Kyichu Lhakhang

Kyichu Lhakhang, It is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom dating back to 7th century (the other is Jambey Lhakahng in Bumthang). The lhakhang complex is composed of two temples. The first temple was built by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and in 1968, H.M. Ashi Kesang, the Queen Mother of Bhutan, built the second temple in original pattern.

In the 8th century the temple was visited by Padmasambhava and it is believed he concealed many spiritual treasures here. Je Khenpo Sherab Gyaltshen wrote that during the 12th century the temple was looked after by the Lhapa_Kagyu tradition and that during the 13th century it was handed over to a descendant of Phajo_Drugom_Zhigpo’s son Nyima.

As one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, the temple has many relics. The inner hall of the main Jowo Lhakhang conceals the valley’s greatest treasure, an original 7th century statue of Jowo Sakyamuni, believed to be cast at the same time as its famous counterpart in Lhasa. Guru Lhakhang temple contains 5m high statues of Guru Rinpoche and Red Kurukulla. Also in here is the chorten containing the ashes of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, a revered teacher who was cremated nearby in 1992.

Its central image of Jowo Jamba is flanked by eight standing bodhisattvas and by statue of Zhabdrung and Guru Rinpoche. The outer hall of the Jowo contains statue of Chenrizig with 11 heads and 1000 arms.