Weather :

Timings : 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Time Required : 1 - 2 hrs

Entry Fee : No Entry Fee,
Still camera: INR 10,
Video shot: INR 50

Ghoom Monastery, Darjeeling Overview

At a grand elevation of 8,000 feet, the Yiga Choeling or old Ghoom Monastery is the oldest Tibetan Buddhist Monastery of Darjeeling. Established in 1850 by Lama Sherab Gyatso, this shrine is part of the Yellow Hat sect known as Gelupka who worship the 'Coming Buddha' or 'Maitreyi Buddha'. A 15-foot high statue of Maitreyi Buddha is seen in the central hall, made entirely of clay brought from Tibet. This statue was installed during the tenure of the second head of the monastery Lama Domo Geshe Rinpoche. One can also find many rare Buddhist manuscripts within the premises. Visitors are treated to a beautiful view of the majestic Kanchenjunga outside the monastery. Prayer flags are flown by the resident monks in typical Tibetan tradition.

Within Yiga Choeling, one can view images of many Buddha deities and lamas such as the Chenrezig, Buddha of compassion, and Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelupka sect. In front of the Maitreya Buddha statue hang two huge oil lamps which keep burning throughout the year. The walls of the monastery are elaborately painted with depictions and art of Tibetan Buddhism, with different images of bodhisattvas. These beautiful paintings are placed in a symmetrical manner, facilitating the ease of understanding the basics of Buddhist philosophy to visitors of the monastery. The hilltop above the monastery holds the Ma Kali temple, where devotees come to offer prayer every full moon day and on the fifteenth of every month of the Tibetan calendar.

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Tips For Visiting Ghoom Monastery

Close to the Yiga Choeling Monastery is another monastery called Samten Choling Monastery. Both monasteries are often referred to as the Ghoom monastery. So if you are planning to visit the original Ghoom Monastery, be specific and mention old Ghoom Monastery.

How To Reach Ghoom Monastery

The Ghoom Monastery is located approximately 8 km from the Darjeeling town. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the monastery by car from Darjeeling town centre, through Hill Cart road. Before reaching the Ghoom railway station, you will need to take a right turn into a narrow road, at the end of which lies the monastery. It is a ten-minute walk from the Ghoom Railway Station

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