This was my fourth visit to Gangtok and I have been to the more widely acclaimed Rumtek monastery on every occassion until this time, when I was advised to visit the Ranka Monastery, which really was a memorable experience for me. Ranka Monastery is well laid out, with nice architecture, wonderful paintings in resplendent colors while the main building that houses the statue of Lord Buddha was simply a treat to watch.
Rumtek monastery is now full of gun toting security guards, which pretty much robs the place of its solitude and serenity and basically defeats the tranquility that one normally associates with a Buddhist Monastery. Fortunately, Ranka is still pristine.
We also interacted with quite a few young monks and were delighted to have some insight into their life style. At the entrance of the monastery, there are quite a few curio shops as well as a decent restaurant, which are moderately priced.
Normally, one should hire a car and cover the trio of Rumtek Monastery, Ranka Monastery and Ban Jhakri Water Falls in a circular loop -- however please be advised that the road conditions leading upto Ranka Monastery is pretty bad -- the roads are not dangerous, but badly broken in certain pockets.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.