The 1960s is the beginning of Thupten Choling Monastery's history. The well-known lama Trulsik Rinpoche fled from Rongbuk Gompa in Tibet to the Khumbu region during the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, followed by a significant group of followers, including anis (nuns) and monks. He spent several years residing at Chiwong and other monasteries while aspiring to return to Tibet. Finally, in 1968, Rinpoche constructed Thupten Choling on donated property close to Junbesi. The monastery needed to be carefully constructed because it started to fall apart in the 1990s. After everything, he saw the location as a temporary retreat and continued to assume that he and his followers would be able to return to the homeland. However, when Chinese dominance over Tibet grew stronger and Buddhist leaders were forbidden from leaving, Rinpoche decided to establish a permanent residence at Thupten Choling in 2001.
The demolition of the ancient structures and ceremonial preparation for the new foundation marked the beginning of Thupten Choling's reconstruction. The friends of Trulsik Rinpoche provided generous financial support from Switzerland to help construct the new monastery, which Michael Schmitz planned. Mr. Schmitz and Helen Cawley, including the architecture, supply chains, and medical services, have overseen all aspects of the project. The rebuilding of the Thupten Choling monastery officially began in the year 2001.
Currently, several hundred Buddhist nuns and monks (80% of them being Tibetan refugees) live in the Thupten Choling monastery. As dozens of newcomers join the monasteries community each year, the population of the monastery only flourishes day by day.
However, the massive earthquake in April 2015 wrecked the beautiful infrastructure. This disaster caused severe damage to the ancient structures. During the rainy seasons, the monastery residents were compelled to live in tents because some of the walls had cracks in them.
The monks had requested financial assistance from Western organizations. The monastery has recently undergone a lot of necessary repairs and modernization, using solar energy for power consumption, electric cooktops for using it in the kitchen, etc.
Where is Thupten Choling?
The path leading to the monastery begins close to the stupa at the village's northern border. The path ascends alongside Junbesi's stream, crosses it on a suspension bridge past Mopung's power plant, and then leads to the enormous golden-topped stupa with exquisite golden figures against a blue background. About 2.5 kilometers distinguish the community and the stupa. There is an additional 1.5 km of elevation after the stupa. The monastery is situated at the height of roughly 3,000 meters. It would be the tallest point for the subsequent days, making it a potential great estrus walk.
It's a lovely stroll through the emerald evergreen forest and along a stream to get to the monastery. The path is somewhat strenuous and travels way up. Typically, it might take a little more than an hour to get to the monastery, but the route's splendor encourages a leisurely stroll.
The exquisite Thupten Choling monastery is on its way to Pikey Peak of Solokhumbu district. The monastery heartily welcomes everyone with a calming ambiance. It savors the rich culture and tradition of the ethnic Sherpa community. So, you must not miss this golden opportunity to visit the peaceful Thupten Choling monastery to purify your soul and experience a serene adventure.
Picture Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHLGqYiF2c8