Kenchosum Lhakhang

Just to the south of low-lying Tamshing Lhakhang, newly rebuilt Kenchosum Lhakhang stands tall upon the ashes of its predecessors. Built by the Tibetan King, Tsirong Detsen, in the early ninth century on the instruction of Guru Rinpoche (who is believed to have designed and consecrated it), the monastery slowly amassed a wealth of art and statuary through the centuries. Much of this heritage was destroyed in a single night in 2010, when a butter lamp set fire to the historic building.

Kenchosum Lhakhang has since been reconstructed and was reconsecrated in 2014, although some restoration work is ongoing. The complex centers on a grand new prayer hall that contains a priceless statue and a handful of relics that were pulled from the wreckage of the fire.

The lhakhang houses several sacred statues including the three statues of Due Sum Sangay (The Past, Present and the Future Buddhas). It is renowned for its ancient relics; one of which is the eighth century broken bronze bell that is believed to have been offered as a gift to Guru Rinpoche by a mermaid. Legend has it that when the bell is rung, the sound can be heard as far as Lhasa in Tibet.