Chumur Monastery is the seat of the Venerable Chhoje Rinpoche. Located in an extremely remote area of Ladakh, India, it is situated on the northern border close to Tibet, standing at an altitude of 15,500 feet and surrounded by the snowy Himalaya and Karakoram ranges. It was founded in the 1940’s by the previous Chhoje Rinpoche (Chhoje Ngawang Trinley), a lineage holder of the Drukpa Kagyu tradition. His root teacher Drukpa Yongdzin Rinpoche was one of the great mahasiddhas and tertons of Tibet, who advised him to build the monastery in the Chumur region in Ladakh at a site that would be of great benefit to both the local community. Chhoje Rinpoche was an oracle and highly accomplished yogi whose retreat cave formed the core of the monastery, which grew organically around the site as more and more students flocked to him for teachings.
Due to its high elevation and difficult access, the conditions at the monastery are quite rugged. For years there was no heat or electricity and during the coldest winter months, and residents were required to seek practice situations at lower altitudes. In the later part of his life, many people came to receive the former Chhoje Rinpoche’s blessing, as well as to study under his guidance. To this day, the monastery provides a sacred space for the practice of the Buddha-Dharma, rooted in both the Kagyu and Nyingma schools.
Currently, the focus at Chumur stems from the Dudjom Tersar lineage and the teachings of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche. The number of monks residing at the monastery varies with the time of year. On average, 20 monks are in residence, although Chhoje Rinpoche hopes that in the future the monastery will house up to 100 monks. Through their diligent study and practice, the Chumur monks sustain the spiritual fabric and well-being of their local community, preserving sacred dharma ceremonies and practices for future generations.
Now, thanks to Rinpoche’s efforts and donations from the sangha, Chumur has a newly renovated main shrine room, lama’s quarters, library, kitchen and monks’ sleeping quarters. Several stupas surround the main shrine room area, and the monastery houses a large prayer wheel containing over 100,000,000 Mani mantras. The shrine room holds a remarkable collection of precious texts, relics, statues, and thangka paintings.
Construction of the new Chumur Labrang in Leh is progressing well.
Extensive renovation at Chumur Monastery
Chumur Monastery still requires significant and costly repairs. The most urgent need is the building of a 100 ft retaining wall to hold back an encroaching slope.