Tengboche monastery is one of the most prominent monasteries located in Khumbu Valley. The gumba or the monastery will be met on your way to the summit of Mount Everest. The monastery is also known as Dawa Choling Gompa. It holds a very big significance in the Everest region, especially among the Sherpa community. The gompa has been said to be built by the disciple of the 10th Ringpoche. Despite several factors that caused the destruction of the monastery, it has been rebuilt and reformed time and again by the authorities in the Khumbu Valley. The monastery holds great importance when it comes to Nyingmapa Buddhism. And religion has been increasing even to this day.
There are just so many facts that will interest anyone who is religious or wants to explore the beautiful heritage of Nepal, and in this article, we have summed up everything you need to know about Tengboche Monastery, which is also the largest monastery in the Everest region of Nepal. Make sure to read till the end of this article to know more!
History of Tengboche Monastery
Tengboche Monastery, or Dawa Choling Gompa, is one of the most popular and the largest monasteries in the Nepali Everest region. The place holds great significance. There are many other smaller monasteries around the Tengboche monastery, but they are smaller in comparison to this one. This monastery was built by Chatang Chotar, known as Lama Gulu, in 1916. As per the historical sayings, Lama Gulu was blessed by Ngawang Tenzin Norbu, Sangwa Dorje’s fifth incarnation, to build this monastery. In Vajrayana Buddhism, the monastery has always had a major place.
The monastery falls under the Nyingmapa lineage of the Vajrayana Buddhism. The sacred texts in the monastery has been dated back to 1915. Though there weren’t necessarily any authorities who were assigned the work to take care of and reconstruct the gompa, it was the three wealthiest inhabitants in the Khumbu region who took charge of such activities. One of them was a tax collector, Karma, who also was able to benefit from the patronage of Rana rule in Nepal back in the day. Besides the Sherpa community in the Khumbu region, the Sherung Sherpas were also responsible for building the monastery.
Unfortunately, after the earthquake of 1934, the monastery was destroyed, and by that time, Lama Gulu had also died. Hence, his successor, Umze Gelden, along with other monks and locals, took charge of rebuilding the monastery. The monastery was soon brought back to its old form with much effort. While the earthquake destroyed the initial building of the monastery, with reforms, the significance of the place remained. Even to this day, the monastery holds a very sacred place among the Sherpas and Buddhists in the region. Every year, several visitors visit the monastery.
What is the easiest way to reach Tengboche Monastery?
Tengboche monastery is one of the most sought monasteries of all time. It is located in the Khumbu region of Mount Everest in Nepal, which is quite rural. Hence, going to the monastery is not as easy as one may think. However, the easiest route or way to reach Tengboche monastery would be either through a helicopter ride straight from Kathmandu or by trekking from Lukla. Trekking from Lukla is going to take you around three days. You can take a flight to Lukla from Kathmandu and then start your climb.
Mani Rimdu Festival at Tengboche Monastery (September to November every year)
The Tengboche monastery also has a very important festival that is celebrated every year during the month of September. The festival is known as the Mani Rimdu Festival. The festival signifies the victory of Buddhism over the Bon religion. The people in the Khumbu area celebrate this festival from September through November. There are lots of colors and festive spirits at the time as the festival is celebrated with music, good food, and colorful flags and decorations all over the place.
Mani Rimdu festival holds a very special place not just in the lives of the Buddhists but also in the religion itself. The fact that a great amount of Buddhist people reside in the area justifies why this festival is celebrated with so much enthusiasm. You can trek through Lukla for around 2 to 3 days to reach the monastery, which is the most celebrated area in the Everest region where the festival is enjoyed.
What are Tengboche Monastery’s opening hours?
Many visitors might wonder about the opening hours of the Tengboche monastery, but it must be kept in mind that the monastery is open throughout the entire 24 hours. The monastery does not close. However, due to safety purposes, one might not always want to consider going there. The entry is free, and there is almost no restriction to be there around odd hours of the day. But, most preferably, it would be proper and respectful for the visitors to go there during the day time.
Rituals and Offerings and Prayers In Tengboche Monastery
Like any other temples and monasteries, rituals, offerings, and prayers are done in the Tengboche monastery. Though there isn’t necessarily any offering or ritual that would harm animals, one can always make offerings of fruits and lights when they are here. Likewise, leaving coins and money as an offering is also very common. The visitors in the area are not necessarily tourists, and many people who are locals living around the monastery area also make frequent visits to pray in the monastery. Likewise, there are monks who make their prayers and rounds in the monastery almost every day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you see Everest from Tengboche Monastery?
Yes, you can see Everest from the Tengboche monastery. Along with this, you can also see Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Lhotse and Thamserku.
Is Tengboche the highest monastery in the world?
No, Tengboche is not the highest monastery in the world, but it lies at a height of 3,867 meters above sea level.
What is the cultural center of Khumbu Valley?
The Tenboche is known as the cultural center of Khumbu Valley, and it is one of the most popular tourist sites in Nepal.
What is the history of Tengboche?
The monastery was built by a disciple of the 10th Ringpoche.
When was the Tengboche monastery built?
Tengboche monastery was built in 1916.