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Table 2: Tenzin Delek Monasteries





Current status

Kham Nalendra Thegchen Jangchub Choeling

(a.k.a. Orthok monastery)

(formerly known as Geden Tashi Dargyeling)

Thangkarma Holong township, Nyagchu county

Begun 1988; Main structure completed 1993

Tenzin Delek’s main monastery, all others are branches;

Included a School of Dialectics and a School of Medicine;

Population some 700 monks including: 40 in the medicine school; 360 at the dialectics school; 60 novices; 80-90 senior monks; and 170 studying at monasteries in Lhasa.

Open but size greatly reduced; some 290 monks remain;

August 2003 unconfirmed threats of demolition.

Jamyang Choekhorling

Nyagchukha, Nyagchu county

Property purchased 1991; Main structure (first chapel) completed in 1994

Tenzin Delek’s residence since 1998 after authorities required he stay close to the Nyagchu county seat.

Official population limit 25 monks; some 40 in April 2002.

Closed by police after Tenzin Delek’s arrest;

By April 2003 a few monks were in residence although the monastery is officially closed.

Tsun-gon Dechen Choeling

Dzomkhog Golog township, Nyagchu county


Nunnery; estimated population 30-60 nuns in April 2002.

Estimated 25-50 nuns remain.

Golog Thegchen Namdrol-ling

Golog township, Nyagchu county


Estimated population 25-40 monks, most of them novices, in April 2002.

Estimated 8-25 monks remain.

Tsochu Ganden Choeling

Tha-ngo Mara township, Nyagchu county


Estimated population 30-40 monks in April 2002.

Estimated 3 monks remain.

Golog Tashikyil

Wamda Gating Golog township,

Nyagchu county


Remote but warmer location for the younger students from Ortok school to live and study during the winter.

Residents included the students in winter, teachers, and monks in retreat.

Three monks remain: one caretaker, and 2 monks in retreat.

Kham Choede Chenmo Jangsen Phengyal-ling

(a.k.a. Detsa monastery)

Thrado Detsa township,

Nyagchu county

Early 1990s

Monastery primarily for preliminary assessment and education of novice monks and nuns.

Estimated population 140-160 monks in April 2002.

Estimated 60 monks remain.


Kechukha, Nyagchu county

1998- 2000

Initial population 40-70 monks.

Monks in residence sent home after Tenzin Delek’s arrest; monastery closed.

Tshe-gon Shedrub Dargyeling


Tshaka/Maya district, Lithang county

New structure completed 1995

Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism (the others are Gelugpa school);

Monastery not founded by Tenzin Delek;

Is not a branch of Orthok monastery;

Left under overall tutelage of Tenzin Delek in early 1990s.

Estimated population 330 monks in April 2002.

Estimated 290 monks remain.

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February 2004