If you want to soak in scared energy of spiritualism and mysticism in an incredible natural setting, Ghoom in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal is the place to be.
At an altitude of 8,000 ft, Ghoom is home to a number of monasteries. Chief among them is the Yiga Choling Gompa or Ghoom Gompa as it is popularly called. The monastery comes lauded as the largest in the region. Established in 1850 the Ghoom monastery belongs to the Yellow Sect of Buddhists. Its major highlight is a huge 15-ft tall statue of Jampa or Maitreya Buddha. Maitreya Buddha represents the cult of the future Buddha.
The beautifully sculpted halls of the monastery are adorned by thangkas and murals. Here you will find ancient palm leaf and paper manuscripts including the Buddhist Tibetan Gospel in 108 volumes.
Located in close proximity to the Yiga Choling Gompa are the monasteries of Sakya Guru Gompa and Samten Choling Gompa which has a colossal image of the Buddha.
How to reach Ghoom monastery
Air: Bagdogra airport near Siliguri in West Bengal is the nearest airport to the Ghoom monastery which is 8 km from Darjeeling which, in turn, is 80 km from Siliguri. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or a private cab that will take you to the Ghoom monastery.
Rail: The nearest railway station to the Ghoom monastery is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in West Bengal which is 86 km from the place. NJP railway station is well-connected to major cities and places in India including New Delhi and Kolkata. From NJP you can take a taxi to reach Ghoom monastery.
Road: Good motorable roads connect Ghoom monastery with all the major places in Darjeeling.
Best Time to visit Ghoom monastery
October to March is the best period to visit Ghoom monastery.