Tamzhing Monastery – The Seat of Terton Pema Lingpa

Tamzhing Monastery
Tamzhing Monastery upholds the treasured traditions of Bhutan. The place is associated with Terton Pema Lingpa, one of the five kings who discovered the treasures hidden by Guru Padmasambhava, the initiator of Buddhism in Bhutan in 8th century. In his prediction, he declared that there will be five Terton treasure discoverer kings and one hundred great Tertons, who would discover his treasures.

Terton Pema Lingpa of Tang valley under Bumthang district in Bhutan is one of the five Terton kings. Tamzhing Monastery is the principle seat of Terton Pema Lingpa. As per prophesy, the great Terton king revealed many treasures related to Buddha. He even instituted several religious dances as a part of his contribution to the faith in Bhutan.

Tamzhing monastery of Bumthang district built in 1501 by Pema Lingpa himself. The monastery is renowned for its artistic mural paintings. The temple is important to the Peling traditions as well. Even the Pema Lingpa died at the age of seventy-two in 1521 at the same monastery. After his demise, the monastery continued to be looked after by the descendants of Pema Lingpa. From 1960s onwards, some of the monks who followed the Peling tradition established their learning center at Tamzhing.

The monastery is important from the heritage point of view. As the original home of unique sacred Tsechu dances performed during celebrations throughout Bhutan, the Tamzhing Monastery has contributed fairly towards the living heritage traditions of the country. The contribution of Tamzhing Monastery to the tangible as well as intangible heritage is exemplary.

How to Reach Tamzhing Monastery
A drive from Thimphu to Bumthang takes a tourist to Tamzhing Monastery / Lhakhang.

Best time to visit Tamzhing Monastery
October to March is the best time to travel to Tamzhing Monastery / Lhakhang.

Festivals of Tamzhing Monastery
Tamzhingphala Choepa festival is held in Tamzhing Monastery. During a visit to Tamzhing Temple, the festivities surmount to another level where the monks perform the cham dance in various traditional cham dance costumes such as the "black-hat" masks.

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