Ugyen Choeling Manor

Ugyen Choeling Manor

A half an hour’s walk from the road end leads to the Ugyenchoeling Manor which overlooks the surrounding village.

In the middle of the 14th century, a Nyingmapa master, Longchen Rabjampa, built a little retreat there. At the end of the 14th century, the saint Dorje Lingpa decided to settle at the place where the great master had meditated and there he discovered numerous religious treasures. Of all the places in Bhutan where Dorje Lingpa lived, Ugyen Choeling seems to have been his favorite. His direct descendants took over his possessions and contributed to the spreading of his teachings.

It was in the 19th century that Terton Dorji Lingpa’s 15th blood descendant, Trongsa Penlop Tshokye Dorje, built the present structure seen today.

The earthquake of 1897 very badly damaged the manor. The Jakar Dzongpon, Ugyen Dorje, Tshokye Dorje’s grandson rebuilt a large part of it at the beginning of this century. The people of the valley respectfully refer to the manor as the dzong, and the lords of Ugyenchoeling experienced a golden century from the time of Trongsa Penlop Tshokye Dorje up to the middle of the 20th century. Ugyenchoeling is still a private property owned by the same family.

The manor has a large building, the Jokhang, which contains two temples with imposing statues and paintings dating from the beginning of the 20th century. The temple on the ground floor is dedicated to Tara, the Goddess of Compassion, and the one on the first floor to Jowo, the Buddha as a young prince.

Through the initiative of the Ugyen Choeling family themselves, a very interesting museum of the history and life of Ugyenchoeling was opened in May 2001. The Museum has several floors of the central tower, the Utse. It offers a unique opportunity to get to know life in a lord’s mansion before 1950. There is also a small tavern with six simple rooms, in an old building in the garden adjoining the main residence.

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