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Chagri Monastery

Coordinates: 27°35′54″N 89°38′50″E / 27.59833°N 89.64722°E / 27.59833; 89.64722
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Chagri Dorjeden Monastery
Chagri Monastery
Chagri Monastery, Bhutan
AffiliationTibetan Buddhism
SectSouthern Drukpa Lineage Kagyu
Chagri Monastery is located in Bhutan
Chagri Monastery
Location within Bhutan
Geographic coordinates27°35′54″N 89°38′50″E / 27.59833°N 89.64722°E / 27.59833; 89.64722
FounderNgawang Namgyal
Date established1620

Chagri Dorjeden Monastery, also called Cheri Monastery, is a Buddhist monastery in Bhutan established in 1620 by Ngawang Namgyal, 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche,[1] the founder of the Bhutanese state.

The monastery, which is now a major teaching and retreat center of the Southern Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, is located at the northern end of the Thimphu Valley about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the capital. It sits on a hill above the end of the road at Dodeyna and it takes about an hour to walk up the steep hill to reach the monastery from there.

According to Bhutanese religious histories, the place was first visited by Padmasambhava in the 8th century. In the 13th century it was visited by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo the Tibetan Lama who first established the Drukpa Kagyu tradition in Bhutan. Johnsingh (2005) describes the beauty of the place and the occurrence of goral there.

Chagri Monastery, Bhutan

Chagri Dorjeden was the first monastery established in Bhutan by Ngawang Namgyal in 1620 when he was 27 years old. The Zhabdrung spent three years in strict retreat at Chagri and resided there for many periods throughout the rest of his life. It was at Chagri in 1623 that he established the first Drukpa monastic order in Bhutan.

In 1705, the 7th Druk Desi, Umze Peljor, retired to Chagri Monastery, where he lived until his death in 1707.[2]



Cheri initiated a new chapter in the history of the Drukpa school. As soon as the temple was finished and the reliquary stupa installed, Zhabdrung introduced a monastic community of 30 monks according to the constitutional and procedural framework he had created for his fist monastic community in Ralung. These monks and the lay devotees, who gathered in Cheri, were taught by Lhawang Lodoe, who passed down the Drukpa teachings transmitted to him by Pema Karpo.

At the age of 33, he sent out edicts bearing his emblem of Ngachudruma, declaring 'all gods, humans and spirits of the Lhomonkhazhi, from this day, fall under the dominion of the great magician Nagwang Namgyal and everyone must heed to his words'.


  1. ^ "His Holiness the Je Khenpo begins tour of southern and eastern dzongkhags". Kuensel Newspaper. 6 March 2004. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2008.
  2. ^ Karma Phuntsho (2013), p. 301.


  • Dorji, Sangay (Dasho) (2008). The Biography of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal: Pal Drukpa Rinpoche. Kinga, Sonam (trans.). Thimphu, Bhutan: KMT Publications. ISBN 978-99936-22-40-6.
  • Seeds of Faith: A Comprehensive Guide to the Sacred Places of Bhutan (volume 1). Thimphu: KMT Publications. 2008.
  • Johnsingh, A. J. T. 2005. A paradise in the Himalaya. Frontline, January, 28: 67–72.