Wonderful Bhutan

By | Jul 29, 2017 | Views: 380
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(By Tsem Rinpoche and Beatrix Ooi)

Bhutan, officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan, is the smallest state located within the Himalaya mountain range. It is located in the Eastern Himalayas, bordered by China and India. Within the South Asia region, after the Maldives, Bhutan is the second least populous nation, with no more than 800,000 residents living in the small landlocked country. The capital of Bhutan is Thimphu and it is also the country’s largest and only city. Bhutanese history is an admirable record of centuries of independence, having never been colonised by external forces or foreign nations.

A map indicating the location of Bhutan. Click on image to enlarge.

A map indicating the location of Bhutan. Click on image to enlarge.

A closeup map on Bhutan. Click on image to enlarge.

A map of the various regions of Bhutan. Click on image to enlarge.

Bhutan is divided into 20 districts (dzongkhags) and 205 village blocks, which is then further divided into numerous municipalities for administrative purposes. Formerly an absolute monarchy, Bhutan became a constitutional monarchy in 2008 and is currently governed by the King of Bhutan and the nation’s parliament.

The country is famous for pioneering the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH), instead of the more commonly-touted Gross National Product (GNP). GNH is both a development philosophy and a measurement of the nation’s collective happiness. As a development philosophy, GNH is used to guide the government when they make decisions of national importance. The GNH philosophy emphasises harmony with nature and traditional values.

Bhutan is well-known for their conservation efforts and visitors will definitely understand why, when they see what Bhutanese nature has to offer. The country benefits from a wide range of climates and incredible landscapes. Mountain peaks in Bhutan can easily reach 7,000 metres (22,966 feet). The highest peak in Bhutan is the Gangkhar Puensum, which stands at 7,570 metres (24,840 feet) and holds the record of the highest unclimbed mountain in the world. Since 1994, climbing mountains higher than 6,000 metres in Bhutan has been prohibited due to their respect for local spiritual beliefs; later, starting from 2003, mountaineering was completely prohibited.

 

Weather

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The climate in Bhutan varies depending on the altitude and time of the year. In the south, the climate is generally subtropical; in the highlands, it is generally temperate; and in the north, there is year-round snow. Bhutan experiences five seasons through the year, comprising of summer, monsoon, autumn, winter, and spring. March to May is spring, when the weather is comparably pleasant; June to August is summer, which also overlaps with the monsoon season when there will be heavy downpours. Therefore if you are planning a trip to Bhutan, it is strongly encouraged that you visit the country during March to May.

 

Culture

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Till this day, the culture of Bhutan remains largely unchanged, thanks to their relative isolation from the world until the 20th Century. Visitors to Bhutan who are familiar with Tibetan culture may be pleasantly surprised by the similarities between Bhutanese and Tibetan culture. Like the Tibetans, the Bhutanese culture stems from the ancient religion of Buddhism and it has particularly influenced the growth and development of this country. The concept of Gross National Happiness, for example, is not found anywhere else in the world but it is particularly important in Bhutan, thanks to their cultural and religious heritage.

The official Bhutanese languages, Dzongkha and Sharchop are relatively affiliated to the Tibetan language. Those familiar with the Tibetan script, for example, will be able to read Bhutanese script, although they may not necessarily understand it. An ancestor of the Tibetan language called chhokey (“Dharma language”) is widely used by the Bhutanese monks.

Another similarity between Tibetan and Bhutanese culture that visitors might notice is that both populations highly revere Padmasambhava, an 8th Century Buddhist master and the founder of the Nyingma tradition of Buddhism. In Bhutan, there are many pilgrimage places associated with Padmasambhava.

 

Religion

In general, 75% of the Bhutanese population identify as Buddhist so it should be no surprise that the official state religion is Buddhism. In the south of the country, there is a Hindu majority. In fact, approximately 23% of the Bhutanese population is Hindu.

Other religions account for less than 1% of the country’s population. For example, there is also a small population of Muslims in Bhutan (0.2% of the population) while 0.4% practise other religions such as Bon and other indigenous faiths.

It is said that Buddhism was introduced to Bhutan in the 7th century through the works of the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. A convert to Buddhism himself, King Songtsen Gampo had ordered for the construction of two huge Buddhist temples at Bumthang in central Bhutan and Kyichu Lhakhang in the Paro Valley.

 

Religious Festivals

The traditional Cham dance

The traditional cham dance

On the tenth day of a particular month in the lunar Tibetan calendar, each dzongkhag will hold a religious festival known as the tsechu. The tsechu is a tradition of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and the day upon which it is held differs from one dzongkhag to another.

During the tsechu, villagers from the surrounding districts will gather together for several days for religious purposes and to socialise. They will contribute auspicious offerings to the lama in charge or monastery during the festival. The main activity of the tsechu is a series of religious dances called cham which are usually held in a large courtyard. Each part of the dance may take up to a few hours to complete, and it may take two to four days for each dance to finish completely. One of the purposes of this dance is to bless the audience directly and to spread the principles of tantric Buddhism.

The tsechus arose from Padmasambhava, the great scholar who visited Tibet and Bhutan in the 8th and 9th Centuries. Padmasambhava is famous for subduing spirits and wild environments, and converting people to Buddhism. He did this by performing rites and rituals, reciting mantras, and performing dances to subdue the local spirits and gods who were malevolent in nature.

During Padmasambhava’s visit to Bhutan, he came to the aid of King Sindhu Raja who was dying. In the Bumthang Valley, he performed a series of subjugation dances intended to restore the king’s health. The king was immensely grateful and went on to help spread Buddhism throughout Bhutan.

After this, to commemorate the acts performed in Bumthang, Padmasambhava organised the first tsechu. During the tsechu, eight manifestations of Padmasambhava were reflected in the eight forms of dance. These dances later developed to become the cham dances which tell the story of Padmasambhava and his miraculous deeds. The Dance of the Eight Manifestations of Padmasambhava is performed on the fourth and final day of the festival, as a culmination of events, depicting the triumph of good over evil.

The unfurling of the thongdrel

The unfurling of the thongdrel

Following the dance is the unfurling of the thongdrel. Early in the morning, amidst prayers and intense supplication, this very large thangka is unfurled. The thongdrel measures 30 metres by 45 metres, and it depicts Padmasambhava flanked by his two consorts and surrounded by his eight incarnations. It is said that those who witness the unfurling of the thongdrel are cleansed of their negative karma. The thangka is left unfurled until it is rolled up again just before sunrise, to be kept in the monastery until the next tsechu during the following year.

 

The Monastery

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In a country where Buddhism is the state religion, it should come as no surprise that the landscape is dotted with monasteries. Monasteries in Bhutan benefit from financial support from the government through annual subsidies.

The government’s support for monasteries has continued into the modern era and monasteries in Bhutan continue to thrive. By the late 1980s, Bhutan had registered some 12,000 monks, and there were also active congregations of nuns but no accurate figures are available.

The process of becoming a monk in Bhutan is quite similar to the rest of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Young boys typically join the monastery around six to nine years old and are placed under the direct tutelage and guidance of a headmaster. From this headmaster they will learn to read chhokey, which is identical to classical Tibetan, as well as Dzongkha, and English. Ultimately, the monks will have to choose between two paths: to study Buddhist theory or to take on the path of becoming proficient in rituals and personal spiritual practice.

Each monastery is headed by a khenpo (abbot) who is usually a lama. The highest-ranking khenpo in the country is known as the Je Khenpo (chief abbot) and in theory, his status is equivalent to the king’s. The Je Khenpo is assisted by the Five Lopons (or masters) and they are in charge of religious tradition, logic, liturgy and prayers, lexicography, and the universities. When the Je Khenpo passes on, the Dorji Lopon (the chief lopon) is appointed to succeed him.

Unlike the Dalai Lama or Panchen Lama, the position of Je Khenpo is never held by a child but always by an experienced monk. This position is awarded to the monk on the basis of merit, through an election and it is usually the most respected monk of the Dratshang Lhentshog (Commission for the Monastic Affairs) who is elected into position.

 

Clothing

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One of the characteristics of the Bhutanese is their traditional dress. It is an easily-recognisable outfit which continues to be worn by everyone in Bhutan, young or old. Bhutanese men wear the gho, a knee-length robe that is tied around the waist with a traditional belt known as kera. The pouch that forms in front of the robe was traditionally used to carry food bowls and a small dagger. Today it is used to carry small items like mobile phones, wallets and doma (betel nut).

Women wear the kira, a long, ankle-length dress along with a light outer jacket known as a tego with an inner layer known as wonju.

When the Bhutanese visit the dzongs (temples) and other administrative centres, they wear long scarves. The scarves are varied in colour, indicating the wearer’s status. The scarf worn by men is known as kabney and those worn by women are known as rachus. The rachu is hung over the woman’s shoulders and it does not have any specific status associated with its colour. They are made from raw silk and brocaded with beautiful patterns.

Rank Kabney/ Scarf
The King Yellow / Saffron
Je Khenpo (Head Abbot) Yellow / Saffron
Minister Orange
Judge Green
District Administrator Red with a small white stripe
Commoner White

 

Do’s and Don’ts

DO’S

  • Have a printed visa clearance copy at the time of check-in for the flight to Bhutan.
  • Do remember that some of the Himalayan mountains in Bhutan are considered to be the dwelling place of gods and are therefore not open to tourists.
  • Do remember that credit cards are not accepted in small shops. So remember to carry Bhutanese currency with you though Indian Rupee is also widely accepted.
  • Do be cautious about purchasing anything old or antique in Bhutan since the export of antiques is strictly forbidden in Bhutan.
  • Do remember to keep your mobile on silent mode or switched off completely while entering monasteries and other religious places.
  • Do refrain from touching any murals, paintings and any other ritual objects.
  • Do refrain from uttering any negative comments on either the royal family, the country’s religion or the chief abbot.
  • Do ensure you walk in a clockwise direction when visiting and touring religious places.
  • Do refrain from giving sweets or money to children.
  • Do note that GSM phones work well in Bhutan but most Indian networks do not have roaming services in Bhutan. Airtel is the only Indian service provider that works in Bhutan on international roaming.

DON’TS

  • Don’t wear tight or revealing clothes while visiting religious areas as it is considered to be extremely rude.
  • Remove hats and caps while visiting temples.
  • Don’t forget that all electronic devices including cameras, laptops, video recorders and even mobiles need to be registered with the customs authorities upon arriving in Bhutan. There is a checking again on departure so be sure to declare all electronic items upon arrival.
  • Don’t forget that smoking is strictly prohibited in most areas in Bhutan. Bhutan is the only country in the world that completely bans the sale and production of tobacco and tobacco products. Under the law, any individual found selling tobacco can face imprisonment for a period of three to five years. Therefore Bhutanese stores do not sell tobacco. Visitors are permitted to bring 100 cigarettes into the country provided they are willing to pay a 200% tax.
  • Don’t ever point at any person, object or animal with a single finger. Use instead an upturned flat and extended hand, especially when indicating or gesturing towards a sacred object or place.
  • Don’t ever touch the robes of a monk.
  • Don’t throw garbage anywhere except at designated places.
  • Don’t feed birds/animals while visiting natural sites.
  • Don’t use slang and vulgarities while visiting religious sites.
  • Don’t be rude to older people. In Bhutan, showing respect to one’s elders is extremely important.

 

Food

1. Ema Datshi

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The national dish of Bhutan comprises of chillies and cheese. The chillies can either be fresh green chillies or dry red chillies, and they are cooked with local Bhutanese cheese known as datshi in a good amount of butter.

2. Momos

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Travellers in the Himalayan region are sure to have stumbled upon the ubiquitous momos. These dumplings are one of the most popular Tibetan foods and can be found in Nepal, India and here in Bhutan. Momos are typically filled with minced meat, cheese and vegetables. They can be eaten steamed or deep-fried, together with the Bhutanese chilli sauce known as ezay.

3. Hoentay

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Hoentays are somewhat similar to momos except they are made from buckwheat dough. These dumplings are normally filled with a combination of local spinach or turnip leaves and cheese. They can also be eaten either fried or steamed, together with ezay.

4. Lom

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The freezing winter in most areas of Bhutan makes it hard for vegetables to grow. Lom refers to turnip leaves, which are one of the very few vegetables that can grow in Bhutan. These leaves are dried and preserved, then sautéed and eaten on its own. Another favourite way of consuming lom is cooking it with some pork.

5. Goen hogay

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This particular dish is a traditional Bhutanese cucumber salad made of cucumbers, chilli flakes, cilantro (coriander), Sichuan pepper, tomato, onions and some datshi cheese. Oil can also be added to give it a little bit of dressing, while the Sichuan pepper has a pleasant, slightly numbing effect on the tongue.

 

Travel Requirements

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Bhutan has a “quality over quantity” approach to tourism. As such, all travellers to Bhutan are required to pay a daily fee of US$250. This fee covers accommodation, transport in Bhutan, a guide, food and entry fees. Since tours are prepaid, visitors will only need to bring money for drinks, laundry, souvenirs and tips. It is best to bring cash for these requirements; while there are ATMs in most main towns, the use of credit cards is confined to mostly the well-touristed areas and not widespread throughout the country.

Except for Bangladeshi, Indian and Maldivian passport holders, all tourists must book their trip through a legitimate Bhutanese tour operator. The operator will take care of all visa arrangements. Please note to contact official tour operators in Bhutan. Do not go through unregistered operators and make direct payments, or you may find yourself very disappointed. For more information, please visit http://www.tourism.gov.bt/plan/tour-operators.

 

20 Places to Visit

 

1. Paro Taktsang (The Tiger’s Nest Temple)

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Paro Taktsang is Bhutan’s most prominent and instantly recognisable religious monument. The name “Taktsang” literally means “The Tiger’s Nest”. One of the most sacred sites in Bhutan, the monastery clings on to an extremely steep cliff that is 900 metres above the valley of Paro.

The temple was built in 1692 at a cave where Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated and engaged in retreat. According to legend, it is said that Guru Rinpoche, riding a tigress, flew to this very spot and engaged in a three-year, three-month, three-day, three-hour retreat in order to subdue the malicious spirits that resided there. Ever since then, the cave is considered to be a blessed site and many have visited the site and engaged in their own retreats there.

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Paro Taktsang is located about 10 kilometres away from Paro town. Visitors have to trek for roughly 2-3 hours in order to get to this holy site.

 

How to get there

Direct flights to Paro Airport are available from international destinations like Bangkok (Thailand), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Kathmandu (Nepal), and Delhi and Kolkata (India). From there, taxis are available and it is easy to get around Paro. An alternative option would be to hire a taxi from Thimphu for the 45-minute drive to Paro.

Address: Taktsang trail, Bhutan

 

Accommodation

1. Naksel Boutique Hotel & SPA
Address: Ngoba Village, Lango Geog, Paro 00975, Bhutan
Contact: +975 8 272 992

2. Olathang Hotel
Address: P.O. Box No. 1214, Paro 12008, Bhutan
Contact: +975 8 271 304

3. Hotel Dorjee-Ling
Address: Main Street, Paro Town, Paro 12001, Bhutan
Contact: +91 84477 47674

 

2. Tashichho Dzong

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Tashichho Dzong, also known as Thimphu Dzong, is located close to the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu. The original monastery was built in 1216 by Lama Gyalwa Lhanapa, who was the founder of the Lhapa branch of the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Centuries later, in 1641, it was taken over by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and he built another dzong known as the Lower Dzong. A dzong is a type of building, or form of architecture that looks like a fortress.

Tashichho Dzong at night

Tashichho Dzong at night

After a devastating fire, the original Tashichho Dzong had to be consolidated and moved to the Lower dzong. Over the years, the building expanded a couple of times until an earthquake struck in 1897. It was not until 1902 that it was rebuilt again. King Jigme Wangchuk had the building renovated in the traditional style without any nails. There are close to 30 temples and chapels within the Tashiccho Dzong compound.

 

How to get there

Most tourists prefer to hire taxis or mini-buses to travel around Bhutan. In this case, it’d be easier to travel around Thimphu with a taxi. If you are visiting this area, please make sure to carry some bottled water and snacks because landslides are common around this area and will require some time to clear up.

Address: Chhagchhen Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
Opening hours: It is open to visitors only once the offices close at 5:00 pm
Entrance fee: Nu300/- which is less than USD$5.

 

Accommodation

1. Kisa Hotel
Address: Chang Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +91 83888 77888

2. Hotel Norbuling
Address: Bldg # 5, Changlam Street, Thimphu 11001, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 335 754

3. Wangchuk Hotel, Thimphu
Address: Changlam 19, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 323 532

 

3. Punakha Dzong

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The Punakha Dzong or Puntang Dechen Photrang Dzong (The Palace of Great Bliss) is the administrative centre of the Punkha district. The building was constructed in 1637-38 by Ngawang Namgyal, the 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche. The Punakha Dzong is the second largest and second oldest dzong in Bhutan, and one of its most prominent examples of the unique, traditional Bhutanese architecture.

The dzong houses holy relics of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, which includes the Rangjung Kasarpani and the remains of its founder, Ngawang Namgyal. It is said that Guru Rinpoche had once given a prophecy that someone named Namgyal would arrive at a hill that resembles the shape of an elephant. True enough, centuries later, Ngawang Namgyal found a peak that resembled the shape of an elephant’s trunk and it was on this peak that he eventually built the dzong.

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One of Bhutan’s most important religious sites, the royal wedding of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and Queen Jetsun Pema was held here at Punkha Dzong on October 13, 2011.

 

How to get there

Taxis and buses are available from Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu. A shared taxi costs around Nu150 which is less than USD$3 and it is a 90- to 120-minute ride from the capital to Punakha.

Address: Punakha, Punakha, Bhutan
Contact: +975 17 66 99 80

 

Accommodation

1. Drubchhu Resort
Address: Missina, P.O Box 777, Punakha 13001, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 376 237

2. Hotel Lobesa
Address: Punakha, Bhutan
Contact: +975 17 61 26 72

3. RKPO Green Resort
Address: Punakha, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 376 233

 

4. Rinpung Dzong

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Rinpung Dzong, also known as Paro Dzong, is located in the Paro district about 2 kilometres away from Paro Airport, Bhutan’s sole international airport. Rinpung Dzong is a huge Buddhist monastery following the traditions and practices of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage. The dzong was constructed in the 15th Century; later, upon the request of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed again in 1644.

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There are 14 shrines and chapels within the dzong’s compound, including a monks’ assembly hall, a sandalwood stupa, a protector’s shrine, a chapel of the head lama, a chapel of Amitayus, a chapel of the 11-Faced Avalokiteshvara, a chapel of Akshobhya and many more.

 

How to get there

As the dzong is very close to Paro airport, it can be very easily reached by taxi.

Address: Paro, Bhutan
Contact: +975 17 33 83 00

 

Accommodation

1. Naksel Boutique Hotel & SPA
Address: Ngoba Village, Lango Geog, Paro 00975, Bhutan
Contact: +975 8 272 992

2. Olathang Hotel
Address: P.Box No. 1214, Paro 12008, Bhutan
Contact: +975 8 271 304

3. Hotel Dorjee-Ling
Address: Main Street, Paro Town, Paro 12001, Bhutan
Contact: +91 84477 47674

 

5. Kyichu Lhakhang

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Located in Lango Gewog in the Paro district of Bhutan, Kyichu Lhakhang is one of Bhutan’s oldest temples, having been established in the 7th Century. It is said that the temple grounds were constructed by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet in 659, and that Kyichu Lhakang is also one of the four border-taming temples that the King built.

It is believed that in the 8th Century, Guru Rinpoche visited the temple and concealed many spiritual treasures, known as termas, there. Later, the temple came under the charge of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. From 1836 to 1838, it was restored by the 25th Je Khenpo Sherab Gyaltshen. In 1971, Queen Kesang Choden Wangchuk, the consort of King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, built a Guru Temple next to the old Jowo (Shakyamuni) Temple that was consecrated by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

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Since Queen Kesang Choden Wangchuk began her patronage of the temple, annual rituals of various deities such as Vajrasattva, Vajrakilaya and Palchen Heruka have been performed in this very temple for the well-being of the country. It is rumoured that there are two orange trees within the compound of Kyichu Lhakang that bear fruit throughout the year.

 

How to get there

Kyichu Lhakang is approximately 5 kilometres away from Paro town, and can be very easily reached by taxi if you are planning a visit.

 

Accommodation

1. Naksel Boutique Hotel & SPA
Address: Ngoba Village, Lango Geog, Paro 00975, Bhutan
Contact: +975 8 272 992

2. Olathang Hotel
Address: P.Box No. 1214, Paro 12008, Bhutan
Contact: +975 8 271 304

3. Hotel Dorjee-Ling
Address: Main Street, Paro Town, Paro 12001, Bhutan
Contact: +91 84477 47674

 

6. Gangteng Monastery

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Located in the Wangdue Phodrang District of Bhutan, Gangteng Monastery is also known asor Gangtey Gonpa or Gangtey Monastery. It was established by the First Gangteng Tulku, Gyalse Pema Thinley in 1613I, and it is one of Bhutan’s few temples belonging to the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism (the majority belonging to the Drukpa Kagyu lineage).

Gangteng Monastery is the largest Nyingma monastery in Bhutan and it is also the main seat of the Pema Lingpa lineage. The Monastery is also famous for the presence of black-necked cranes who, during the winter time, fly from Tibet to central Bhutan in order to roost. Upon their arrival, the cranes circle the monastery three times and they repeating this circling when they return to Tibet.
Therefore, aside from the annual tsechu held at the monastery, Gangteng Monastery also hosts the Crane Festival to mark the arrival of cranes from Tibet. Viewed as a religious blessing by the people, this annual event takes place one day after the celebration of the King’s birthday, on 12 November every year.

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The monastery can trace its history back to the late 15th Century, to prophecies made by the well-known Terton (treasure finder) Pema Lingpa. On a visit to the Phobjikha Valley where Gangteng Monastery is located, Pema Lingpa prophesied that his descendants would establish a monastery on the top of the mountain and it would become famous as the seat of the Pema Lingpa tradition.

As Pema Lingpa correctly predicted, it was his grandson Gyalse Pema Thinley who established Gangteng Monastery in 1613. The monastery was later expanded by his son, Tenzing Legpai Dhendup. It may also interest visitors to know that the current rulers of Bhutan, the Royal House of Wangchuk, too are descendants of Pema Lingpa.

Gangteng Monastery is surrounded by Gangten Village, and in later years, a Nyingma monastic college or shedra, Do-gag Tosam Rabgayling, was formed above the village.

 

How to get there

It is easy to reach this famous monastery, with many taxis, cars and buses available for charter or hire.

Address: Wangdue Phodrang District, Bhutan

 

Accommodation

1. Gangtey Lodge
Address: Just below the monastery, Gangtey 975, Bhutan
Contact: +975 17 16 06 66

2. Punatsangchhu Cottages
Address: Zamtopang, Wangdue 00975, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 481 942

3. Dragons Nest Hotel
Address: Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 480 521

 

7. Motithang Takin Preserve

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Motithang Takin Preserve is located in Thimphu, and it is a wildlife reserve for takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Originally a mini-zoo, Motithang was later converted into a wildlife sanctuary because the animals that were set free refused to inhabit the nearby forests.

A local legend tells the story of how the takin came to be the national animal of Bhutan. It all started in the 15th century, when a Tibetan saint by the name of Drukpa Kunley was requested by the Bhutanese during one of his teachings to perform a miracle in front of them. Not only was Drukpa Kunley a great teacher but he was also a highly practised adept of tantric meditations. At their request, Drukpa Kunley agreed to perform the miracle on the condition that a whole cow and whole goat were fed to him for lunch.

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As soon as the meal was prepared, Drukpa Kunley gobbled down the food and all that was left were some bones from the animals. He then took the head of the goat and joined it to the skeleton of the cow. Before the amazed congregation could believe their eyes, they had a live animal standing right in front of them. The animal had the head of a goat and the body of a cow, and it was given the name dong gyem tsey (takin). Due to Drukpa Kunley’s reputation and the fact this was his magical creation, the takin came to be revered by many and eventually became the national animal of Bhutan.

 

How to get there

One of Bhutan’s most famous destinations, it is easy to charter a taxi, bus or van to get to Motithang Takin Preserve.

Address: Motithang district of Thimphu, Bhutan
Operation hours: 9am to 4pm, Tuesday to Sunday
Entrance fee: Bhutanese- Nu10 ; SAARC national/ adult Nu30/50 (less than USD$1)

 

Accommodation

1. Kisa Hotel
Address: Chang Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +91 83888 77888

2. Hotel Norbuling
Address: Bldg # 5, Changlam Street, Thimphu 11001, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 335 754

3. Wangchuk Hotel, Thimphu
Address: Changlam 19, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 323 532

 

8. National Museum of Bhutan

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Built in 1968 at the request of King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, the National Museum of Bhutan is located in the town of Paro. The building houses some of the most exquisite examples of Bhutanese arts including paintings and bronze statues. The museum currently houses more than 3,000 Bhutanese artworks, showcasing Bhutan’s cultural heritage that dates back to more than a millennium ago. The museum is the perfect destination for connoisseurs of Himalayan art, for those who wish to gain a deeper insight into how Bhutan came to be the kingdom it is today, and how religion has become to intertwined with Bhutanese daily life.

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How to get there

Taxis, buses and vans can be chartered to get to the National Museum of Bhutan.

Address: Paro, Bhutan
Operating hours: 9am-4pm, closed on Mondays and during national holidays
Entrance fee: SAARC national/adult Nu 50/200 (USD$3), monks, nuns & children under 10 years old, free
Contact: +975 8 271 511

 

Accommodation

1. Naksel Boutique Hotel & SPA
Address: Ngoba Village, Lango Geog, Paro 00975, Bhutan
Contact: +975 8 272 992

2. Olathang Hotel
Address: P.Box No. 1214, Paro 12008, Bhutan
Contact: +975 8 271 304

3. Hotel Dorjee-Ling
Address: Main Street, Paro Town, Paro 12001, Bhutan
Contact: +91 84477 47674

 

9. Jigme Dorji National Park

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Jigme Dorji National Park is named after the late king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, a visionary who took radical steps to preserve Bhutan’s cultural heritage while opening her up to the world. It was King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk who took Bhutan on her first steps towards democratisation and modernisation, while safeguarding the country’s unique environment and history as a culturally distinct nation. Under the Third King, there were vast political and social reforms throughout the kingdom, with holistic laws being implemented concerning all fundamental aspects of Bhutanese life. His Majesty was also a forerunner in environmentalism in the region; during his reign, the Manas Sanctuary was established in 1966, becoming one of the first sanctuaries in the region.

Hence it is only fitting that a National Park came to be named after the king. The Jigme Dorji National Park is the second largest National Park in Bhutan, covering an area of 1066 acres. It was formed in 1974 and due the vast area it covers, the elevations within the park ranges from somewhere between 1400 meters to more than 7000 meters.

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This diverse environment results in a great variety of animals who call the park home. There are more than 30 species of animals that have been identified within the park, some of which are endangered. They include the snow leopard, takin, Bengal tiger, clouded leopard, Himalayan black bear, the red panda and many others. It is also home to more than 300 species of birds.

 

How to get there

Most tourists prefer to hire taxis or mini-buses to reach the National Park, which is a well-recognised destination.

Address: Thimphu, Bhutan

 

Accommodation

1. Kisa Hotel
Address: Chang Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +91 83888 77888

2. Hotel Norbuling
Address: Bldg # 5, Changlam Street, Thimphu 11001, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 335 754

3. Wangchuk Hotel, Thimphu
Address: Changlam 19, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 323 532

 

10. Memorial Chorten, Thimphu

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A chorten is a reliquary that, in general, contains the ashes or ashes of a distinguished personality or attained being. ‘Chorten’ is the Tibetan or Bhutanese word for such a structure, while ‘stupa’ is the Sanskrit word. Its shape is said to represent the mind of an enlightened being i.e. a Buddha.

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Located at Doeboom Lam in the southern part of Thimphu, the Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 to commemorate the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and is a prominent landmark in the city. Unlike other stupas however, this memorial stupa does not contain any human remains. It was constructed when King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk was alive, and he wanted to build a stupa to represent the mind of the Buddha. Thus this stupa was built and dedicated to him.

 

How to get there

Travel within Thimphu is easy and most tourists will hire a taxi or mini-bus to travel around.

Address: Doeboom Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +975 4 649 494

 

Accommodation

1. Kisa Hotel
Address: Chang Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +91 83888 77888

2. Hotel Norbuling
Address: Bldg # 5, Changlam Street, Thimphu 11001, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 335 754

3. Wangchuk Hotel, Thimphu
Address: Changlam 19, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 323 532

 

11. Simtokha Dzong

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Simtokha Dzong, also known as Sangak Zabdhon Phodrang (literally ‘Palace of the Profound Meaning of Secret Mantras’) was built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who is famous for unifying Bhutan. Simtokha Dzong holds special significance as the first dzong to be built in Bhutan, thus popularising the use of a dzong as a monastic castle.

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According to legend, the dzong provided protection against a demon which had disappeared into a nearby rock, giving rise to the dzong’s name – “Simtoka” means ‘demoness’ and “do” means ‘stone’. Later, in 1961 and at Queen Mayum Choying Wangmo Dorje’s suggestion, King Jigme Dorje Wangchuk established a prominent Dzongkha language institute as part of the dzong.

 

How to get there

Simtokha Dzong is located about 5 kilometres south of the centre of Thimphu. It is easy to hire a taxi to take you to the dzong.

 

Accommodation

1. Kisa Hotel
Address: Chang Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +91 83888 77888

2. Hotel Norbuling
Address: Bldg # 5, Changlam Street, Thimphu 11001, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 335 754

3. Wangchuk Hotel, Thimphu
Address: Changlam 19, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 323 532

 

12. Jambey Lhakhang

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Jambey Temple or Temple of Maitreya is located in Bumthang, Bhutan. According to legend, it is said that this particular temple is one of the 108 temples built by King Songtsen Gampo within a single day in order to pin down a demoness to earth. The demoness was creating trouble and obstructions towards the proliferation of Buddhism, so the temples were built at various points of her body to subdue her. These temples are scattered across Tibet, Bhutan and the borderlands. Some of these temples include the Jokhang in Lhasa, as well as Kyichu Temple in Paro, Bhutan and this one, Jambey Lhakhang in Bumthang, Bhutan.

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One of the main relics that currently reside in this temple are the relics of the future Buddha, Jowo Jampa (Maitreya). The temple houses easily more than one hundred statues of the deities of Kalachakra that were produced under the request of Bhutan’s first king, Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuk.

 

How to get there

In order to get to Bumthang, visitors will need to apply for an entry permit when they are in Thimphu. Your tour guide may then guide you from there and make all of the necessary arrangements. If you find yourself alone without a guide, there are buses that go to Bumthang from Thimphu on a daily basis. Tickets may be purchased from Lungtenzampa bus station.

Address: Bumthang, Bhutan
Contact: +975 77 49 61 47

 

Accommodation

1. Amankora Bumthang
Address: Jakar, Bhutan
Contact: +975 77 25 02 54

2. Chumey Nature Resort
Address: Geytsa, Bumthang 32002, Bhutan
Contact: +975 17 11 48 37

3. Jakar Village Lodge
Address: Jakar Village, below Jakar Dzong, Bumthang 1051, Bhutan
Contact: +975 77 17 17 77

 

13. Buddha Dordenma Statue

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Buddha Dordenma, also commonly known as Buddha Shakyamuni, is one of Bhutan’s more recognisable and prominent landmarks. This religious monument is a gigantic Buddha Shakyamuni statue that was built in the mountains to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the former king, Jigme Singye Wangchuk. Standing at 169 feet (or 52 metres), the statue is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world. It contains 100,000 8-inch-tall and 25,000 12-inch-tall gold-plated bronze Buddha statues.

The statue is located on a hill in Kuensel Phodrang Nature Park. Construction works began in 2006 with the initial aim of completing it within four years (in 2010). However, construction was not finalised until 2015 when the statue was consecrated and the 943.4 acre nature park was open. The total cost of the entire project is over US$100 million, while the statue alone cost US$47 million.

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The statue’s existence fulfils the 12th Century prophecy of the renowned yogi Sonam Zangpo, who had predicted that a large statue of Padmasambhava, Buddha or a phurba (ritual dagger) would be built on the site. This statue would bestow blessings, peace and happiness on the whole world.
However, even before that, a second prophecy had been made in the 8th Century regarding the construction of the statue itself, by none other than Padmasambhava. After 800 years, the prophecy (which was mentioned in a terma, or treasure) was uncovered by the terton (treasure finder) Pema Lingpa.

 

How to get there

This large and very prominent Bhutanese landmark is very accessible by either taxi or mini bus.

Address: Kuensel Phodrang, Thimphu, Bhutan

 

Accommodation

1. Kisa Hotel
Address: Chang Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +91 83888 77888

2. Hotel Norbuling
Address: Bldg # 5, Changlam Street, Thimphu 11001, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 335 754

3. Wangchuk Hotel, Thimphu
Address: Changlam 19, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 323 532

 

14. Kurjey Lhakhang

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The story of this temple began with Sindhu Raja and Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava. One day, Guru Rinpoche was invited to Bhutan by Sindhu Raja to subdue some malicious spirits that were disturbing the area. Guru Rinpoche then visited Bumthang and took up residence in a cave where he entered into meditation. After subduing the spirits, imprints of Guru Rinpoche’s body remained in the rock.

This sacred event gave rise to the name of the site; Kurjey means “imprint of the body”. Due to Guru Rinpoche’s blessings and activities there, the temple ground and site is now considered to be extremely sacred and highly revered by many.

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Aside from being a pilgrimage site, Kurjey Lhakhang is also the final resting place for the remains of the first three kings of Bhutan. There are three main temples at Kurjey Lhakhang, the first one having been built in 1652, the second in 1900 while the third one was built in 1990s. In front of the temples, there are three stupas constructed to commemorate the first three kings of Bhutan.

 

How to get there

In order to get to Bumthang, visitors will need to apply for an entry permit when they are in Thimphu. Your tour guide may then guide you from there and make all of the necessary arrangements. If you find yourself alone without a guide, there are buses that go to Bumthang from Thimphu on a daily basis. Tickets may be purchased from Lungtenzampa bus station.

Address: Bumthang, Bhutan
Contact: +975 77 49 61 47

 

Accommodation

1. Amankora Bumthang
Address: Jakar, Bhutan
Contact: +975 77 25 02 54

2. Chumey Nature Resort
Address: Geytsa, Bumthang 32002, Bhutan
Contact: +975 17 11 48 37

3. Jakar Village Lodge
Address: Jakar Village, below Jakar Dzong, Bumthang 1051, Bhutan
Contact: +975 77 17 17 77

 

15. Clock Tower Square

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Located in Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, the Clock Tower Square with its four clock faces is one of the most prominent landmarks in Bhutan. The clock tower itself is a work of art, having been enriched with Bhutanese carvings and paintings to give it a typical Bhutanese architectural appearance. The Clock Tower Square being in a central location means that it is surrounded by some restaurants, shops and hotels which makes it easier for tourists.

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How to get there

This large and very prominent Bhutanese landmark is very accessible by either taxi or mini bus.

 

Accommodation

1. Kisa Hotel
Address: Chang Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +91 83888 77888

2. Hotel Norbuling
Address: Bldg # 5, Changlam Street, Thimphu 11001, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 335 754

3. Wangchuk Hotel, Thimphu
Address: Changlam 19, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 323 532

 

16. Tamzhing Monastery

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Tamzhing Lhundrup Monastery is located in Bumthang, Bhutan. In a country where the majority of the monasteries uphold the Drukpa Kagyu lineage, Tamzhing is the most influential Nyingma monastery. The temple was built in 1501 by Pema Lingpa a renowned finder (terton) of treasured Dharma teachings (terma), so the monastery’s walls are graced with portraits of him.

Until 1960, the monastery (like many others in Bhutan) was privately owned. It had been this way since Pema Lingpa passed away in 1521 at the age of 72, when his successors took over and looked after the monastery after his passing. Unfortunately, as the years went by, Tamzhing Lhundrup Monastery became neglected and fell into disrepair. It was used only during special occasions, when pilgrims would come to make offerings.

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Today, efforts are underway to establish a thriving monastic community there. Since the 1960s, when the community consisted of just 10 to 15 monks, the community has since grown to over 95 monks. The monastery continues to rely on private donations and sponsorship for its survival.

 

How to get there

In order to get to Bumthang, visitors will need to apply for an entry permit when they are in Thimphu. Your tour guide may then guide you from there and make all of the necessary arrangements. If you find yourself alone without a guide, there are buses that go to Bumthang from Thimphu on a daily basis. Tickets may be purchased from Lungtenzampa bus station.

Address: Bumthang, Bhutan
Contact: +975 77 49 61 47

 

Accommodation

1. Amankora Bumthang
Address: Jakar, Bhutan
Contact: +975 77 25 02 54

2. Chumey Nature Resort
Address: Geytsa, Bumthang 32002, Bhutan
Contact: +975 17 11 48 37

3. Jakar Village Lodge
Address: Jakar Village, below Jakar Dzong, Bumthang 1051, Bhutan
Contact: +975 77 17 17 77

 

17. Chendebji Chorten

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The stupa was built in accordance to the style of the Boudhanath Stupa in Nepal and it was established by Lama Ngesup Tsering Wangchuk, who was said to be the direct descendant of a Tibetan king, Trisong Detsen. The model of the Boudhanath Stupa in Nepal was brought to Bhutan by Lama Ngesup Tsering Wangchuk and up till this day, the model still resides in Gangtey Gompa located in the Wangdu district of Bhutan.

Local folklore tells of the stupa being constructed to subdue a demoness, Ngala dudm, and bring peace to the valley. It is said that she used to roam in the area, taking the lives of innocent people at night and destroying any temples that were built. Hence the Chendebji Stupa was constructed to subdue her and pin her down.

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An important site of religious significance, the stupa is also host to an annual tsechu festival, held in various locations all over Bhutan to commemorate the deeds of the saint Padmasambhava. The stupa is located between Trongsa and Punakha, at a scenic point where two rivers meet. Visitors have commented that it is a pleasant rest stop on the journey between the two destinations.

 

How to get there

The Chendebji Chorten is located 41 kilometres away from the west of Trongsa in Bhutan. It takes about six hours by bus from Thimphu and two hours from Jakar.

 

Accommodation

1. Yangkhil Resort
Address: Trongsa, Trongsa, Bhutan

2. Tashi Ninjay Guest House
Address: Darshing Pokto, Trongsa, Bhutan

3. Puenzhi Guest House
Address: Trongsa, Bhutan
Contact: +975 3 521 197

 

18. Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten

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Located within the Punakha Valley, the beautiful building was built by the Queen Mother, Ashi Tsering Yangdon Wangchuk. Construction of this four-storey temple took nine years to complete, resulting in a building in the shape of a stupa. The stupa is an hour’s hike from the base, but visitors are rewarded with incredible views of the Punakha Valley from the temple which sits perched on a ridge.

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How to get there

Taxis and buses are available from the capital, Thimphu. A shared taxi costs around Nu150 which is less than USD$3, and it is a 90- to 120-minute ride from the capital to Punakha.

Address: Punakha, Punakha, Bhutan
Contact: +975 17 66 99 80

 

Accommodation

1. Drubchhu Resort
Address: Missina, P.O Box 777, Punakha 13001, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 376 237

2. Hotel Lobesa
Address: Punakha, Bhutan
Contact: +975 17 61 26 72

3. RKPO Green Resort
Address: Punakha, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 376 233

 

19. Kila Nunnery

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Kila Nunnery, also known as Chele la Gompa or Kila Gompa nunnery, is located by the cliffs below Chele pass. Built in the 9th century, it is known to be the oldest nunnery in Bhutan. The nunnery includes about seven temples and several retreat huts where the nuns engage in their meditational practices. There are roughly 50-70 nuns who live here in complete isolation from the outside world. They rarely get visitors as the road that leads to the nunnery requires long hours of trekking. Getting to Chele pass from Paro takes about one and a half hours. However, if you are coming from Haa, it will only take you half an hour to get there. The landscape surrounding the nunnery is absolutely mesmerising, so be sure to check the place out when you are travelling in Bhutan.

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How to get there

Direct flights to Paro Airport are available from international destinations like Bangkok (Thailand), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Kathmandu (Nepal), and Delhi and Kolkata (India). From there, taxis are available and it is easy to get around Paro. An alternative option would be to hire a taxi from Thimphu for the 45-minute drive to Paro.

Address: Taktsang trail, Bhutan

 

Accommodation

1. Naksel Boutique Hotel & SPA
Address: Ngoba Village, Lango Geog, Paro 00975, Bhutan
Contact: +975 8 272 992

2. Olathang Hotel
Address: P.O. Box No. 1214, Paro 12008, Bhutan
Contact: +975 8 271 304

3. Hotel Dorjee-Ling
Address: Main Street, Paro Town, Paro 12001, Bhutan
Contact: +91 84477 47674

 

20. Iron Chain Bridge, Paro

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Another of Bhutan’s famous and iconic places to visit is the Iron Bridge, located near Tachog Lhakhang Dzong, on the way to Paro Valley. One must cross the bridge in order to get to the Dzong.

There are a total of 108 iron bridges throughout Bhutan and Tibet, which were built by Drupthob Thangtong Gyalpo in the late 1300s. Many of the bridges are still in use today. According to legend, Thangtong Gyalpo gathered villagers to perform traditional operas in order to raise funds to build these bridges over Himalayan rivers so that pilgrims would have access to various holy Buddhist sites.

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How to get there

Direct flights to Paro Airport are available from international destinations like Bangkok (Thailand), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Kathmandu (Nepal), and Delhi and Kolkata (India). From there, taxis are available and it is easy to get around Paro. An alternative option would be to hire a taxi from Thimphu for the 45-minute drive to Paro.

Address: Paro Valley, Bhutan

 

Accommodation

1. Naksel Boutique Hotel & SPA
Address: Ngoba Village, Lango Geog, Paro 00975, Bhutan
Contact: +975 8 272 992

2. Olathang Hotel
Address: P.O. Box No. 1214, Paro 12008, Bhutan
Contact: +975 8 271 304

3. Hotel Dorjee-Ling
Address: Main Street, Paro Town, Paro 12001, Bhutan
Contact: +91 84477 47674

 

Travel Books

Below are some of the travel books you may find helpful if you are planning for a trip to Bhutan.

 

1. Lonely Planet Bhutan (Travel Guide)

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Lonely Planet Bhutan is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Join the pilgrims at colourful Changangkha Lhakhang, hike to the dramatic cliff -hanging Taktshang Goemba, or explore the busy weekend market at Thimphu; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Bhutan and begin your journey now!

 

2. Insight Pocket Guide Bhutan (Insight Pocket Guides)

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The extraordinary Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is one of the world’s most exciting new travel frontiers, a picture-book-beautiful mountain landscape with a rich Buddhist culture. The only country in the world to measure its success by the principals of Gross National Happiness, Bhutan is a truly unique place. Insight Pocket Guide Bhutan is a brand-new, full-colour travel guide that combines lively text with vivid photography to highlight the best that the country has to offer.

 
Sources:

  • www.wikipedia.com
  • www.tripadvisor.com
  • www.lonelyplanets.com
  • www.tourism.gov.bt
  • www.wikitravel.com

 
For more interesting information:

 

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Beatrix Ooi
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About Beatrix Ooi

20-year-old Beatrix is currently on sabbatical from her studies and spends her free time volunteering in Tsem Ladrang, the office of her Guru, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. A proud Buddhist and vegetarian, Beatrix claims that dogs are her favorite people. She believes that kindness is the greatest wisdom and is deeply grateful to her supportive parents.
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11 Responses to Wonderful Bhutan

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  1. Paul Yap on Aug 10, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Bhutan is like the Shambhala on earth, everyone is practising the dharma, lives in a clean good environment freely and happily. We often saw the pictures of the landmark building Paro Taktsang (The Tiger’s Nest Temple) on various media, even celebrities went there for their marriage and blessings. This is definitely one of the bucket list to accomplish.

  2. Wan Wai Meng on Aug 10, 2017 at 12:35 am

    Bhutan is an interesting country, that they are trying preserve their environment and not trade development for destruction. I hope they can be a model of balancing the environment and the need to progress.

    Rejoice very much that a spiritual country like Bhutan is showing the world how a spiritual country can have a pristine environment and modernise at the same time.

  3. Alice Tay on Aug 9, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Very beautiful country.
    What has impressed me are Bhutanese respect very much to the monasteries and the religious places. They have the rules of Do’s and Don’ts for the people to follow. One of the rules mentioned that “Don’t ever point at any person, object or animal with a single finger. Use instead an upturned flat and extended hand, especially when indicating or gesturing towards a sacred object or place.” This showed clearly that everyone is equal and being respected including the animal. Also, showing respect to one’s elders is extremely important. Besides, the built up of Buddha Dordenma as one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, is really meritorious and bless all the sentient beings in Bhutan.

    When everyone is followed and practice the good qualities, it is believed that Bhutanese gain peace, harmony and happiness easily as compared other countries.

    Thank you Beatrix for sharing this beautiful and peaceful country.

  4. Fong on Aug 6, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Never knew much about Bhutan before this. It was only a green country that has become carbon-negative now and that the monarchy encourages happiness as a standard rather than materialistic acquisition. By all accounts, a country still very much steeped in it’s spirituality and simple, old fashion ways. The modern monarch takes it upon himself to see that his subjects are taken care of.

    This article has shown me more of Bhutan and makes one wish to visit this very unique country.

  5. Lin Mun on Aug 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Bhutan is unique by being the first and probably the only country to measure happiness with Gross National Happiness instead of the income which normally most countries does that is Gross National Product. That shows how important is happiness as compared to monetary term. A very interesting measurement by government of Bhutan. I guess with the controlled of visa and fees, the country is well managing the flow of tourism. I believe it is a control to have a balance on the influx of foreigners and the effect to the country and environment. Thank you Beatrix for sharing this article

  6. JP on Aug 6, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    I only started noticing about Bhutan when I read about the Gross National Happiness index many years ago in one of the US magazines. I think it was Time magazine. It was fascinating and refreshing that the country is focused on her people’s happiness as compared to the rest of the world that is more focused on their Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

    I noticed in the pics here that the country is filled with spiritual places. The environment is clean and spectacular. Even just by looking at the pics of the amazing mountains and streams, I feel uplifted and energized!

    I guess if more people are conscientious about the environment and balance their lives with some spiritual practice that promote kindness and compassion, many of the world’s social and environmental problems wouldn’t even exist. Bhutan is an example that a well balanced wholesome lifestyle is possible to achieve as a nation. It’s a matter of who’s at the government level promoting it consistently.

  7. Jason on Aug 2, 2017 at 1:35 am

    Bhutan is my top pick visit country. I like the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) to measure on collective happiness of Bhutanese. As I know that Bhutan is the most happy country among the country participated. Bhutan doing very well on forest conservation through visitors limitation enter to Bhutan yearly.
    Bhutan also is a good place to make a pilgrimage visit. Many monasteries been well conserve and funding by government.
    Thanks Beatrix for sharing this informative article.
    I wish I can do a pilgrimage trip to Bhutan soon.

    Jason

  8. Uncle Eddie on Aug 1, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Within an extraordinary beautiful picturesque and mountainous landscape, coupled with a rich Buddhist culture is what made the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, a truly unique place in the World. Known as the smallest state located within Himalaya mountain range, it is bordered by China and India. The capital of Bhutan is known as “Thimphu” and has an admirable record of centuries of independence, never been colonized by external forces or foreign nations amazingly! Bhutan has quality over quantity in its wise approach to promote Tourism. Bhutan is said to be well-known for their conservative efforts, and to what the Bhutanese nature has to offer. The country benefits from a wide range of climatic and incredible picturesque beautiful landscapes. Mountain peaks in Bhutan can reach up to 24,840 feet, which holds the record of the highest un-climbed mountain in the World! According to restrictions in record, since 1994, climbing mountains higher than 6,000 metres in Bhutan has been prohibited, but nevertheless, starting from 2003, mountaineering was completely prohibited. In a country where Buddhism is the State Religion, it would come as no surprise that the landscape will be dotted with picturesque, beautiful and colorful monasteries. It was such great discovery that transform and attract people’s perception to such rich and ancient culture and its background. This is definetly a must-visit and see attraction, if you are truly a fan of ancient history!

  9. Samfoonheei on Jul 30, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Bhutan is a truly unique country with beautiful landscapes, rich Buddhist culture and ancient architecture monasteries. a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas is known for its monasteries, fortresses and dramatic landscapes, steep mountains and valleys. Bhutan are popular trekking destinations and its famous Paro Taktsang monastery or known as Tiger’s Nest clings to cliffs
    I have not been there but have heard of the beauty of these beautiful country.I will very much like to experience the charm of Bhutan one day.
    Thank you Beatrix Ooi for sharing.

  10. Pastor David Lai on Jul 30, 2017 at 3:47 am

    Bhutan is really beautiful and they do have really spectacular architecture of their own. I suppose the architecture of old Tibet was just like that too. I see Bhutan as pretty much an offspring of Tibetan culture, language and people.

    The country looks clean and very picturesque. Although not a wealthy nation, the leaders of the country in the past and presently, did a good job maintaining its sovereignty and maintained the integrity of their culture. This post does a good job in listing out the spiritual and architectural marvels of the Bhutanese people. It would be one of the places, I would like to visit but its a little lower down the list of places because I would rather visit Tibet first. But nonetheless, I am sure Bhutan would be a wonderful visit.

  11. Stella Cheang on Jul 29, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Bhutan is such a beautiful country, and the people are friendly in a down to earth manner. The winding road leading to each town offers you a breathtaking view even before you set foot into the town. At dusk or dawn, when the golden rays penetrate through the clouds and shine on the white houses with square rooftops at the valley, it is as if time stands still.

    As the national dish is chilies with cheese, it is common to see people drying red chilies on the roof. The dish is delicious when eaten with rice! Bhutanese are calm and orderly, and they wear their national costume proudly too! It is really a very enchanting country imbued by Buddhism; I will not hesitate to visit again if I have the chance. Thank you, Beatrix, for this sharing.

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For more information, please read here (english), here (chinese), or the official site: retreat.kechara.com.

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  • Alice Tay
    Wednesday, Nov 22. 2017 03:25 AM
    Dorje Shugden is an emanation of Manjushri in dhama protector form. Dorje Shugden practice has been passed for over 400 years by the lineage gurus. Our lineage gurus have strong faith and practice Dorje Shugden including H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche. All these gurus have achieve attainments and now they have returned in perfect human body to continue their previous life dharma works for the benefit of others. If Dorje Shugden is a spirit and can harm H.H. Dalai Lama and other great masters e.g. from other lineage like Sakya and our lineage gurus, the dharma will not grow and spread to the western countries.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/why-cant-the-dalai-lama-bind-dorje-shugden.html



  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Nov 21. 2017 01:20 AM
    Dharma Protector practice especially Kawang prayer is very powerful to purify our negative karma that accumulated since our countless past lifetimes. If this karma is not purified, it can manifest as obstacles to our Dharma practice and can hinder our spiritual progress. When we practice diligently, Kawang prayer is very effective to clear and stabilise the mind when doubts and confusion arise. Eventually, we will achieve the ultimate happiness of full enlightenment and no longer need any dharma protector.

    Thank you Rinpoche for your kindness and compassion to give us this practice to liberate us from suffering and toward enlightenment.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/kawang-a-dorje-shugden-confessional-practice.html?nomobile
  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, Nov 19. 2017 10:39 PM
    Amazing to have Dorje Shugden in so many styles. Rinpoche is really creative to create and commission so many types and styles to suit everyone so all of us have a chance to connect and practise Dorje Shugden. Thank you Rinpoche and team for getting all the various beautiful paintings within a short time.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/which-dorje-shugden-style-is-your-favourite.html
  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, Nov 19. 2017 10:19 PM
    Puan Sabariah really has a big heart. She cooks and serves everyone regardless of race as she only wants to bring joy, happiness and warm food to the homeless. It is already not easy to cook for 20 or 30 person but she managed to cook for 300 a day from her apartment and even up to 1,000 during Ramadhan. Her work it a great inspiration to many and great reminder to always love and help people no matter what their background is. And now at 70 years old still continue working to help the refugees. So we also should not give up helping others and don’t use age as an excuse.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-malaysian-mother-teresa-of-montreal.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Nov 19. 2017 02:37 AM
    I used to hear a few people around me say that they are OCD towards certain triggers. From their description, I was under the impression that OCD means they have low tolerance towards the trigger. With this article clearly stating the symptoms of people with OCD suffering from the obsession that triggers compulsion in doing something, OCD actually is a serious illness. It results in physical or emotional distress. It appears to me that OCD sufferer’s mind are programed to hold onto to a certain perception very strongly. I hope there will be medical help to reduce their fixation so that their quality of life will improve. Thank you for this sharing, Rinpoche.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/understanding-obsessive-compulsive-disorder.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Nov 18. 2017 09:22 PM
    I feel very sad for the animals and embarrassing at the same time that our national zoo were in such a poor state. Charging RM 30 (with MyKad) and RM50 (without MyKad) per entry is not cheap and this clearly shows that the zoo is not well managed. Animals are already being captured with no freedom and the situation is made worse with poor condition, unsanitary, lack of food and medical assistance. I hope the authority will look into this urgently and take action to rectify the situation.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/a-living-hell.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Nov 18. 2017 09:13 PM
    This is indeed a great move from the California authority and passing it as a law. This move will surely reduce the number of puppy mills and reduce the suffering of animals tremendously. Many cats and dogs suffered as most breeders do not maintain and treat the animals poorly. Hopefully more states in United States and other countries will follow suit on this noble act.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/california-says-pet-stores-can-only-sell-rescued-animals.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Friday, Nov 17. 2017 09:27 AM
    There are three purification practices and Kawang is one of them, most suitable to purify heavy bodily karma as well as clearing and stabilising the mind when doubts or confusion arise in times of conflict or when one is on the verge of giving up on something virtuous. From the sharing by Pastor David, the key to this practice is consistency. Doing the kawang prayer as part of our daily sadhana is akin to building up a strong bond with Dorje Shugden, hence, able to invoke his blessing more effectively.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/kawang-a-dorje-shugden-confessional-practice.html
  • Jason
    Thursday, Nov 16. 2017 11:02 PM
    这是一个很好的佛法教育的视频。仁波切选择了转世到恶劣的环境下成长,但是在这不影响仁波切放弃学习佛法的精神,反而造就了一个菩萨心肠的圣人。仁波切承受很多的痛苦,仁波切不愿意看到他人痛苦,所以发愿要帮助更多流宿街头者给他们援助。
    仁波切的坎坷成长过程给我们一个很正面的教育。环境的影响大不过于我们内心的想法。所以要先修心然后才修行。

    感恩仁波切的教悔使我知道快乐不仅是拥有而是我们付出多少让别人快乐。

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/凡人和圣人的差别.html#comments
  • Jason
    Thursday, Nov 16. 2017 10:18 PM
    This 5 ft Gyenze Statue very stunning and it look so real like a man ride a horse. Gyenze is the increase form of Dorje Shugden and he will bestow us increase in any material or spiritual forms in order to help us in our spiritual path.

    This chapel open 24 hrs and open to public so anyone can visit this chapel anytime. Remember to lit a lotus candle and offer to Gyenze. By doing so, it will lesssen our ignorance and very benefit in our spiritual path.

    Thanks sponsor for contribution in making this 5 ft Gyenze Statue come into real.
    Thanks Rinpoche for conceptualize of this chapel to benefit more people.

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/5foot-gyenze-statue-arrives-in-kechara-forest-retreat.html
  • Pastor Adeline Woon
    Thursday, Nov 16. 2017 12:02 AM
    This is an unbiased piece that gives a clear and easy to understand overview of the Dorje Shugden controversy. It is a “as a matter fact” piece that should be accepted easily by the general public.

    It has been a 20 year struggle for the Dorje Shugden practitioners since His Holiness the Dalai Lama imposed a ban on the practice. Families, friends, relatives, couples, etc. were separated due to it. There were many innocent people who were hurt, abandoned and killed because of it. This intended result is totally against the concept of compassion, kindness and equality His Holiness represents.

    Many assumed that all Dorje Shugden practitioners do not like His Holiness and they all demonstrated in his teachings for the last 20 years or so with the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) founded by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. It has been pointed out distinctively in this article that it is not the case.

    His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche has always fought the unlawful ban by peaceful and powerful means – writing and education. His Eminence preaches patience and kindness that reflect on his approach in the face of hate speech, threats, etc. He also taught his students to do the same.

    His Eminence’s approach seems to be more effective as people are being educated on the controversy and many turned their minds because of that.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/huffpost-on-dorje-shugden.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Wednesday, Nov 15. 2017 09:35 PM
    Being creative and making things around us interesting makes life so much more bearable.~Tsem Rinpoche


    Spontaneity is the state of realizing boredom does have enemies.~Tsem Rinpoche

    Boredom is the mind that thinks this is it, when it’s not.~Tsem Rinpoche

    Being creative is not a choice, direction or lifestyle but my natural state of mind~Tsem Rinpoche

    Depression is a state of mind only when you are a piece of wood~Tsem Rinpoche

    Losing is just letting yourself know that winning is not the goal but only part of the journey~Tsem Rinpoche


    When you hate or love something extremely, both leads to sufferings.~Tsem Rinpoche

    Being with someone we love or don’t love should not make a difference to a genuine practioner expunged of the I.~Tsem Rinpoche

    Dorje Shugden is not a cause, a movement or religion but who I am, for that person is compassion, love and acceptance.~Tsem Rinpoche
  • Alice Tay
    Wednesday, Nov 15. 2017 03:44 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche sharing this article from Huffington Post. Dorje Shugden ban is getting more people’s attention in the world now. This is a good time for everyone to think, find out more and understand the truth about this issue. This is no longer about the issue of religious but it is more to the fundamental human rights on their freedom and religious that bring much impact in their life.

    Basically, everyone may wish to have their life is improving and getting better. But, it seems that this is not applied to the Tibetan people. The Tibetan people especially Dorje Shugden practitioners have suffered and facing a lot of difficulties, segregation and discrimination for the past 20 years. This situation is getting worse when Sera Jey Monastery introduced an identity badge system to for its monks to indicate that they were not Dorje Shugden practitioner. From that, we can understand those who are practiced Dorje Shugden were not welcome at the monastic university. This is another kind of discrimination happening now in Tibet.

    I humbly wish that those who are given Dorje Shugden practice by your guru, please continue to have strong faith in your guru and Dorje Shugden. For those who have misunderstand or do not know about Dorje Shugden, please think and understand that our concern now is not only about the religious but the importance of fundamental human rights for people.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/huffpost-on-dorje-shugden.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Nov 15. 2017 03:15 PM
    It is uncommon to read unbiased articles about Dorje Shugden issue, more so on international mainstream media. Many international mainstream media shy away from the issue because it is controversial, it involves a 400 years old deity practice that “outsider” finds hard to verify and it deeply intertwines in the entangled Tibetan-China political relationship. Therefore, I rejoice for the job well done by the Huffington Post for carrying this unbiased, well researched and factual article; it is very refreshing and encouraging for all Shugdenpas, for a change.

    Shugden practice is being accused of threatening the unity of all the Buddhism sects in Tibet. The Huffington Post rightly points out that for the past four centuries, Dorje Shugden was propitiated alongside all these main Buddhism schools without any signs of aggressive purge, as claimed by the HHDL people post 1976.

    The only difference between the Shugden practice and the rest of the Tibetan Buddhism practice is almost close to zero. It is really a matter of emphasis. Yet, the ban initiated by HHDL, in all his wisdom, have been fervently actualised by the CTA over the years. Resulting in the ostracisation of the entire Shugden community, and followed by many abuse, beating and threats that ensued on a day-to-day basis. Is it not the exact aggressive purge that threatens the unity of the Buddhism community?

    The deity is being demonised further with no basis. And the community is accused of being Chinese spy. Interestingly, the Chinese angle became an opportune played well by the Beijing after they learnt of this fall out and exploit the discord against their arch rival, HHDL. Will HHDL and his think-tank finally admit that it is better to lift the ban so that the Chinese can stop using it to widen the divide?

    There is another key issue not being pressed on in this article, which I believe it is out of respect to HHDL. This article did not question why HHDL, a 1989 Nobel Peace Prize Laurette, is not hesitant to show no mercy to his own people practicing Dorje Shugden; which is to go against what he championed for the rest of the world.

    Thank you, Rinpoche and the team for this wonderful and uplifting sharing!

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/huffpost-on-dorje-shugden.html
  • Pastor Adeline Woon
    Wednesday, Nov 15. 2017 06:29 AM
    These videos are very necessary to counter the repeated false claims by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) on the unlawful ban of Dorje Shugden. These videos were highly circulated by the Tibetans on social media platform. Now that the Tibetan version is available, more Tibetans can understand the contradictory statements made by their leader Lobsang Sangyay and the kashag (cabinet). It is very important that the Tibetans understand so that they can unite and join force to vote for a different and more capable leaders who will really do something that benefit them.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video.html

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

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Dear friends, The Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Shartse Monastery was authorized and blessed by both Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He was a favorite among high lamas for his smooth trances and clear prophecies. This video is a one-of-a-kind where you see the Choyang Dulzin Kuten oracle take trance of the peaceful form of Dorje Shugden wearing the robes of a high lama giving teachings, blessings and transmissions. Very sacred and rare video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pawS1TMOe8k
7 days ago
Dear friends, The Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Shartse Monastery was authorized and blessed by both Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He was a favorite among high lamas for his smooth trances and clear prophecies. This video is a one-of-a-kind where you see the Choyang Dulzin Kuten oracle take trance of the peaceful form of Dorje Shugden wearing the robes of a high lama giving teachings, blessings and transmissions. Very sacred and rare video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pawS1TMOe8k
Beautiful contemporary art piece of Dorje Shugden for free high res download here:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
1 week ago
Beautiful contemporary art piece of Dorje Shugden for free high res download here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
The Huffington Post extensively covers the Dorje Shugden issue. I had no idea that this article was being written. I was not contacted, not asked for an interview or asked for any comments, and then it was published and my students alerted me to it. So it was a very, very pleasant and encouraging surprise to read such balanced coverage from such a reputable news website. You can read it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=149806
1 week ago
The Huffington Post extensively covers the Dorje Shugden issue. I had no idea that this article was being written. I was not contacted, not asked for an interview or asked for any comments, and then it was published and my students alerted me to it. So it was a very, very pleasant and encouraging surprise to read such balanced coverage from such a reputable news website. You can read it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=149806
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
1 week ago
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
བོད་པའི་དབུ་ཁྲིད་ཚོའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་བསྟེན་མཁན་ཚོར་མ་ཉེས་ཁ་ཡོག་གི་བརྙན་ཕྲིན་གསར་པ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
1 week ago
བོད་པའི་དབུ་ཁྲིད་ཚོའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་བསྟེན་མཁན་ཚོར་མ་ཉེས་ཁ་ཡོག་གི་བརྙན་ཕྲིན་གསར་པ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
(Drepung) Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we\'ve come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
2 weeks ago
(Drepung) Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we've come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we\'ve come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
2 weeks ago
Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we've come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
I had this painting commissioned. Please read more here on this great master-
 http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146195
3 weeks ago
I had this painting commissioned. Please read more here on this great master- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146195
How can all the high lamas of Tibet and all the protectors not be able to defeat Dorje Shugden? This is food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bj0254UG-Y
3 weeks ago
How can all the high lamas of Tibet and all the protectors not be able to defeat Dorje Shugden? This is food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bj0254UG-Y
致全世界的华人:这是我一份小小的心意:一幅富有古中国传统艺术的作品。希望你们会喜欢! http://bit.ly/2zLOjnK
4 weeks ago
致全世界的华人:这是我一份小小的心意:一幅富有古中国传统艺术的作品。希望你们会喜欢! http://bit.ly/2zLOjnK
“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
1 month ago
“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
1 month ago
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
1 month ago
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
 These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
1 month ago
These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
1 month ago
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
1 month ago
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
1 month ago
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
Dear friends, This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Dear friends, This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become. Tsem Rinpoche
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France.  Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
1 month ago
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France. Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa\'s tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits.

Beng Kooi and Martin brought photo albums of Kechara Forest Retreat/Kechara and updates on Kechara and our works. His Holiness was very pleased to listen and offered some gifts back. 

This is a beautiful picture and the great blessings bestowed on us from His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.

Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche 
Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
1 month ago
Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa's tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits. Beng Kooi and Martin brought photo albums of Kechara Forest Retreat/Kechara and updates on Kechara and our works. His Holiness was very pleased to listen and offered some gifts back. This is a beautiful picture and the great blessings bestowed on us from His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp
*****and****
My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li

Fantastic Reads!!
1 month ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li Fantastic Reads!!
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp
*****and****
My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
1 month ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
This is so powerful. It is a must read and must share.
1 month ago
This is so powerful. It is a must read and must share.
Beng Kooi meeting with the scholar and teacher Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen has been very active and you can see his youtubes in Tibetan speaking about the benefits of Dorje Shugden practice. He is a direct student of Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche.
1 month ago
Beng Kooi meeting with the scholar and teacher Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen has been very active and you can see his youtubes in Tibetan speaking about the benefits of Dorje Shugden practice. He is a direct student of Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche.
Martin meeting with Gen Tashi. Gen Tashi is a very devoted and committed activist of Dorje Shugden\'s cause. He is tireless in speaking for the truth. They enjoyed sharing some time together.
1 month ago
Martin meeting with Gen Tashi. Gen Tashi is a very devoted and committed activist of Dorje Shugden's cause. He is tireless in speaking for the truth. They enjoyed sharing some time together.
Martin meeting with the well known strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist and scholar Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe lak was very happy to meet Martin and shared so much wonderful information. Beautiful meeting.
1 month ago
Martin meeting with the well known strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist and scholar Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe lak was very happy to meet Martin and shared so much wonderful information. Beautiful meeting.
Beng Kooi meeting with friend and strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist Gen Tashi
1 month ago
Beng Kooi meeting with friend and strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist Gen Tashi
Another stunning digital print art of Dorje Shugden from an artist in Peru. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Another stunning digital print art of Dorje Shugden from an artist in Peru. Tsem Rinpoche
This beautiful Dorje Shugden is from an artist in the Ukraine. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This beautiful Dorje Shugden is from an artist in the Ukraine. Tsem Rinpoche
Please never get tired of speaking for those who do not have a voice. If we can alleviate their pain or try our best, why not? Thank you all so much. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Please never get tired of speaking for those who do not have a voice. If we can alleviate their pain or try our best, why not? Thank you all so much. Tsem Rinpoche
Pastor Antoinette of Kechara arranged a Malaysian artist to paint this special Dorje Shugden painting conceptualized by myself. She oversaw the process and completed it. Wonderful beautiful Dorje Shugden Malaysian style by Malaysian artist. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Pastor Antoinette of Kechara arranged a Malaysian artist to paint this special Dorje Shugden painting conceptualized by myself. She oversaw the process and completed it. Wonderful beautiful Dorje Shugden Malaysian style by Malaysian artist. Tsem Rinpoche
Sometimes after my prayers, reading on sasquatch is relaxing. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Sometimes after my prayers, reading on sasquatch is relaxing. Tsem Rinpoche
This gorgeous outdoor bronze Buddha is in Korea. Would be lovely to pay homage to Him there.
2 months ago
This gorgeous outdoor bronze Buddha is in Korea. Would be lovely to pay homage to Him there.
Beautiful old vintage photo of Kamakura Buddha in Japan. I had the good fortune to visit this holy Buddha a few years back. I do hope I can go again with some students. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Beautiful old vintage photo of Kamakura Buddha in Japan. I had the good fortune to visit this holy Buddha a few years back. I do hope I can go again with some students. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the Medicine Buddha festival.
2 months ago
Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the Medicine Buddha festival.
This is a unique thangka of Pelden Hlamo with Dorje Shugden and Setrap and Nechung. Of course they all get along unlike what Tibetan leadership likes to say they don\'t get along. All enlightened beings get along with other enlightened beings and unenlightened beings. Enlightened beings have no karma to not get along with others. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
This is a unique thangka of Pelden Hlamo with Dorje Shugden and Setrap and Nechung. Of course they all get along unlike what Tibetan leadership likes to say they don't get along. All enlightened beings get along with other enlightened beings and unenlightened beings. Enlightened beings have no karma to not get along with others. Tsem Rinpoche
I love this picture. I wish it will all settle down soon.
2 months ago
I love this picture. I wish it will all settle down soon.
 I love this picture of Mumu peeking through the screen and window to see what is going on. He is always been very busy body and active. He has to know what is going on. I love you Mumu.
2 months ago
I love this picture of Mumu peeking through the screen and window to see what is going on. He is always been very busy body and active. He has to know what is going on. I love you Mumu.
How would you like to get one piece of this beautiful piece of art?
2 months ago
How would you like to get one piece of this beautiful piece of art?
First time PM Tenpa Yarphel speaks up against Nechung. It has created a huge stir. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144220
2 months ago
First time PM Tenpa Yarphel speaks up against Nechung. It has created a huge stir. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144220
I always like my rooms to smell clean, fresh, woodsy and a bit like the forest. my favorite types of essential oils to burn daily or as an offering to the Buddhas are Juniper, Cypress, Black Spruce, Peppermint and sometimes Rosemary. I like the smell of the forest, woods and wooded areas very much. I\'ve been using essential oils in my rooms for years. I don\'t necessarily purchase the brand you see in the picture as I buy any brand as long as it\'s made naturally. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
I always like my rooms to smell clean, fresh, woodsy and a bit like the forest. my favorite types of essential oils to burn daily or as an offering to the Buddhas are Juniper, Cypress, Black Spruce, Peppermint and sometimes Rosemary. I like the smell of the forest, woods and wooded areas very much. I've been using essential oils in my rooms for years. I don't necessarily purchase the brand you see in the picture as I buy any brand as long as it's made naturally. Tsem Rinpoche
In the bitter coldness of Yachen Gar, Tibet, several nuns are practicing meditation. You can see many small single \'huts\' in the background. They do this yearly and throughout the year. It is very inspiring to see people practice even under extreme conditions because they realize how samsara is so full of deceptions. Praise to the Dharma that liberates us with truth and practice. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
In the bitter coldness of Yachen Gar, Tibet, several nuns are practicing meditation. You can see many small single 'huts' in the background. They do this yearly and throughout the year. It is very inspiring to see people practice even under extreme conditions because they realize how samsara is so full of deceptions. Praise to the Dharma that liberates us with truth and practice. Tsem Rinpoche
More than you have....
2 months ago
More than you have....
The holiest place for the spiritual seeker is where our guru abides. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
The holiest place for the spiritual seeker is where our guru abides. Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful flowers offered on my shrine to Sacred Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Beautiful flowers offered on my shrine to Sacred Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
This is my favorite image of Lord Manjusri. I had this exact same image as a kid in the 1980\'s and treasured it very much. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
This is my favorite image of Lord Manjusri. I had this exact same image as a kid in the 1980's and treasured it very much. Tsem Rinpoche
I love this idyllic painting of a beautiful Buddhist temple in a small town with foliage, natural, blue skies and country living. I can definitely live in this type of environment any time. I love living near nature. I wish I can go inside this picture to start living there now. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
I love this idyllic painting of a beautiful Buddhist temple in a small town with foliage, natural, blue skies and country living. I can definitely live in this type of environment any time. I love living near nature. I wish I can go inside this picture to start living there now. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
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    5 days ago
    Cham Dance
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  • The great Gautama Siddhartha meditating intensely is protected by the King of Nagas during heavy rains
    6 days ago
    The great Gautama Siddhartha meditating intensely is protected by the King of Nagas during heavy rains
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    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
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    2 months ago
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CHAT PICTURES

Your wedding venue @ Kechara Oasis Viva Home #vegetarian #restaurant ~ Guat Hee
yesterday
Your wedding venue @ Kechara Oasis Viva Home #vegetarian #restaurant ~ Guat Hee
Before the wedding lunch, the #children are Q up for Ang Pow #happy #幸福 ~ Guat Hee
yesterday
Before the wedding lunch, the #children are Q up for Ang Pow #happy #幸福 ~ Guat Hee
Reception and photo booth #register #table ~ Guat Hee
yesterday
Reception and photo booth #register #table ~ Guat Hee
Tea ceremony @ kechara oasis #vegetarian #lunch #lovely #couple ~ Guat Hee
yesterday
Tea ceremony @ kechara oasis #vegetarian #lunch #lovely #couple ~ Guat Hee
Door gift #wedding #banquet #喜糖 ~ Guat Hee
yesterday
Door gift #wedding #banquet #喜糖 ~ Guat Hee
While waiting for the next section #study #homework #school #bless #partime ~ Guat Hee
yesterday
While waiting for the next section #study #homework #school #bless #partime ~ Guat Hee
Weekend at Kechara Oasis #partime #homework #student #vegetarian ~ Guat Hee
yesterday
Weekend at Kechara Oasis #partime #homework #student #vegetarian ~ Guat Hee
KSDS parents & students worked together for the discussion during the Talk on Acceptance, Kindness and Helping Each Other. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
KSDS parents & students worked together for the discussion during the Talk on Acceptance, Kindness and Helping Each Other. Alice Tay, KSDS
Ms. Mok Pui Leng has offered lights and incense to Lama Tsongkhapa and all the Buddhas on behalf of KISG today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 days ago
Ms. Mok Pui Leng has offered lights and incense to Lama Tsongkhapa and all the Buddhas on behalf of KISG today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out a session of Mother Tara's prayer recitations in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 days ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out a session of Mother Tara's prayer recitations in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KSDS Students are very cooperative & creative in making the artwork for coming event, Graduation / Halloween / Art Event. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
KSDS Students are very cooperative & creative in making the artwork for coming event, Graduation / Halloween / Art Event. Alice Tay, KSDS
KSDS students age 7 and the above learned to do&paint their own mask. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
KSDS students age 7 and the above learned to do&paint their own mask. Alice Tay, KSDS
The youngest group of KSDS learned to recite Migtsema mantra. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
The youngest group of KSDS learned to recite Migtsema mantra. Alice Tay, KSDS
KSDS teachers in the progress for the Graduation/Halloween 2017 backdrop. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
KSDS teachers in the progress for the Graduation/Halloween 2017 backdrop. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Peggy gave a talk on Bully to parents and students. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Teacher Peggy gave a talk on Bully to parents and students. Lin Mun KSDS
Great to hv parents and students goodnight group work and share ideas from different perspectives. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Great to hv parents and students goodnight group work and share ideas from different perspectives. Lin Mun KSDS
Photographer team for Mid Autumn Charity Dinner 2017. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Photographer team for Mid Autumn Charity Dinner 2017. Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS team had meeting in Kechara Oasis in preparation for the Graduation/ Halloween event. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
KSDS team had meeting in Kechara Oasis in preparation for the Graduation/ Halloween event. Lin Mun KSDS
Artwork done by children of 2-6 yrs old for the upcoming Graduation/ Halloween/ Art event. Lin Mun Ksds
4 days ago
Artwork done by children of 2-6 yrs old for the upcoming Graduation/ Halloween/ Art event. Lin Mun Ksds
At Dukkar Apartment, Kechara Forest Retreat, this morning, we completed a three day Amitayus Retreat and promised to come together for this spiritually powerful retreat again in the near future. We had looked forward to this retreat and, owing to the blessings of our Guru, Tsem Rinpoche, and Dorje Shugden, it went smoothly and as planned. by Pastor Han Nee
6 days ago
At Dukkar Apartment, Kechara Forest Retreat, this morning, we completed a three day Amitayus Retreat and promised to come together for this spiritually powerful retreat again in the near future. We had looked forward to this retreat and, owing to the blessings of our Guru, Tsem Rinpoche, and Dorje Shugden, it went smoothly and as planned. by Pastor Han Nee
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
1 week ago
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
ལོ་སྔོན་མར་བོད་གཞུང་གིས་ཆོས་སྐྱོང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་དང་འདིའི་བསྟེན་གསོལ་བ་རྣམས་ལ་སྐྱོན་བརྗོད་བྱེད་ཏེ་དེའི་ཁ་གཏད་དུ་ཡིག་ཆ་འགྲེམས་ཡོད་པས། དེའི་ལན་ལ་ཀེ་ཆ་ར་ཆོས་ཚོགས་ནས་བརྙེན་འཕྲིན་ཁྱོན་བསྡོམས་ལྔ་འགྲེམས་ཡོད། བརྙེན་འཕྲིན་དེ་དག་ནང་རིག་པ་དང་མཐུན་པའི་རྩོད་གླེང་ནང་ཡོད་པ་དང་དོན་དངོས་གང་ཡིན་སྐོར་གསལ་བཤད་གནང་ཏེ་བདེན་པ་རྭ་སྤྲོད་བྱེད་ཡོད། དེར་རྣམ་པ་ཚོ་ཚང་མའི་གཟིགས་རོ་ཞུ་རྒྱུ་དང་། གལ་ཏེ་ཡ་ལེན་ཡོད་ན་གནང་རོ་གནང་ཞུ་རྒྱུ་ཡིན། ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ།། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
1 week ago
ལོ་སྔོན་མར་བོད་གཞུང་གིས་ཆོས་སྐྱོང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་དང་འདིའི་བསྟེན་གསོལ་བ་རྣམས་ལ་སྐྱོན་བརྗོད་བྱེད་ཏེ་དེའི་ཁ་གཏད་དུ་ཡིག་ཆ་འགྲེམས་ཡོད་པས། དེའི་ལན་ལ་ཀེ་ཆ་ར་ཆོས་ཚོགས་ནས་བརྙེན་འཕྲིན་ཁྱོན་བསྡོམས་ལྔ་འགྲེམས་ཡོད། བརྙེན་འཕྲིན་དེ་དག་ནང་རིག་པ་དང་མཐུན་པའི་རྩོད་གླེང་ནང་ཡོད་པ་དང་དོན་དངོས་གང་ཡིན་སྐོར་གསལ་བཤད་གནང་ཏེ་བདེན་པ་རྭ་སྤྲོད་བྱེད་ཡོད། དེར་རྣམ་པ་ཚོ་ཚང་མའི་གཟིགས་རོ་ཞུ་རྒྱུ་དང་། གལ་ཏེ་ཡ་ལེན་ཡོད་ན་གནང་རོ་གནང་ཞུ་རྒྱུ་ཡིན། ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ།། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
Kechara Sunday Dharma School art activities. StellaC
1 week ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School art activities. StellaC
Kechara Sunday Dharma School art activities. StellaC
1 week ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School art activities. StellaC
Kechara Sunday Dharma school class 4 to 6 years old. StellaC
1 week ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma school class 4 to 6 years old. StellaC
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