Sham Valley

Rizong Monastery

Rizong gompa or Rizong Monastery is also known as Yuma Changchub Ling in Ladakh, India. It is a Gelugpa or Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is situated 73 Kms away from Leh, at the hill of the rocky side valley on the north side of the Indus, to the west of Alchi on the way to Lamayuru. It was established in 1831 by Lama (monk) Tsultim Nima under the Gelukpa order, at Rizong. Sras Rinpoche is the Head of the Monastery. There are around 40 monks in the monastery. The Rizong Gompa is also called "the paradise for meditation" and is well-known for its extremely strict rules and standards.The nunnery, located about 2 km from the monastery, is called the "Jelichun Nunnery" or Chulichan (Chomoling), where, at present, 20 nuns reside.


It is also believed that Guru Padmasambhava (Second Buddha) meditated in the caves around Rizong years before the monasteries were built. It is also inferred that in the small caves in the vicinity, monks used to meditate for years in isolation from the rest of the villages. They survive on one meal a day, which was provided to them by local people through a 1 foot (0.30 m) square window opening in the cave.


Lama Tsultim Nima selected a site to build a large monastery, away from the villages, at a place known as Rizong, since the place had adequate water supply and fuel availability. He started a donation campaign to build the monastery for which the villagers also provided voluntary labour during construction. The Monastery was built in 1831 along with many shrines within it. Basically, the monastery has three large chambers. In two of these chambers in the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha have been consecrated. The third chamber houses a stupa