In Darjeeling, situated at a height of about 8,000 feet is the old Ghoom Monastery. It is the oldest Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in the city of Darjeeling. The monastery was established by Lama Sherab Gyatso in the year 1850. The Ghoom Monastery is also called as Yiga Choeling Gompa. The Ghoom monastery Darjeeling is a part of the Yellow Hat sect which is called Gelupka. Where the 'Coming Buddha' or 'Maitreya Buddha' is worshiped.
There is a statue of Maitreya Buddha in the central hall of the Ghoom Monastery which is about 15-feet in height. The statue is entirely made of clay which was imported from Tibet. The statue was installed during the period of Lama Domo Geshe Rinpoche, who was the second head of the monastery. The monastery also consists of several rare manuscripts within the premises, which are related to Buddhism. Visitors can see the fantastic views of the magnificent Kanchenjunga from the monastery. The resident monks hoist the prayer flags in a typical Tibetan tradition.
Inside the Ghoom monastery Darjeeling there are images of several deities of Buddha and Lamal such as the Buddha of compassion, Chenrezig along with Tsongkhapa who was the founder of the Gelukpa sect. Two oil lamps are hanging in front of the Maitreya Buddha statue, the huge oil lamps are kept burning all the year. There are many elaborate paintings on the walls of the monastery. These paintings depict the art of Tibetan Buddhism, with a variety of images of bodhisattvas. These beautiful paintings are arranged in such a manner that they form a symmetrical pattern, enabling the tourists to easily understand the basic philosophy of Buddhism.
How to reach Ghoom Monastery
The Ghoom Monastery is situated at a distance of about 8 km from the city of Darjeeling. You will have to travel for about 30 minutes to reach the monastery by road from the town center of Darjeeling, through the Hill Cart road. The Ghoom Monastery Darjeeling is situated just before the Ghoom railway station, you will have to turn right to the narrow road which leads to the monastery. From the Ghoom Railway Station, the monastery is about 10 minutes' walking distance.
Best time to visit Ghoom Monastery
The best time to visit the Ghoom Monastery is during the sunrise and sunset. From 5:00 A.M to 7:00 A.M and from 4:00 P.M to 6:00 P.M is considered to be a perfect time.
Places to visit near the Ghoom Monastery
There is a Maa Kali Temple on top of the hill above the monastery. Tourists can visit the temple and offer their prayers on the full moon day and every fifteenth day of the month according to the Tibetan calendar. Tourists can also see bells, ornate thangka scrolls as well as drums inside the Gompa.
Close to the Ghoom Monastery is another monastery called Samten Choling Monastery. Both the monasteries are together called as the Ghoom monastery. So, if you want to either of the monasteries you have to be precise in locating the monastery you want to visit.
Ghoom Monastery Timings: 5:00 A.M to 11:00 P.M
Ghoom Monastery Entry Fees: Nil