Friday, 19 September 2008

Bhutan ; New thongdroel for Gangteng Goenpa

19 September, 2008 - The people of Phobjikha celebrated the unfurling of an elaborate new Sampa Lhuendrup Thongdroel at the Gangteng Sang Ngag Choiling monastery on September 14.

The first Sampa Lhuendrup Thongdroel was commissioned by the ninth Gangteng Trulku, Pema Namgyel, for Gangteng Goenpa. The thongdroel, 45 feet high and 59 feet wide, depicts the 13 images of Sampa Lhuendrup with Padmasambhava in the centre surrounded by the eight manifestations of Guru Rinpoché in an inner ring.

The thongdroel is studded with precious stones, including turquoise, dzi, and pearl, contributed by devotees. Gangteng Trulku funded the thongdroel at a cost of Nu 2.3 million, excluding the precious stones and other trappings.

“It took nine artists more than 16 months to construct this unique thongdroel,” said embroidery master Ugyen, who supervised the construction.

According to the Gangteng Trulku, the thongdroel will be unfurled annually during the Gangteng Tshechu in early October, coinciding with the Thimphu Tshechu. “This thongdroel was constructed as a part of a major restoration work carried out on the 395-year old Gangteng monastery,” he told Kuensel.

Both the restored monastery and thongdroel will be consecrated by the three incarnations of Pema Lingpa - Thukse Rinpoche, Sungtrul Rinpoche, and Gangteng Trulku in a grand ceremony on October 9-11.

“This unique thongdroel is an “invaluable treasure” for our monastery, which is expected to bring further peace and happiness in Gangteng and Phobjikha valley,” said Gem Lhamo, 50, of Gangteng village. “This thongdroel will bless us and liberate us from all obstacles.”

By Rinzin Wangchuk

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