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The Kumbu Lhakhang

Location : Phobjikha

The Kumbu Lhakhang in Kumbu village is about 2 kms to the north-east of Gangtey monastery. There are two ways of reaching the place.

One is a shortcut passing through the Kunzang Chholing Shedra which directly leads you towards the temple and the other is an unpaved feeder road passing below the Shedra and once you reach there you have to walk up about half an hour from the road point to the temple.

If you plan to drive, it should be during the off monsoon season when the road is not muddy and slippery. You should have a 4×4 car to drive, though the best option is to walk.

The walk takes about an hour from the Shedra till Kumbu temple.

The present temple was rebuilt by the community and close by below the ruins of the old temple with an old stupa are still visible. The stupa is the Kudung Chorten of Tsenden Dewa containing his body ashes.

This two storied temple is situated in front of five houses forming a part of the Kumbu village. The temple was built by the Zhabdrung Tsenden Dewa (1239-1293), a Tibetan lama from the Bon religious school in the 13th century. It is believed that the Lama tied a goat and a sheep together to let them show him a place where he would build the monastery. The two animals led him to a place known as Kumbu Lhazhi Tsawa where the temple was later built. Therefore, it is also known as Ne ra lu nyi ki de to the local people, which mean 'the holy place of the goat and the sheep'. In 1371, the great Tibetan master Dorji Lingpa stayed at this place and gave religious teachings.

The temple is preceded by a walled courtyard from where you climb the steps to enter the temple. On the ground floor is the new altar room of the temple. This simple altar is surrounded ancient paintings on cloth which were peeled off from the old temple walls and re-pasted here. One of the significant features is the statue of the Sangay Menlha 'The Medicine Buddha'.

The top floor houses the main temple with the statues of Dusum Sangye 'Three Buddhas of the past, present and future' and a Gonkhang, temple of protective deity, dedicated to the ancient Bon deity, Sipey Gyalmo.

Every year on the 29th holy day of the 8th month in Bhutanese calendar the villagers organise a ritual for the death anniversary of Lama Tsenden Dewa, known as Kumbu Tsham Choe.


Last Updated :09-20-2012
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