Gomphu Kora monastery, (near) Tashigang, Tashigang Dzongkhag, BT

Raw data

"The word Gomphu Kora stands for mediation cave (Gomphu) and Circumambulation (Kora). Located in eastern Bhutan, the monastery is approximately 24km away from Trashigang Town and is undeniably one of the most revered monasteries in Bhutan "

"After breakfast you will drive to Gom Kora temple. The other name of the temple is Gomphu Kora, which denotes a sacred meditation site of Guru Rinpoche. The Guru meditated in this temple and left a body impression on a rock, similar to that in Kurjey Lhakhang in Bumthang. The murals on the walls of the goemba / temple are believed to date from 15th century."

"Gom kora is a small temple to the east of the road 13 km north of Chazam [travelling - tmc] from Tashigang. Gomkora is a sacred meditation site of Guru Rimpoche …"

"Gomphu Kora: The Great Circumambulation at Gomphu
Gomphu Kora lies in the heart of the agrarian belt of eastern Bhutan. It is 23 kilometres from Trashigang Dzong, the headquarters of Bhutan’s most populous district, and two kilometers from Duksum, a quaint hamlet consisting of a few shops. […]
Gomphu Kora is one of these sites. In sheer sanctity, it is in the league of the Taktshang in Paro, Sengye Dzong in Lhuentse and Kurjey Lhakhang in Bumthang. In terms of historical antecedents, it is perhaps unequalled.
Buddhist scholars say that the site has been blessed with indefinite virtues and prayers: a mere visit cleanses one of sins, fulfill wishes and guides the path to Nirvana (liberation from the cycle of existence). They also point out that a single circumambulation at Gomphu Kora brings more spiritual merits to the devotees than reciting the divine mantra “Om Mani Padma Hung” or “Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum” 100,000 times elsewhere.
In Chokoey (a classical script used mainly by the clergy today), Gomphu means “Meditation Cave” and Kora means “Circumambulation”. The name is derived from a cave formed out of a rock-face next to a temple that has been built as a tribute to this sacred site.
The story of Gomphu Kora goes back to the 8th century AD. Legend has it that an evil non-human spirit named Myongkhapa escaped from Samye in Tibet when Guru Padmasambhava, the progenitor of the Nyingma strand of Buddhism, was spreading the Dharma in the Himalayas. Myongkhapa followed the course of the present-day Kholongchhu stream and concealed himself inside a rock where Gomphu Kora stands today. The Guru followed the evil, mediated for three days inside the rock cave and finally vanquished it. […]
The legacy of these encounters is still visible today. […].
Several prominent religious personalities have undertaken pilgrimage to Gomphu Kora in the past millennium. One of the earliest was Gongkhar Gyal, a twin grandson of Lhasay Tsangma, who built a small shrine at Gomphu Kora around the 10th century A.D. Gongkhar Gyal had by then established his noble lineage in Trashiyangtse.
A mendicant, Choying Gyatsho, is believed to have engraved mantras onto a stone at Gomphu Kora. This historical figure has later been identified as the son of the renowned treasure revealer Terton Dorji Lingpa. Terton Pema Lingpa, one of the five King Tertons, visited Gomphu Kora in the 14th century AD. He enlarged the existing shrine and revealed several treasures including a statue of the Buddha, Guru Padmasambhava’s amulet, the footprints of the Guru and his consort, and the footprints of the Guru’s riding horse. After this discovery, Ani Choten Zangmo, Pema Lingpa’s granddaughter who founded the Drametse monastery, undertook a pilgrimage to Gomphu Kora.
The Gomphu Kora temple was renovated and enlarged in the 15th century by Yongzin Ngagi Wangchuk, the grandfather of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel who founded Bhutan as a nation state. He also inscribed murals on the walls of the temple. Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay, the fourth temporal and spiritual ruler of Bhutan, followed his footsteps about a hundred years later and renovated the temple. […]
The Guru also meditated in a cave called Kapaliphu, about 15 minutes uphill walk from Gomphu Kora. […]
Input by: tmciolek, Sep 21, 2012

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 21 Sep 2012

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Gomphu Kora monastery, BT.

General location of the Gomphu Kora monastery, BT.
Lat 27.37867 Long 91.55963
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2012.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Gomphu Kora monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Bhutan:Tashigang Dzongkhag

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 27.37867 Long 91.55963 - based on visual identification of the site in maps/satellite imagery, maps.google.com - tmciolek, 21 Sep 2012.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Vajrayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag 0700-32p 0733-66p 0767-99p - tmciolek 07 Apr 2013
  • 0700-32p 0733-66p 0767-99p 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99c 1000-32c 1033-66c 1067-99c 1100-32c 1133-66c 1167-99c 1200=> dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

13. Date-late

  • MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 07 Apr 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Architecture, oral tradition

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

18. Available Printed Literature

  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 1]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 2]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 3]

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