Lama.
This place is located very close to Sikkim, which is at a distance of 24km from the capital of Gangtok. This is from the crucial seats of Kagyu Lineage. The complex of this monastery provides the aspiration and vision of 16th karnapa, which is worth capturing behind the reels.
The amazing beauty of this monastery comprising the sacred art, Rumtek Monastery is situated at the height of 5500 feet above the sea level. It is located into the hill of Gangtok where it is faced towards the amazing city. Virupaksha, which is the Guardian King of West, aids in protecting its entrance.
This monastery is open throughout the year and the best time is from September to November along with from May to June. These are said to be the best time as it is marked as the start of a New Tibetan Years where you will find the celebration happening. If you are visiting Sikkim, you can take a look at this monastery anytime. However, during the winters, due to extreme chilly weather and being covered with snow, you might face difficulties reaching the monastery. Always avoid the monsoons.
This monastery was founded in the 9th century under the reign of Wangchuk Dorje. This was the prime seat of Karma Kagyu lineage. After that, in the year 1959 when Rangjung Rigpe Dorje visited Sikkim and on its visit, he discovered this place was already in ruins. Several other sites have come up with a lot of proposals; however, he decided to reconstruct the site, as it was a place of historical importance and sacred qualities.
Besides, the fascinating scenic backdrop of the monastery, which includes the snow capped mountains and the gushing streams were other reasons that compelled him to take this project.
As per the legends, when 1st Karnapa completed meditating in a cave, thousand fairies came to greet him where each one gifted a hair strand. Hairs that were collected were then woven into the hat. This is not in custody and is kept safe in an enclosed box.
This is the apt replica of the Tsurphu makes it one of the most fantastic pieces of art. this monastery has been aesthetically crafted by incorporating the magnificent three-storey building that has golden sculpture engraved in it along with the Tibetan style murals. Its entrance is made with the stunning paintings of murals and four guardian deities.
You will also find the fantastic hand paintings scrolls known as the Thangkas along with 1001 Buddha models made with gold in a miniature form. This makes the beauty of the temple. Moreover, the monastery has become a popular centre in the world where the preaching of Kagyu teachings is made.
This was known as the popular monastery for monks with prime architectural wonder is designed as per the Tibetan monastery traditional designs. The entire monastery has been adorned by the statues, murals and silk paintings, the amazing decorated prayer hall available on its ground floor. This sacred room is the place where hundreds of monks come to pray in front of Karnapa’s throne. Its top floor comprises of tiny stupa along with a terrace.
On your visit, you can have a look at different images of Dalai Lama and Lord Ganesha in its entrance. Moreover, there is a Buddhist school being placed inside it where you can find the students coming here to get teachings regarding the religion and its culture.
Rumtek Monastery is one of the renowned places in Sikkim known for hosting several community events. Two major festive events are being celebrated during the months of winter and summer. Let us check the major festivals celebrated in Rumtek Monastery.
- Vajrakillaya Drupchen: This is one of those festivals that are dedicated to the Guru Padmasambhava, who is one of the known monks. This is celebrated on 5th month of Tibet’s lunar calendar.
- Losar: The Tibetan New Year is also celebrated as the Losar boast festive and cultural significance. This festival is celebrated for 38 long days. Moreover, this involves several opera dances from Tibet. This is from the most crucial festival in Rumtek Monastery.
- Mahakala Protector: Between February to March, which is the end of lunar year’s 12th month, here is an organization of 10day long Mahakala protector. This is followed by the sacred tradition dance of the Mahakala. Monks dress up in the colorful attires and wear to dance with the traditional instruments. You will be surprised to find that how they go into some kind of trance with the beats. Since this is one of the ritual dances, they only have well-trained dancers who have easily dance with those heavy masks.
Bottom Line: People who love to go into the depth of the Buddhist philosophy ethics; this is a place that you would definitely love to see. Rumtek Monastery, along with the wonderful backdrop, makes it a destination for thousands of tourists every year. Not only you will find the monks but also the festivals conducted here will revitalize both your soul and mind.
So without any further delay, just book your tickets to the fantastic monastery and enjoy watching the amazing words and the serenity.