Her Majesty the Royal Grand Mother Kesang Choeden Wangchuck inaugurated the up gradation of the Eutok Samdrupcholing monastic school in Paro to a college on April 21.

Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother is also the royal patron of the monastery.

The Eutok Samdrupcholing Goen-zyin principal, Tshewang Penjor, said His Holiness the Je Khenpo ordered the up gradation of the monastic school.

“Upgrading it to a Gyen-Zyin means that we now offer monastic studies and also courses on meditation,” he said.

Eutok Samdrupcholing goenpa was established by Terton Rinzin Gatson Nyinpo in the 12th century.

The local community handed over the monastery to the Central Monk Body in 2003 and in 2007 a monastic school was established.

Lam Tshewang Penjor said the 2011 earthquake severely damaged the lhakhang and Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother, upon visiting the lhakhang, granted Nu 2.5 million (M) to reconstruct the lhakhang.

He said the lhakhang’s construction cost about Nu 16.1M. “Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother also cleared the loan of Nu 4.8M incurred in the construction.”

The lam said the dratshang, civil society organisations, paro dzongkhag, private sponsors and local communities also helped in funding the construction. “Forty one open air prisoners helped in the lhakhang construction from 2013 to 2016.”

Lam Tshewang Penjor said the up gradation of the lhakhang was a collective effort.

There are 75 monks studying in the college today.

Lam Tshewang Penjor said Her Majesty the Royal Grand Mother sponsors 55 students every month, providing rations and clothes.

He said that most of the monks are from economically deprived families.

Tashi Dema