The Pal Demo Tashi Choeling Monastery

Wild roses and herbs perfume the mountain meadows and the alpine canyons and hills of the Nangchen Par-Ka area. Incessant squalls brush the Himalayan ridgetops with new snow. After an exhausting one-day jeep-ride on dirt roads full of potholes, through high and rugged terrain that often passing hilltops with breath-taking views and herds of browsing Yaks, one finally arrives in the valley of Pal Demo. An icy-cold but fresh creek, which can grow to a raging torrent in wintertime, winds its way through this ertile valley. The air is clear and thin. A brand-new whitewashed stupa greets visitors and at the same time testifies to the significance of this holy location.
Life is not easy at Pal Demo. But its special and remote location imbedded in the wrinkled immensity of East Tibet provides a place for contemplation and spiritual growth. The mountain ecosystems here are still pure and intact, and despite the rough mountain climate where farming is marginal at best, the valley of Pal Demo unexpectedly offers fertile ground for growing vegetables in a garden next to the monastery.

The 1st Pora Tulku Rinpoche built the Pal Demo Tashi Chöling Monastery approximately 700 years ago on the Pal Demo Tashi Chöling Ground. The monastery lies roughly 18,500 ft. above sea level. Right beside the simple, old monastic buildings the valley also harbors an extra-ordinary rock formation in the shape of an elephant. There, a handprint and footprint of the Indo-Tibetan Saint Padmasambhava (also called Guru Rinpoche by Tibetans) can be viewed as well as a hoofprint of Palden Lhamo's mule.

The Pal Demo Monastery was largely destroyed due to various reasons a few decades ago. The destructions took place during the beneficial activities of the 4th Pora Tulku Rinpoche, who was head of the monastery at that time, just as Paltul Rinpoche is in charge today. Afterwards the buildings were only provisionally re-erected. The past couple of years has seen a new building in the process of being built through a private initiative of Rinpoche's with the permission of the Chinese authorities. Today's Pal Demo is composed of the main building, which is a monastery, some smaller houses, a hospital, which is also in process of being built and a retreat center, where monks complete their traditional three-year retreat. In addition, the foundation trench for the Karma Woesel Doe-joe Ling Medical School for Tibetan Medicine and Astrology has recently been excavated.

Pal Demo News

A new collection of Tibetan ritual masks (tibet. Guru Rinpoche Tseep Gyö Leb Gye Ma) have arrived just rencently at the Pal Demo Monastery. They are have been created and manufactured in India at Tsu Pema by a famous Bhutanese artist. These masks are specially designed for lama dances which are performed in the context of meditative rituals and ceremonies. Generally, these dances represent an enactment of certain sacred rites pertaining to the countering of obstructive forces that hinder the life and well-being of the community. The masks depict great masters of the past and an array of meditational deities.