Thangtong Gyalpo

Thangtong Gyalpo (1385-1509 or 1361–1485), also known as Chakzampa and Tsondru Zangpo, was a great Buddhist adept, yogi, physician, blacksmith, architect, and a pioneering civil engineer.  He composed For the Benefit of All Beings as Vast as the Skies, the Chenrezik sadhana that is a daily practice in many western centers.

He is well known for founding Ache Lhamo, (Tibetan opera), and is famous for his extensive travels in China, Tibet, and other eastern countries, building numerous temples and metal bridges and founding monasteries in Derge and elsewhere. Several of the 58 iron chain suspension bridges around Tibet and Bhutan that he built to ease travel and pilgrimage though the Himalayas are still in use today. He is often shown in murals with long white hair holding some chain links from his bridges.