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Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre (1962 A.D)
Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre is a large monastery located about 24 kms away from Gangtok. It is a Centre of learning of the Kagyupa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The XVIth Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorjee founded this monastery in 1962. History: In 1959, H.H the XVIth Gyalwa Karmapa (1923-1981) and his retinue of followers had to leave Tibet after the Chinese invasion.
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His Majesty the XIth King Sir Tashi Namgyal invited Karmapa Lama to Sikkim where he made  his seat for some years in the Old Rumtek Gonpa . Later, the King offered a piece of land measuring 74 acres for the establishment of this Centre to preserve the wealth of his lineage and spiritual treasures. The architecture of this four-storied building is said to have been based on the original style of the Tshurphu monastery of Tibet. 
     The top floor of the adjacent building has a small altar where one can see a Golden Stupa containing the relic of the Late 16th Karmapa Lama and the Statues of the Karma Kagyu Gurus and the Past Karmapas. The Karmapa stated that Rumtek could be the proper site of his seat outside Tibet, although he hoped one day to return to Tibet. During his stay in Sikkim he imparted his precious blessings to the devotees of Sikkim. Unfortunately he passed away on 5th November 1981 into Parinirvana at the American International Clinic in Zion, near Chicago, USA. His Kudung (body) was flown back to India. On 20th December 1981 his cremation ceremony took place in Rumtek Gonpa. His holy crown, said to have woven by the Dakinis is still preserved at this monastery as a Ter (Religious artifact).
     Mask Dances are being performed here during religious festivals like Saga Dawa (birth anniversary of Lord Buddha), Guru Trungkar Tshechu (birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava) and Gutor Chham on the eve of Losar (the Tibetan New Year). Being the seat of the Gyalwa Karmapa, Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre is now the International Headquarters of the Kagyupa Sect. Presently the Gonpa has 243 monks and 186 novice monks in its Sheda.
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