Choedrak Gonpa

Choedrak Monastery (3800m) is located high on the northern ridge dominating the whole Chhume valley. The main buildings are built against a big rock face. The motorable road stops at Tharpaling monastery and from there, there is a one-hour steep climb to reach Choedrak. Choedrak can also be reached from Lamey Gompa in Choekhor valley (Bumthang) by a very steep three hour walk through a dense forest and crossing a pass.

The saint Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) is said to have arrived on a tigress and meditated there in the 8th century. He and the tigress left imprints on rocks. The cliff is considered the residence of the powerful deity Dorji Yudonma, one of the twelve protectresses of the Himalayan Buddhist world.

In 1234, the Drukpa Kagyupa Master Lorepa (1187-1250) who had come from Tibet, decided to build a temple. After his departure the place was supposed to be haunted by a demon and it was in ruins. In the 18th century, the great Drukpa monk Ngawang Trinley from Si’ula in Punakha exorcised the demon while visiting the place, and rebuilt the monastery which was then under the care of the Punakha monastic body.

Architectural style / school and related art works:
Several low Bhutanese style buildings are built around the meditation caves, which contain relics of the masters, and there are two temples.

Social cultural function
Choedrak is mostly a hermitage used for retreats and solitary life. The monk caretaker is appointed by the Trongsa monastic community.

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