When we think of a Buddhist monastery, it instantly takes us to a place outside the bustling, fast-paced cities and offers an experience like no other. Monasteries aren’t always just about religiousness. They are also about the magnificent architecture and culture that is abundant there. One such monastery is the Ghoom Monastery famous for preserving Buddhism and it’s vibrant allure you just can’t miss!
Ghoom Monastery is one of the many attractions along the Darjeeling Tour in India. Nestled in the Kurseong town, it makes for a wonderful day trip. The temple is an important pilgrimage destination and draws many people to its location. The destination is famous for the quiet life of monks and is a memorable part of any trip to Darjeeling.
Read this blog to find out everything about this amazing place.
Please Your Eyes With Vibrant Colors In Ghoom Monastery
The Tibetan Buddhist monastery at Ghoom, near Darjeeling, is a treasure trove of history and Buddhist philosophy. The monastery has been a destination for thousands of visitors including Dalai Lama. But it is more than its historical significance that sets this monastery apart. As you make your way in the premises, you can witness the vibrant myriad religious practices that abound here. Over the centuries, Buddhism has assimilated into local religious practices and as a result, this monastery is an amalgam of the three important religions – Hinduism, Buddhism and Shantham.
A bit of the history, culture, and stunning surroundings to look forward to. The Singalila Ridge is one of the best trekking destinations in West Bengal. The region is popular for its flora, fauna, mountain peaks/glaciers and, significantly, as a religious center hosting Buddhist monasteries from the 18 century.
A Brief History
Ghoom Monastery was built in 1850 by Lama Sharap Gyatso who belonged to the Yellow Hat Sect of Lamas. The monastery is around 150 years old. It lies in the Batasia Loop area of Darjeeling. It is a Buddhist monastery, where you can witness the prayers and rituals as offerings by the Lamas. The intricate carvings, sculptures and paintings inside the monastery, depicting the life and times of Lord Buddha, make it an important attraction of Darjeeling. You can also see the idol of Maitreya Buddha here, in a sleeping posture. Ghoom Monastery is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Darjeeling.
Ghoom Monastery is one of the oldest and most prominent monasteries in Darjeeling.
The Ghoom Monastery is one of the major Buddhist monasteries in Darjeeling.
It houses a huge statue of Maitreya Buddha, which is 15 feet tall and made of pure clay. On every Sunday, all the monks gather in this monastery to pray. This place also houses several Tibetan artifacts and books, which are centuries old.
The name Ghoom comes from the Tibetan words for ‘Chime’ and ‘Flower’, as the monastery is located at the foot of a hill, where a stream flows throughout year. The surrounding lush green hillocks support terraced tea garden which bloom throughout the year. The monastery has a scenic view of Tera Shila (Monk’s Rock).
The Ghoom Monastery is at the place where Lama Sherab Gyatso saw the future site of Darjeeling town and decided to build it there. The name Ghoom means “the valley of Dewdrops”.
The central figure of this image is a carved turquoise, coral and pearls. The holy book ‘Kanjur’ is also available in this monastery.
GHOOM MONASTERY TOUR
There are ancient murals and scriptures in this monastery that add to its charm. The visitors experience warm hospitality, tea and snacks at the monastery. The walls of this monastery contain painted images of Tara, Padma Sambhava and Buddha along with his disciples Shan Takshita and Tsong-kapa.
The building is of wood and has paintings on the walls that depict Buddhist teachings. Inside are statues of Maitreya Buddha and Sakyamuni Buddha. Other statues include Padmasambhava and Tara.
The Ghoom monastery reveals the essence of Buddhism and is a great place to learn about the controversial topic. The well-manicured and picturesque, gives it a scenic allure. This vibrant attraction will make for a great day out, especially for groups of friends who are specialists of Buddhism. It is sure to enthral you with its striking beauty and provide you with the opportunity to learn more about this wonderful religion.
Location Of Ghoom Monastery
The Yiga Choeling Monastery is located at Ghoom and dates back to 1875.
It is located at an elevation of 7,407 ft. above sea level, on the Hill Cart Road.
The Ghoom Monastery is located at a distance of 8 km from the main town of Darjeeling. This Monastery is on the top of a hill and is one of the oldest monasteries in India.
How to Reach The Ghoom Monastery
It is located in Ghum, West Bengal, India around eight kilometers away from Darjeeling.
The monastery is atop a hillock and visitors can easily reach here by a steep flight of steps or by a rope way. However, if you want to reach the top without much effort then make sure that you choose the latter option.
The beautiful spot of Ghoom Monastery is a little over an hour away from the town of Darjeeling, an amalgamation of cultures which makes the place a very popular tourist destination. The popularity of Ghoom Monastery is also backed by the exemplary views it offers. As per the local legends, during the advent of monsoons, especially in July and August, this place becomes even more serene leaving the tourists spellbound. It is true that everything glitters here!
To this day, thousands of tourists a year make the short trek from Darjeeling town to Ghoom to catch a glimpse of perhaps the cutest Buddhist temple in the country. Climbing up here at times can be a challenge, but the views are stunning, and it is hard not to feel uplifted by this serene atmosphere, with its amazing views of the Himalayan mountain range. And if all these marvels aren’t enough, apparently the Dalai Lama himself once visited this little Tumpa.
THINGS TO DO IN GHOOM MONASTERY
Who wouldn’t want to learn more about Buddhism? The teachings of the religion can be found in 109 languages, and can be practiced in 123 countries. While Buddhism’s history goes back thousands of years (the tradition itself started around 500 B.C.), it remains closely linked with the everyday lives of billions of people across the globe. For example, did you know that most Buddhists worldwide are concerned about environmental issues, social inequality, and violence?
There are three temples inside the monastery, each with its own unique features. The second temple has statues of Tsongkhapa and his two chief disciples, with a large number of tanks containing scriptures written on palm leaves and printed books. The third temple has images of Guru Rinpoche and Tara, as well as a painting depicting the life of Buddha Shakyamuni.
This statue of Buddha is the largest in India. In addition to this, there are also several Tibetan frescoes on the walls and ceilings that depict important events from the life of Lord Buddha.
The annual prayer festival of this monastery falls on the 21st day of the 12th month of Tibetan calendar. During this time people from all over the world gather here to participate in this festival.
PLACES TO VISIT NEAR GHOOM MONASTERY
Popularly known as Ghoom Monastery, the Yiga Choeling Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery situated in the village of Ghoom, which is about 7 kms away from Darjeeling. The word Ghoom means ‘in the sky’ and this place was named so because it is located at an altitude of 8,000 feet above sea level.
Finally, Ghoom Monastery is one of the most highly regarded spots to visit near Darjeeling for its serene and tranquil atmosphere. The monastery attracts many tourists from around the globe due to its natural beauty as it is situated on top of a hill surrounded by tea gardens.
Popular places around this location you can’t miss include :
Opening Hours & Entry Fee
- Opening Closing Time10 am to 6 pm
- Entrance FeeFree Entry
Ultimately, Ghoom Monastery is a worthwhile stop for visitors seeking an immersive experience into the culture and landscape of Darjeeling. The monastery itself is beautifully situated on a hilltop, providing breathtaking views over the surrounding area. The monks will happily pose for photos and indulge your curiosity about their daily life. In fact, some might even hold impromptu calligraphy workshops for you at the top of the hill, if requested. Whatever your reason for visiting, we hope this guide has helped make your trek to this spectacular place a little easier.
If you are flexible and have the time, it is well worth using a guide to explore the multitude of options available: monasteries, temples, fortresses and more. Choose a weekend in Darjeeling, when most people will be doing something else (like play polo at Tiger Hill) and take up a small trek along the trails.
If you have any questions for me, leave them below! Thanks for reading my blog and have a wonderful day!
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