The Treasury of Lives

Yannick Laurent

Dangkhar Tashi Choling, previously known as Lagope Monastery, is a Gelukpa monastery in Dangkhar, the former capital of the Spiti Valley. A hermitage seems to have predated the enlargement and conversion of the complex into a Gelukpa monastery by the monk Sanggye Wozer, a native of Rangrik in Spiti, in 1617. Local archives attest that King Khri Namgyel Drakpa Zangpo De and the queen of Guge, together with the Fourth Panchen Lama Lobzang Chokyi Gyeltsen, laid down the economic basis of the new monastic community by granting ecclesiastical estates.

The monastic community of Lagope/Dangkhar Tashi Choling is traditionally comprised of four monastic congregations composed of monks from the villages of Lhalung, Upper Mane, Lower Mane, and Dangkhar. In 1655, a monk from Dangkhar named Pelden Gyeltsen was enthroned as the Fortieth Ganden Tripa.

Yannick Laurent


Laurent, Lobsang Nyima (Yannick). 2014. “The Upper Temple of Dangkhar Monastery— Iconographical Capharnaüm or Political Manœuvre.” Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines, no. 29, pp. 103-153.


Laurent, Yannick. 2019. Dangkhar: The Rgyal sa of Spiti. Archaeological and Historical Research in the Western Himalayas. University of Oxford (PhD).

Laurent, Yannick. 2023. Spiti: The Gigantic Valley of Many-Hued Strata. Archaeological and Historical Research in the Western Himalayas, 2 vols. Vajra Academic Series vol. 4. Kathmandu: Vajra Books.


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