Namgyal Choede Thupten Dhargyeling Monastery one of the oldest monasteries in the area, is situated in Upper Mustang, at a distance of three days’ hike from Jomsom, the district headquarter. Alongside being a place of worship, a school of Tibetan Buddhist studies and a place of residence for young monks, it also serves as a place for locals to gather for religious purposes as well as to celebrate traditional festivals.
Namgyal Choede Thupten Dhargyeling Monastery was established by the great Vajra Ngorchen Kunga Sangpo in the 13th century during the Ngor tradition of the Sakyapa sub-sect. It was established by combining four great monasteries of the Ngor tradition: Phuphak Samten Ling, Rishing Domsum Ling, Jampa Shedrup Ling and Drakar Thekchen Ling, all founded in 1310, before the birth of Ngorchen Kunga Sangpo. It is said that the teachings of Sutrayana and Tantrayana flourished greatly in these monasteries.
Namgyal Monastery acts as the key holder of the four great ancient monasteries in the region of Mustang. In addition, Ngorchen Kunga Sangpo brought into existence the spiritual community and sustained it for imparting instructions, recitations, and empowerments.
In 1428 the great scholar Shakya Chokden was invited to Mustang where he imparted teachings and oral transmission of the Manjushrinamasangika and the four great secret tantras to thousands of people in the presence of the King Tashi Gon and the Prince of Mustang. The king sensed a danger of an onslaught from the northern and southern provinces and pleaded with Shakya Chokden to reverse the war. In accordance with the king’s supplication, the scholar performed a regular torma offering with a focus on the four- headed Mahakala, and the war was averted. Gradually, other great Lamas and lineage holders resided in the area and the doctrines of Buddhism greatly flourished.