Founded by the 9th Karmapa Ghupa Wanchuk Dorjee in 1730, the original Rumtek Monastery was destroyed in a devastating fire. In 1959, with generous help from the Royal family of Sikkim and the Indian Government, the 16th Karmapa rebuilt the monastery. Rumtek became Gyalwa Karmapa’s seat of the theological activity in exile from Tibet.
Rumtek is the largest monastery adorning the landscape of Sikkim. Located 24 kilometers from the capital, on a hill just opposite Gangtok, Rumtek is the epicenter of the Karma Kagyud sect of Mahayana Buddhism.
The monastery is a paradigm of the finest Tibetan architectural tradition intricately decorated with statues, wall paintings, thankas, and tubular banners. A flight of stairs from the main complex leads to Nalanda Institute of Higher Buddhist Studies.
An old monk on his way to offer prayers
A beautiful mural
Monks going about their daily routine at the monastery