Bhutan | Bumthang

Ogyen Choling Manor and Museum Bumthang

Embrace Bhutan Cultural Tour

Bumthang | Bhutan

13 Nov 2019 | Wed

Day 07 of 13

  • Drive | Jakar to Tang Valley
  • Jambay Lhakhang
  • Kurjey Lhakhang
  • Nature Walk to Tamshing Lhakhang – Swinging Bridge & Local Handcrafts
  • Tamshing Lhakhang
  • Lunch in Bumthang
  • Mebar Tsho – The Burning Lake
  • Pema Choling Nunnery
  • Ogyen Choling Manor and Museum

Ogyen Choling Manor and Museum

Ogyen Choling Manor (Guest House) – a national treasure, privately owned by the same family for hundreds of years. It’s remote location makes it one of the less frequently visited historical sites in Bhutan, hosting fewer than two hundred guests per year. The best part of the Manor is the quaint museum housing permanent exhibits on three floors in the main building and the Utse, the central tower. Traditional living quarters are recreated to capture the realistic ambiance of the ancient lifestyles and conditions of the households. Everyday kitchen and weaving utensils, war weapons–including gun powder made from petrified yak dung-tools and farming implements are the main part of the exhibits.

Embrace Bhutan Travel

Front of Ogyen Choling Manor

Ugyen Choeling Manor – In the middle of the 14th century, a Nyingmapa master, Longchen Rabjampa, built a little retreat there. At the end of the 14th century, the saint Dorje Lingpa decided to settle at the place where the great master had meditated and there he discovered numerous religious treasures. Of all the places in Bhutan where Dorje Lingpa lived, Ugyen Choeling seems to have been his favorite. His direct descendants took over his possessions and contributed to the spreading of his teachings.

The manor has a large building, the Jokhang, which contains two temples with imposing statues and paintings dating from the beginning of the 20th century. The temple on the ground floor is dedicated to Tara, the Goddess of Compassion, and the one on the first floor to Jowo, the Buddha as a young prince.

Through the initiative of the Ugyen Choeling family themselves, a very interesting museum of the history and life of Ugyenchoeling was opened in May 2001. The Museum has several floors of the central tower, the Utse. It offers a unique opportunity to get to know life in a lord’s mansion before 1950. There is also a small tavern with six simple rooms, in an old building in the garden adjoining the main residence.

Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators – Ugyen Choeling Manor


Upon arrival at Ugyen Choeling Manor, we took a quick walk around to check out this amazing place. It’s a large multi-building facility that dates back to the 14th century.

Entrance to Ogyencholing Museum and Heritage House

Our two-night, one-day stay here was set up as a rest period for our group and guides. We were perfectly fine with this as it gave us a chance to visit Ogyen Choling Manor along with nearby Ogyen Choling Village.

Ogyen Choling Village Next to Ogyen Choling Manor

We found the traditional Bhutanese architecture of Ogyen Choling Manor to be very interesting and beautiful (especially when walking around the inner courtyard area). The center building of the courtyard is the museum.

Inner Courtyard of Ogyen Choling (looking toward the front)

Check out the pictures below that cover the surrounding buildings and grounds of the amazing Ogyen Choling

Our Room

The Ogyen Choling Heritage House has guest rooms in 3 buildings:

The Shagkor (two storied buildings enclosing the central tower) has 8 guest rooms. The dining room, the kitchen and a meeting room are also located in the shagkor. (Room 1 -8)

The Nubgothang building in the west gate field, which was previously used as a private guest house. It has 4 rooms. (Room 9 – 12)

The Hermitage (Tsamkhang) with 2 bedrooms and a common living area. It was built in 2004 (Room 13, 14)

– Ogyen Choling – Guest Rooms

Our room (Room 3 – Yiktshang), was located on the second floor of the Shaqkor building (front entrance building). It was accessed by a set of traditional Bhutanese stairs (which is more like a ladder).

Bhutanese Stairs Up to Our Room
Room 3 (Yiktshang) – Located on the Second Floor of the Shaqkor building

It was a bit of a challenge to get our bags upstairs, but it was worth it. Our room was very spacious and came with a newly remodeled bathroom.

Restaurant / Meals

The dining room and kitchen where we had our meals were also located in the same building as our room (Shagkor). All of our meals were awesome! There was also an awesome wood stove that kept us warm while we ate. You can check out the pictures below to get a small sampling of what we had (mostly vegetarian dishes).

Ogyen Choling Manor Owners

Ogyen Choling Manor is owned and operated by Kunzang Choden and Swiss Husband Walter Roder.

Kunzang Choden is a Bhutanese writer. She is the first Bhutanese woman to write a novel in English.

Choden was born in Bumthang District. Her parents were feudal landlords. At the age of nine, her father sent her to school in India, where she learned English. She has a BA Honours in Psychology from Indraprastha College in Delhi and a BA in Sociology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has worked for the United Nations Development Program in Bhutan. She and her Swiss husband currently live in Thimphu.

– Wikipedia Kunzang Choden

Kunzang Choden and Swiss Husband Walter Roder

Ogyen Choling Foundation

To contribute to the preservation and promotion of Bhutan’s historical and cultural heritage, and in so doing also support the social and economic well-being of the local community. More about Ogyen Choling Foundation can be found here.

Map – Ogyen Choling Manor and Museum

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