A powerful mythology has grown up around the monastery at Tengboche (Thyangboche) as a result of the writings of explorers and mountaineers.Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, an inhabitant of this village, were the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest on the British 1953 expedition and hence why this monastery has acquired international interest. Due to its routing Everest expeditioners visit the monastery to light candles and seek the blessings of gods for good health and safe mountaineering.
However the gompa is not as old as you might expect. The first gompa at Tengboche was constructed in 1916 by Lama Gulu, a monk from Khumjung, but the building was destroyed in the earthquake of 1934. A second gompa on the site lasted until 1989, when an electrical fire burned the stone and-timber structure to the ground.Sherphas , foreign aid organizations, Buddhish groups and mountaineering organizations then contributed allowing the monastery to be reconstructed with its doors opening in 1993.Luckily most of the gompa’s valuable books, paintings and religious relics were saved.
John Hunt, the leader of the 1953 expedition and one of the first mountaineers to visit the monastery ( offered the following description of Thengboche in The Ascent of Everest:
“Thyangboche must be one of the most beautiful places in the world. The height is well over 12,000 feet. The Monastery buildings stand upon a knoll at the end of a big spur, which is flung out across the direct axis of the Imja river. Surrounded by satellite dwellings, all quaintly constructed and oddly mediaeval in appearance, it provides a grandstand beyond comparison for the finest mountain scenery that I have ever seen, whether in the Himalaya or elsewhere.”