Come volunteer at our monastery near Rimbick, West Bengal, India



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 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

  • Description


    *️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ Important *️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️
    Please consider this before contacting us. Only hard working, enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers are welcome with minimum of 3 WEEKS continuous help at the monastery. Also, as there is a lot of work to be done, we are not accepting volunteer who wants to come for leisure. DRUGS/ALCOHOL/SMOKING IS NOT ALLOWED and please respect the local culture.

    Thank you for your understanding.

    Lama (the caretaker and only monk of the monastery) .
    Namaste dear volunteer,
    I am Lama , and I am the caretaker of a Buddhist monastery in Rimbick, in the district of Darjeeling, state of West Bengal in India. I have been taking care of it since 2009.
    The monastery is a hundred year old institution, which was established in 1917. It is now a place where the villagers gather for prayer and to perform the various rites as per Buddhist traditions. We require volunteers with great motivation who are keen to get deeply involved in the project and immersed in the local community.

    A main project happening is the creation of permaculture/sustainability gardening of the Monastery. We really need your help to learn and do it. Also there is always something to do around the monastery, be it gardening, cooking, general housework, planting, cleaning mantra rocks, helping with renovation etc.

    If volunteers have any other knowledge and skills. they are absolutely welcome to contribute to our pre-existing projects, and to start their own endeavors on Monastery land. We are working towards being fully self-sustainable!

    Volunteers of any skills and professions are very welcome!

    Volunteers are asked to make a small contribution of 300 Indian Roupies per day. This will cover food, gas, electricity and internet. The monastery is indeed a non profit organisation and without this contribution, it wouldn't be possible to host and feed volunteers. Moreover, because the monastery is in a quite remote place, delivering grocery food (rice, potatoes) or gas is done with jeep which increases all prices. This is why, this small contribution is asked.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Cooking / shopping
    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Language practice
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities


    There are many places to visit around the monastery and also the Singalila Ridge trek with magnificent views of Khangchendzonga.I try to promote a healthy lifestyle here by biking around, so feel free to bring your mountain bike or a pair of running shoes with you, since there are many beautiful trails to discover.

    The monastery is oriented eastwards, so you can do your sun salutations right in front of it and see the sunrise above the Darjeeling ridge :-)

  • Help


    - PERMACULTURE & GARDENING : We want to create a permaculture/sustainable garden in the Monastery. Please if you have some skills, let me know. I want to learn and try to be an example to save and respect the earth. The monastery is on a farming area, we need to change our habits and learn about permaculture to respect the life. I use simple and traditional tools. Please come, we can exchange our knowledge.
    Moreover, I would like to create a tea garden. It has already been started and there are from time to time some gardening to do about it.

    - PAINTING : We have painting project also. The base layer of paints has been finished, all that remains are the details. For this we are in need of any professional painters or artists. It would be a great help! The painting is in Thanka style. To do this huge project you must stay longer than 3 weeks. As it is inside paintings, it can be done all year.

    - BUILDING RENOVATION : Currently, I need help with the restoration and renovation of buildings (wood and clay) around the monastery.

    - ROCK CLEANING for PROFESSIONAL CLIMBER : there are rocks and boulders around the monastery, on which Tibetan mantras are frescoed. There are from 3 meters high up to 15 meters - cf photos. Due to the weather, these beautiful masterpieces need to be cleaned. I think it might be a pleasant job for climbing fan. This kind of job cannot be done during the rainy season (from May to July).

    - COOKING : I require help with cooking and taking care of this monastery (general housework, maintenance). We are in favor of cultural exchange and cooking is a great way to do it. Then, you can learn how to cook some local vegetable and the traditional recipe and we'd be glad to try new international meals.

    - DOG CARING : Unfortunately, many dogs are abandoned around the monastery. It is usually female and pregnant dogs. Then, there is sometimes a need of taking care of them and the puppies.

    - GENERAL TIME TABLE (this is more an example than the day-to-day schedule. Indeed, the kind of work, the weather and the mood make every day slightly different) :
    We usually wake up around 6 or 7 am and have a tea together.
    You'll have some time for you if you want to do your morning meditation or yoga.
    We start working and cooking breakfast at 8 am.
    Breakfast is around 9.
    Then, we work until lunch with usually a tea break during the morning.
    Lunch is around 1 pm.
    Depending on the work and also the weather, we work some hours during the afternoon with a tea break at the middle of it.
    Work usually finishes around 5 pm.
    Then we cook for dinner which we have around 7 pm.

    Tuesday is market day so there is no work and Sunday is also day-off

    Only hard working, enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers are welcome.

    Important : Let me remind you that, it is only possible to host volunteers willing to commit a minimum of three weeks continuous help at the monastery. There have been too many instances where volunteers come to the monastery with the wish of going for day/ week excursions to the forest and other parts of the district using the monastery as a stop over. If that is what you are looking for, sadly we can not host you.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    Tibetan, English, Hindi, Nepali and Bhutanese.

  • Accommodation


    You will be staying with me at the monastery, just a 30 to 40 minutes walk up from Rimbik.

    There is a simple room with two beds and blankets and another room with one bed (cf pictures). Also there is a public hall/dormitory with mattresses and blankets which is currently under renovation until August 2018. Finally, there are also two tents (only for the dry season = October to March) with mattresses and sleeping bags for up to 4 people.
    The bathrooms are separate Indian style toilets (squat toilets) for ladies and gents but no showers (yet :-)), you can wash outside with a bucket a hot water from our wood fire :)

    The kitchen is well equipped, with two gas burners and lots of cookware and eating utensils, where we cook common meals during the day. Our diet is vegetarian and include with animal products like butter, milk and eggs. Since we are living in a community it would be too hard to adjust to vegan or gluten free diets. You would be expected to make your own arrangements.

    There are electric plugs almost everywhere, with occasional blackouts. The phone service coverage is available and we also have wifi (dongle 3G wifi).

    The ATM in Rimbik is not working properly with Foreigner cards so make sure that you bring enough cash before heading to the monastery. There are little shops in Rimbik to buy food etc

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Rimbik (or Rimbick) is a village in the Singalila National Park, famous for its natural flora and fauna, some 5-6 hours of jeep ride from Darjeeling and Siliguri.
    The monastery is located just above the village, at the upper end, at an altitude of 2300 m.

    I can guide you and show you all the beautiful and interesting places around, I can also lend you a tent, sleeping bags and cooking stove, if you would like to go trekking on the Singalila Ridge.


    By air:
    Get a regular flight from Delhi to Bagdogra, which is the closest airport here in West Bengal.
    You can also get a flight from Calcutta to Bagdogra.

    By train:
    There are daily trains from Delhi to New Jalpaiguri (also abbreviated NJP) , the closest railway station, the ride takes around 26 hrs and is well worth the taking.
    There are also many trains from Calcutta to NJP

    By bus :
    From Calcutta you can take a bus to SILIGURI (around 24 hours long) or from the Nepali boarder (city Kakarbhitta) you can have a shared jeep or a local bus to SILIGURI.

    From Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri take a bus/Taxi to Siliguri city. Only the morning time, there is a shared jeep in Darjelling More place in front of the shop called Munna hotel (Please look the map on my profiles photo). The ride takes around 5/6 hours.

    From Darjeeling take the morning shared taxi (jeep) to Rimbik. You will find many cars going in this direction.
    Have your passports ready for signing up at the checkpost at Maneybhanjang (the driver will instruct you, no other photos/passport copies needed). The ride takes 4-5 hours.

    Once in Rimbik, register yourself at the Foreigners Registration Office (if it is closed or you have trouble finding it, we can do it together later) and ask anybody for the direction of the monastery. It is some 30-40 minutes walk up the many stairs leading up through the little fields and gardens before you reach the monastery.

    No special permit is needed to come here, just the visa which allows you to enter India.
    You only need to sign up at the Maneybhanjang checkpost when going from Darjeeling to Rimbik and then at the Foreigners Registration Office here in Rimbik.
    No other formalities are necessary.

    We usually cook together in a common kitchen. There is plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables from the locals and markets in Rimbik. We eat vegetarian.

    There are many places to visit around the monastery and also the Singalila Ridge trek with magnificent views of Khangchendzonga.
    I try to promote a healthy lifestyle here by biking around, so feel free to bring your mountain bike or a pair of running shoes with you, since there are many beautiful trails to discover.

    The monastery is oriented eastwards, so you can do your sun salutations right in front of it and see the sunrise above the Darjeeling ridge :-)

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    It all depends on the work and on going project, subject to weather :) - but the maximum would be 5 hours/day/week

  • ...

    This host charges a fee

    read more
    300INR (rupees) per day to help with food costs

Host ref number: 736133244568