Tamshing is a small one-storey temple surrounded by monastic and village dwellings. From Tamshing monastery there is an excellent view of the Kurje complex on the other side of the river. A little bit north of Tamshing, a footbridge crosses the river and from there, it is only a ten-minute walk to Kurje.
Today, the monastery suffers from precarious conditions of conservation. Amongst other problems, due to roof leakages, the wall paintings are now becoming detached from the mud plaster of the walls and require urgent restoration
Tamshing, is one of the most historically, spiritually and culturally significant monasteries in Bhutan. Built in the early sixteenth century, it has maintained living Vajrayana Buddhist traditions for over five hundred years. The founder of Tamshing, Pema Lingpa (1450 - 1521), is considered a great saint and spiritual master in both the Bhutanese and Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist traditions. Moreover, Tamshing is also a great centre of Bhutanese sacred masked dance, and Pema Lingpa himself introduced many of the sacred dances that remain a vibrant part of the monastic dance repertory throughout the region.
Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 (completed in 1505) by Pema Lingpa, contains paintings of fundamental interest for the history of painting in this region. It is also, along with Gangtey Gonpa in the Black Mountains and Drametse Gonpa in the East, one of the only places where Pema Lingpa?s tradition of religious teachings still continues today.
The temple was restored at the end of the 19th century, probably at the time of the 8th reincarnation of Pema Lingpa, by Kunzang Tenpe Nyima (1843-1891), since he is the last historical personage to figure in the paintings. He was the first king?s uncle. The temple itself is made up of a vestibule and two sanctuaries, one above the other, with a path for circumambulation running around the sanctuaries.
In the 1990s a building and toilet facilities have been built with the help of a European donor, thus allowing the children and the monks to live in healthier conditions and from 2000, more buildings were restored through other Bhutanese donors. The temple is owned by the Tamshing family descending from Pema Lingpa, but the monastic school residing there functions independently and Tamshing is the seat of two incarnations of Pema Lingpa lineages, the Sungtrul and the Thuksey.
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Really appreciate YANA's professional organization of the entire trip. Could not imagine how a trekking trip could such be well organized - more or less like a 5-star hotel with the only difference of we were at more than 3,000 above sea level. Special thanks to Yeshey and the chef who had given tons of assistance when I was descending due to attitude sickness. - Simon Liu, Hong Kong