Ten generations ago [aprox. 500 years], the first lama came from Kham, in Eastern Tibet to Sum Ched in Nepal. He had three sons who all Druptobs i.e. possessed power over the five elements.
The eldest, Dorje Dudul, was able to carry water in a loosely woven cane basket. The second son, Nam Kha Cho Ched, could effortlessly ram a wooden dagger into a rock, and the third, Nyime Chö Kyi Gyalsten, was able to fry rice on paper.
When the people of Kyimo Lung came to the father, they asked for one of his sons as their lama. He sent them his youngest son, Nyime Cho Kyi Gyalsten.
At that time there was a terrifying charnel ground in Kyimo Lung. Anyone who went close to it was either killed outright or completely disappeared. The first thing the villagers did was leave Nyime Chö Kyi Gyalsten alone there for three days. On returning they looked everywhere for him. Just when they had decided that he too had disappeared, they found him in meditation posture, glowing with power. The village people immediately appreciated his extraordinary ability and accepted him as their lama.
About 15 minute’s walk from the cremation ground there is a cave where Nyime Chö Kyi Gyalsten completed a three year retreat. At one day’s walk further up the mountain, he constructed the original Nupri Monastery (Gonpa), called Ser Thang Gyunpa. Originally the land around the monastery was dry and barren, but slowly, over the generations, grass grew and trees began to appear. Now it is a pleasant woodland.
The hereditary title of Nubri Lama had past from father to son for 500 years, but with the death of the 11th Nubri Lama, Cho Kyi Nyima (1953-2006), this familial lineage ended. Karma Tulku is sometimes affectiionately referred to as the 12th Nubri Lama. Perhaps the title will stick!