Rumtek Monastery

Our first day in Gangtok we hired a car and driver to go first down down down the hillside to the valley and then up up up to the monastery on the other side. The travel office across from our hotel was of great help when it came to arranging our trips. Only one man there spoke English though.

Rumtek Monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, seen from inside
the courtyard - tourist barely visible on the left

Monks praying or just meditating Entrance with  stairs leading up to the
viewpoint over the valley

View over the valley showing Gangtok
spread  out on the opposite hillside
Calla (or some such flowers) in a garden
on the edge of the monastery

Detail from the gallery of the main monastery
 - Tibetan looking decorations
Rumtek Monastery once again, with the
Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist
Studies above in back

Detail of the main monastery on the
Facade of the Nalanda Institute

Beautifully carved prayer wheels on the
way downhill from our visit
Painted prayer wheels close to the first ones.
Setting the wheels in motion sends up prayers.

Along the 10-minute uphill road from the car parking area to the entrance of the monastery you see these beautiful prayer wheels, which you are supposed to set in motion to say prayers.

Prayer flags - as the wind stirs the flags, prayers are sent up

The five colors of the prayer flags are set from left to right in a specific order and they symbolize different elements, blue is the sky (and space), white is water, red is fire, green is the wind (air) and yellow symbolizes the earth.

From the Rumtek Monastery we went on to Do Drul Chorten - a white stupa and adjoining monastery in Gangtok.

Do Drul Chorten set in among trees and
the monastery
Butter candles lit by the monks and kept
burning constantly

Drum call for prayer Young monk flying to the assembly
in the temple

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, close by Two beautiful Buddhas, the style of the one
we bought in Gangtok

Go on to Tsomgo Lake

Back to India 2007