Wonderful Bhutan

By | Jul 29, 2017 | Views: 2,681

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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

23-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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15 Responses to Wonderful Bhutan

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  1. S.Prathap on Sep 27, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Bhutan is such a beautiful and wonderful country.Although not a wealthy nation,the leaders of the Bhutan did a good job by maintained the integrity of their culture and tradition.
    Bhutan also one of popular trekking destination and its famous Paro Taktsang monastery clings to cliffs.This is definitely a must visit place.Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful post.

  2. Pastor Shin Tan on Mar 17, 2019 at 4:46 am

    Throne seat of Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu at Gorinang Monastery in Paro
    (From Facebook)

    The seat of Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu. Here is what I found out from a short study.

    High Lamas can manifest in different forms, such as the Mind emanation, Body emanation or Speech emanation. Jigme Norbu was a layman who was recognised as the Mind emanation of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (1594-1651).

    Jigme Norbu, the Fourth Mind Incarnation of the Zhabdrung, was born into the respected family line of the renowned Bhutanese Nyingma terton, Pemalingpa (1450-1521), whose Nyingma teachings had become part of the Drukpa lineage. His list of teachers included several important Je Khenpos, including Sherab Gyaltsen (25th Je Khenpo), Padma Zangpo (27th/29th Je Khenpo), Jampel Gyatso (30th Je Khenpo), and Yonten Gyaltsen (31st Je Khenpo).

    After Jigme Norbu was recognized as the mind reincarnation of the Zhabdrung, he was enthroned as the Desi in 1851 under the recommendation of the Central Monk Body. However, Jigme Norbu did not want to be ordained and decided to take a consort to practice advanced Mahamudra.

    He also had a daughter. This was not well looked upon by Bhutanese society. That, combined with a suspicion that he was involved in a political coup, were the reasons behind his resignation in 1852. Soon after, he left his monastic seat, Talo Sanga Choling, which is located at Talo valley, and journeyed to Tibet.

    Later, Jigme Norbu returned to Gorinang, the monastery which was founded by his teacher, Sherab Gyeltsen, and passed into clear light at the age of 31.

    Source: Kardo Petsher FB

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  3. Anne Ong on Mar 1, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    Beautiful country of Bhutan! Love the good write up and interesting pictures. Thank you Rinpoche and Beatrix. Do keep up the good work Beatrix dear! ??

  4. 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.

    • Nima Yoezer on Sep 4, 2018 at 4:54 pm

      Kheno Dorji Shugden. Kheno Tsem Rinpoche. Greetings to you from Bhutan

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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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  • sarassitham
    Friday, Aug 7. 2020 11:31 PM
    I believe that all animals are just like humans. This includes anything from feelings to suffering with pain. As such, it should be the moral obligation of human beings to take this fact into account whenever they consider taking actions that would interfere with the needs of animals.

    Animals and humans both in common have great power and they able to achieve great things. We should find ways to control fear towards animals and prevent anxiety from taking hold.

    Thanking you for your thoughtfullness sharing and being kind to animals.
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Aug 7. 2020 03:13 PM
    Wow…..great biography of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, who wrote the Liberation in the Palm of your hand or Lamrim known to many of us. He was definitely a bodhisattva and one of the greatest masters of the 20th century and one the most influential teachers in Tibet. Well respected by hundred thousands of people, many have learn and benefit from his Dharma teachings. Incredible he had a very powerful voice that everyone could hear him clearly in the crowd, even those seated behind.
    Pabongka Rinpoche’s classics writings and collected works are highly sought after and very much used till these day.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this very inspiring biography

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/pabongka-rinpoche-wikipedia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Aug 7. 2020 03:11 PM
    Reading this article on Lama Zopa’s view on Dorje Shugden practice gives us a clear understanding . Lama Zopa Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist scholar and meditator . He is a Gelugpa lineage holder, having received teachings from many of the great Gelugpa masters. He gave a very good advice for students on Dorje Shugden practice. Guru devotion is the key to gaining spiritual attainments. Lama Zopa did mentioned that once we have made a Dharma connection with our Guru, we cannot simply give up this relationship unless the Guru told us to give up. Well regardless of whether a lama practises Dorje Shugden or not, we need to apply the rule, is the practice of Guru Devotion for sure. Letting whatever be nor matter what instance, we should not speak negatively against Dorje Shugden or about other Gurus. A good advice and profound teachings.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Choong for this interesting sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/what-lama-zopa-teaches-about-the-dorje-shugden-ban-2.html
  • S.Prathap
    Friday, Aug 7. 2020 12:23 PM
    In life we will be facing lots of negative things from others. never mind right or wrong, true or false, I must learn how to take it or see it as a positive steps for our personal improvement and growth.

    The 7 great methods in above are not just to cope with insult but advise, comment & opinion from others toward ourselves. Insults and criticism follow us everywhere, so learn with great patience to use them as a guide to self improvement .

    https://bit.ly/2XAATIN
  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, Aug 6. 2020 04:44 PM
    His writing style is clear and direct, added with his personal experiences, thoughts and direct realizations at that point of time. I am fond of reading those past masters’ writings as opposed to the modern ones.
    John Blofeld spiritual journey and his affinity so strong in Buddhism are really showed that he had a very strong connection to Buddhism in his previous life.Thank you very much for sharing this article.
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Aug 6. 2020 02:33 PM
    Inspirational quotes and motivational quotes have the power to get us thinking and working on it. Just by reading and understand help and inspired us too. Thank you Tsem Rinpoche for sharing which I truly love to read and have a thought on it.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/inspirational-quotes-part-3-of-4.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Aug 6. 2020 02:32 PM
    Revisit this post again. Thank you Valencia for this vast post of Loed Tsongkhapa’s life story and his achievements . Lama Tsongkhapa is a “Buddha of our times” in the Gelug Vajrayana tradition and as an enlightened being, having the same realizations as all of the Buddhas. He was an emanation of Avalokitesvara , Manjushri , and Vajrapani , hence his practice is so powerful and beneficial. We have to thank our Lama Tsem Rinpoche for bringing this practice to Malaysia. Many great gurus, lamas and teachers has been teaching this very powerful, yet accessible practice across the globe. We are very fortunate and blessed to practice all the teachings. As for me I am still learning ,reading this post had strengthen my belief. Love reciting Migtsema as its very beneficial indeed. Interesting read very profound Lama Tsongkhapa biography.
    Thanks again .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/lord-tsongkapa-king-of-the-dharma.html
  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, Aug 6. 2020 01:13 AM
    Meditation is suitable for everyone from kids to the elderly or those in their prime and in pursuit of all the wealth (material and spiritual) life has to offer. It is an exciting journey of discovery that is extremely rewarding.
    Being in nature have so much to offer to someone who wants to be engaged in meditation.Thank you very much for the good article.
  • sarassitham
    Wednesday, Aug 5. 2020 04:32 PM
    Thank you for wonderful information sharing on healing with herbs. The effect of plant based herbs incense has great benefits and much more safer. It’s amazing to discover
    the natural qualities keeps us healthier and prevent us from various illness.

    I loved to have sandalwood for my prayer offering it’s so much soothing and keeps the environment calms and relax.


    https://bit.ly/2PnhiHD
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 5. 2020 03:48 PM
    Beautiful pictures taken during H.E. Kyabje Tsem Rinpoche’s Parinirvana Ceremony . I am fortunate to be there , volunteering , joining most of all the following pujas. It once a life time able to witness a Tibetan Parinirvana Ceremony with a heavy heart .
    Thank you writer teams for this beautiful write up and great pictures shared. Looking at those pictures have me recalling the great moments at Kechara Forest Retreat at that very moment. It paints a thousand words.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/gallery/album-kyabje-tsem-rinpoches-parinirvana-ceremony.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 5. 2020 03:44 PM
    Interesting as Tsem Rinpoche called it as BIZARRE beings. Well I have not heard of some the names such as chupacabra, Ebu Gogo, Springheel Jack and so forth. Spring-heeled Jack is an entity in English folklore of the Victorian era. Wow ….sound interesting. For decades, Spring-heeled Jack name was equated with the bogeyman. Its as a means of scaring people as some said he was demon who would leap up unnaturally high. Another interesting bizarre beings is shadow people who is a shadowy spiritual beings long been a staple of folklore. Stories of these supernatural entities have spanned centuries and cultures. They are some of the most mysterious entities in the known universe. As reported those who saw the shadowy intruders were scare to death as if they had died in their sleep. The Beast of Bray Road is another scary creature of Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Its a hairy humanoid with canine features standing on two legs and can resemble a bear. All those cryptozoological creatures mentioned in this article were indeed real or just folklore. Whether they do exist in this century , no one be sure. But definitely they do decades ago as recorded. There are many unknown out in the universe.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/bizarre-cryptids.html
  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Aug 5. 2020 01:08 AM
    We should consider changing our diet and lifestyle to one that gives the minimum negative impact on our environment, we are responsible to give our future generation a better place to live.
    This article show the designers have seriously consider to make this easily available to more everywhere with affordable price; and make cities around the world greener, more self sustainable and the city people healthier.
  • sarassitham
    Tuesday, Aug 4. 2020 06:45 PM
    A beautiful explanation how to gain merits through devotion. In its purest form, religion can inspire people to serve the welfare of others. An inspiring article how to learn to transform a better living by our action and deeds.

    Thank you for your wonderful thoughts of sharing these powerful teaching on how to find the hidden truth of the golden path of life to be more meaningful with sincere faith.

    http://bitly.ws/9f5H
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 4. 2020 04:15 PM
    No words can describe of us losing our Lama and enlightened Guru, H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche. I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of our Lama as just a moment ago last July , we had an audience and met our Lama , which indeed my very first time . Even though its just moment to me its like a long moment which I remembered each and every words of encouragement our Lama told me. Our Lama was such a kind, generous, compassionate gentle soul whom he would do anything to help improve our lives and had made a difference in my life and so many lives. Where lives pass, memories carry on forever. I will cherish the great memories I have with our Lama.
    Throughout Rinpoche’s life, his was a voice for the millions of people. The Parinirvana of H.E. Kyabje Tsem Rinpoche, the world has lost a great Lama, whose steadfast and unflinching determination played a key role in trying to secure the lifting of Dorje Shugden’s ban. Tsem Rinpoche was known for his great compassion, tremendous generosity and extraordinary thoughtfulness. Everything Tsem Rinpoche did was merely to benefit others. May Tsem Rinpoche have a swift reincarnation .
    We will always hold our Lama close in our thoughts.
    Thank you writers team for this wonderful sharing. … beautiful pictures paints a thousand words.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/the-parinirvana-of-kyabje-tsem-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 4. 2020 04:13 PM
    Glenn Mullin is a world well known Buddhist author, translator, scholar, speaker, lecturer and teacher. He is the author of many books on Tibetan Buddhism, many of which have been translated into a dozen foreign languages. Many of these focus on the lives and works of the early Dalai Lamas. In one of his book A Sacred Legacy of Reincarnation of the Fourteen Dalai Lamas he mentioned that Dorje Shugden was a pervasive practice spreading among the Gelugpa tradition for hundred of years. Many highly attained lamas had been relying on Dorje Shugden and the practice been passed down to thousands in the Gelugpa world. It is not a minor practice after all and in fact Dorje Shugden is a major practice in the world as in history has been proved that the practice is beneficial. Religious freedom should be allow for one who choose what one would pray to. But due to the restriction by the Tibetan leadership , the practice been ban. Politics should not have interfere with religion. May the ban be over soon.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/glenn-mullin-on-tulku-drakpa-gyeltsen.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
6 months ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
6 months ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
6 months ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
7 months ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
7 months ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
7 months ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
7 months ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
7 months ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
7 months ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
7 months ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 years ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 years ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 years ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
1 years ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
1 years ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
1 years ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
1 years ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
1 years ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
1 years ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
1 years ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
1 years ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
1 years ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
1 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
1 years ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
1 years ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
1 years ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
1 years ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
1 years ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
1 years ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
1 years ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
1 years ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 years ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 years ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
1 years ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
1 years ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
1 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
1 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
1 years ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
1 years ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
1 years ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
1 years ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
1 years ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
1 years ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
1 years ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
1 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

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CHAT PICTURES

Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 month ago
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
system
1 month ago
system
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
2 months ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
3 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
3 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
3 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
5 months ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
5 months ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
5 months ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
5 months ago
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
5 months ago
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
5 months ago
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
5 months ago
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
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Dorje Shugden
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