Ghoom Monastery Darjeeling: A Complete Travel Guide

Ghoom Monastery Darjeeling:
Spread the love
5/5 - (1 vote)

Ghoom Monastery which is also referred to as the Yiga Choeling Monastery is one of the popular tourist attractions in Darjeeling. The monastery is located right next to Sterling Darjeeling, at the quiet end of the Old Monastery Road. Ghoom Monastery belongs to the Yellow Hat sect, which is also known as the Gelugpa, and features a 15-foot statue of Maitreya.

Located at a height of 8,000 feet, the Yiga Choeling, or old Ghoom Monastery is the oldest Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Darjeeling. The monastery was established in 1850 by Lama Sherab Gyatso, the shrine is part of the Yellow Hat sect known as Gelupka which offers prayers to the ‘Coming Buddha’ or ‘Maitreyi Buddha’. The main key attraction of this monastery is a 15-foot-high statue of Maitreyi Buddha which is made entirely from the clay brought from Tibet.

The statue was installed during the tenure of the monastery’s second head – Lama Domo Geshe Rinpoche. The visitors coming here can enjoy the majestic Kanchenjunga view right outside of the monastery.

Within Yiga Choeling, one can see images of various Buddha deities and lamas like the Chenrezig, Buddha of compassion, and Tsongkhapa- the founder of the Gelupka sect. In front of the Maitreya Buddha statue, there are two huge oil lamps that burn all over the year. The monastery walls are beautifully painted with depictions and art of Tibetan Buddhism, having various images of bodhisattvas. All these beautiful paintings are placed in a symmetrical manner.

Key Highlight of Ghoom Monastery

  • Address: Ghoom, Darjeeling, West Bengal 
  • Timing: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm
  • Time required: Two hours
  • Entry Fee: Free; however, one has to buy tickets for carrying still or video camera inside the monastery.
  • Affiliation: Tibetan Buddhism (Gelug Sect)
  • Founded by: Lama Sherab Gyatso

History of Ghoom Monastery in Darjeeling

Ghoom is spoken as Ghum. The Ghoom Monastery in Darjeeling belongs to the Gelukpa and the statue of this monastery is the high statue of Maitreya Buddha. The statue was constructed by Mongolian monks around the 1800s and it took almost 200 years to complete the construction.

In 1850 the monastery was established as a place to worship Maitreyi Buddha or the Coming Buddha. The tenure of Lama Domo Geshe Rinpoche, the second head of the Old Ghoom Monastery witnessed the construction and placement of this statue. One can see various art pieces and artworks in the monastery. As per the Buddhist tradition, Maitreya will be a successor to Gautama Buddha and would come on the Earth in the future, will achieve complete enlightenment, and teach pure Dharma (righteousness). The prophecy of the arrival of Maitreya signifies that time in the future when Dharma would be almost forgotten.

Ghoom Monastery also houses a giant statue of Maitreya Buddha, an extensive collection of invaluable manuscripts including the 108-volume Kangyur, believed to have been spoken by the Buddha himself.

The beautiful architecture of Ghoom Monastery

The visitors can offer some small cash for donations. There is a board kept in front of the monasteries mentioning the amount visitors have to pay. The visitors have to pay INR 10 per picture and INR 50 for video recording. The money received is used for the monastery.

The architecture of this religious institution would take us closer to Tibet. The arches and multiple spires on the roof, archetypal East Asian features, make Ghoom Monastery look quite fascinating. On entering the temple, you will see many images of important Buddhist deities, important spiritual figures, and older Lamas.

Things to keep in mind while visiting Ghoom Monastery in Darjeeling

It might take some time to get to the original Ghoom, but after arrival, the nearby view will be a treat to your eyes. There is one thing that all travelers need to be aware of, there is also a monastery named Samten Choling Monastery which is also referred to as Ghoom Monastery by the local driver. So, if you want to visit Yoga Choeling or Ghoom Monastery, be clear and specific. Remember that the original Ghoom Monastery in Darjeeling is located closer to the railway station.

Things to keep in Mind While Entering a Buddhist Monastery

Clothes that cover your body

Since a monastery is a place to worship so it is suggested to wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees.

Take off your shoes

While visiting the monastery, take off your shoes, which is a common courtesy followed in almost all the temples and thus must be followed here as well.

Bow down before Buddha

Do pay your respect and prayers to Buddha.

Make small contribution

It is believed that donating adds to the list of our good karma. So you can donate money. The Ghum Monastery in Darjeeling runs on the donations received by the locals and tourists.

Nearby attractions


The hilltop just above the monastery holds the Ma Kali temple, where devotees offer their prayers every full moon day and on the fifteenth of every month of the Tibetan calendar.

Travelers can also visit Tiger Hills to witness the beautiful sunrise over the Kanchenjunga. A trip to the Himalayas would not be complete without enjoying the view of snow-clad peaks and sunrise. Tiger Hills is the highest point in Darjeeling from where you can witness the bright sun rays falling on the mountains.

Another place located near the Ghoom Monastery is the Zoo of Darjeeling. The Padmaja Himalayan Zoological Park is quite a famous place among the people where you can witness several beautiful animals and natural beauty. It is the only zoo in Asia protecting endangered species from the eastern Himalayas. One can see red pandas, Tibetan wolves, snow leopards, etc. here.

The Lama Hatta Village is also located in Darjeeling. The meaning of Lama Hatta is the “abode of the monks,” and here you can many monks. This village, which is located on the Sikkim-Gangtok Road has many mountain communities living in harmony and peace.

How To Reach Ghoom Monastery Darjeeling

The Ghoom Monastery is located almost 8 km from Darjeeling town and takes almost 30 minutes to reach the monastery by car from Darjeeling town center. Before reaching the Ghoom railway station, take a right turn that takes you to a narrow road, at the end of which lies the monastery. The monastery is a ten-minute walk from the Ghoom Railway Station.


Exploring the stunning monuments of Darjeeling will be a pleasurable experience for all travelers. The Ghoom Monastery Darjeeling is one such place where you can enjoy a peaceful environment while sitting close to nature.

Call Now