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Zhungpa Regional House Headquarters
(gzhung pa khang tshan)

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Zhungpa Regional House (gzhung pa khang tshan) is one of the largest regional houses of Sera Mé (se ra smad). This is its main compound. It has two temples. The original temple (east) is smaller, and is presently closed, being used for storage. It was in use as the main temple of Zhungpa Regional House during the lifetime of one elderly monk who is still living in the compound. By the 1930s or ’40s Zhungpa had grown to the point where the monks needed a new temple, and so they negotiated with the monks of the adjacent Tewo (the po) Regional House (then on the northwest corner of the Zhungpa compound) to take over their compound, incorporating it into Zhungpa. At this point Tewo relocated up the hill to a different site. It was then that the larger, newer temple (west), was built. Like most of the buildings at Sera, this temple fell into disrepair after 1959. It was restored in 1990, and today serves as the main temple/meeting hall for the monks. All of the statues in the temple are new, although there is apparently preserved an old statue of Yamāntaka that dates from the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama. This newer temple also housed 1000 images of Tārā before their destruction during the Cultural Revolution.

The original regional house kitchen now serves as a place for wood storage. The new kitchen (located directly across from the new regional house temple) was built during the new temple restoration. The Sera Monastery restaurant used to be located in the Zhungpa Regional House compound. It was moved outside the walls of the monastery to its present location at some point in the last fifteen years.

The statue of the founder of the regional house (Jokpo Rinpoché, ’jog po rin po che) on the main altar contains the relics of this saint. The original statue was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, but the monks were able to locate it, and to extract from it the reliquary remains, which were then placed inside the new statue.

The lama residence (bla brang) of Dakpa Rinpoché (dag pa rin po che), located above and behind the old temple, today serves as offices and working space for the general monastery administration. This lama (bla ma) was a former holder of the Ganden (dga’ ldan) throne.

Geshé Yeshé Topden (dge bshes ye shes stobs ldan, long-time retreatant in Dharamsala, India, and the first resident teacher at Istituto Lama Tsongkhapa, Italy) was one of the more renowned recent teachers from this regional house. He died in the 1990s while in retreat in India. His funerary stūpa (gdung rten) is housed in the Zhungpa Regional House at Sera-India.