Nestled in the lap of captivating valley of Bumthang, Lhodrak Kharchu is a monastery of great significance in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. It is believed to have been founded in 1984 by Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche, a descendent from a Tibetan lama whose spiritual lineage is traced back to one of the close disciples of the great Buddhist Guru Padmasambhava. It is important to note that the very first Namkhai Nyingpo was one amongst the twenty-five disciples of Padmasambhava who was regarded as the master of Dzogchen and the master of Tantric Path.
It is believed that the Namkhai Nyingpo took rebirth in 1966 in Eastern Bhutan. The child was recognized as Rinpoche and a seventh reincarnation at a very young age of 6, by His Highness, the 16th Karmapa. Growing up, Rinpoche felt a dire need to set up a monastery in order to preserve the age-old traditions of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism in Bhutan. At a tender age of 16, he bought a small piece of land in Bumthang and built a two storey monastery, large enough to accommodate 70 monks.
Since then, Lhodrak Kharchhu has grown to a considerable extent. Presently, it houses a massive Tshokhang or the Assembly Hall with imposing statues of Guru Rinpoche, Shakyamuni Buddha and Rigzin
Goedam (a great Tibetan treasure discoverer during 15th century). The complex also contains within it huge monk quarters, which are home to more than 400 monks, a Shedra (college for higher studies in Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism), Drubdra (college for training in ritual practices, ceremonies and meditation), a dormitory of 33 rooms as well as a library, office and a guest house. A large terrace area is yet another highlight for the tourists travelling here, providing them with breath-taking views of the Chhoekhor Valley and the majestic Jakar Dzong, which stands strong against an enchanting backdrop of the snow-crowned peaks.