Visiting temples or monasteries rarely make it to my priority list unless they are exceptional. Never had I thought about seeing any monastery on my trip to Sikkim. However, after reading about the unique History and having heard a lot from the locals, husband and I made quick plan to visit Rumtek; the largest and most popular monastery of Sikkim.
22 km from the capital, Rumtek stands at an altitude of 4900 feet against the backdrop of the beautiful Himalayan Range. Made in mid 1700, Rumtek is home to hundreds of monks with a long history of clashes over stewardship of the monastery and its contents. Heavily guarded by ITBP, the monastery is under strict surveillance 24x7.
|The heavily guarded entrance|
P.S- Weapons or sharp objects are restricted to entry. Use of camera/mobile phones are allowed in the outer premises, not inside the assembly hall.
|The pillar of good luck|
A pillar stands across the main temple in the center of the courtyard where tourists engage themselves by throwing coin on the top of the pillar. The coin if perches the pole is said to bring good luck.
Rumtek: The largest and the most gorgeous Monastery of Sikkim, that holds a History in its heart from centuries ago. Heavily guarded by ITBP, Rumtek Monastery is home to several monks, Nalanda University for Buddhism studies, antique state treasure and the golden stupa with relics of the 16th Karmapa. 22km from Gangtok at an altitude of 4900feet surrounded by lucious greenery, Rumtek remains one of the most visited monasteries where you can meditate, closely watch the life of monks or play with the friendly strays. It was a treat to be here where we experienced tranquility and the magic of nature around.#travelblogger #Sikkim #india @tourgenie #Rumtek #Buddhism
The main assembly hall is surrounded by the monks' quarters and through them leads a path towards the Golden Stupa and the Nalanda Institute of Higher Buddhism Studies. The Golden Stupa contains the precious relics and holy remains of His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. You can meditate or pray here and feel the positive aura surrounding you. (Photography is prohibited here)
The Nalanda Institute is a center dedicated for Buddhism studies.
|Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies|
You can buy souvenirs at the little shop near the Nalanda Institute's complex or capture nature's bliss around. I was impressed to see how the authorities conserve nature and make the most of the resources available. City dwellers need some serious learning from them.
The road condition is extremely bad in patches. Since the ride is bumpy and uncomfortable, the slow drive will elongate the journey. Recommended to visit Rumtek during the day or else the bumpy roads are not visible in the dark due to absence of street lights. Apart from few settlements and shops, the entire road is isolated.
Timings- 10 am to 5 pm everyday
Total time to spend: 1 to 2 hours
P.S- This trip of mine was in October 2018.
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