Monday, May 21, 2007

Travelog # 34 - Rumtek Monastery

Rumtek Monastery is one of the important learning centers for exiled Tibetans after Dharamsala. We visited this place couple of weeks back and here is a illustrated guide to visiting this Monastery.
Entrance to Rumtek Monastery
Rumtek Monastery is only 22 kms from Gangtok but takes more than an hour to get there. Narrow winding roads makes the travel very slow. So, give your self sufficient time and employ a solid 4x4 and a good driver to take you there.
Rumtek Monastery
Rumtek Monastery was established in late 1950s by the fleeing Tibetans after the Chinese occupation of their land.

Young students in Rumtek Monastery
Young students at Rumtek Monastery. I understand, this is one of the largest learning center for Tibetans in India. It is unclear to me as to what happens after they graduate from here.

Senior Monk in Rumtek Monastery
and the old

Rumket Monastery higher learning center
At seat of higher learning on Buddhism. I was told that it would quite a spectacle to watch the students chant. But the school was closed due to the death of a senior monk and we missed that sight. Also, for the same reason, we were not allowed to visit golden stupa either.

Getting there
By Air: Bagdogara, West Bengal. From here, about an 4 hour road trip).
By Train: Siliguri, West Bengal. From here about an 4 hour road trip.
Hotel: Gangtok, which is about 22 kms from Rumtek Monastery.
Food: Vegetarian food not an issue, however, South Indian might be.