DHENDUP CHOEDING DRUBDEY

In 1730, Lama Sangay Zangpo visited the place where Dhendup Choeding Drubdey is located today. Lama Sangay Zangpo was a staunch follower of Togden Shakya Shri. After his death, he chose to be reborn as a son of Lama Kuenzang Chophel, the disciple of 9th Je Khenpo Shakya Rinchen. When he was eighteen years of age, he was enrolled as a monk in Punakha and he completed his studies in fifteen years’ time which was considered extra-ordinary given the vastness of syllabus against a lot of hardships.

It is said that his teacher sent him back to his village after completing his studies because they believed that he was destined to benefit the people of Eastern Bhutan. While returning to his village, he decided to build a monastery at Tsanphu which is located at some distance from his village. The monastery was famous but there was no one to take care of it after his death and was in ruins.

However, it was quite surprising to see his bedroom, his religious texts and important religious artefacts have remained intact although other buildings have all crumbled down.

Many years later, Lama Nidup Gyelpo, a disciple of Togdhen Shakya Shri was appointed as a Lama for that monastery. However, nothing is known about the person who was appointed. The appointment revived the faith in the Buddha Dharma but it did not last long and the monastery continued to be left neglected for years at stretch.

When H.E. Gyeltshen Trulku Rinpoche found the monastery later, there was nothing but the ruins covered with tall plants that had grown overtime.

In 1992, Rinpoche and Lam Neten Namgay of Mongar renovated the monastery and additionally built a hall, which could accommodate eighteen monks to practice yoga, a kitchen, a guest house and a store. The narrow footpath was also expanded to allow mules to transport food supplies. To date, the Government is sponsoring the monks by paying for their food and other necessities.

Many people are meditating there with support from the monastery. Each of them spends at least six to nine years in meditation. The monastery is provided with solar lighting and telecommunication facilities and is connected with road with the donations that were collected from general public.