Located at the northern end of Thimpu Valley in Bhutan, Tango Goemba has held religious significance since the 12th century when it was home of the Lama who brought the Drukpa Kagyupa school of Buddhism to Bhutan.
Today, the monastery is the highest center of Buddhist learning in the country and almost every religious leader in Bhutan has graduated from here. After completing that 9 year program, monks then spend 3 years, 3 months and 3 days in mediation at the nearby Cheri Goemba retreat which was built in 1619 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of Bhutan. It is currently also the home of an 11-year-old boy believed to be the seventh reincarnation of the fourth desi, or ruler, of Bhutan.
On my visit I got the opportunity to watch a five year old boy be inducted into the program (no photos were allowed inside) but watching fright on the boy's face while his parents beamed with pride was a scene I will can never forget.
Given that it is in the Himalayas, the hike up in the thin Himalayan air can take up to an hour if you're not used to it. But it is well worth the trek up as it boasts exquisite Bhutanese architecture and some friendly albeit shy monks.