The late Dhardo Rimpoche (1918-90), who founded the school, was recognized as an incarnation (tulku) of the first Dhardo Rimpoche, Chief Abbot of Loseling, Drepung monastery in central Tibet.  The first Dhardo Rimpoche was a key figure in the Tibetan National Assembly.  As well as his position as the first Dhardo Rimpoche in the Gelugpa linage, he was the twelfth tulku in a lineage of the Nyingmapa tradition.

The founder of the school (the second Dhardo Rimponce) was raised and educated within the classical Tibetan monastic system.  He completed his Lharampa degree (Doctor of Philosophy) at Drepung monastery, and also spent time at the Gyud-med Tantric college. 

However, Dhardo Rimpoche spent most of his life in India.  In 1951 he was sent by the Government of Tibet to act as the abbot of the Tibetan monastery at Bodh Gaya.  After leaving Bodh Gaya he settled in Kalimpong in north of the Indian state of West Bengal.  Here he founded the ITBCI school, and served as the abbot of a nearby monastery (Yiga Choeling, close to the town of Ghoom).

Portions of Dhardo Rimpoche's relics (i.e. ashes from his cremation) have been installed in several stupas in the West: at Sudarshanaloka Retreat Centre (New Zealand), at Padmaloka Buddhist Retreat Centre (England), at Guhyaloka Retreat Centre, (Spain), and at Tiratanaloka Retreat Centre in Wales.

For more information about the life of Dhardo Rinpoche, see Dhardo Rimpoche: A Celebration and The Wheel and the Diamond, The Life of Dhardo Tulku.

The enthronement ceremony of the Third Dhardo Tulku (Rimpoche), Tenzin Legshad Wangdi
"People feel that life is short. Because of this, instead of working for others, they try to aquire wealth for themselves. If we live in this way we become isolated. Our lives become like bubbles on the surface of water. But people can be inspired by action. If they see something is happening they can start to give. If you work hard in the right way the effects will spread like light."
(Dhardo Rinpoche)
The Third Dhardo Tulku (Rimpoche), Tenzin Legshad Wangdi, was born in 1991. His father is Mr. L.W. Bhutia and his mother, Zenden Lhamo Wangdi.

He was recognised in January 1995 by the 99th Ganden Tripa, the representative of Tsongkhapa, who was the founder of the Gelugpa school. His father had an audience with H. H. The Dalai Lama in September 1995 for the final blessings and confirmation.

The Enthronement ceremony, which was arranged by members of the ITBCI School, was held at the school on 25 April 1996. A week later, another ceremony was held at Yiga Choeling Monastery, Ghoom, which was arranged by members of the management committee and the monks.
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