Dorje Drak Monastery

Dorje Drak was founded by the 1st Rigdzin Godemchen Ngodrub Gyaltsen (1337-1409) and Dorje Drak is regarded as one of the most important monasteries in Nyingmapa along with Mindroling.

Later in 1632, the kings of Tsang forcefully moved the monastery to the current location near Brahmaputra River on the northern bank. The young 3rd Rigdzin Ngagiwangpo and his guardian Jangdak Tashi Topgyal were also forced to flee by the kings of Tsang. However, 4th Rigdzin Pema Trinle successfully expanded the monastery before his untimely death at the hands of the Dzungar Mongolian, who sacked the monastery in 1717.

In the present days, the current or 10th Dordrak Rigdzin is residing in Lhasa and many of the monastery’s area are already renovated with the help of lcoal peoples, there use to be around 200 monks before the monastery was moved here. The current monastery lies along the mountain in the Shannan or Lhoka prefecture on the northern bank of Yarlung Tsangpo, so pilgrims and tourist also take the ferry from other side of the river to visit the monastery.

Guru Rinpoche and Pema Trinley (4th Rigdzin) are the main statues in the assembly hall where there are also some smaller chapels on the second floor. The monastery also feeds some of the Wild Goats (Nayak in Tibetan language), those animals are freed in the monastery campus and they also chase people around the stupas near the monastery.

Dordrak Tsechu is the mostly active retual ceremony at the monastery that holds every year on June 10th of Tibetan lunar calendar, hundreds of local pilgrims around the region gather at the monastery to see the ritual dances and other performances. In the early days the ferry from the southern bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo is the only way to get there, but in 2005 when the new tunel was built through the Kala mountain, then there is another way along the norther bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo without taking the ferry, but the road is still under construction and only unpaved road is available for the time.

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