Friday, 6 February 2009

Bhutan : Sarpang gets its own Zangdo Pelri

5 February, 2009 - With the construction of a three-storied Zangdo Pelri lhakhang in Sarpang, people of Shompangkha need not travel all the way to Gelephu to seek the spiritual help of Tali dratshang.

Inaugurated by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck, and consecrated by the Dorji Lopon of the central monastic body and lams and monks of Tharpaling dratshang on February 2, the new monastery serves as a much needed religious centre.

Called as the Pelri Sangchen Yoedsel Choling, the lhakhang was constructed at a cost of Nu 9.467 million by Ap Dorji Wangdi, an individual based in Sarpang, with support from the government and contributions from devotees.

The government financed Nu 2.8 million for the construction of Zangdo Pelri and another Nu 1.0 million for the boundary wall and goenkhang, while the dzongkhag administration provided technical support and supervised the construction, which began in December 2004.

The lhakhang stands on a five-acre plot of land, also provided by the government. Built in traditional style, the three-storied lhakhang’s main deity Guru Nangsi Zilnon is housed on the ground floor (Trulku lhakhang), flanked by Guru Rinpoche’s consorts, Lhacham Mendral Rawa and Khando Yeshi Tshogyal, Dorsem Yab Yum and the image of Kuenkhen Longchen Rabjam, the first lam of Tharpaling dratshang in Bumthang.

A separate goenkhang for the protecting deities and eight Desheg Chortens were constructed in the same complex. The government also financed Nu 4.2 million for the construction of monks’ living quarters.

According to Ap Dorji Wangdi, he initiated the construction of Zangdo Pelri lhakhang as prophesied by the eighth Khamtrul, Kelzang Denjued Nima Rinpoche in 1975 for the benefit of all sentient beings. There was a small monastery at the present site constructed by Ap Dorji Wangdi’s family on government land in 1972 that was dismantled to construct the new one. “The lhakhang was built not only to promote the dharma but also to help overcome the shortage of chœps or monks in Sarpang,” said Ap Wangdi.

Ap Dorji Wangdi, 80, said that when the monks of the Tharpaling dratshang move to their summer residence in Bumthang, the people of Sarpang are hard-pressed to find chœps to perform rituals, especially when someone died, although one lam and a few monks stay back in the lhakhangs.

By Rinzin Wangchuk

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