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Boudhanath Thrangu Monastery
Thrangu Tashi Choling (abbr. Thrangu Monastry), located close to the Great Stupa of Boudhanath, was founded by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche in 1979 when construction began. The ancient stupa is a major pilgrimage site for all buddhists, one of the most important holy places in Nepal and is also the largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet.
In accordance with the wishes of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche left Tibet and moved to Nepal. At the time of purchasing the land, there were only a few monasteries in Boudhanath and the area surrounding the Stupa was mostly rice fields. Rinpoche was just getting established in Nepal and had very little money. It was originally planned to be a library and then a shedra but then it became possible to build a small monastery. Later it became neccessary to expand to accommodate many monks who continuously came to join the monastery.
These days, Thrangu Monastery is the center of monastic life for nearly 250 monks. They receive training in ritual practices, study Dharma and learn to read and write in Tibetan and also learn English.
The older monks take turns yearly learning different jobs in the monastery, such as Discipline Master, Shrine Keepers, monastery management, taking care of the young monks, teaching the other monks and even tasks such as cooking, cleaning and driving. The monks also chant special prayers as requested and often go to private homes to do pujas for the deceased, for new homes, etc.
Those who show capacity and have the desire, will take full ordination (gelong) and study in the shedra (monastic college) and do the traditional three-year retreat to train to be a lama.
There are many monks under the age of eighteen and most of these boys are from rural areas of Nepal, particularly the mountain areas bordering Tibet. Some come from Tibet, India and Bhutan.From an early age, they learn to develop the good habits and discipline that will serve them and others throughout their live.
To date, the monastery has produced twenty-two fully trained lamas and seven qualified Khenpos who are now teaching in the shedras at Namo Buddha and in Sarnath.