Ogyen Choeling Monastery

Ogyen Choling Monastery in the beautiful valley of Tang, Bumthang is a family owned monastery that has been transformed into a museum. The museum provides a rare glimpse into the lifestyles and conditions of Bhutanese feudal landlords before the social reforms in the 1950s.

The history of Ogyen Choling begins with the visit of the great Tibetan master and the most celebrated writer and philosopher of the Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism, Longchen Rabjam (1308-63). The establishment later became a center for the Tibetan saint Dorji Lingpa (1346-1405), a great terton (treasure revealer) of the Nyingmapa Sect. The fifteenth generation descendant of Dorji Lingpa, Tsokye Dorji, is the best known historical personality who served as the Trongsa Penlop or "governor of Trongsa". In 1853, he handed over the post of governorship to Jigme Namgyal, the father of Ugyen Wangchuck. Jigme Namgyal became the first hereditary monarch of Bhutan.

This fascinating structure is located on the hilltop in Tang Valley overlooking the meandering river, beautiful fields and evergreen conifer forests. The impressive and well-captioned exhibits offer insight into the lifestyle of a Bhutanese noble family in the not too distant past.

Kuenzang Choden, a Bhutanese writer, is the curator for the Orgyen Choeling Monastery and Museum. If present at the time of your visit, Kuenzang will talk to you and walk you through the history of the establishment. She presently lives in Thimphu with her Swiss husband and children.