Rumtek Monastery is the most cherished site of almost every Buddhist. Situated at a distance of 24 kms from Gangtok in Rumtek, the Monastery appears tranquil amidst the picturesque background of lofty hills and soothing waterfalls. Rumtek Monastery is one amongst the most important seats of Kagyu school of Buddhism outside Tibet. Originally, Rumtek Monastery was built in the 16th century under the supervision of Wangchuk Dorje, the 9th Karmapa with the financial assistance of the fourth King of Sikkim.
Forlornly, this monastery was devastated by a ravaging fire in the 20th
century. In 1960's, a new monastery was built uphill the original Rumtek
Monastery. This new monastery came be to known as Rumtek Dharma Chakra
Centre. Built by the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, the religious centre has a
well-structured main shrine temple and monastery with the quarters of
monks. In one of these quarters, the Karmapa stay, lingering in the
spiritual ecstasy. The colossal prayer hall inside the monastery is
worth mentioning that is adorned with lovely murals, statues and
Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre has become an all-inclusive institution,
where Relics (belonging to the 16th Karmapa), Retreat Centre, 'Shedra'
(monastic college), Nunnery, Stupas (protector's shrine), Institutions
for the lay community and other establishments are working under the
same ceiling. In 1966, Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre was inaugurated by
the 16th Karmapa himself on the Tibetan New Year's Day (Losar). He
called this centre as "a place of erudition and spiritual
accomplishment, the seat of the glorious Karmapa."
The Golden Stupa in the monastery encompasses the relics of the 16th
Karmapa. Rumtek Monastery hosts various Tibetan festivals throughout the
year. On the 10th day of the 5th month (June) of the Tibetan calendar,
the annual dance of Tse-Chu Chaam is organized at the monastery. Kagyat
Dance also takes place on the 28th & 29th day of the 10th month of
the lunar calendar. Rumtek Monastery / Dharma Chakra Centre is a must
visit for all those who want to explore the cultural and religious roots