An enchanting sojourn to the “Queen of Hills”, Darjeeling, isn’t...Read More
Ghum or Ghoom Monastery is the common name for the Yiga Choeling Monastery. It is located near Ghoom railway station in Ghoom, 8 kilometers from Darjeeling town.
It is the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery to be constructed in the Darjeeling area. This monastery is well-known for its 15-foot-tall Maitreya Buddha statue.
As Darjeeling is the ultimate viewpoint for Mount Kanchenjunga and eastern Himalayan range, many tourists come to see the majestic Himalayan Mountains. There are a some spots in Darjeeling that offer you a glimpse of the majestic Himalayas, and Ghoom monastery is one of the best spots to view mighty Himalayas.
Interiors of the Ghoom Monastery …
The entire monastery’s walls are covered in wonderful Tibetan Buddhist paintings and arts depicting many bodhisattvas. These lovely artworks are arranged in a symmetrical pattern, making it simple for any visitor to grasp the fundamentals of Buddhist philosophy.
The main statue of Lord Maitreya Buddha, which stands 15 feet tall, stands in the centre of the shrine hall. It is the largest and oldest statue in all of Darjeeling’s monasteries. The figure is entirely constructed of clay imported from Tibet.
The three Buddha statues on the right side of the main statue represent the past, present, and future Buddha.
Images of Domo Geshe Rinpoche, who built the main statue of Maitreya Buddha, and the idol of the god with 1000 hands, 1000 eyes, and 11 heads, the god of love and compassion, are on the left side.
The enormous bookcases on either side of the main altar house the Buddhist holy scriptures. Tibetan Buddhism’s commentary and philosophy merit special note in this library’s collection.
Two enormous oil lamps stand in front of the Maitreya Buddha figure and are lit throughout the year.
Darjeeling to Ghoom Monastery ...
The distance between Darjeeling and Ghoom Monastery is approximately 8 kilometers . If you’re traveling by road, it takes about 15-20 minutes to reach the monastery from Darjeeling town, depending on traffic and road conditions.
Maitreya Statue at Ghoom Monastery …
Gods and goddesses showered flowers on the Maitreya statue while it was being consecrated. Many people reported hearing incredibly wonderful music from as far away as Darjeeling.
Maitreya is a Buddhist bodhisattva who is said to have appeared on Earth, attained complete enlightenment, and taught the pure dharma.
The statue is about two stories high and made of clay mixed with many ground-up precious stones and holy objects.
A massive diamond reflected the light of the many butter candles between the eyes of the statue.
Maitreya is generally portrayed on a throne, with both feet on the ground or crossed at the ankles, waiting for his moment.
He’s dressed like a Bhiksu or a member of Indian aristocracy. He would normally be standing and wearing jewels as a bodhisattva.
Tips to visit Ghoom Monastery Darjeeling …
- Timings: Before you visit, confirm the monastery’s visiting hours. It’s usually accessible to the public from early in the morning until late at night, although it’s best to double check.
- Dress Respectfully: It’s necessary to wear modest clothing when visiting places of worship. Put on clothing that covers your legs and shoulders. Avoid wearing short skirts or shorts and sleeveless tops.
- Silence: Be quiet or speak quietly while within the monastery. This is a location for prayer and contemplation.
- Photography: Before taking any images, especially inside the monastery, always get permission. There can be places where taking pictures is prohibited.
- Remove Shoes: In India, it is customary to take your shoes off before entering a place of worship. To leave your shoes, look for specified spots or do like the locals do.
- Donation: Monasteries frequently rely on donations to stay afloat. Although not required, if you enjoyed your stay, think about making a small donation to help with the care and activities of the monastery.
- Local Stores: Around Ghoom Monastery, there are a few tiny stores where you may buy trinkets, religious items, and regional crafts. It’s a good way to relive a memory and help the neighborhood economy.
- Weather: It can be chilly in Darjeeling and the area around it, especially in the winter and early in the morning. Bring a lightweight shawl or sweater.
- Respect Rituals: If a ritual or prayer session is taking place while you are there, keep your distance and try not to interfere.
Keep in mind that Ghoom Monastery is more than just a tourist destination; for many, it holds religious and spiritual value. You’ll probably have a special experience if you go with respect and an open mind.