Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
A Survey of Bonpo Monasteries
by Dondrup Lhagyal, Phuntso Tsering Sharyul, Tsering Thar, Charles Ramble and Marietta Kind
Edited by Samten G. Karmay and Yasuhiko Nagano
National Museum of Ethnology and THL
Reproduced with permission from the authors
under the THL Digital Text License.

’Bar khams

(182) ’Bo la Monastery

1. Name

The monastery’s full name is ’Bo la sTobs ldan glang chen dgon.

2. Location

The monastery is located 2 km north of ’Bar khams.

3. History

According to oral tradition, the monastery’s history goes back more than a thousand years, but no one knows its details. It seems that it was connected to a master called ’Bro re bla ma who was born in ’Bo la village. It was wrecked during the Cultural Revolution and was rebuilt in the late 1980s.

’Bo la was formerly a branch of ’Bar khams gYung drung lha steng. After the conversion of ’Bar khams Monastery to the dGe lugs pa tradition in the 18th century ’Bo la Monastery was left without a proprietor.

Tshul khrims bstan ’dzin (b.1928) was chosen among the monks to be the head of the present monastery.

4. Hierarchical system

  • dgon bdag
  • one dbu mdzad
  • one dge skos
  • three gnyer pa (one gnyer pa rgan pa, senior and gnyer pa gzhon pa, junior)

The incumbents of these positions are replaced every two years.

5. Current number of monks

The monastery counted thirty-three novices and monks in autumn 1998.

6. Current education

There is no particular system, the novices are trained by the elder monks.

8 / 9. Rituals

Annual ritual of offering the sacrificial cake (tshogs) one thousand times to the protective goddess Srid rgyal drel dmar from the 3rd to the 9th day of the 5th month and the performance of the ritual cycle of sTag la for three days in winter time with no fixed dates.

10. Income and expenses

The monastery has no regular Sources of income. It depends on offerings from the faithful. The monks provide their own food.

12. Local community

The local lay community of the monastery consists of three villages: Dur ma with twenty families, Zhig bro with twenty families and Hor pa with eighty families.

13. Local festivals

The mountain behind the monastery has a la btsas dedicated to the local deity called ’Bo la dPal chen skyong ri and the propitiation festival takes place on the 13th day of the 6th month.

14. Occupation of the local people



(1) Interviews

In autumn 1998 with: Tshe dbang (b.1937), a monk at the monastery, dBang ldan (b.1923), a lay sponsor of the monastery

(2) Texts
  1. rNga khul ’bar khams rdzong gi ’bo la dgon pa’i lo rgyus mdor bsdus in rNga ba khul gyi dgon pa’i lo rgyus, Religion Bureau and the Buddhist Association of the rNga ba Prefecture, MS., pp.197-198

Note Citation for Page

Dondrup Lhagyal, Phuntso Tsering Sharyul, Tsering Thar, Charles Ramble, and Marietta Kind, A Survey of Bonpo Monasteries and Temples in Tibet and the Himalaya (Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology, 2003), .

Bibliographic Citation

Dondrup Lhagyal, Phuntso Tsering Sharyul, Tsering Thar, Charles Ramble, and Marietta Kind. A Survey of Bonpo Monasteries and Temples in Tibet and the Himalaya. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology, 2003.