Dharma Chakra Centre in Rumtek, Sikkim, India
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Dharma Chakra Centre or Rumtek Monastery is one of the most important seats of the Kagyu lineage outside Tibet. In the early 1960's, His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, founded this seat.
The Centre has become the International Kagyu Headquarters during the life of His Holiness, and was the place from which lineage activities have manifested throughout the world. Here, the younger generation of Kagyu masters are being trained in the traditional study and meditation practices which have continuously been taught and practiced for the last 800 years.
The establishment of the Dharma Chakra Centre, Rumtek, Sikkim, India, includes:
1. The Rumtek Monastery: The beautifully structured main shrine temple and monastery surrounded by monks' quarters, where monks and Tulkus are trained in traditional tantric ritualistic arts and sadhana practices. His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa resided on the top floor and the most of the important relics are enshrined there. More
2. Drupdra Yiwong Samten Ling: A three-year retreat center built in the late 1970's by His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, where traditional three-year retreat training is given, in accordance with the tradition of the Kagyu lineage. More
3. Karma Shri Nalanda Institute: The Shedra, or monastic college, affiliated with the Sampurnnant Sanskrit University in Varanasi, was founded by His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa. The young monks and Tulkus are trained in traditional buddhist education with a touch of modern educational systems. At the top of the old Shedra building, the relic of the Sixteenth Karmapa is enshrined. More
4. Karme Dechen Chökhor: A nunnery founded by His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, were the nuns receive full training in the tantric ritual arts and sadhana practices.
Dharma Chakra Center, known as the Rumtek Monastery, is located in the East Sikkim, 24 kilometers away from Gangtok, the capital of the Sikkim, India. Rumtek is situated at an altitude of about 5800 ft (1,547 metres); the climate in Summer averages between a maximum of 20.7 and minimum of 13.1 (deg.C°.); in Winter, maximum 14.9 / minimum 7.7. The best season to visit, in terms of weather, is March to late May, or from October to Mid-December.
Air: The nearest airport is Bagdogra (124 kms). Both government and private airlines operate flights to and from New Delhi, Calcutta, Patna, and other cities.
Rail: The nearest railway stations are in Siliguri (114 kms), New Jalpaiguri (NJP) (125 kms). Train service runs to and from New and Old Delhi, Calcutta, Gaya, Varanasi and other cities and towns of India.
Road: Good motor roads connect Gangtok with Siliguri (114 kms), Darjeeling (139 kms), Calcutta (725 kms), and Guwahati (589 kms).
Bus Service: Regular bus services connect Gangtok with Bagdogra, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Siliguri and Calcutta. Sikkim Nationalized Transportation, which is a state government bus service, and other private services operate within Sikkim as well as outside the state.
The Karmapas have established their main seats in Tibet, India, Europe and the United States.
The main seat and most important monastery for the Karma Kagyu lineage is Tsurphu Monastery, established in Tibet in the 12th century.
The main exile seat of the Karmapa and international headquarters for the Kagyu lineage is the Dharma Chakra Centre in Rumtek, Sikkim, India. After fleeing Tibet, for the Kingdom of Sikkim, His Holiness the 16th Karmapa officially inaugurated the Rumtek Monastery in 1966.
Individuals who enter the path of monasticism at Rumtek Monastery go through a very thorough training of Tibetan buddhism.
The Karma Shri Nalanda Institute (KSNI), a monastic college, was founded in November 1981 by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa.
More on current activities and the history of Rumtek Monastery is available at www.rumtek.org