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1 Aug 2022 Nabin Baniya

Monasteries in Everest region

Monasteries in Everest Region

Everest Region has lots of Sherpa villages and settlements with full of Sherpa people. The people on this region follow the Buddhism religion. For the Buddhist people there are many monasteries along the way to Everest base camp Trail and around. Here are some of the popular and important monasteries that we know and see during Everest trekking.

Lukla Monastery

The small Nyingma-pa Gompa is access down a lane on the left, off the main streets by Dreamland lodge and before Mera lodge. The path Heads down to North Face Himalaya resort and then right where the Gompa can be seen. There are five cons inside. They are the red guru, Guru Rimpoche center, the white Sanayduma, Buddha and Chenresig.   We can see colorful wheel of life outside, the usual guardians and an image of MI Tsering. Mi Tsering is the wise man of khambu who tells jokes at the main festival.

Now 15 to 35 monks and students are active here. Visit the monastery the Thangka painting school which offers some works for sale. It will be support for the Monastery and local artist.

Namche Monastery

The small Gompa high on the north side of the Namche bowl is worth to visit. This Nyingma-pa monastery house is a fine new golden image of Chenresig, the Tibetan bodhisattva knows as Avalkiteshvara in Nepal. On the lower level there is a large image of Guru Rinpoche with an image of the Sakamuni Buddha and two Taras. Sakyamuni Buddha is the earthly born Buddha in Nepal and two tara are female deities linked to Buddha. There is also Interesting chamber of two prayer wheels.

The First House has Guru Rinpoche and eight of his other manifestations along with 21 Taras. The eight images are Lodan, Choged, Shakya segge, Padma sambhava, Sengge dragtop, Dorje drolod, Tsoke  dorje in yab-yum, Padma gyalpo and Nima odzer.  The second chamber has hundreds of Buddha Images.

Mende Monastery

Mende Monastery belongs primarily to the Nyingma-pa. It also finds favor with the Gelug-pa sect. The cave of the Founding lama is just 3 minutes slightly uphill to the east. After he died in1944, he become known as the Zapo Rinpoche. The new incarnate was found in Thame as a young boy and come to the site where the monastery has been constructed. Inside the main chamber along with the back alter are statues of Sakyamuni, Chenresig, Guru Rinpoche and the green tara. In front of the glass there is an alter which is the Gelug-pa icons, Tsong khapa and his Disciples, Shariputea etc.

Now the monastery has electricity facilities. It is installed since the hotel was built. The present reincarnate of Zopa Rinpoche has been abroad for the last few years and has a large following in America. There is also a nunnery just down the hill in a grove of trees on the high high path towards thame.

Thamo Monastery

For long time this is formerly a small Gompa which was always locked and decrepit looking. Now a super Building with large courtyard has been built. It is called kari garden Tenpheling. This is a rare to find a Gelukpa sect institution in the Sherpa region. It is also a Ninnery. The Dalai Lama holds a central Buddha and a Gelukpa lama with his yellow hat. The Eight symbols of Tibetan Buddhism are displayed. Ten nuns currently reside in this complex.

Thame Monastery

Thame Monastery is yet further uphill and takes another 30-45 minutes to reach. Agin the monastery is the best visited in the morning when views are better. The monastery is over 300 years old and was established by Lama Sangwa Dorje.  Rebuilt after the earthquake, the Nyingma-pa monastery has a large courtyard are with sun kettle dish. The four Guardians are present of course with a graphic wheel of life illustration and the harmonious friends standing on the elephant. A big wheel is on hand to pass the prayers skywards. There is also two fearsome protectors, the red Tamdrin (hayagriva) and the dark Channa Dorje (Varjapani).

Inside it is surprisingly bare but with vast collections of Buddhist books. Buddha, Chenresig and guru Rinpoche are clear. Here is also the photo of revered lama trulsik rinpoche who is also abbot of the Thubten Chholing Monastery above Junbensi. Upto 35 monks are in residence here. There are couples of newish lodges here and some are steep steps.

Note: The Theme Mani Rimbu Festival Is held in May.

Khumjung Monastery

Khumjung Monastery is well worth a visit ad we can see the Kumjung villages and houses. We can see yeti scalp here. We can see lama with key of Gompa and donations are welcomed. Inside the main chamber there is various deiies, guru Rinpoche again taes center stage with his consorts. Here they are according to the Guardian, re Pa-Meh, The small red vision on the right and Chowo Yeshe Norbu o the left.

To the right there is Jawa Changba in gold and to the left is the White Chenresig. The Yeti Scalp is the metal box under wraps.

Pangboche Monastery

The monastery at pangboche used to house the so-called yeti scalp. Now it is disappeared. The monastery is the oldest in Khumbu region. Here is up to 20 monks perform ceremonies here. We can again find Guru Rinpoche and consorts. Outside are paintings of the four main Guardian deities and the eight auspicious signs of each side of the doors.

Tengboche Monastery

The first monastery here was established in 1916. It takes 3 year to construct. This is established by Chatang Chotor more often know as lama Gulu. This has ties with the Rongbuk monastery close to the base of Everest on the Tibetan north side. A devastating fire occurred in 1989. Before also the monastery was damaged by earthquake and lama Gulu died soon after earthquake. The monastery was gutted and some of its treasures were lost.

The new monastery has slowly been rebuilt and is now complete. The current Rinpoche, Ngawand Tenzin Jangpo was born in 1953 on the same day as the Dalai Lama. After a visit by his family to the Rongbuk Monastery, He was recognized as the incarnate of lama Gulu. His Initial training took place on Tibet and he return to Tengbochea in 1956. He is now very active in promoting all aspects of Buddhism and conservation.

Phakding Monastery

Phakding Monastery has been enlarged there is a view of Thamserku, part of Kusum Kanguru and way north of Tawache in the clear weather. Some says Everest is visible from the higher up the ridge. This monastery is Nyingma-pa and is quite active. There are around 20 monks and nuns in residence and offering puja, usually in the mornings we understand. The main building houses a fearsome vision of Guru Rinpoce holiding his usual Vajra?Dorje, the mace of skulls and vase-like objects.

On either side of him are even more fearsome visions. These two female deities are his consorts known in Nepal generally as Yeshe Tsogyal and Mandarava. The figure on the light is a very strange looking white demon with a ghastly month and fearsome eyes. The other is equally fearsome and is known equally as Dorje Tapu.  If you able to get permits to visit upstairs, you will find a smaller chamber housing. There are prayer books, mask of the long-life man Mi Tsering. Outside of the courtyard is used for celebrations of many festivals as well as yearly Dumje Puja. This is helping to refocus and reawaken the old traditions and festival of Sherpa.

5% Booking on Everest base camp trek on New year and Christmas.

The courtyard has dome amazing old silk and wood-painted panels that exposed the elements. These displayed three images, one reminiscent of Tsong Khapa, Founder of the later Gelug-pa sect of the Dalai Lama, one of the Sakyamuni Buddha and one astonishing Yab-yum figure. The yab-yum figure is the image of the Buddha and his consort in a close physical embrace. This is tantric image closely associated with the Nyingma-pa.

This Yab-yum is particularly interesting, in that it represents the fearsome version with the Ugly three-headed male demon embracing his consort and standing on corpses. The monks and nuns here were preparing and taking their traditional breakfast Tsampa balls and butter tea.

Kyarok Monastery

Access to this little visited sanctuary is steeply uphill next to a signboard heading left. The Kyarok Sangngag choing monastery is one of the oldest in this region. It follows the Nyingma-pa old traditions and is overseen by kerok Ga nga lama. W can see picture of Gaga lam on gompa. The main icons in the dark chamber included on the left Tsuma with five Skulls and a fearsome appearance in red color. Guru Rinpoche take certain stages on and the right is a Fierce snow lion icon with the name unknown.

Books are on the remaining space here. Outside are the Familiar wheel of life and Guardians of the four directions. On the right is an unusual painting of a stupa. It looks quite modern in age and design.

Trulsik Rinpoche

Trulsik Rinpoce was born in Lho Talung, Tibet in 1923. At the age of four, he was recognized by Ngawang Tenzin as the reincarnation of the noted master Trulsik tendru, studing at Mindroling monastery southeast of Lasha. In 1959 he took refuge in Nepal at Chiwong, near Phaphlu. The monastery grew incredibly to its current state, assuming an important position in Everest region for monks’ nuns, pilgrimage and even trekkers. Trulsik Rinpoche Passed away in September 2011 at the age of 88.

Chiwong Monastery

It is in the Soulkhambu region north of Phaphul airfield high up around 2800m.  The areas of solukhambu is a scared valey-by for serpa people. The late Sangay lama founded Chiwong Monasery in 1923 but his lineage goes back to Tiber and the Kham region.  This is the same place ehere Sherpa people cove over 500 years ago. Some very wise and learned Rinpoches have spent time at Chiwong. Amongst the most reversed were Dza-Rongphuk Sangey Ngawang Tenzing Jangpo and an earlier Trulsik Rinpoche who lived at the Monastery from 1960 to 1967.

The colourful Mani Rimdu Festival is hed here in spring with masked Dancing and recitals of the great Buddhist texts. Between 10 and 20 monks can be found at the Monastery at any one time. The Chiwong Monastey Sangey trust is helping to maintain and preserve the site.

These entire monasteries in Everest region add beauty to these regions. Monastery is also one region for international travelers. We have to do Everest base camp trek from Jiri, Everest base camp trek from salleri to see some of the monastery. Some monasteries are down below lukla so those who fly lukla will miss some monastery. Many monasteries are near the route to Everest base camp but monastery in Thame and Thame are not on route. We have to do Renjo la pass trek or Everest three high pass treks to visit there. Everest base camp luxury trek and Everest base camp Yoga trek also have opportunities to visit theses places. Those yoga trekkers also do meditation on monastery. Those people Doing Everest base camp helicopter tour also able to see many monastery along the trail because the helicopter fly on a side of monastery.

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