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Spiritual and Spatial Significance of Choedrak Monastery in the Cultural Geography of Bhutan

Spiritual and Spatial Significance of Choedrak Monastery in the Cultural Geography of Bhutan Ancient monasteries in Bhutan are an immense asset to the country both in terms of tangible architecture and intangible cultural and religious values. Initially, they were built owing to the interconnected spatial and spiritual significance of the particular place and its concerned divine master. These monasteries have prolifically aided in the propagation of Buddhism as well as defining the very architecture of Bhutan. However, due to the unavailability of rigorous research about it, many monasteries are off the radar of government and scholars with some of them in dire need of restoration. The paper attempts to document and highlight the spatial and spiritual significance of Tharpaling, particularly the Choedrak monastery, which is located in Chumey village under Bumthang district, Bhutan. Having been impregnated sacredness by the visit of Guru Rinpoche (precious master), the subsequent visit of Gyalwa Lorepa reassured the impetus for the transformation of a mere cave into a monastery complex. In conjunction with it, Choedrak is revered as one of the four sacred Drak (cliff) temples of Guru Rinpoche and attracts tourists as well as locals to receive blessings and for extended retreat purposes. Architecturally, the main temple of the Choedrak is a resemblance of a typical monastery architecture of Bhutan incorporating traditional features such as whitewashed tapering stone wall adorned with wooden windows, floating-like roof, and colorful elegance of the interiors. The current study is intended to further signify its place in the cultural heritage dictionary of Bhutan and consequently harness opportunities from the relevant agencies such as the Division for Conservation of Heritage Sites for appropriate and sound solutions for the preservation of the monastery. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archaeologies Springer Journals

Spiritual and Spatial Significance of Choedrak Monastery in the Cultural Geography of Bhutan

Archaeologies , Volume 17 (3) – Dec 1, 2021

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © World Archaeological Congress 2021
ISSN
1555-8622
eISSN
1935-3987
DOI
10.1007/s11759-021-09432-z
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Ancient monasteries in Bhutan are an immense asset to the country both in terms of tangible architecture and intangible cultural and religious values. Initially, they were built owing to the interconnected spatial and spiritual significance of the particular place and its concerned divine master. These monasteries have prolifically aided in the propagation of Buddhism as well as defining the very architecture of Bhutan. However, due to the unavailability of rigorous research about it, many monasteries are off the radar of government and scholars with some of them in dire need of restoration. The paper attempts to document and highlight the spatial and spiritual significance of Tharpaling, particularly the Choedrak monastery, which is located in Chumey village under Bumthang district, Bhutan. Having been impregnated sacredness by the visit of Guru Rinpoche (precious master), the subsequent visit of Gyalwa Lorepa reassured the impetus for the transformation of a mere cave into a monastery complex. In conjunction with it, Choedrak is revered as one of the four sacred Drak (cliff) temples of Guru Rinpoche and attracts tourists as well as locals to receive blessings and for extended retreat purposes. Architecturally, the main temple of the Choedrak is a resemblance of a typical monastery architecture of Bhutan incorporating traditional features such as whitewashed tapering stone wall adorned with wooden windows, floating-like roof, and colorful elegance of the interiors. The current study is intended to further signify its place in the cultural heritage dictionary of Bhutan and consequently harness opportunities from the relevant agencies such as the Division for Conservation of Heritage Sites for appropriate and sound solutions for the preservation of the monastery.

Journal

ArchaeologiesSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 1, 2021

Keywords: Bhutan; Choedrak monastery; Architectural documentation; Culture; Sacred sites; Dzong architecture; Adaptive reuse

References