Thowadra Monastery

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Thowadra Monastery is a cliffside Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the Tang Valley of Bhutan. Thowadra means "high rock", given its location and altitude of 3,400 metres (11,155 feet).


The site was blessed by Guru Rinpoche or Padmasambhava, who came here to meditate during the 8th century. He is said to have left behind a wooden bird which he used to expel an evil king from Khenpajong. The monastery itself was founded in 1238 by Lorepa (1187-1250), the Drukpa Kagyupa lama who established Choedrak Monastery.

The site was originally a hermitage, once sanctified by the presence of both Longchen Rabjampa and Dorje Lingpa.[1] A Nyingmapa Tibetan Buddhist community was established later in the 18th century by Changchub Gyeltsen (Jigme Kundrel), a disciple of Dzogchen master Jigme Lingpa (1730-1798). A noted nun plagued with leprosy, Gelongma Pelmo also meditated here.[2]

Since the 18th century it has been occupied by followers of Jigme Lingpa (1729-1798), who was one of the most important tertöns of Tibet, and Jigme Kundrol of the Longchen Nyingthig tradition. Thowadra marks the entrance to the beyul (hidden sacred land) of Khenpajong consecrated by Guru Rinpoche east of Lhedam in North Bumtang and in the district of Lhuntse.[3]


  1. ^ Dorje (1999), p. 861.
  2. ^ Pommaret (2006), p. 252.
  3. ^ Dorje (1999), p. 861.


  • Dorje, Gyurme (1999). Tibet Handbook with Bhutan. Footprint Handbooks. Bath, England. ISBN 1-900949-33-4.
  • Pommaret, Francoise. (2006) Bhutan: Himalayan Mountain Kingdom, Fifth Edition (Odyssey Illustrated Guides) (Paperback). ISBN 978-962-217-757-4.

Coordinates: 27°38′56″N 90°53′44″E / 27.64889°N 90.89556°E / 27.64889; 90.89556