Dzongsar Gonpa was founded in 746 AD by a Bonpo Lama. Originally there was just a very small temple at this site, called Jowo-Lha-Chig-Kar-Chig (One statue, One pillar) by the local people. The Bonpo Tenpa statue, from these earliest times, still stood in the temple until 1958. The original Bonpo Gonpa was later transformed into a Nyingmapa temple at an unknown date. Likewise the Nyingmapa Gonpa later became a Kadampa Gonpa. There are no records of Lamas and their Institution before 1275. In 1275, when Choegyal Phagpa returned from China, he visited this temple and transformed it into a Sakyapa Gonpa.
Before 1958 Dzongsar Gonpa had between three to five hundred monks, the development of the Shekdra and retreat centres was flourishing and the monastery was able to perform an unbroken calendar of pujas throughout the year.
In 1983 Dzongsar Gonpa began to rebuild the temples and institutions. By 2005, six large and small temples, the residence of the Khyentses and one hundred and eighty monk's residences had been rebuilt. There are more than two hundred monks in the monastery, conducting eighteen different pujas over one hundred and fifty days. Although it is difficult to maintain funding for all these ceremonies the aim is to eventually restore the entire unbroken calendar of pujas. Dzongsar Gonpa also runs a school for sixty local children where they learn the Tibetan traditions and some Chinese.
Written by Lodre Phuntsok in 1999 in Chengdu, China, and revised in Dzongsar with added material available there.