(Saturday): Go on a monastic day tour (optional)
Highlights: Banjhakri Falls, Lingdum Monastery, and Old & New Rumtek Monastery.
After a good breakfast, get ready to visit the most captivating monasteries of East Sikkim. En-route stop at the beautiful Banjhakri Falls and click a snap or two.
The next stop will be Ranka Monastery located about 20 km outside Gangtok. The road traverses along terraced fields, small rickety bridges, and small streams to reach this sprawling complex situated on a forested hill. The monastery is adorned with beautiful murals and vivid colored panels and is a fine example of Tibetan architecture belonging to the Zurmang Kagyu sect of Buddhism. Take in the sights and smells by spending a few quiet minutes on the premises before you set out for your next stop.
Rumtek Monastery is arguably the largest and most significant monastery in East Sikkim. This monastery too is situated on a hilltop and is a 30-min drive from Lingdum monastery. Also known as the Dharma Chakra Centre, Rumtek Monastery is the seat for the Kargyu sect of Buddhism. The 9th-century monastery has an intricately decorated prayer hall and houses a famous golden stupa, 1001 golden Buddha statues, and innumerable thangka paintings. A breathtaking view of the whole Gangtok town waits for you when you scale the top of the monastery. Take a zillion pictures and don’t forget to ask the friendly lamas (monks) for stories about the monastery.
Return back to Gangtok by afternoon. Take a quick siesta and set off to the heart of the town to indulge in some exciting local food. For restaurant suggestions, get in touch with our TourGenie consultants.