New Chador Lhakhang In Trashigang, Bhutan Almost Completed After 13 Years Of Construction
Almost 90% of the works are completed and the consecration of this new Lhakhang is expected to take place by the end of March 2019.
By Yeshey Tenzin | Bhutan Today
The people of Bartsham gewog in Trashigang are eagerly waiting for the completion of the Chador Lhakhang.
Lhakhangs are religious structures (temples) found throughout the Himalayas (Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan). They house sacred objects and are also sites for religious activities.
The Chador Lhakhang is one of the most sacred monasteries in eastern Bhutan. Initially, it was known as Goemba Ringbu but renamed as Chador Lhakhang, after the replica of Chana Dorji (Varjapani) which was brought and kept in the temple.
Photo: Map of Bhutan
Years later, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche gave the monastery a new name - Sangdag Gaypailing. The construction of this new Lhakhang was started in 2006 by the late Lam Kunzang Wangdi of Bartsham Dratshang.
Reasons for building a new and bigger Lhakhang
“The old Lhakhang was small and not conducive for carrying out religious activities. The new Lhakhang was constructed to reduce space congestion,” said Gup Kezang Dawa of Bartsam.
Dorji Lopen of Bartsham Dratshang, Sonam Zangpo said that the new Lhakhang was built with financial support from the Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche (Khyentse Foundation), Rigsar Construction Private Limited (RCPL), contractors and the business communities of Bartsham.
The CGI sheets and timber were provided by the Government as Kidu. Kidu means ‘wellbeing’ of the people and is a fundamental responsibility of the Bhutanese monarch, having been a traditional ‘royal prerogative’ and is now enshrined in the Constitution of Bhutan.
“Initially planned to be just two storeys high, it was later decided to be five storeys high, so that it can accommodate more people. It was expected to be completed within 3-4 years but due to budget constraint, it took almost 13 years.” said Sonam Zangpo.
Villagers look forward to the consecration of the new Lhakhang
One of the workers, Chador Wangdi, said that almost 90% of the works have been completed and the consecration of this new Lhakhang is expected to take place by the end of March 2019.
Replica of Chana Dorji
The Lhakhang is built in traditional Bhutanese style and is 90% concrete. The villagers have also contributed labour for its construction and they are happily looking forward to the completion of this new Lhakhang.
21 year old Tenzin Choden from Bartsham said, “We, the people of Bartsham are blessed with the new Lhakhang and the replica of Chana Dorji. We are happy that our late Lam has put great effort to build this Lhakhang and I pay my respect to him for his hard work which will benefit all sentient beings.”
This article first appeared in Bhutan Today and has been edited for the Daily Bhutan.