Bhutan | Bumthang

Jambay Lhakhang

Embrace Bhutan Cultural Tour

Bumthang | Bhutan

13 Nov 2019 | Wed

Day 07 of 13

  • Drive | Jakar to Tang Valley
  • Jambay Lhakhang
  • Kurjey Lhakhang
  • Nature Walk to Tamshing Lhakhang – Swinging Bridge & Local Handcrafts
  • Tamshing Lhakhang
  • Lunch in Bumthang
  • Mebar Tsho – The Burning Lake
  • Pema Choling Nunnery
  • Ogyen Choling Manor and Museum

Jambay Lhakhang

After getting our bags together and having an early morning breakfast, it was time for us to visit our first destination of the day – Jambay Lhakhang (only a few minutes away from our hotel).

Visit Jamba Lhakhang. According to legend, Jamba Lhakhang was one of the 108 temples built in AD 638, by a Tibetan Buddhist king in order to overcome a giant ogress who laid across regions of the Himalayas in order to prevent the spread of Buddhism. The central figure in the sanctuary is the statue of Jampa, the Buddha of the future. There are also three stone steps inside believed to represent past, present and future. They are slowly sinking into the ground. The faithful say that when all the steps disappear the future Buddha will arrive.

Embrace Bhutan Travel

Jambay Lhakhang

The Jampa Temple or Temple of Maitreya is located in Bumthang (Jakar) in Bhutan, and is said to be one of the 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in 659 CE on a single day, to pin down an ogress to earth forever.

Legend… It was divined that the supine demoness was causing obstruction to the spread of Buddhism, and temples were constructed on her body parts that spread across Tibet, Bhutan and the borderlands. The best known of these temples are Jokhang in Lhasa, Kichu in Paro, Bhutan and Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang District, Bhutan.

Other, lesser-known temples in Bhutan have been destroyed, but it is believed that, among others, Kongchogsum in Bumthang, Khaine in Lhuntse and two temples in Haa District may have part of these 108 temples. Jambay Lhakhang was visited by Padmasambhava and restored by King Sindhu Raja after the former returned his life force. It has been repaired and rebuilt several times over time.

– Wikipedia Jambay Lhakhang

Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival

Today (13 Nov 2019) was the first day of the Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival, which this year was held from November 13th-16th. Since we already had a full day of activities planned, we only had time for a quick early morning visit to the temple.

The Jambay Lhakhang Drup is one of the most interesting events held there. During this festival, the chams (dances) include Terchham (Naked Dance), which was formerly initiated by Terton Dorje Lingpa, Mewang, Macham, Ging Tsholing, Dramtse Ngacham, Zhana Cham etc,. The dances are performed by the local villagers of Norgang, Changwa and Nangsiphel. The festival is a five-day programme.

– Tourism Council of Bhutan Jambay Lhakhang Drup

Walk To Jambay Lhakhang

Due to the festival, our driver had to let us off a short distance away from the temple. While walking to the temple, we noticed a large area full of tents and vehicles where people were staying while attending the Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival. It seemed that many were still sleeping (we were told the festival usually gets started each day around 10 am).

Camping Area For People Attending Jambay Lhakhang Drup
Approaching the Front Gate of Jambay Lhakhang

Entryway Into Temple Grounds

After we entered through the front gate of Jambay Lhakhang, we continued until we reached the entrance into the temple grounds (through a wood door entryway) which was located on the far right side.

Temple Grounds Entryway

Large Dancing Courtyard and Smaller Inter Temple Courtyard

After entering the temple grounds, we could immediately see the large open courtyard space (on the left) where the festival dances take place.

Large Open Courtyard Where Festival Dances Take Place

On the right side was the entrance into the temple area that takes you into another smaller inter temple courtyard.

Entrance Into Smaller Inter Courtyard and Temple

Beautiful Inter Temple Courtyard

The smaller inter-temple courtyard area was beautifully decorated with colorfully painted, Bhutanese-styled wood trim around the doors, windows, and roof eaves. The roof gables and eaves also had beautiful yellow and green painted bamboo that was woven together in different patterns.

Small Inter Temple Courtyard
Beautiful Bhutanese Painted Woodworking and Bamboo Designs

Entertained By Festival Clown While Waiting to Enter Temple

Due to an ongoing Buddhist ceremony taking place inside the temple, we had to wait in the smaller inter courtyard area until we were allowed to enter. While waiting, we were entertained by a Festival Clown (known as a Gathpo). The group had a great time interacting with this clown – he was a lot of fun!

Festival Clown (Gathpo) Had Us All Laughing

Map – Jambay Lhakhang

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