International Drikung Kagyu Council
Honoured to organise the 800th Commemoration of Lord Jigten Sumong's Maha Parinirvana.
Sharkhul Phuntsog Choling (shar khul phun tshogs chos gling) is one of the three main Drikung Kagyu Monasteries in Ladakh. It is one of 3525 monasteries prophesied by Lord Jigten Sumgon. Some say that Sharchukhul was the first Drikung monastery in Ladakh established by Denma Kunga Drakpa. With the passing of time the small monastery of Serbumchen and the White Monastery founded by Chenga Sherab Jungne three centuries earlier, fell into decay. Legend tells that Denma Kunga Drakpa ordered the monks of Sharchukhul to carry the old statue of Jigten Sumgon from Serbumchen into their new monastery. As they made a pause on the way, they were not able to move the figure any more. It is said that the statue then flew to Sharchukhul monastery.
When the 6th Chungtsang Chokyi Lodro (1868-1906) visited the three main Drikung monasteries of Ladakh in 1897 he spent the summer at Sharchukhul. During that time while gazing at the snow mountains he saw Dakinis. Chokyi Lodro composed the ritual text Tsugtor Namgyal Tongcho (gtsug gtor rnam rgyal stong mchod) at Sharchukhul. While he performed a religious ceremony ('jam dpal gshin rje sgub chen) in the winter time, nectar flowed from the skull head.
In earlier times Sharchukhul Monastery used to be a branch of Phyang Monastery. During the visit of Kyabgon Chokyi Lodro a new rule was put in power that assigned to the three parts of Ladakh each their own independent main monastery: Sharchukhul, Phyang, and Lamayuru. Thus the monastery that had been under the care of thirty one Dharma masters (chos rje) was officially recognized as the main monastery of the Chanthang region in Ladakh under the 31th Choje Togden Konchok Tenzin Damcho Gyurme.
Later, the old monastery was fully renovated and new structures added by Chagdzo Phurbu with generous donations and support from the monks and lay followers. Upon the completion of the renovation it was named Shargon Phuntsog Choling. Presently, the monastery has more than one hundred resident monks and a dozen of branch monasteries spread all over Chanthang.