In my opinion Buddhism is the main rival to Orthodoxy and Roman Carholicism when it comes to attracting people interested in monasticism and meditation.
For my part I view Buddhism as an evil religion, grossly overrated, and incredibly sectarian. Causing a schism in the Sangha is supposed to lead to damnation according to the Buddha, yet we have hundreds of varieties of this religion. And it's nowhere near as tolerant as people in the West would like to believe. Bhutan recently violently expelled its Hindu population in order to maintain its purity as a Buddhist state. The oppressive and corrupt Thai government and the political violence in Thailand has been perpetrated by Therevada Buddhists.
The 14th Dalai Lama is a nice enough chap, but his predecessors were cruel dictators whose selection by the monks and Godlike status gave them a theocratic cruelty. CS Lewis wrote a wonderful piece on the advantages of a robber baron versus a false theocrat that I believe applies well. Fortunately if Tibet regains its independence, and I hope it will, it will be without a Dalai Lama as absolute ruler, as the 14th Dalai Lama has relinquished spiritual power and gone a step further by saying he might "reincarnate as a woman, or not at all." Such prelest! Buddhism is a delusion built atop another delusion, reincarnation, and usually featues a cosmology of a pre-existent eternal universe that has been proven false (IMO the Big Bang proves creation ex nihlo).
There exists this view in the West that Buddhism is this incredibly peaceful, wonderful haven of a religion where one can embrace non violence and find inner peace. But his romantic view of Buddhism is not born out by the facts. The monastery where Chan or Zen Buddhism was invented prides itself as a center for martial arts. How can a monastery be a school for fighting? Buddhism is superficislly like Christian monasticism, but the difference is instead of love, it has non-attachment, instead of life everlasting, Therevada Buddhism and other classical schools equate nirvana with oblivion, once the person who has attained it dies. Pure Land Buddhism appears instead to offer a progression of heavens. Certainly some forms of Buddhism are better than others. I find much to like in Shingon Buddhism and the syncretic Shugendo religion of Japan.
But as Indian Dharmid religions go, I think Buddhism is vastly overrated. There are branches of Hinduism that are just as egalitarian and non violent; Brahminical Hinduism is a bit nasty, as is the perverse Aghori sect, but who could object to the Bishnoi? The Jaims renounce violence completely. My only lament is they seem to prioritize animal life over human life and allow a form of suicide. But both religions seem to be very noble. And as violent Dharmic religion goes, I love the warrior saint ethos of Sikhism, it's monotheism, and it's emphasis on service and protection; from what I understand the Sikhs played a major role in protecting the subcontinent from Islamic domination. Growing up in the 4th grade my best friend was a Sikh boy named Hartaj. His parents owned an independent supermarket. So he and I used to play around there late at night and build castles with empty food crates. It was pure fun. As far Eastern religion goes, I find Taoism to be the source of much of the interesting thought one finds in Zen Buddhism, without the Dharmic baggage. And Shrine Shinto seems a lovely, simple religion.
But I am a Christian, and none of these religions appeal to me that much. Although I do find the use of a sacred thread by the priestly caste of Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Mandaeism to be interesting, and the dogmatic opposition to Hinduism in Zoroastrianism, and the relation of Zoroastrianism and Mandaeism to Christianity. This hints at some ancient hieratic religion of which Hinduism might be a heretical offshoot, the religion of Noah, which would have been superseded by the Anrahamic Covenant and Judaism. But such an ancient religion even if it still existed would be worthless since we have Christ. The only really interesting religion in India, the only one I would practice, is Christianity, which has been there since St. Thomas established a mission. And I weep over the fact that Christianity failed to evangelize the 50 million or so Dalits (Untouchables) who joined Buddhism around the time of Independence. But it's not too late; there are lots of suffering people in India and Christianity is actually the third largest religion after Hinduism and Islam; according to Wikipedia the Christians roughly equal in number the combined total of Sikhs and Jains. So that's good.