Gonpakarp Lhakhang

Build On: 19th century Category: Temple Address Lhuentse

Lam Choney Rangdrol built the Lhakhang in the 19th century. The Lam, before he pursued religious education, was the Gup of Maenbi Gewog. Realizing that everything was futile and subject to impermanence, he went to Tibet. As a fully learned Lam on Buddhism, his root guru prophesied that he was predestined to the south. He then came back and meditated on the ridge opposite to present Lhakhang. Recollecting the precious words of his master, search for an appropriate place for the construction of Lhakhang continued mentally, as it was the first task for the Lam to benefit the sentient beings.

One night, he found butter lamps glittering on the opposite ridge. It continued for the third night. So he sent his disciple to see it. To his surprise, the disciple found that the glittering light came out from the sandalwood. The Lam also visited after his disciple told about it. After meditating for a while, the Lam realized it to be a good omen. The Lhakhang was constructed and named as Kabab Choeling Gonpa. It is now popularly known as Gonpa Karp. 

The Lam became very popular throughout Lhuentse. People from far and wide came to receive preachings from him. Gradually, both Gomchens and Anims began to settle nearby the Gonpa. The Lam initially became root guru to Khema Azhi Lemo. According to oral accounts, it is said that the first King and the Azhi initiated constructing 108 Chugchizhe statues. General belief was that the statue would grow while it is consecrated by a great Lam. The 108 statues of the God of compassion were to be initially consecrated by the root guru of Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuk. Before the consecration, Azhi Lemo measured the statues to see the spiritual power of the root guru of the King. However, the King and the Azhi found that the statues remained same even after consecration. The consecration was done for the second time by Lam Choney Rangdol. Azhi was confident that the height of the statues would grow. The King and the Azhi already had the measurement of the height of the statues. This time, they found there was change in the height by considerable measure. Since then the King also became fervently devoted to Lam Choney Rangdol.

The Lam was invited to Thimphu by the King and the Queen. He showed some miracles like riding himself on the tiger. That drew more devotion and confidence from the King and the government. All sorts of support were received since then.


Around that time, there were numerous petty rulers. They used to tax whoever goes through their jurisdiction for trade. And there was no exception for the Gomchens and Anims of the Gonpa Karpo. After the incidences of miracles that won the hearts of the King and the Queen, a Royal edict was issued to the petty rulers and public in general stating that the Gomchens and Anims of the Kabab Choeling Gonpa be allowed free movements wherever they go. That was the greatest facelift the Goenpa received from the government. The Royal edict can still be seen in the Gonpa. The statue of the God of Compassion consecrated by Lam Choney Rangdol along with other treasures and statues brought from Tibet by the Lam can still be seen.

Source: lhuntse Dzongkhag

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