: On the outskirts of Gangtok (24 kms away) in the state of Sikkim.
Festivals Celebrated : Two of the most important events are held every summer and winter. In the months of February and March, a festive ten-day practice of the Mahakala Protector is held. This is followed by the traditional sacred lama dance of Mahakala on the 29th day.The Tibetan New Year involves many cultural and spiritual festivities lasting for 3-8 days. All these events provide an unique opportunity for both practitioners and the general public to learn and enjoy the sacred culture maintained by lamas.
His Holiness the Sixteen Gyalwa Karmapa fled from Tibet in the year 1959 due to Chinese pressure. He was given a formal invitation by Choegyal (Dharma King) of Sikkim to settle in the state. His Holiness accepted the invitation of royal family and came to Rumtek to settle permanently.
Since then, the Rumtek Monastery has become one of the most important seats of the Kagyu lineage. The monastery became the international Kagyu headquarters during the life of His Holiness. The monastery is also the residence of a new generation of Kagyu masters.
The Rumtek Monastery, also known as the Dharma Chakra Centre has a well structured main shrine temple and monastery with monks' quarters. The Karmapa also resides in the quarters. Other structures include a retreat centre, a monastic college, a nunnery, stupas, a protector's shrine and other establishments.
The construction of Rumtek Monastery had started in the year 1962. It took three years for completion of the monastery. The then king of Sikkim had passed away. But the foundation stone of the new monastery was laid by the new King of Sikkim. The general secretary for His Holiness carried out the construction exactly in accordance with the instructions of His Holiness.
The monastery is covered with beautiful murals and traditional Tibetan style paintings. It is worth mentionable that Rumtek monastery is the first monastery built in India according to traditional designs thus becoming a model for many other monasteries built later in the country.
Reaching Rumtek Monastery
Air : Tourists desirous of visiting Rumtek monastery can take a flight to Bagdogra, the nearest landing facility at a distance of 124 kms. From Bagdogra, daily helicopter services to Gangtok are also available.
Rail : New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railhead at a distance of 125 kms from Gangtok.
Road : Bus services are available to Gangtok from Siliguri, Darjeeling and a few other places.