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Gyelrong Regional House Headquarters
(rgyal rong khang tshan)

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This, the main compound for this important regional house (khang tshang), has two courtyards. The one that is most accessible contains the main regional house temple. The other, directly west of the temple, is only accessible through a passageway leading from the temple on the second story. That smaller, western complex contains three stories of rooms around a central courtyard. All of the rooms in this portion are monks’ living quarters.

There has been considerable destruction of the buildings in the northeast portion of the main regional house courtyard, and it is unclear precisely where the boundaries of the compound are. There are no murals on the walls of the regional house temple. The main altar contains statues of several throneholders (khri pa) of Ganden (dga’ ldan). In order from left to right as one is facing the altar, these are (1) Ngawang Chömpel (ngag dbang chos ’phel, 1760-1839), the seventieth holder of the Ganden throne (dga’ ldan khri pa), student of the Eighth Dalai Lama. He is the first in the Takdrak (stag brag) incarnation lineage, and built a monastery at Taklungdrak Hermitage (stag lung brag ri khrod). (2) Jangchup Chömpel (byang chub chos ’phel, 1756-1838), sixty-ninth holder of the Ganden throne, and tutor to the Ninth Dalai Lama, who retired at Chupzang Hermitage (chu bzang ri khrod) in the Sera (se ra) foothills. (3) Jampel Tsültrim (’jam dpal tshul khrims, fl. late eighteenth and early nineteenth century), seventy-second holder of the throne of Ganden. It is unclear whether all of these figures were actually monks of the regional house.

There is a barely-visible, framed image (perhaps a self-arisen image [rang byung]) of the deity Damchen Chögyel (dam can chos rgyal) on the wall in the protector deity chapel (mgon khang). Pilgrims touch it to seek its blessings.