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Tharpaling Monastery


Tharpaling Monastery located at 3,600m is composed of a series of buildings overlooking the Chumey valley. Tharpaling can be reached on a 3 hour walk from Gyetsa village or on a 3 hour steep walk from Lamey Gonpa in Choekhor, crossing a pass above Choedrak monastery. Tharpaling was built by Longchen Rabjam, the great philosopher of the Dzogchen, a religious movement of the Nyingmapa School in 1352. The monastery prospered and was always an active Centre for Nyingmapa teachings. In 1985, a monastic school (Jangchub Choeling shedra) was founded above the main complex. There are about 20 cells for monks. The original small temple contains paintings of Lorepa and of Tsangpa Gyare, the founder of the Drukpa School, and the restoration dates perhaps, from the 19th century. The Tharpaling main building houses two temples. The temple on the ground floor called the Tshogkhang, is adorned with statues of Longchen Rabjam, Guru Rinpoche, Trisong Detsen, the eighth century Tibetan king who requested Guru to subjugate the deities of Tibet, Shantarikshita (Shiwatso), the Indian monk first invited to build Samye monastery in Tibet, as well as the great 18th century master
Jigme Lingpa. The monastery is an important religious landmark of Bhutan, a monastic school where an ancient specific monastic tradition is taught, and holds an annual prayer, a monlam, in the first lunar month.

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