Bhutan abounds with temples and monasteries. The temples are known as lhakhangs while the monasteries are referred to as gompas. Some lhakhangs are part of monasteries and others are standalone structures. Zangtho Pelri Lhakhangs are temples dedicated to the founder of Tibetan Buddhism Guru Rinpoche, who is considered the second Buddha by Tibetan Buddhists. There seems to be several of these temples all over Bhutan from Phuensholing at the border in eastern Bhutan to Thimphu the Bhutanese capital. The Zangtho Pelri Lhakhangs are said to represent the celestial abode of the Guru. Uma by COMO Paro, Bhutan offers its guests a central location from which to enjoy the many temples and monasteries in the south western part of the country.
The Thimphu Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang is a small temple in the centre of town built on a hillock having an excellent view over the surrounding area. This temple is said to have been built in the 1990s by Dahso Aku Tongmi, the musician who composed the country’s national anthem. It comprises of a small whitewashed three storied pagoda, a small bubble shaped stupa and some single storied half timbered structures with a big prayer wheel at the entrance. The temple in Phuensholing also in the city centre is a small traditional three storied stand alone pagoda built on a raised platform in the middle of a small courtyard. The ground floor shrine room has statues of the Guru in eight manifestations and wall paintings of incidents in his life. The second floor has statues of eight Bodhisattvas including those of Avalokiteshvara and Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal founder of Bhutan. The topmost floor has a statue of Amitabha Buddha. The temple interior and exterior is painted with bright traditional motifs and symbols. The temple is among the main attractions in the city. Traditional Bhutanese lhakhangs demonstrate the originality of their architecture, ingenious construction techniques adapting available materials to suit climatic conditions and cultural and religious traditions. Opting for one of Bhutan tour packages is the best way to experience the country’s natural beauty and unique architecture.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.