Khewang Lhakhang

Located opposite Tabiting and situated on the east side of Phobjikha, the spectacular Khewang Lhakhang sits like an intricately carved decoration piece in the middle of the dreamlike glacial valley of Phobjikha, the winter roost for the endangered Black Necked Cranes. The location of this 15th Century Lhakhang is believed to be prophesized by the renowned Divine Madman, Drukpa Kuenlay, when he visited the valley.

It was built by Trulku Penjor Gyeltshen, an incarnation of the great Tibetan master Kuenkhen Longchen Rabjampa. He hired sculptors and laborers from Tibet, hence the Tibetan characteristics one can see in the temple design. The temple was built to control famine and diseases, to ward off ill wishes and to liberate the spirits of people who have sinned.

The Temple features three two-storied statues of the past, present and future Buddhas (dusum sangay). A tsechu (religious festival) is held on the third day of the ninth month every year where the sacred dances are performed by local lay practitioners. This celebration symbolizes an ancient victory over local demons.

The single big room in this west facing temple houses ancient statues that are placed on the altar surrounded by beautifully intricate wall paintings. In the center facing the entrance is a large statue of Maitreya Buddha, crude looking and as old as the temple itself. The statue is said to have been sculpted in a hurry by a short lived Tibetan sculptor which explains its poor aesthetics.