Sang Chokhor Buddhist College
Sang Chokhor Buddhist College, (30 minute drive from the town). On the top of the hill north-west of Paro town, Sangchokhor catches your eye. This beautifully situated temple is a teaching institution for about 100 monks aged 15 – 30. The grassy area next to the stupa outside the temple is a nice spot for a picnic lunch. Sangchokhor was originally built in the 18th century, but was rebuilt 30 years ago after a horrible fire. The original temple was built by the first speech reincarnation of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The lower altar room has a striking statue of Guru Rinpoche and unique 30-year old wall paintings created under the supervision of the Chief Abbot. The upper altar room is dedicated to the Zhabdrung lineage.
Sang Chokhor Buddhist College (Paro) was established in 1765 CE by Choglay Truku Sacha Tenzin. It became the seat of Sungtrul (Speech reincarnation) of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and thus hass significant religious importance. It is linked to Bhutan`s Royal Family in that Yab, Dasho Ugyen Dorji, the father of the queens of the Fourth King of Bhutan is the nephew of the fifth Speech reincarnation, Choglay Yeshi Ngedrup (1851-1917). Yab dassho Ugyen Dorji renovated and upgraded the monastery and established it as Buddhist College in 1991. The college offers Buddhist studies at the postgraduate level. The current (2007) enrollment is 110 students and 14 tutors. The principle of the college is a member of the University Council of the Royal University of Bhutan.
Historically, Sang Chokhor Buddhist College has only admitted monks as students to its institute. However in 2005 – very significantly – the college was authorized to enroll non-monastic students. Moreover, the first group of 25 Dzongkha lectures of the Colleges of the Royal University of Bhutan and officials from the Ministry of Education were enrolled in a Master`s degree program through distance mode.