Situated about 24 km away from Gangtok, overlooking the city is one of the most sacred and important Buddhist site - the Rumtek Monastery. Formerly known as the DharmaChakra Centre, this monastery served as the seat of his holiness, the XIVth Gyalwa Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery was built in the 16th century with financial aid from the fourth king of Sikkim and under the supervision of Wangchuck Dorge. Unfortunately the old monastery was devastated in a fire in the 20th century which led to the building of a new monastery. This new monastery known as Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre was completed in 1966 just 2km away from the old monastery.
The Golden stupa inside the monastery encompassing the relics of the 16th Karmapa, the main shrine temple, monastic college known as Shedra, the protectors shrine, retreat centre, several beautiful stupas and the numerous monks together paint a picture of the Rumtek monastery. This monastery with the sprawling greenery and pleasant weather, play host to several Tibetan festivals like the Kagyat Dance and Tse-Chu Cha Am.
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