The Buddhist culture of Sikkim makes it home to more than 200 unique monasteries and each one of them has a certain aura about it. While I was recently at Gangtok, the plan was to go visit the Rumtek monastery, but due to a delay in our plan for the day, we had to visit the Lingdum Monastery instead.
While the Rumtek Monastery is a high security zone, the Lingdum or Ranka monastery is a fairly peaceful place and hence the entire group loved exploring it.
The long line of prayer wheels greeted us upon our entry. We made our way inside after spinning these prayer wheels. The group spun these wheels for good luck, for photographic opportunities or simply for the fun of it.
As soon as we entered the monastery, we were greeted by the sight of young Buddhist monks who were getting trained in the Lama dance. It was quite enjoyable just to see them undergo this training. Bad students were reprimanded by the trainer’s stick.
I personally saw this training session for about 20 minutes before climbing up the steep flight of stairs and into the inner sanctum. Here we were greeted by a prayer session that was in progress. Only Young Buddhist Monks were around and it was them who conducted the evening prayer session.
Buddhist chants were sung and various musical instruments were used along with the traditional Buddhist gong. It was quite interesting to note that the entire monastery was functioning with young monks.
The inner sanctum of the Lingdum monastery is very much like any other large Buddhist monastery. Large sized Buddha statues plated in gold could be seen. The insides were colourful with depictions and drawings.
There were colourful wall hangings too that swooned nearly all the way to the floor. The best part about this monastery is that most of it is open to tourists and one can happily explore the entire perimeter.
There are certain vantage points from where one could get brilliant views of the monastery sanctum, the training session taking place in the courtyard below and even some great sunset views on the neighbouring hills. We had such a great time here that we did not at all rue our missed opportunity of visiting the Rumtek Monastery.