The Rumtek Monastery is located at Rumtek which is about 24km from Gangtok. The monastery is one of the religious centres of the Tibetan Buddhists. It is also known as the Dharma Chakra Centre. It is located at an altitude of 5800ft above sea level and it faces the city of Gangtok. It is one of the important centres of Kagyu lineage outside Tibet.
The Rumtek monastery is built in resemblance to the Tsurphu monastery of Tibet. This four-storeyed monastery is the biggest monastery in the whole of Sikkim. Following the Chinese aggression over Tibet, the 16th incarnate of the Gyalwa Karmapa of Tibet came to Rumtek with some monks. The then Chogyal had gifted him an area of Rumtek so as to build a monastery and open a centre for religious studies.
Behind the main structure of the monastery, there is a heavily decorated and beautiful Karma Nalanda Institute of Buddhist Studies where they have students from around the world. There is also a little hall which has the Golden Stupa, a cgorten which is jewel-studded. It is beliaved that this chorten has the ashes of His Holiness, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa.
The Rumtak Dharma Chakra Centre is located about 2km away from the monastery. The centre has a collection of the most unique religious scriptures and art objects. Apart from exhibiting these art objects, the centre also conducts annual dances during the 28th and 29th day of the tenth month every year. This is one of the most visited attarctions of Sikkim.