Situating on top of a mountain dominating the Tang River and the valley, Ogyen Choling (Palace) Museum is a very unique museum in Central Bhutan exhibiting the traditional Bhutanese living condition of a noble family in 1800s.
The history of Ogyen Choling began with the visit by a Tibetan master of Buddhism in 1300s. Its position above the valley is an auspicious location which symbolizes the top of an elephant head with the mountain as the back. The place was blessed and regarded as a Tibetan saint Dorji Lingpa’s center. The better known history is that Tsokye Dorji, the fifthteenth generation of Dorji Lingpa, who was the Governor of Trongsa at a time had passed his position to the father of the First King of Bhutan in 1800s.
The original Ogyen Choling was destroyed in the devastating earthquake in 1897. This current estate was rebuilt in 1898 and completed in 1899. As basic and old as the housing estate seems, Ogyen Choling is considered a valuable religious center and a historic estate in Bhutan. The heirs of this noble family continued to keep this estate and the temple, turned part of the main house into a museum in 2001 and run a heritage guest house. The museum relies on admission tickets and donations to run the museum as well as to support the needy in the community.
It is an interesting private museum that exhibits a lot of things about the living and trading in Bhutan history.