Kyichu Lhakhang: Carrying Ancient Heritage
Kyichu Lhakhang is a perfect representation of how the vibrant Buddhist religion and rich Bhutanese culture share a common history and heritage and yet retain their own exotic character. Kyichu Lhakhang, situated at Lango Gewog in Paro district is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, originally built in the 7th century by the Tibetan Emperor Songtsen Gampo. It is believed that after converting to Buddhism, Songtsen Gampo built 108 temples around the Himalayan region. Among the few that are in Bhutan, Kyichu Lhakhang is the most significant one. It is identified as one among the two temples that Songsten Gampo built. The other one is Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang. Much of the temples built after the 8th century have images or idols of Guru Rimpoche (Saint Padmasambhava). But temples like Kyichu Lhakhang which were built before the 8th century have the image of Jowo Jampa also known as the Maitriya Buddha or the Future Buddha.
Famously known as “enchanted haven sheltered from time”, in the words of Peter Dreyfus, you must discover this graceful temple, seemingly suspended in a medieval dream, in the arresting landscape of Bhutan’s natural beauty. It is believed that in the 8th century the temple was visited by Guru Rimpoche and it is believed he concealed many spiritual treasures here. . The 25th Je Khenpo Sherab Gyaltsen, a native of Paro, renovated Kyichu and performed its reconsecration ceremony in 1838. He is also the one who added the golden roof and some additional buildings. Inside the temple, you can also see an Orange tree which bears fruits even though it is quite impossible climatically, in this region. In 1971, Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck, the wife of the Third King of Bhutan, built a temple dedicated to Guru Rinpoche on the site.
In Bhutan, a 7th century gem set among the rolling hills, and vibrant architecture of Buddhism, your senses are awakened by the sight of such an amazing place. Kyichu Lhakhang is a spiritual delight where you can meet hospitable monks who make you feel whole. A tour to this place will bring you into the silent realm of the Bhutan, a breathtaking experience of a world unto itself. A tour of Bhutan combines the magic of Buddhism with the mystery of Bhutan featuring the great Buddhist architecture, dazzling historical sites, sumptuous cuisine, and wonderful hikes in a stunningly beautiful countryside. Kyichu Lhakhang will be a wonderful addition to your adventure in Bhutan.