Jangchub Choeling Monastery in Pokhara

Jangchub Choeling Monastery is one of the most prominent and old monasteries in Pokhara. In 1967, Jangchub Choeling Monastery was officially established under the guidance of Lama Dupsing Rinpoche by HH the 14th Dalai Lama. Over the years, the monastery was continuously expanded with increasing the facilities.

At first, there were only 35 monks who reside in the Jangchub Choeling Monastery, but this monastery has become home to hundreds of monks. Over the past several years, the Jangchub Choeling Monastery has become able to collect and store many volumes of Kagyu texts and Tengyur (commentary by the Indian Buddhist Masters).

A brief history of Jangchub Choeling Monastery

Back in 1963, HH the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa asked Lama Dupseng Rinpoche to move to Pokhara in order to suffice the religious requirements of the locals residing there. He moved there, and a small monastery was built for carrying Buddhist rites and ceremonies. Slowly as the number of devotees begins to grow many guardians began to Lama Dupseng Rinpoche to ordain their sons as monks.

Later in 1967, HH the 14th Dalai Lama named the monastery, Jangchub Choeling Monastery and officially ran the monastery under the direction of Lama Dupseng Rinpoche. After three years the Lama Dupseng Rinpoche moved the monastery to its current location in order to expand the area and improve the facility. However, in 1976 soon after the transfer of the monastery, Lama Dupseng Rinpoche died and left the newly inaugurated monastery without a guide and a certain future.

Then, in 1978, HH the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa appointed Shangpa Rinpoche who was 23 years old back then. He was made Chief Abbot of the monastery. After a few years, H.E. Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche requested Shangpa Rinpoche to be the resident Rinpoche for Singapore for the benefit of the Buddhists there. Since then Shangpa Rinpoche begins to travel to Singapore and many Karma Kagyud Centers in South East Asia.

In 1991, the shrine hall was built and H.E Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche inaugurated the monastery once again. However, the place for prayer is not enough for monks to acquire a full intelligence of the Buddhist belief. Therefore donations were asked to establish a Buddhist educational institute. In 1996, December, the Vikrama Shila Buddhist Institute was completed, and one more project was under construction. Another project was to build large dormitory rooms to give place to all the monks, which was completed in 1998, January.

Things to know about Jangchub Choeling Monastery

  • The Shrine Hall: Shrine Hall presents the traditional Tibetan architecture even though built up by using modern building materials. Inside the hall is a, you will see a statue of Buddha, which is a 7-foot tall and plated with copper & gold.
  • On the back of the statute is 1000 small Buddha figures representing the 1000 Buddhas believed to exist in this 'Fortunate Era'.
  • On the wall, you will find paintings that portray the life of Buddha from birth to Nirvana. These paintings were made by the Tibetan artist Mr. Dhawa.
  • In the right and left side of the entranceway, you will see pictures of the six ornaments and two supreme ones that beautify Buddha's instructions.
  • On the walls facing the Buddha figures are portraits of the 16 Arhats who supported Buddha's education after he passed away.
  • The second floor of the Shrine Hall is kept as residence and meeting place of the Chief Abbot Shangpa Rinpoche.
  • The third floor is home to the chapel for the Lineage Masters. You will see artistic clay figures and images of the Lineage Masters of the Kagyudpa Traditions inside of the chapel.
  • The chapel also holds 102 volumes of the Kagyur (Buddha's word) and 215 volumes of the Tengyur (commentary by the Indian Buddhist Masters).