Changangkha Temple in Thimphu Bhutan

Changangkha Lhakhang in Thimphu

Perched atop a ridge that extends from the eastern hills towards central Thimphu, you’ll find Changangkha Lhakhang, a compact temple complex steeped in history. Dating back to the 13th or 14th centuries, it stands as perhaps the oldest surviving temple in Thimphu, with its roots tracing back long before Bhutan’s unification in the 17th century by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.

This sacred site holds a special place in the hearts of many, especially parents with young children. It is believed that Changangkha Lhakhang is under the protective gaze of Genyen Domtsangpa, the deity associated with birth and the safeguarding of children. As a result, it’s a place where families often seek blessings for their little ones, particularly those born in the JDWNRH national referral hospital in Thimphu.

Permeated with history and spirituality, Changangkha Lhakhang continues to draw visitors seeking both solace and the benevolent blessings of its guardian deity.

History of the Monastery

The origins of Changangkha Lhakhang, dating back to the 13th century, are intertwined with Bhutan’s profound spiritual heritage. Founded by Nyima, one of the sons of Phajo Drugom Zhigpo, who introduced the teachings of the Drukpa Kagyu tradition to Bhutan, this temple holds a significant place in the country’s religious history.

At the heart of Changangkha Lhakhang lies a majestic bronze statue, an embodiment of the Mahakarunika form of Avalokiteśvara. With eleven heads and numerous arms, this awe-inspiring statue represents the personal deity of Phajo, the temple’s founder. The statue’s origin sparks intrigue and debate among visitors: some believe it to be “self-arisen” or miraculously manifested, while others attribute its creation to an exceptionally skilled and inspired Newa artisan during the temple’s construction.

Changangkha Lhakhang stands as a testament to Bhutan’s enduring spiritual traditions, welcoming all who seek to explore its rich history and connect with its sacred relics.

Activity you can do from the Monastery

  • Hike from Monastery to Buddha Temple.
  • Lighting Butter Lamp.

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