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Dangchu’s Wangchu

Dangchu’s Wangchu (เฝ‘เพญเฝ„เฝฆเผ‹เฝ†เฝดเฝ เฝฒเผ‹เฝ‘เฝ–เฝ„เผ‹เฝ†เฝด) is a popular retreat site for hot stone bath owing to numerous health benefits.

The holy water was revealed by the second Je Khenpo โ€” Khenchen Sonam Yoezer in 17แต—สฐ century while consecrating the memorial stupa (Chubar Chรถeten) of the incarnation of Terton Dorji Lingpa.

Khenchen Sonam Yoezer

During the consecration ceremony, Chab Je solemnized wang (Abhishekha) for the people. He asked them to fetch water beneath the Cypress tree for Thruechu (holy water). The people informed Cha Je about the non-availability of water, but Chab Je insisted them to fetch water; surprisingly, they discovered a streamlet beneath Tsenden Shing (cypress).ย 

Thus, the name Dangchu’s Wangchu (เฝ‘เพญเฝ„เฝฆเผ‹เฝ†เฝดเฝ เฝฒเผ‹เฝ‘เฝ–เฝ„เผ‹เฝ†เฝด) as the streamlet was revealed during wang.

Folk also believe it to be Guru Rinpoche’s Drubchu (healing miraculous water).

Dangchu’s Wangchu is around 25 km from Nobding, Wangdue Phodrang.

Thongdrel เฝ˜เฝเฝผเฝ„เผ‹เฝ‚เพฒเฝผเฝฃเผ

Thongdrelย means “liberation by sight.” According to a Buddhist belief, a person’s negative karma can be purged by getting a glimpse of it.ย 
เฝ˜เฝฒเฝ‚เผ‹เฝเฝผเผ‹เฝ‚เฝฒเฝฆเผ‹เฝ˜เฝเฝผเฝ„เผ‹เฝ–เผ‹เฝ™เฝ˜เผ‹เฝ…เฝฒเฝ‚เผ‹เฝ‚เฝฒเฝฆเผ‹เฝ„เฝ“เผ‹เฝฆเฝผเฝ„เผ‹เฝ‚เฝฆเฝดเฝ˜เผ‹เฝฃเฝฆเผ‹เฝ‚เพฒเฝผเฝฃเผ‹เฝšเฝดเฝ‚เฝฆเผ‹เฝ”เฝ เฝฒเผ‹เฝขเพŸเฝบเฝ“เผ

Thongdrelย is mostly made of silkโ€”depicting the image of Buddha, Guru Rinpoche, Zhabdrung or Buddhist gods. It is unveiled during auspicious occasions such asย Tsechuย (religious festivals), consecration of temples, holy days and noble birth. It is stored rolled up at other times.ย  ย  ย ย 

Following are Thongdrel displayed during auspicious occasions:  

Buddha Shakyamuni Thongdrel at Tashichoe Dzong
Guru Tsengye Thongdrel at Paro Rinpung Dzong
Jowo Jampa Thongdrel at Sewla Monastery, Punakha
Zhabdrung Phuensumtsokpi Thongdrel at Punakha Dzong
Guru Tsengye Thongdrel at Chukha Ngoedrup-Tse Dzong
Guru Tsengye Thongdrel at Nimalung Monastery, Bumthang
Guru Tsengye Thongdrel at Trongsa Dzong
Guru Tsengye Thongdrel at Tashichoe Dzong
Penlop Drakpa Gyatso Thongdrel at Jangchub-Choeling Monastery at Jabana, Paro

I am fortunate to get a glimpse of these Thongdrel during their respective festivals.

May All Get Blessed!

Ragoe Ney: ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ก๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ณ๐˜ช

Doteng valley is an adytum for sacral sites such as Chumo Phu, Shala Dra, Chidhue Goenpa, Ragoe Ney and Soelchu Phu in Paro.

Ragoe Ney is ensconced in a craggy hill and it is revered as the second Zangdhopelri by the noble ancestors. (เฝ‚เฝ“เฝฆเผ‹เฝกเฝฒเฝ‚เผ‹เฝฃเฝฆเฝฟ เฝ‚เฝ“เฝฆเผ‹เฝ เฝ‘เฝฒเผ‹เฝŸเฝ„เฝฆเผ‹เฝ˜เฝ‘เฝผเฝ‚เผ‹เฝ‘เฝ”เฝฃเผ‹เฝขเฝฒเผ‹เฝ‚เฝ‰เฝฒเฝฆเผ‹เฝ”เผ‹เฝžเฝบเฝฆเผ เผเฝขเพ’เพฑเฝฃเผ‹เฝ–เผ‹เฝ‚เฝผเฝ„เผ‹เฝ˜เผ‹เฝขเพฃเฝ˜เฝฆเผ‹เฝ€เพฑเฝฒเผ‹เฝกเฝ„เผ‹เฝกเฝ„เผ‹เฝ–เฝฆเพ”เฝ‚เฝฆเผ เผ)

As per the sacred text: the dark cliff faces south and have a crescent shapeโ€”the top of the hill resembles wearing a hat; the base of the cliff is as beautiful as the lotus. The cliff was blessed by Guru Rinpoche as Baeyul. (เฝ–เพฒเฝ‚เผ‹เฝ“เฝฒเผ‹เฝ“เฝ‚เผ‹เฝ”เฝผเผ‹เฝเผ‹เฝ“เฝฒเผ‹เฝฃเพทเฝผเผ‹เฝฃเผ‹เฝ–เฝฃเพŸเฝฆเผ เผเฝ‘เฝ–เพฑเฝฒเฝ–เฝฆเผ‹เฝ“เฝฒเผ‹เฝŸเพณเผ‹เฝ‚เฝ˜เผ‹เฝ˜เฝ‚เฝผเผ‹เฝ“เฝฒเผ‹เฝžเพญเผ‹เฝฃเพŸเฝขเผ‹เฝ•เฝดเฝ–เผ เผเฝ‚เฝคเฝ˜เผ‹เฝ“เฝฒเผ‹เฝ”เฝ‘เพจเฝผเผ‹เฝฃเพŸเผ‹เฝ–เฝดเผ‹เฝขเฝ–เผ‹เฝเฝดเผ‹เฝ˜เฝ›เฝบเฝฆเผ เผ)
It is called Ragoe Ney because the pathway to the sacred site was initially revealed by the Goat and Vulture.
A depiction of Goat and Vulture can be seen on the way, along with icons of Gurus hat and footprint; sacred site entrance key, Selwatsel crematorium, Dakinis footprints and ritual dagger.

The cliff resembles Guru Dorje Drolรถ and Drakmar. The left side of the cliff iconizes Garuda and deity Terdhak Gyalpo and the water dripping from the cliff is deities nasal drip. There is also naturally emanated stupa at the girth of the cliff and imagery of serpentโ€”subdued by Guru.

There is a Lam Namkhai Nyingpo’s meditation cave at the midsection of the cliff and naturally emanated Hum on top of the cliff. A person can attain Buddhahoodโ€”praying at the Hum syllable site. (เฝ‘เฝดเฝฆเผ‹เฝ‚เฝฆเฝดเฝ˜เผ‹เฝขเพ’เพฑเฝฃเผ‹เฝ–เผ‹เฝ€เฝดเฝ“เผ‹เฝ‚เพฑเฝฒเผ‹เฝ†เฝผเฝฆเผ‹เฝ‰เฝฒเฝ‘เผ‹เฝเฝดเฝ‚เฝฆเผ เผเฝกเฝฒเผ‹เฝ‚เฝบเผ‹เฝงเฝฑเฝดเฝพเผ‹เฝ‚เฝฒเผ‹เฝฆเพฃเฝ„เผ‹เฝ–เผ‹เฝ‚เฝฆเฝฃเผ‹เฝ”เฝผเฝขเผ‹เฝ–เพฑเฝผเฝ“เผ เผเฝ‘เฝบเผ‹เฝฃเผ‹เฝฆเพจเฝผเฝ“เผ‹เฝฃเฝ˜เผ‹เฝกเฝ„เผ‹เฝกเฝ„เผ‹เฝ เฝ‘เฝบเฝ–เฝฆเผ‹เฝ“เฝดเฝฆเผ‹เฝ“เผ เผเฝšเฝบเผ‹เฝ เฝ‘เฝฒเฝขเผ‹เฝขเพซเฝผเฝ‚เฝฆเผ‹เฝฆเฝ„เฝฆเผ‹เฝขเพ’เพฑเฝฆเผ‹เฝ”เฝ เฝฒเผ‹เฝกเฝฒเผ‹เฝ‚เฝบเผ‹เฝกเฝฒเฝ“เผ เผ)

There are two temples at Ragoe Ney. The mainstay of the lower temple is the speaking Guru statue sculpted by Pentsa Deva in the 17 century. The cave has naturally emanated images of Tiger, Leopard, Bear and Dakini’s scriptures.

The upper temple was built by Lopen Tsewang Tenzin after seeing Guru while he was reciting the Vajra Guru mantra. It has Guru Ugyen Dorji as the main statue. There is also Dakini’s cave and hermitages above the temple.

Ragoe Ney is a must-visit site at Paro.

Way towards Ragoe Ney

Lhading Temple (เฝฃเพทเผ‹เฝฃเพกเฝฒเฝ„เผ‹เฝ‚เฝ™เฝดเฝ‚เผ‹เฝฃเฝ‚เผ‹เฝเฝ„เผ‹)

Lhading Temple is perched on the heart of a panoramic ridgeโ€”overlooking Tsento valley.ย ย 

As per the Lhodruk Chiejung by Geshey Gendรผn Rinchen: In 1267-1326, a high caste ladyโ€”hailing from Sakya dynastyโ€”Meto Selden, and a great Drubthop Pavo Taksham visited Bhutan along with a couple of retinues. While pilgriming, the entourage camped at Zangthang (เฝŸเฝ„เฝฆเผ‹เฝเฝ„เผ‹): present-day Zamsar in Tsento, Paro.

Drupthob dreamt of flying gods and goddesses in the demesne of a forested ridge at dawn; knowing this prophetic sign, Drubthop visited the place and named Lhading (flying gods demesne). He spent the wealth of the princess to construct the Temple.

The statue of Jowo Shakyamuni is the mainstay of the Temple. The large sutra scripture steals the show because it is a belief that if one can lift the scripture and circumambulate inside the templeโ€”one’s karmic defilements can be cleansed. 

scenic Tsento valley

There is Drupchu (holy water) below the Temple. 

The Temple is around 25 kiliometeres drive from Drukgyal Dzong. 

๐•ฏ๐–—๐–š๐–๐–Œ๐–ž๐–†๐–‘ ๐•ฏ๐–Ÿ๐–”๐–“๐–Œ: ๐“ฝ๐“ฑ๐“ฎ ๐“ฏ๐“ธ๐“ป๐“ฝ๐“ป๐“ฎ๐“ผ๐“ผ ๐“ธ๐“ฏ ๐“ฐ๐“ต๐“ธ๐“ป๐”‚.

Drukgyal Dzong was built in 1649 by the second Druk Desiโ€”La Ngoenpa Tenzin Drukda (1602-1667) as a mark of glory from Tibetan forces. The Tibetan government of Gadhen Phodrang allied by Hor (Mongols) forces launched unsuccessful invasion against Zhabdrung Rinpoche in 1648. La Ngoenpa’s forces comprised of Dzongpoens and their warriors aided by militiasโ€”triumphed. Hence, Drukgyal Dzong rose.

Unfortunately, fire engulfed the entire structure in 1951, however, the Dzong is rebuilt to its former glory signifying the birth of Druk Gyalsey Jigme Namgyal Wangchuck (05.02.2016).

The Dzong stands majestically on the ridge overlooking the north Paro.

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.

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.

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

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. These Dzongs signifies Guru Tsengyed (eight manifestations).

Singye Dzong
Tsemo Dzong
Rinchen Dzong
Rinchen Dzong. PC: Sonam Dendu,
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

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


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