Tharpaling monastery located at 3,600m is composed of a series of buildings overlooking the Chhume valley. A rough road starting from the Gyetsa village on the Trongsa-Jakar highway leads to the monastery in half an hour but it is often cut in summer.
Otherwise 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 (3,600 m) was, it seems, first established by Lorepa (1187-1250), a Drukpa Kagyupa lama from Tibet. The temple that he is said to have founded is a small building, lower than the main complex.
In the 14th century, another temple was founded by Longchen Rabjam, the great philosopher of the Dzogchen, a religious movement of the Nyingmapa school.
Longchen Rabjam (1308-1363) had to flee Tibet and lived in exile in Bumthang for almost ten years. He built several temples there, including Tharpaling built in 1352.
Tharpaling was restored several times but most notably by the First King at the beginning of the twentieth century.
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 Eight Chortens commemorating events of the life of the Buddha (Chorten Degye) below the main complex are recent and were consecrated in 2001.
Higher up, a new temple, Dzambala lhakhang, has been built in the early 2000s to house the memorial chorten of the great master Nyoshul Khenpo (1932-1997) by his wife Ani Damchoe.
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Really appreciate YANA's professional organization of the entire trip. Could not imagine how a trekking trip could such be well organized - more or less like a 5-star hotel with the only difference of we were at more than 3,000 above sea level. Special thanks to Yeshey and the chef who had given tons of assistance when I was descending due to attitude sickness. - Simon Liu, Hong Kong