Tengboche Monastery: The Spiritual Heart of the Himalayas

  • Barsha Thapa
  • Last Updated on Jun 13, 2024

Nepal is a beautiful country rich in many religious and historical temples, monasteries, churches, mosques, etc. Every sacred place in Nepal holds different histories, cultures, and traditions. Many of them are also recorded as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Every shrine in Nepal is a source of pride for the country and its people. Among them, Tengboche Monastery is an important and oldest shrine in Nepal.

Tengboche Monastery is a renowned Tibetan Buddhist monastery belonging to the Sherpa community. Located in the picturesque village of Tengboche, Khumjung, in the Khumbu district of Nepal, this spiritual sanctuary is a pivotal site for Buddhist worship and cultural heritage in the Himalayas.

Tengboche monastery is also recognized as Dawa Choling Gompa. Tengboche is the largest monastery in the Khumbu District.Situated at 3,867 m (12,687 ft), this monastery is the major highlight of the Khumbu region. 

Tengboche monastery plays a significant role in the Everest base camp trek trail. It has a circular trail covering 10 monasteries in a clockwise direction, terminating in the Tengboche Monastery.  

The terminus sites of the “Sacred Sites Trail Project” of Sagarmatha National Park have included Tengboche Monastery.

Tengboche Monastery gate
Tengboche Monastery gate

Highlights of Tengboche Monastery

  • The breathtaking location amidst the awe-inspiring Himalayan landscapes.
  • Peaceful environment for meditation and spiritual contemplation.
  • Some of the world’s highest peaks are easily visible, including Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and Thamseruk.
  •  Tengboche Monastery is an important shrine in Nepal.
  • importance of the Tibetan Buddhist and Sherpa communities in Khumbu District.
  • Largest gompa in Khumbu district.
  • A significant part of the iconic EBC trek trail.
  • The "Sacred Sites Trail Project" in Sagarmatha National Park comes to an end here. 

History and Architecture of Tengboche Monastery


Tengboche monastery was established around 350 years ago in the Khumbu district of Nepal and is situated at 3,867 m (12,687 ft).

Lama Sangwa Dorje is considered one of the most well-known and knowledgeable monks. He is credited as the founder of an old monastery, as well as other monasteries and small heritages in the Khumbu region.

Lama Sangwa Dorje’s intuitive psychic abilities and vision helped establish a monastery associated with his footprint in the place where he used to meditate. 

However, this monastery was not established by Lama Sangwa Dorje himself. Tengboche Monastery was later established during the fifth incarnation of Lama Sangwa Dorje, Ngawang Tenzin Norbu. 
Ngawang Tenzin Norbu instructed Lama Gulu to build Tengboche Monastery in 1916.

Then, Lama Gulu constructed Tengboche Monastery with a strong relation to its mother monastery, Rongbuk Monastery, located in Tibet.


Tengboche Monastery is built on a stone platform and features a combined architecture of Nepalese and Tibetan styles. 

This monastery is a divine place for the Sherpa community living there. They worship Buddha as their deity in Tengboche Monastery.

Tengboche is constructed with stone masonry. The exterior architecture of the monastery is coated with white paint and adorned with intricate wooden carvings and several prayer wheels. At the entrance, we can see hand-carved, ornate pillars.

The main prayer hall of Tengboche monastery (Dukhang) is decorated with murals depicting the Buddha’s life. The interior walls are adorned with colourful Thangka paintings.
Inside the prayer hall, there is a large statue of Buddha Sakyamuni, along with Manjushri and Maitreya beside him. The statue extends to two floors of the monastery and encompasses the shrine room on the first floor. 

An important feature of the prayer hall is the scriptures of the kangyur, where the original techniques of the Buddha are translated into Tibetan.

Tengboche monastery has a large storeroom and courtyard to accommodate the religious rites and activities of the monks.

Due to a natural disaster, an earthquake Tengboche Monastery was destroyed in 1934 and rebuilt. 

After an earthquake, it was again engulfed by fire in 1989. It was once again rebuilt with the help of devoted volunteers from the area, along with international assistance.

Inside of Tengboche Monastery
Inside the Tengboche Monastery

Where is Tengboche Monastery located?

Tengboche Monastery is located in the Khumbu District of Nepal, northeast of Kathmandu. It sits atop a hill at the junction of the Dudh Koshi and the Imja Khola rivers. 

Tengboche lies on the Nepal-Tibet border and has been the habitat of Sherpa people who migrated there around 600 years ago. 

Tengboche is strategically placed on the route to EBC, Tengboche attracts tourists from all around the world. 

Approaching Tengboche requires taking the mountain trail from Namche Bazaar. This trail initially crosses the Dudh Koshi River (3,250m) and further climbing leads to the Tengboche Monastery (3,870 m).

Festivals and Culture of Tengboche Monastery

There are various festivals and cultural celebrations observed by the local people of Tengboche village in Tengboche monastery.

Mani Rimdu is the major festival celebrated in the Tengboche Monastery, which serves as the main attraction for tourists in Nepal.

Mani Rimdu is an important festival of the Sherpa community and falls during the autumn season, when a large number . of tourists come to Khumbu for the trek to Everest Base Camp.

The Mani Rimdu festival lasts for 19 days, starting on the tenth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, corresponding to October–November of the English calendar.

The name “Mani Rimdu” comes from the word "Mani,” which means a part of the chant of Chenrezig and “Rimdu” refers to small red pills that are blessed to those who attend the festival.

It is believed that this festival is a tradition passed down from its mother monastery, the Rongbuke, located in Tibet.

Mani Rimdu starts with an elaborate depiction of the mandala diagram made with coloured sand. This coloured sand is brought from a specific place in the hills.

This process takes 4 days to draw a mandala. After the mandala is fully complete, it is covered and becomes central to the religious festival, which lasts for the next 10 days.

Mani Rimdu includes 16 traditional and cultural dances with breaks for comical effects. The monks perform a fire rite to dispel all the harm to the world after all the devotees have left. 

The sand mandala, which was created at the beginning of the festival, is then formally removed with prayers for the benefit of all sentient beings.

At the end of the festival, mask dances are performed by the monks after the resident Rinpoche of the monastery blesses the general public.

Weather and Climate

Tengboche monastery is located in the Khumbu region, which is situated in the Himalayan area.

Tengboche has a subarctic tundra climate. The climate is cold, long, and dry during the winter, whereas it is a short and cool climate with heavy rainfall during the summer season.

The spring and autumn seasons offer the best weather and climate for your trek to EBC or Sagarmatha National Park. 

The spring season, which starts from March to May, is the best time to plan your trek. The spring season will serve you the most picturesque view that will blow your mind. 

The weather is stable and the climate is moderate during the spring season. The different flora and fauna found along the trail will make your trek more fascinating.

 Autumn, which starts from September to November, is another perfect time to travel. The autumn season is a stable one, offering clear blue skies and unobstructed views.

The climate is mild during the autumn season, and the presence of autumn flowers and lush greenery adds a shower of colour to nature.

suspension bridge of Tengboche river
suspension bridge of Tengboche river


There are different accommodations that you can easily find while visiting the monastery. Some of the accommodations provide you with free Wi-Fi, a hot water shower, etc. 

But, for some accommodations, you have to pay extra money for additional facilities. Various tea houses, hotel lodges, and homestays are found in Tengboche.

Some of the famous and commonly known accommodations in Tengboche are Trekkers Lodge, Tengboche Guesthouse, and Tashi Delek Lodge and Restaurant.

How hard is it to get Tengboche Monestry?

Trekking is a challenging task to do. Trekkers need to be mentally and physically fit and fine. 

You have to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the challenges that you might face during your trek.

Some of the challenges that you can face during your trek to Tengboche Monastery include high altitude sickness, headaches, swelling of hands and face, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, disturbed sleep patterns, palpitations, etc.

Things to do in Tengboche Area

  • Meditation: You can engage in meditation inside the monastery with the guidance of a monk. 
  • EBC Trek: The Everest base camp trek is the most famous trek among tourists. The EBC trek is the busiest trek of Nepal.
  • Exploring Sagarmatha National Park: Sagarmatha National Park serves as a gateway to Everest base camp. Among the other 12 National parks of Nepal, Sagarmatha National Park is the second most famous national park after Chitwan National Park.
  • Helicopter Tour: You can take a helicopter tour if you are tired of trekking. This tour offers you a quick and breathing way to see the Himalayas, including a close view of Everest. 
  • Witnessing traditions and culture: The unique traditions and culture of the Sherpa community will surely amuse you.

Specility of the monastery

  • High religious significance
  • Host several festivals throughout the year
  • Attracting travelers from all over the world
  • Gateway to Everest Base Camp
  • Oldest monastery in Nepal 
  • Build in a Tibetan and Nepalese style

Equipment List While Visting Tengboche

Trekking is a challenging task to undertake. It is mandatory to carry the required trekking equipment with you. You can easily buy and rent trekking gear in Kathmandu.

Sleeping Gears

  • Sleeping bags are most required and important for the trek.
  • Tent 
  • Sleeping pad
  • Silk liner 

Upper body

  • Knitted hat and beanie
  • Sun hat or cap will be provided to you by HIMALAYAN RECREATION  
  • Sunglasses and headlamps
  • Gaiter and buff


  • Technical fabric base layer (2) each.
  • Technical fabric shorts and long-sleeved shirts (2) each.
  • Waterproof and windproof shells, two each.
  • Fleece jacket or pullover.

Lower Body

  • Hiking pants and shorts (2) each.
  • Comfortable pants for inside tea houses.
  • Technical fabric base layer.
  • Water and windproof shell.

Hand and Feet

  • Wool and fabric liner gloves.
  • Hard shell outer gloves for colder months.
  • Waterproof hiking and trekking boots.
  • Casual shoes and slippers for tea houses.
  • Gaiters to protect your feet and lower leg from moisture or debris while hiking or walking.
  • Wool or technical fabric warm socks.


  • Warm pyjamas and sleeping clothes.
  • Technical fabric and quick drying inners.
  • Toiletry kits (towels, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, pillowcase).

First aid and medication

  • Medicines if you are under any medication.
  • Lip balm and sunscreen.
  • Insect repellent cream
  • Diarrhea Medication
  • Advil and paracetamol
  • Bandages or Plaster


  • Passport
  • Extra copies of pp-sized photos
  • High protein snacks
  • Airline tickets (leave a copy at the office in Kathmandu, useful if there is a change in the date of the flight).
Tengboche Village
Tengboche Village

FAQs about Tengboche Monastery

Can visitors stay overnight at Tengboche Monastery?

No, visitors are not allowed to stay overnight at the monastery. However, you can stay in nearby guest houses, lodges, and tea houses.

How do I reach Tengboche Monastery?

You can reach Tengboche monastery by trekking. Start the trek from Lukla, which will take 5-7 days to reach the monastery through villages like Namche Bazar, Khumjung, and Pangboche.

Is there an entrance fee to visit Tengboche Monastery?

The monastery does not charge an entrance fee. But you can donate to support the maintenance and preservation of the monastery.

Are there any restrictions or guidelines for visitors to the monastery?

No, there are no restrictions or guidelines for visitors to the monastery. However, show respect for the religious and cultural significance of Tengboche Monastery.

Is Tengboche Monastery accessible by road?

No, Tengboche Monastery is not accessible by road. 


Tengboche Monastery is the oldest monastery in Nepal. This monastery embodies the rich tapestry of Sherpa culture and Tibetan Buddhism.

Tengboche monastery extends religious boundaries and exudes an aura of tranquility and reverence.

This monastery serves as a symbol of peace, harmony, and unity among people of diverse backgrounds who came here to visit this holy site.

Tengboche Monastery is the grace and identity of Nepal, attracting a large number. of tourists.

For further information about visiting the monasteries and any kind of trip in Nepal, reach out to Himalayan Recreation.

Barsha Thapa

Barsha Thapa

Barsha Thapa is our competent team member, currently pursuing her studies at Public Youth Campus. Since 2022, she has been a dedicated part of Himalayan Recreation, where she contributes her skills and enthusiasm to promoting the wonders of Nepal.

Inspired by her colleague Jyoti, a travel enthusiast and expert content creator, Barsha has developed a deep passion for sharing the beauty and culture of the majestic Himalayas. Her role at Himalayan Recreation allows her to combine her academic pursuits with her love for travel and nature.

Committed to showcasing Nepal's unique experiences, Barsha assists in content creation and planning unforgettable journeys, ensuring that every traveler experiences the true essence of Nepal.

When she is not immersed in her studies or work, Barsha enjoys exploring new trails, discovering hidden gems, and immersing herself in the serene landscapes of Nepal. The mountains have become a significant part of her life, fueling her passion and drive to connect with nature and inspire others to do the same.

As a part of the Himalayan Recreation family, Barsha is always eager to share her knowledge and help fellow travelers create lasting memories. Feel free to contact her via WhatsApp or email; she is available online 24/7 for any inquiries or travel plans.

Call us on WhatsApp+977 9851101413OrChat with us