Chung-ney Goenpa (เฝเพฑเฝดเฝ„เผ‹เฝ‚เฝ“เฝฆเผ‹เฝ‘เฝ‚เฝผเฝ“เผ‹เฝ”)

Chung-ney Goenpa (เฝเพฑเฝดเฝ„เผ‹เฝ‚เฝ“เฝฆเผ‹เฝ‘เฝ‚เฝผเฝ“เผ‹เฝ”) aka Chungdu Goenpa (monastery) is located above Katekha village in Sha Phangyuel, Wangdue Phodrangโ€”barely half an hour drive from the Gewog Centre via farm road.

Chung means Garuda; Ney means abodeโ€”an abode of Garuda.

The Goenpa was founded by Drubthob (yogi) Thinley Pema. The three-story monastery houses sacred Buddhist text, ancient statues of Buddhist saints and Guru Sung Joen (speaking Guru statue) as the mainstay. It also has an effigy of local deity Thinley Zam.

เฝเพฑเฝดเฝ„เผ‹เฝ‚เฝ“เฝฆเผ‹เฝ‘เฝ‚เฝผเฝ“เผ‹เฝ”เผ
Katekha: Phuensum Deki School; Chung-ney Goenpa on the hill.

The monastery is perched on the hill above Phuensum Deki school. On the heart of the hill lies the meditational cave where Guru Rinpoche invoked Garuda thereby subdued the dreadful local spirits.

Earlier, there was a naturally formed rock resembling Garuda, but it was takenโ€”breaking the rock.

The cave is said to be holy and therefore if one devotionally recites Vajra Guru mantra, one can observe holy water droppings (เฝ–เฝ‘เฝดเฝ‘เผ‹เฝขเพฉเฝฒ) from the rocks. Some folks claim that the holy water has a healing effect when used on the harm inflicted by dreadful naga & local spirits (เฝ€เพณเฝดเผ‹เฝ‚เฝ‰เฝ“เผ‹เฝ‘เฝ„เผ‹เฝฆเผ‹เฝ–เฝ‘เฝ‚).
There is also naturally formedโ€”the sun and moon-shaped rocks in front of the cave. A hollow rock on the right side of the cave is to examine persons virtuous and unvirtuous deeds (เฝ‘เฝ‚เฝบเผ‹เฝฆเพกเฝฒเฝ‚เผ‹เฝคเฝ“เผ‹เฝ•เพฑเฝบเผ‹เฝฆ).
The bowl-shaped rock on the left side of the cave is said to be Guru’s bathtub.

Below: Katekha village. Far end: Sha Bjena valley
Towards Sha Bjena

Chung-ney Goenpa faces ecologically abundant Sha Bjena valley. Sha: Kazhi Nyisho and Rubesa can be spotted as well at the far end and also some parts of Sha Chitokha.

The view is extraordinarily enchantingโ€”heavenly feel!

Goenkhar Kangtek Donkhor Lhakhang, Katekha
Phuensum Deki Community Pry. School
Glimpse of Sha: Samteygang, Gelekha, Nyishokha, Chitokha, Chungseykha and Kazhi.

๐™๐š๐›๐๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐‹๐ก๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ญ๐ฌ๐ž ๐๐ก๐จ๐๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ : ๐˜ž๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜›๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ.

Zabdhen Lhundruptse Phodrang

๐š‰๐šŠ๐š‹๐š๐š‘๐šŽ๐š— ๐™ป๐š‘๐šž๐š—๐š๐š›๐šž๐š™๐š๐šœ๐šŽ ๐™ฟ๐š‘๐š˜๐š๐š›๐šŠ๐š—๐š (เฝŸเฝ–เผ‹เฝ‘เฝผเฝ“เผ‹เฝฃเพทเฝดเฝ“เผ‹เฝ‚เพฒเฝดเฝ–เผ‹เฝขเพฉเฝบเผ‹เฝ•เฝผเผ‹เฝ–เพฒเฝ„เผ‹) ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š‹๐šž๐š’๐š•๐š ๐š’๐š— ๐Ÿท๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿท๐Ÿป ๐š‹๐šข ๐™ด๐š’๐š๐š‘๐š ๐™ณ๐š›๐šž๐š” ๐™ณ๐šŽ๐šœ๐š’, ๐™ณ๐š›๐šž๐š” ๐š๐šŠ๐š‹๐š๐šข๐šŽ ๐šŠ๐š”๐šŠ ๐™ณ๐šŽ๐š™๐šŠ ๐™น๐šŠ๐š ๐š˜ (เฝฆเพกเฝบเผ‹เฝ”เผ‹เฝขเพ’เพฑเผ‹เฝ–เฝผ) ๐šŠ๐š ๐š†๐šŠ๐š—๐š๐š๐š’๐š๐šœ๐šŽโ€”๐š˜๐š— ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š‘๐š’๐š•๐š•๐šœ ๐šŠ๐š‹๐š˜๐šŸ๐šŽ ๐™ณ๐šŽ๐šŒ๐š‘๐šŽ๐š—๐š™๐š‘๐š˜๐š๐š›๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐™ผ๐š˜๐š—๐šŠ๐šœ๐š๐šŽ๐š›๐šข ๐š’๐š— ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š๐šŽ๐š–๐šŠ๐š•๐šŽ ๐š†๐š˜๐š˜๐š ๐š‚๐š‘๐šŽ๐šŽ๐š™ ๐šˆ๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š› (เฝคเฝฒเฝ„เผ‹เฝ˜เฝผเผ‹เฝฃเฝดเฝ‚เผ‹เฝฃเฝผ).
๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐šœ๐š๐šŠ๐š๐šž๐šŽ ๐š˜๐š ๐™ฑ๐šž๐š๐š๐š‘๐šŠ (เฝเฝดเฝ–เผ‹เฝ”เฝ เฝฒเผ‹เฝ‘เฝ–เฝ„เผ‹เฝ”เฝผ) ๐š’๐šœ ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š–๐šŠ๐š’๐š—๐šœ๐š๐šŠ๐šข ๐š˜๐š ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐™ป๐š‘๐šŠ๐š”๐š‘๐šŠ๐š—๐š (๐š๐šŽ๐š–๐š™๐š•๐šŽ).

๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐™ป๐š‘๐šŠ๐š”๐š‘๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐šŠ๐š•๐šœ๐š˜ ๐š‘๐š˜๐šž๐šœ๐šŽ๐šœ ๐š๐šž๐šŠ๐š›๐š๐š’๐šŠ๐š— ๐š๐šŽ๐š’๐š๐š’๐šŽ๐šœ, ๐™ณ๐š‘๐šŽ๐šœ๐š‘๐šŽ๐šข ๐™ฒ๐š‘๐š˜๐šŽ๐š๐šŽ๐š— ๐™ถ๐šข๐šŽ๐š (๐šŽ๐š’๐š๐š‘๐š ๐š๐š›๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š ๐šœ๐š๐šž๐š™๐šŠ๐šœ), ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š˜๐š๐š‘๐šŽ๐š› ๐šœ๐šŠ๐šŒ๐š›๐šŽ๐š ๐šœ๐š๐šŠ๐š๐šž๐šŽ๐šœ.

๐™ณ๐š›๐šž๐š” ๐š๐šŠ๐š‹๐š๐šข๐šŽ ๐š›๐šŽ๐šœ๐š’๐š๐šŽ๐š ๐šŠ๐š ๐š†๐šŠ๐š—๐š๐š๐š’๐š๐šœ๐šŽ ๐šŠ๐š๐š๐šŽ๐š› ๐š›๐šŽ๐šœ๐š’๐š๐š—๐š’๐š—๐š ๐š๐š›๐š˜๐š– ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐šœ๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š ๐š˜๐š ๐™ณ๐šŽ๐šœ๐š’ ๐š’๐š— ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐™ด๐šŠ๐š›๐š๐š‘ ๐™ฟ๐š’๐š ๐šข๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š›.

Sketch by Samuel Davis

๐™ด๐š›๐šœ๐š๐š ๐š‘๐š’๐š•๐šŽ ๐š๐š’๐š๐šฃ๐š‘๐šž๐š—๐š ๐™ป๐š˜๐š‹๐š๐š›๐šŠ (๐™ธ๐š—๐šœ๐š๐š’๐š๐šž๐š๐šŽ ๐š˜๐š ๐™ป๐šŠ๐š—๐š๐šž๐šŠ๐š๐šŽ ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐™ฒ๐šž๐š•๐š๐šž๐š›๐šŽ ๐š‚๐š๐šž๐š๐š’๐šŽ๐šœ) ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š๐š’๐š›๐šœ๐š ๐šŽ๐šœ๐š๐šŠ๐š‹๐š•๐š’๐šœ๐š‘๐šŽ๐š ๐šž๐š—๐š๐šŽ๐š› ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š™๐šŠ๐š๐š›๐š˜๐š—๐šŠ๐š๐šŽ ๐š˜๐š ๐™ท๐š’๐šœ ๐™ผ๐šŠ๐š“๐šŽ๐šœ๐š๐šข ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š•๐šŠ๐š๐šŽ ๐™บ๐š’๐š—๐š ๐™น๐š’๐š๐š–๐šŽ ๐™ณ๐š˜๐š›๐š“๐š’ ๐š†๐šŠ๐š—๐š๐šŒ๐š‘๐šž๐šŒ๐š” ๐š˜๐š— ๐Ÿท๐Ÿผ ๐™น๐šž๐š•๐šข ๐Ÿท๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿท ๐šŠ๐š ๐š†๐šŠ๐š—๐š๐š๐š’๐š๐šœ๐šŽ ๐šž๐š—๐š๐šŽ๐š› ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š‘๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š๐šœ๐š‘๐š’๐š™ ๐š˜๐š ๐™ท๐š’๐šœ ๐™ท๐š˜๐š•๐š’๐š—๐šŽ๐šœ๐šœ ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š•๐šŠ๐š๐šŽ ๐™ณ๐š’๐š•๐š๐š˜ ๐™บ๐š‘๐šข๐šŽ๐š—๐š๐šœ๐šŽ ๐š๐š’๐š—๐š™๐š˜๐šŒ๐š‘๐šŽ (๐Ÿท๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿท๐Ÿถ-๐Ÿท๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿท). ๐™ป๐šŠ๐š๐šŽ๐š›, ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š’๐š—๐šœ๐š๐š’๐š๐šž๐š๐šŽ ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐šœ๐š‘๐š’๐š๐š๐šŽ๐š ๐š๐š˜ ๐š‚๐šŽ๐š–๐š๐š˜๐š”๐š‘๐šŠ, ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ๐š— ๐š๐š˜ ๐šƒ๐šŠ๐š”๐š๐šœ๐šŽ, ๐šƒ๐š›๐š˜๐š—๐š๐šœ๐šŠ.

Former Lhakhang: pc. picssr.com

๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐™ป๐š‘๐šŠ๐š”๐š‘๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐šž๐š—๐š๐šŽ๐š›๐š ๐šŽ๐š—๐š ๐š–๐šŠ๐šœ๐šœ๐š’๐šŸ๐šŽ ๐š›๐šŽ๐š—๐š˜๐šŸ๐šŠ๐š๐š’๐š˜๐š— ๐š๐š›๐š˜๐š– ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿท๐Ÿน ๐š๐š’๐š•๐š• ๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š›๐š•๐šข ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿถ. ๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ๐š›๐šŽ ๐š ๐šŽ๐š›๐šŽ ๐šŸ๐š’๐šœ๐š’๐š‹๐š•๐šŽ ๐šœ๐š๐š›๐šž๐šŒ๐š๐šž๐š›๐šŠ๐š• ๐šŒ๐š‘๐šŠ๐š—๐š๐šŽ๐šœ ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐šŠ๐š›๐šŒ๐š‘๐š’๐š๐šŽ๐šŒ๐š๐šž๐š›๐šŠ๐š• ๐š˜๐šŸ๐šŽ๐š›๐š‘๐šŠ๐šž๐š• ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐šข๐š˜๐šž ๐šŒ๐šŠ๐š— ๐šœ๐šŽ๐šŽ ๐š’๐š— ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š™๐š’๐šŒ๐š๐šž๐š›๐šŽ๐šœ.

During the phase of renovation
Entrance

๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐šŒ๐š˜๐š—๐šœ๐šŽ๐šŒ๐š›๐šŠ๐š๐š’๐š˜๐š— ๐šŒ๐šŽ๐š›๐šŽ๐š–๐š˜๐š—๐šข ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š™๐šŽ๐š›๐š๐š˜๐š›๐š–๐šŽ๐š ๐š‹๐šข ๐™ท๐š’๐šœ ๐™ท๐š˜๐š•๐š’๐š—๐šŽ๐šœ๐šœ ๐™ณ๐š˜๐š›๐š“๐š’ ๐™ป๐š˜๐š™๐šŽ๐š— ๐š๐š’๐š—๐š™๐š˜๐šŒ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š˜๐š— ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿบ ๐™น๐šŠ๐š—๐šž๐šŠ๐š›๐šข ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿถโ€”๐š๐š›๐šŠ๐šŒ๐šŽ๐š ๐š‹๐šข ๐™ท๐š’๐šœ ๐™ผ๐šŠ๐š“๐šŽ๐šœ๐š๐šข ๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐™บ๐š’๐š—๐š, ๐™ท๐š’๐šœ ๐™ผ๐šŠ๐š“๐šŽ๐šœ๐š๐šข ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐™ต๐š˜๐šž๐š›๐š๐š‘ ๐™ณ๐š›๐šž๐š” ๐™ถ๐šข๐šŠ๐š•๐š™๐š˜, ๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ๐š’๐š› ๐™ผ๐šŠ๐š“๐šŽ๐šœ๐š๐š’๐šŽ๐šœ ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐™ถ๐šข๐šŠ๐š•๐šข๐šž๐š–๐šœ, ๐™ท๐š’๐šœ ๐š๐š˜๐šข๐šŠ๐š• ๐™ท๐š’๐š๐š‘๐š—๐šŽ๐šœ๐šœ ๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐™ถ๐šข๐šŠ๐š•๐šœ๐šŽ๐šข, ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š–๐šŽ๐š–๐š‹๐šŽ๐š›๐šœ ๐š˜๐š ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š๐š˜๐šข๐šŠ๐š• ๐™ต๐šŠ๐š–๐š’๐š•๐šข.

๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐™ป๐š‘๐šŠ๐š”๐š‘๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š›๐šŽ๐šœ๐š๐š˜๐š›๐šŽ๐š ๐š๐š˜ ๐š’๐š๐šœ ๐š๐š˜๐š›๐š–๐šŽ๐š› ๐š๐š•๐š˜๐š›๐šข.

His Majesty and The Gyalsey; His Majesty the Great Fourth and Gyalyums at background. pc. His Majesty’s fb page.
Traditional rice beating objects

๐šƒ๐š˜๐š๐šŠ๐šข, ๐š‚๐šŠ๐š—๐š๐šŠ๐šข๐š๐šŠ๐š—๐š-๐š†๐šŠ๐š—๐š๐š๐š’๐š๐šœ๐šŽ ๐š๐š›๐šŠ๐š’๐š• ๐š’๐šœ ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š–๐š˜๐šœ๐š ๐š™๐š˜๐š™๐šž๐š•๐šŠ๐š› ๐š‘๐š’๐š”๐š’๐š—๐š ๐š๐š›๐šŠ๐š’๐š• ๐š๐š˜๐š› ๐š‹๐š˜๐š๐š‘ ๐™ฑ๐š‘๐šž๐š๐šŠ๐š—๐šŽ๐šœ๐šŽ ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š๐š˜๐šž๐š›๐š’๐šœ๐š๐šœ.

๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐šŸ๐š’๐šŽ๐š  ๐š๐š›๐š˜๐š– ๐š†๐šŠ๐š—๐š๐š๐š’๐š๐šœ๐šŽ ๐š’๐šœ ๐š‹๐š›๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š๐š‘๐š๐šŠ๐š”๐š’๐š—๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐šข๐š˜๐šž ๐šŒ๐šŠ๐š— ๐šœ๐šŽ๐šŽ ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š๐š›๐šŠ๐š—๐š๐š’๐š˜๐šœ๐šŽ ๐šƒ๐šŠ๐šœ๐š‘๐š’ ๐™ฒ๐š‘๐š˜๐šŽ๐š๐šฃ๐š˜๐š—๐šโ€”๐š›๐šŽ๐š™๐š•๐š’๐šŒ๐šŠ๐š๐šŽ๐š ๐š‹๐šข ๐š™๐š’๐šŒ๐š๐šž๐š›๐šŽ๐šœ๐šš๐šž๐šŽ ๐™ฝ๐šŠ๐š๐š’๐š˜๐š—๐šŠ๐š• ๐™ฐ๐šœ๐šœ๐šŽ๐š–๐š‹๐š•๐šข ๐š๐šž๐š’๐š•๐š๐š‘๐šŠ๐š•๐š•, ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š’๐š๐šข๐š•๐š•๐š’๐šŒ ๐šƒ๐š‘๐š’๐š–๐š™๐š‘๐šž ๐šŒ๐š’๐š๐šข.

๐™ธ๐š ๐š’๐šœ ๐šŠ ๐š‘๐šŽ๐šŠ๐šŸ๐šŽ๐š— ๐š˜๐š— ๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š›๐š๐š‘ ๐š•๐š’๐š”๐šŽ ๐š๐šŽ๐šŽ๐š•!

View from Wangditseโ€”summer
View from Wangditseโ€”Winter

Eight sacred Dzongs around Singye Dzong.

The eight significant Dzong(s) embedded on cliffs at Singye Dzong are Singye Dzong, Tsemo Dzong (เฝขเพฉเฝบเผ‹เฝ˜เฝผเผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹), Rinchen Dzong (เฝขเฝฒเฝ“เผ‹เฝ†เฝบเฝ“เผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹), Gawa Dzong (เฝ‘เฝ‚เฝ เผ‹เฝ–เผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹), Dhuelwa Dzong (เฝ เฝ‘เฝดเฝฃเผ‹เฝ–เผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹), Dorji Dzong (เฝขเพกเฝผเผ‹เฝขเพ—เฝบเผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹), Namkha Dzong (เฝ‚เฝ“เฝ˜เผ‹เฝเผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹) and Pema Dzong (เฝ”เฝ‘เพจเผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹).

These sacred Dzongs have its respective crematorium in the form of rocks.ย These Dzongsย signifies Guru Tsengyed (eight manifestations).

Singye Dzong
Tsemo Dzong
Rinchen Dzong
Rinchen Dzong. PC: Sonam Dendu, https://www.facebook.com/sorwabhotantravels/
Gawa Dzong
Dhuelwa Dzong
Dorji Dzong
Namkha Dzong
Pema Dzong

It takes a day to visit all the Dzongs. Pema Dzong and Namkha Dzong are the farthest. Trek to Namkha Dzong is not recommended for frail and acrophobic because of vertical trail and steepnessโ€”a single misstep might prove fatal. Nevertheless, view from Namkha Dzong is mind-bogglingโ€”it’s worth the risk.

On way to Namkha Dzong: heavenly climb.
At Dorji Dzong

Phugmachen and Sharcho Pelriphug: ๐“ฌ๐“ธ๐“ท๐“ฌ๐“ฎ๐“ช๐“ต๐“ฎ๐“ญ ๐““๐“ป๐“พ๐“น๐“ฑ๐“พ

After exploring ins and outs of Singye Dzong, I peregrinated to Roelmoteng: a serene village with a few farmhouses of the nomad. Rolmoter Lhakhang (temple) bucolically faces magnificent waterfall from luxuriant foliage ridge. It is a replica of the Ugyen Heruka temple (เฝจเพฑเฝผเฝ“เผ‹เฝงเฝบเผ‹เฝขเฝดเผ‹เฝ€เผ‹เฝ‚เฝ™เฝดเฝ‚เผ‹เฝฃเฝ‚เผ‹เฝเฝ„เผ‹).

As per Ney-yik (sacred site description): entire surrounding of the Lhakhang is Bae-nay (hidden sacred place) of Ugyen Maha Guru. Therefore, any person who sees, hears and visualises the Lhakhang can cleanse their defilements and get a blessing.

Cymbal-treasureโ€”hidden inside the rock.

Pilgrimizing Phugmachen(เฝ•เฝดเฝ‚เผ‹เฝ˜เผ‹เฝ…เฝ“) and Sharcho Pelriphug (เฝคเฝขเผ‹เฝ•เพฑเฝผเฝ‚เฝฆเผ‹เฝ‘เฝ”เฝฃเผ‹เฝขเฝฒเผ‹เฝ•เฝดเฝ‚) takes eight hours gruelling trekโ€”traversing alpine shrub and meadows; rivers and streams.

Phugmachen is premised in idyllic placeโ€”conserving: hermitage and stupas; replicas of pig-head, golden clarinet (เฝ‚เฝฆเฝบเฝขเผ‹เฝ‚เพฑเฝฒเผ‹เฝขเพ’เพฑเผ‹เฝ‚เพณเฝฒเฝ„เผ‹) and Guruโ€™s hat on the wall of the cave. One stupa is a Kudung chorten (memorial stupa) of a yogini Machig Labdrรถnโ€™s (เฝ˜เผ‹เฝ‚เฝ…เฝฒเฝ‚เผ‹เฝฃเฝ–เผ‹เฝฆเพ’เพฒเฝผเฝ“) son. He was cremated on the hilltop of Singye Dzong, and thereupon, his remains were placed inside the stupa. There is also Drupchu (holy water) at the base of the cave.

Phugmachen: top most stupa is the Kudung Chorten of Machig Labdrรถnโ€™s son.

Sharcho Pelriphug is tucked on the opposite side of the hill on the way to Phugmachen. It is Tsei-druphu (lifespan meditation cave) where Guru meditated. Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal meditated on the stone seat inside the cave. It is believed that praying inside the cave can prolong one’s lifespan.

Spot the Druphu
Tsei-druphu

There is also Zangdopelri (heavenly abode) embedded on the rock and other sacred idols within the premises of Rolmoter Lhakhang.

From Roelmateng, I shinned down to Denchung village, and then to Khoma. I navigated to the sacred cave where Guru secretly meditated for six months (เฝ‚เฝฆเฝ„เผ‹เฝ–เผ‹เฝŸเพณเผ‹เฝ‘เพฒเฝดเฝ‚) and other sites at Khoma. The religious sites of Guru extend from Singye Dzong till Khoma. So, pilgrims must concludeโ€”visiting those sites at Khoma after Singye Dzong.

Sangwa-dhdruk and Khoma village.

Treeking to Singye Dzong

Singye Dzong trek starts from Khoma villageโ€”the fons et origo of Kishuthara. It is a three-day journey with a two-night halt. Every trekker has to undergo mandatory health checkups at Khoma BHU as the trek is arduous and trekker often suffer from La-duk (Acute Mountain Sickness). A trekker must get route permit from Khoma Gewog Office since the place is near to Bhutan-Tibetan border.

I embarked on my journey in a pickup Bolero from Khoma till Khing Dung (เฝเฝฒเฝ„เผ‹เฝ‚เฝ‘เฝดเฝ„) with other pilgrims. From there, we packed our luggage on a pony; thus, 21.9 km first-day trek began along the left side of Khoma-chuโ€”tramping through subtropical broadleaf vegetation. It is seven to eight-hour trek till the first-night halt camp at Tsekang (เฝšเฝฒเฝ‚เผ‹เฝ–เฝ€เฝ„เผ‹). The popular lunch point is at Chang-shing Dung (เฝฃเพ•เฝ„เผ‹เฝคเฝฒเฝ„เผ‹เฝ‚เฝ‘เฝดเฝ„เผ‹), however, we had our lunch at Nyala Pang (เฝ‰เผ‹เฝฃเผ‹เฝฆเพคเฝ„เผ‹) and, halt the night at Denchung (เฝ‚เฝ‘เฝ“เผ‹เฝ†เฝดเฝ„เผ‹) village in a hospitable farmhouse. The trekkers can also halt at Khomagang village in case of fatigue, as Denchung and Tsekang are a bit far.

Denchung village

Tsekang

The 13.5 km second-day trek towards Thang Karmo (เฝเฝ„เผ‹เฝ‘เฝ€เฝขเผ‹เฝ˜เฝผ) began with a bright sunshine. The chirping birds, fresh air, and lush green forest boosted our stamina to trek for another six hours. We had our lunch at Chuna (เฝ†เฝดเผ‹เฝ‚เฝ“เฝ‚)โ€”the winter pastureland of the nomad. Thereafter, we climbed knolls, crossed several streams, and reached Thang Karmo: our second-night halt camp. There are two spacious wooden guest houses built solely for pilgrims, but without solar power or electricity. The telecommunication is also unavailable from Chuna, nevertheless, it is complete bliss sans social media distractions.

Thang Karmo

The third-day trek, which is 16.5 km from Thang-Karmo to Singye Dzong, takes 5 hoursโ€”penetrating through the sub-alpine forest. The lunch point is at Doksum (เฝ‘เฝผเฝ‚เผ‹เฝ‚เฝฆเฝดเฝ˜) at the junction of Singye Dzong and Roelmoteng (เฝขเฝผเฝฃเผ‹เฝ˜เฝผเผ‹เฝฆเพŸเฝบเฝ„เผ‹) route.After trudging via Tachet-Michet (เฝขเพŸเผ‹เฝ†เฝ‘เผ‹เฝ˜เฝฒเผ‹เฝ†เฝ‘) trail, finally, we reached Singye Dzong. We prostrated from Chaktsel gang (เฝ•เพฑเฝ‚เผ‹เฝ เฝšเฝฃเผ‹เฝฆเพ’เฝ„เผ‹) before setting our foot on the sacred place. We camped three days at Singye Dzong and hiked to all the Dzongs, sacred sites including Tsokar-Tsonak (เฝ˜เฝšเฝผเผ‹เฝ‘เฝ€เฝขเผ‹เฝ‘เฝ„เผ‹เฝ˜เฝšเฝผเผ‹เฝ‚เฝ“เฝ‚), and Terdha Latso (เฝ‚เฝเฝบเฝขเผ‹เฝ–เฝ‘เฝ‚เผ‹เฝ–เพณเผ‹เฝ˜เฝšเฝผ). It was an adventurous pilgrimage as we hiked from dawn to dusk each day in extremely pleasant weather. I recommend mid-August to mid-September as the ideal time for pilgrimage as the monsoon gets dried and winter is afar. However, by the last week of October, trekking towards lakes seems impassable because of frost and snow.Singye Dzong from Chaktsel gangTsokarTsonakTerdha LatsoThe ridge believed to be 108 stupasAmazing pilgrims

๐ƒ๐ฎ๐ง๐  ๐“๐ฌ๐จ (เฝ‘เฝดเฝ„เผ‹เฝ˜เฝšเฝผ) ๐‚๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ก ๐‹๐š๐คe

๐ƒ๐ฎ๐ง๐  ๐“๐ฌ๐จ (เฝ‘เฝดเฝ„เผ‹เฝ˜เฝšเฝผ) ๐š•๐š’๐š๐šŽ๐š›๐šŠ๐š•๐š•๐šข ๐š–๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š—๐šœ ๐‚๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ก ๐‹๐š๐ค๐ž.โ €
โ €
๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐™ป๐šŠ๐š”๐šŽ ๐š’๐šœ ๐š—๐šŠ๐š–๐šŽ๐š ๐™ณ๐šž๐š—๐š ๐šƒ๐šœ๐š˜ ๐š‹๐šŽ๐šŒ๐šŠ๐šž๐šœ๐šŽ ๐™ณ๐š›๐šž๐š™๐š๐š‘๐š˜๐š™ ๐™ณ๐š›๐šŠ๐š๐šŠ๐šข ๐š‚๐š‘๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐šœ๐š™๐š˜๐š๐š๐šŽ๐š ๐šŠ ๐š™๐šŠ๐š’๐š› ๐š˜๐š ๐™ฒ๐š˜๐š—๐šŒ๐š‘ (๐š–๐šŠ๐š•๐šŽ ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š๐šŽ๐š–๐šŠ๐š•๐šŽ) ๐š ๐š‘๐š’๐š•๐šŽ ๐š–๐šŽ๐š๐š’๐š๐šŠ๐š๐š’๐š—๐š ๐š—๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š› ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐™ป๐šŠ๐š”๐šŽ. ๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š›๐šž๐š’๐š—๐šœ ๐š˜๐š ๐šข๐š˜๐š๐š’’๐šœ ๐š‘๐šŽ๐š›๐š–๐š’๐š๐šŠ๐š๐šŽ ๐šŒ๐šŠ๐š— ๐š‹๐šŽ ๐šœ๐šŽ๐šŽ๐š— ๐š—๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š› ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐™ป๐šŠ๐š”๐šŽ. โ €๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐™ป๐šŠ๐š”๐šŽ ๐š’๐šœ ๐š•๐š˜๐šŒ๐šŠ๐š๐šŽ๐š ๐š•๐š’๐š๐š๐š•๐šŽ ๐š–๐š˜๐š›๐šŽ ๐š๐š‘๐šŠ๐š— ๐Ÿธ ๐š‘๐š˜๐šž๐š›๐šœ ๐š‘๐š’๐š”๐šŽ ๐š๐š›๐š˜๐š– ๐™ฟ๐š‘๐šŠ๐š“๐š˜๐š๐š’๐š—๐š ๐š–๐š˜๐š—๐šŠ๐šœ๐š๐šŽ๐š›๐šข ๐šŠ๐š ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š‹๐šŠ๐šœ๐šŽ ๐š˜๐š ๐šŠ ๐š›๐š˜๐šŒ๐š”๐šข ๐š‘๐š’๐š•๐š• ๐šœ๐šž๐š›๐š›๐š˜๐šž๐š—๐š๐šŽ๐š ๐š‹๐šข ๐š›๐š‘๐š˜๐š๐š˜๐š๐šŽ๐š—๐š๐š›๐š˜๐š—๐šœ.๐™ณ๐šž๐š—๐š ๐šƒ๐šœ๐š˜ ๐š’๐šœ ๐š–๐šž๐šŒ๐š‘ ๐š‘๐šข๐š™๐šŽ๐š ๐š‘๐š’๐š”๐š’๐š—๐š ๐šœ๐š™๐š˜๐š ๐š’๐š— ๐šƒ๐š‘๐š’๐š–๐š™๐š‘๐šž. ๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐™ณ๐šž๐š—๐š ๐šƒ๐šœ๐š˜ ๐š๐š›๐šŠ๐š’๐š• ๐š›๐šŽ๐šŒ๐šŽ๐š’๐šŸ๐šŽ๐šœ ๐š‘๐šž๐š—๐š๐š›๐šŽ๐š๐šœ ๐š˜๐š ๐šŸ๐š’๐šœ๐š’๐š๐š˜๐š›๐šœ ๐š๐šž๐š›๐š’๐š—๐š ๐š ๐šŽ๐šŽ๐š”๐šŽ๐š—๐š. ๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š’๐š๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š• ๐š๐š’๐š–๐šŽ ๐š๐š˜๐š› ๐šŠ ๐š‘๐š’๐š”๐šŽ ๐š’๐šœ ๐šœ๐š™๐š›๐š’๐š—๐š ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐šŠ๐šž๐š๐šž๐š–๐š— ๐š‹๐šŽ๐šŒ๐šŠ๐šž๐šœ๐šŽ ๐š๐šž๐š›๐š’๐š—๐š ๐šœ๐šž๐š–๐š–๐šŽ๐š›, ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š’๐š—๐šŒ๐šŽ๐šœ๐šœ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š›๐šŠ๐š’๐š— ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š๐š˜๐š๐š๐šข ๐š ๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ๐š› ๐š˜๐š‹๐š๐šž๐šœ๐šŒ๐šŠ๐š๐šŽ๐šœ ๐š‹๐š›๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š๐š‘๐š๐šŠ๐š”๐š’๐š—๐š ๐šœ๐šŒ๐šŽ๐š—๐šŽ๐š›๐šข.

Shelkar Zar (เฝคเฝบเฝฃเผ‹เฝ‘เฝ€เฝขเผ‹เฝ‚เฝŸเฝข)

The waterfall near the Senge Phu in Taktsang is called Shelkar Zar (เฝคเฝบเฝฃเผ‹เฝ‘เฝ€เฝขเผ‹เฝ‚เฝŸเฝข). It is called Shelkar Zar because the crystal water descends from the cliff resembling the throne on which Guru Rinpoche transmitted dharma to Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal. There is Khandro’s knees imprint on the middle of the cliff where she received the dharma. Hence the waterfall resembles Guru plucking his crystal bead and bestowing it to Khandro for sanctification; it is named in that sense. โฃ
โฃ
As from another saying; the cliff left to Taktsang is a place where Guru transmitted dharma to Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal. Since Guru bestowed his crystal prayer beads to Khandro, thus the name Shelkar Zar.โฃ
โฃ
The water descending from the cliff is believed to be the holy water of a hundred thousand Dakini (เฝ˜เฝเฝ เผ‹เฝ เฝ‚เพฒเฝผเผ‹เฝ เฝ–เฝดเฝ˜เผ‹เฝ‚เพฑเฝฒเผ‹เฝฆเพ’เพฒเฝดเฝ–เผ‹เฝ†เฝด). The source is said to be at Bumdrak.โฃ

It is further said that His Eminence Late Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche claimed Shelkar Zar Drubchu as sanctified and took a portrait near it.โฃ
โฃ
Source: ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO SACRED SITES, Paro Dzongkhag, vol. VIIIโฃ

Singye Dzong เฝฆเฝบเฝ„เพ’เฝบเผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹เผ (Lion Fortress)

Singye Dzong is located in Khoma Gewog under Lhuntse District, and it falls within the Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary. It is 3800m above sea level. The Dzong stands on the cliff resembling a lion, hence the name Singye Dzong. 

Guru Rinpoche’s consort Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal found the Dzong in the 8th century.  

Guru Rinpoche meditated in the cave during his second visit to Bhutan via Tibet and left Kurje (body imprint). Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal also left mystical imprints on the cave after perfecting Vajrakilaya. It is believed that any person who visits Singye Dzong will be liberated once from the hell.    

Among the sacred places visited and blessed by Padmasambhava that signifies: body, speech, mind, knowledge, and deedโ€”Singye Dzong represent the deed (เฝ•เพฒเฝฒเฝ“เผ‹เฝฃเฝฆเผ‹เฝ€เพฑเฝฒเผ‹เฝ‚เฝ“เฝฆเผ‹เฝ†เฝบเฝ“เผ‹เฝ˜เฝผเฝ“เผ‹เฝเผ‹เฝ“เฝบเผ‹เฝขเฝฒเฝ„เผ‹เฝฆเฝบเฝ„เผ‹เฝ‚เฝบเผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹). 

Guru also mentioned about 15 different treasures hidden at Singye Dzong in his prophecy (เฝ˜เฝผเฝ“เผ‹เฝเผ‹เฝฆเพฃเผ‹เฝขเฝฒเฝ„เผ‹เฝฆเฝบเฝ„เผ‹เฝ‚เฝบเผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹เฝ‚เฝฆเฝดเฝ˜เผ‹เฝฃเผ” เฝ˜เผ‹เฝ“เฝฒเฝ„เผ‹เฝ‚เฝเฝบเฝขเผ‹เฝ€เผ‹เฝ•เพฒเผ‹เฝ‚เฝเฝบเฝขเผ‹เฝ–เฝ…เฝผเผ‹เฝฃเพ”เผ‹เฝฆเพฆเฝฆเผ”).

There are eight significant Dzongsย embedded on aย cliff. These are: Singye Dzong, Tsemo Dzong (เฝขเพฉเฝบเผ‹เฝ˜เฝผเผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹), Rinchen Dzong (เฝขเฝฒเฝ“เผ‹เฝ†เฝบเฝ“เผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹),ย Gawa Dzong (เฝ‘เฝ‚เฝ เผ‹เฝ–เผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹), Dhuelwa Dzong (เฝ เฝ‘เฝดเฝฃเผ‹เฝ–เผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹), Dorji Dzong (เฝขเพกเฝผเผ‹เฝขเพ—เฝบเผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹), Namkha Dzong (เฝ‚เฝ“เฝ˜เผ‹เฝเผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹), and Pema Dzong (เฝ”เฝ‘เพจเผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ„เผ‹). Each Dzong has its respective crematorium in the form of rocks.ย These Dzongsย areย believed to be the eight manifestations of Guru Rinpoche.

The Singye Dzong surrounding has mysterious landmarks such as Guru and Khandroโ€™s footprints; rocks representing Rigsum Goenpo (Manjushri, Vajrapani and Avalokitesvara), holy water, natural replica of Manjushri’s sword and scriptures; 108 Vajra treasures and 21 Tara treasures, and the mystical rock below Tse-mo Dzong where Guru confined 108 Ja-chung (Garuda) which tried to cause a catastrophe in the world. It is impossible to mention all those sacred landmarks.

The temple adjacent to Gawa Dzong house sacred treasures discovered by Guru Rinpoche from Singye Dzong Lake. There are five Phurpa (ritual daggers), Chorten (tiny stupas), three statues and a pair of Dorje (vajra). Dorji and statutes are the main treasures of Rolmoter Lhakhang (เฝขเฝผเฝฃเผ‹เฝ˜เฝผเผ‹เฝ‚เฝเฝบเฝขเผ‹เฝฃเพทเผ‹เฝเฝ„เผ‹เผ). Guru Rinpoche discovered statutes from Phugmachin (เฝ•เฝดเฝ‚เผ‹เฝ˜เผ‹เฝ…เฝ“) cave. 

Singye Dzong (Lion Fortress)
Rocks representing Rigsum Goenpo, and the Temple of the guardian deity Zora-rakay.
Natural replica of Manjushri’s sword.
Guru’s hat.
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