Monday, September 28, 2015

Ladhak & Kashmir 2010 - Day 7 - Westwards - Rizong

6th July 2010

It was by chance that I looked to the right as we were driving towards Lamayuru and stopped just for a few seconds to run to the entrance an take a few pictures before driving on.

Here is a piece from the travel guide about this monastery.

It is a relatively new road. Rizong was among the last monasteries to become accessible by a motorable track. It is an impressive maze of white washed buildings high on a hill in a narrowing Canyon.

Founded in 1833 Rizong is one of Ladakh's newest monasteries and among its most isolated. There are no villages in its neighbourhood and the monastery forces a very strict regime of discipline for the 40 odd resident llamas. The story of it’s founding is fascinating. In 1815 a pious Ladaki merchant was driving a Caravan of mules laden with goods from Tibet when a thunderstorm forced him to break journey. Pitching camp, he dug a hole to collect the rain water for his mules to drink. Several weeks later on his way back as he passed by the place he was surprised to find the hole still full of water. Convinced the place was blessed, he vowed to set up a monastery there.

When the monastery was completed, the merchant Tshultim Nyima renounced the world and joined the clergy, eventually becoming the head lama. He was succeeded by his son, who it is believed was a tulku or a reincarnate lama. He was born after Nyima prayed to a high lama for a child. The aging lama promised to be reborn as his son soon after his imminent death. And sure enough, a son was born to Nyima.
Hailed as the reincarnate lama, the boy called Rizong Shas, eventually became the head lama and the Gompa’s abbots have since been reincarnate tulkus of the Rizong Shas lineage.

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