Set at an elevation of 1,500 meters on an enchanting hill overlooking Gangtok city, Rumtek monastery was built in the 9th century, and further re-built in the 20th century. It is the largest monastery in Sikkim and is shrouded in the controversy of Karmapa, which means there is a always a high security presence here. This monastery belongs to the Kagyu lineage and serves as a seat of the 16th Karmapa. The backdrop of beautiful waterfalls and majestic mountains add to its charm.
The main motif comprises of a huge prayer hall that is adorned with stunning murals, tangkhas and statues. Aside from the monastery, the Lingdum Gompa and the Rumtek Gompa are must-sees. Plenty of chanting and rituals are held every day that you can partake in, and attain a sense of inner peace. If you happen to be in the region during Tibetan New Year, you can witness the masked dance festival held here.
Best times to visit: March to May; October to December