Rumtek Monastery includes an exquisite shrine temple and a monastery for monks, embodies vision and aspiration of Sixteenth Karmapa (head of monastery), Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, to establish his seat-in-exile to help spread the teachings of Buddha throughout the world.
The architecture of the Rumtek Monastery in Gangtok is one of the finest in the world and resembles the original one in Tsurphu, Tibet. The main building of Rumtek Monastery is a three-storey building and it houses some rarest Buddhist religious art work in the world in form of wall murals, Thangkas (scrolls with intricate hand paintings), 1001 miniature golden models of Buddha etc. The place is also a world’s renowned center for Kagyu teachings. The ground floor of the main monastery building has a large prayer hall.
The residing Monastics diligently meditate and study,; there is no doubt that the results of these virtuous actions will dispel sickness and other problems, and increase longevity, prosperity, and meditative realization. There is always positivity around the Monastery making it one of the best locations for a quiet and beautiful atmosphere. Dharma chakra center, Prayer wheels in Monastery, Magnificent Golden Buddha stupa, various Buddhist institutions, luxuriously sprawling landscapes are the main attractions you can see here.
Just outside the monastery, a stairway leads to Nalanda Institute of Higher Buddhist Studies and just opposite to the building there is a golden stupa of sixteenth Karmapa which is made of pure gold. From there, you can get a captivating view of Gangtok Township on the opposite hill. Rumtek Monastery also houses some precious items like Vajra Mukut, like a black hat, which is studded with gold, diamond, ruby and other precious gems. Few meters from Nalanda Institute, there is a bird aviary with many beautiful birds. Half a kilometer uphill walk from there will lead to Hermitage point of the monks where they meditate for up to 3 years for complete seclusion.
The main dances of Rumtek known as Tshechu Chams are held in the Monastery on 10th day of the 5th month of Buddhist calendar which usually falls in June. Kagyed dances are also held here on 28th and 29th day of the 10th month of Buddhist Calendar which usually falls in December. Losar Celebrations (Tibetan New Year) take place during February - March. Above are the best times to visit the monastery. November to January is extremely cold months; rest of the time the temperature is moderate and ideal time to enjoy a relishing holiday.
The place of Rumtek Monastery is beautiful and sacred enough to be considered as one of the most important places to visit in Sikkim. The lush green hilly terrain a breathtaking topography and misty mountain Rumtek an ideal place for quite some time. This would be a memorable trip for anyone who loves nature and wants to freshen up their mind and soul.