Statue of Maitreya Buddha
The monastery belongs to the Gelugkpa or the Yellow Hat sect and is famous for its 15 feet high special statue of the Maitreya Buddha or the Future Buddha. The main statue inside the temple is that of the Maitreya Buddha. It is resplendent in gold polish and embedded with precious stones in the monastery is a must watch sight for the tourists. This is one of the biggest and oldest statues of Buddha in Darjeeling area. This statue was created with clay that was all brought from Tibet. In front of the Buddha’s statue there are two huge oil lamps that keep burning all the time and all through the year.
Interior of the Ghoom Monastery
Inside the Monastery there are images of many Buddha deities and lamas such as the Chenrezig and Chongapa, Buddha of compassion, and Tsongkhapa who was the founder of the Gelugkpa sect to which the Monastery belongs. There is a large collection of Buddha’s manuscripts inside that includes a 108-volume Kangyur - The Tibetan Buddhist Gospel. There are also bells and a huge drum inside. Thangkas adorn the ancient walls of this monastery and one will find a rare collection of books on Buddhism as well as Tibetan translations of great Sanskrit works in the library of Ghoom monastery. With its high altitude and misty surroundings, the interiors of the Ghoom monastery often seem dark and ancient giving it its sobriquet of the gloomy and shadowy atmosphere.
The age old Ghoom monastery captures the eyes of all the visitors. It is a historic and significant monastery of the Shakya Order. The original monastery was built sometime in 1915 and has supported the monastic community over the years. The main prayer hall can accommodate about 60 monks.
For the last several years the monastery is going through severe financial crisis. Some of the grants that it earlier received for its operational expenses have been pending for decades. One of the only ways that the monastery today runs is by way of donations.