Wonderful Bhutan

By | Jul 29, 2017 | Views: 3,116

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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

26-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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Blog Chat

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  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Feb 2. 2023 04:16 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for this post which tells us more than that. Feeling the pain of those been slaughtered for human consumption. We should gave up eating meat , have compassion for them who cannot speak for themselves. Looking at those pictures feeling uneasy, the way those chickens , pigs and so forth were killed. We have a lot to answer for those sufferings and killing . We have a choice not to kill and to be vegetarian. Choosing to be a vegetarian is the best as there are many benefits. Vegetarians appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Vegetarians also tend to have lower overall cancer rates and lower risk of chronic disease. Hence for health reasons we should go on vegetarian.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/how-we-have-lulled-ourselves-into-a-false-sense-of-goodness.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Feb 2. 2023 04:12 PM
    In northern China, where there is a long history of consuming dog meat to ward off the coldness in the winter. They celebrates the summer solstice by throwing a festival that involves the slaughter and consumption of dog meats. Many people love the sophisticated tastes of their dog-meat cuisine. This tradition is slowly fading out as more and more people are aware of the cruelty and not a healthy life consuming it.
    Reading this blog and looking at the pictures , one could see the poor lady activist kneels down , begging the vendor to buy those dogs from being eaten ahead of the annual dog meat. What she did was incredible ,sold her family’s two houses to fund the rescue of thousands of dogs. This amazing woman has spent large amount of money, saving dogs from the Chinese dog meat festival. She has dedicated her life to actually doing something worth doing about it. Attitudes towards dog consumption in China are changing, but some of these traditions have deep roots.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/chinas-animal-crusade.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Feb 2. 2023 04:09 PM
    Bigfoot believe may exist somewhere in the wild, but are not recognized by science. Russian president discovers ‘proof’ that fabled creature exists while on short vacation in Kemerovo region. The sighting is understood to have been confirmed by President Putin’s security detachment after they inspected the footprints. Environmental rangers and hunters in remote mountain terrain confirmed it. The Kremlin leader had witnessed’ three Yetis while on a recent helicopter trip to a remote location famous for claimed sightings. Nobody in the world has found the yeti, and it would be good and beneficial to most people. Scientists and yeti enthusiasts believe there may finally be solid evidence that the apelike creature roams in the wild. As long as there are wild places in America, Bigfoot remains a possibility that, it exist.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/vladimir-putin-sights-a-yeti-family.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 21. 2023 01:22 PM
    Stephen William Hawking was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. Well he was best known for his discovery that black holes emit radiation which can be detected by special instrumentation. His discovery has made the detailed study of black holes possible. Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking did mentioned in an interview that, it is natural to believe God created the universe. He think science has a more compelling explanation than a divine creator. Religion believes in miracles, but these aren’t compatible with science. Well said by him.
    Everything we have in life is all came as a result of research either from ourselves or others. That’s true.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this informative blog

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/he-says-with-certainty.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 21. 2023 01:21 PM
    The Dyatlov Pass incident was an event in which nine Soviet hikers died mysteriously in the northern Ural Mountains in 1959. A group of ski hikers led by Igor Dyatlov just perished in this remote peak. Some of them succumbed to hypothermia, but others were found with grisly injuries. No one yet comes to the conclusion what had exactly happened to them and solved one of history’s greatest adventure .The Dyatlov Pass Incident, came to be known and have inspired countless conspiracy theories, such as Yetis, and even extra-terrestrial contact with the unknown. These men and women were never heard from again. A criminal investigation at the time blamed their deaths on an unknown natural force. Sound interesting. There’s some unknown creatures or aliens maybe that cause their death i do believe., as we are not alone.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/tell-me-what-you-think.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 21. 2023 01:19 PM
    Samaya is a set of Buddhist vows and commitments that are given when one receives empowerment in the Vajrayana Buddhist order. Guru devotion plays an important part in our spiritual practice in Tibetan Buddhism. As explained by Tsem Rinpoche our Guru we must have a good relations and good samaya with the guru. We can never be overstressed on the spiritual path or else our mind will degenerate. Breaking the samaya vows is worse than breaking any other laws. Breaking a samaya results in a heavy bad karma, especially if one disregards or dislikes, the Guru who have gave us the teachings. The Dorje Shugden controversy had cause disharmony and sufferings to many practitioners. For some of them been drifted away causing them to break their samaya then. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Jean Ai for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/go-on-break-your-samaya.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 21. 2023 01:17 PM
    The Great Buddha of Kamakura, a monumental outdoor bronze statue is one of the most famous icons of Japan. It sits in the grounds of Kotokuin, a temple belonging to the Jodo Sect of Buddhism. An equal opportunities Buddha, guiding all to the Pure Land, built in the mid 13th century and is the second tallest bronze Buddha in Japan. Looks stunning this statue with historical stories behind it. Love to visit and see for myself this magnificent statue.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/i-love-kamakura-buddha-in-japan.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jan 16. 2023 01:34 PM
    Yes there are many mysterious creatures everywhere this very planet. Its only that we don’t encounter before. Many mysterious creatures such as Owl man , ‘lizard man, Flatwoods monster may exist after-all. Many of them exist in the wild but scientist do not believed it exist by mainstream science. Reading this blog is an eye-opening for me. Just fantastic knowing such creatures do exist. Some of them looks scary to me like the Canvey island monster which had horse-shoe shaped feet with five toes and it had no ‘arms’. Even though its just a carcass seen on the shores of Canvey Island in England. Ferociously looking . Bunyip another creatures found in swamps which has a dog-like face, dark fur, horse-like tail and walrus-like horns. Interesting reading to know that there are some of the mysterious creatures .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/10-most-horrifying-creatures.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jan 16. 2023 01:31 PM
    Looking at those pictures in this blog says all. Hundred thousands of monks and locals from different monasteries receiving Dorje Shugden initiation from highly attained Lamas. From one picture where thousands of tents were set up outside the monastery hosting the ceremony for the thousands of attendees. Thousands of fortunate practitioners were fortunate to receive initiation of Dorje Shugden from high lamas of the Gelug lineage . We are fortunate to read and watch those updates from Tibet and else where.
    Thank you Rinpoche for these updates.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/updates-from-tibet-and-elsewhere.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jan 16. 2023 01:29 PM
    Dorje Shugden is a fully enlightened Buddha who has been worshipped throughout history by several schools in Tibetan Buddhism. The protector Dorje Shugden was arose from a lineage of highly attained masters who have been taking rebirth life after life. Solely for the benefit of all sentient beings and the preservation of the Dharma. Having to ask for divine help is no exception for Keng Nam. Dorje Shugden the Dharma Protector will help everyone regardless of race and faith in difficult time when pray to him sincerely.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Keng Nam for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/calling-upon-the-divine.html
  • adamhaissam
    Saturday, Jan 14. 2023 08:09 PM
    We have sugarmummy and daddy in mostly all main cities in SINGAPORE/Malaysia including KL,Ipoh, Jb, Penang,Petaling Jaya,Kota bharu,Seremban,Kuching,Kota Kinabalu also Singapore and Brunei. To qualify, you must be romantic, honest and with good personalty and attitude. Contact us now for more info. Whatsapp +60149346413 and get connection within 24 hours.You get up to RM8000 when you spend a wonderful night with our sugarmummy or sugardaddy.If you need a SugarMummy OR Sugardaddy urgently kindly and quickly contact agent Mrs Shahira for your own SugarMummy Connection (via whatsApp ++60149346413) and don’t forget to testify about her too once you have been hookup. For urgent and legit hookup whatsApp US now on +60149346413 to get connected… The only money i pay is the regiretion fee payment which is (850rm) only and there’s NO HIDDEN PAYMENT

    Contact now for membership registration and get hookup
    WhatsApp:+60149346413 Thanks to agent Mrs Shahira…..
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jan 11. 2023 02:27 PM
    The interest in vegan and vegetarian products is on the rise, especially after consumers become aware of the cruelty involved in producing animal-based foods. Undercover footage released shows slaughterhouse brutal treatment of animals such as pigs , sheep and so forth being kicked, beaten, and thrown into cages before they are slaughtered. The animals should be immediately slaughtered so as to spare them the pain, stress, and anxiety. Secret footage shot inside a slaughterhouse has reignited a row over animal cruelty. Its sad watching this video. As results leading animal protection organisation Animal Aid requested more CCTV cameras to be place in all abattoirs. The public do not want to see animals treated in such a cruel way . To go vegetarian will be the best choice.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing high-lighted the sufferings of animals in slaughter house.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/secret-abattoirs-in-the-uk.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jan 11. 2023 02:26 PM
    Generally, Buddhist teaching views life and death as a continuum, believing that consciousness continues after death and may be reborn. We’re all going to face death, so we shouldn’t ignore it. Being realistic about our mortality enables us to live a full, meaningful life. Buddhist teachings emphasize the idea that although one’s destiny is always influenced by past karma. That is, our actions in this and previous lives shape the outcome for the next life. Reading this article had me understand further . To learn ,practice Dharma is the best choice I have made. We have our Guru to thank for sharing with us the journey from birth to death. This article gave us a better understanding of what happens to us after we pass away according to Buddhism.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/what-happens-when-we-die-heres-what-buddhism-says.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jan 11. 2023 02:24 PM
    Palden Tenpai Nyima a native of Tibet, he was the 7th Panchen Lama of Tibet. The Panchen Lama is the second highest ranking lama after the Dalai Lama in the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan . Palden Tenpai Nyima did compiled and edited voluminous collection of tantric deity sadhanas or spiritual practices known as Rinjung Lhantab. Rinjung Gyatsa collection of sadhanas originally came from the great Tibetan scholar Jetsun Taranatha. In turn, Taranatha’s collection was based on the ancient Sadhanamala collection of works by various Indian authors. It was believed to have been compiled between the 5th and 11th centuries which can be traced back to its Indian roots. Its more suitable for higher practitioners . Jetsun Taranatha was one of the important masters of the Jonang lineage, was of crucial importance for the Shangpa Kagyu tradition who had contributed tremendously in Tibetan Buddhism. Interesting read .
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/rinjung-lhantab-the-panchen-lamas-collection-of-sadhanas.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Dec 29. 2022 02:00 PM
    Monk robes offering is the highest offering and the most meritorious of skillful deeds. The act of offering robes to the Sangha, one will be free from the suffering of hungry ghost realm and taking rebirth in the human form with complete perfect physical, attractive, conceivably pleasant and beautiful shape. Merits of offering robes to Sangha is extremely glorious. The Sangha has preserved, propagated and taught the teachings of the Buddha for centuries. As a result, millions have benefitted from their diligent effort and compassion, hence with understanding and gratitude, it is meritorious for us to offer robes to monks.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/new-offering-of-monk-robes.html

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The Unknown

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

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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
3 years 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!
3 years 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
3 years 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
3 years 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!
3 years 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.
3 years 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
3 years 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.
3 years 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.
3 years 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!
3 years 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)
4 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)
4 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)
4 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
4 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
4 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!
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
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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
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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
4 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
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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
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Sacred Vajra Yogini
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Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
4 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.
4 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.
4 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
4 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
4 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!!!
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
4 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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    4 years ago
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CHAT PICTURES

Pastor David is here! Members of Kechara Penang group were listening attentively to Pastor's sharing about his latest book 'Insightful Meditation'. 28th Jan 2023, Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
17 hours ago
Pastor David is here! Members of Kechara Penang group were listening attentively to Pastor's sharing about his latest book 'Insightful Meditation'. 28th Jan 2023, Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Tannery for cow and pig leather
1 week ago
Tannery for cow and pig leather
Penang Dharma bro and sis Lou Hei, a vegetarian Yee Sang ( a prosperity toss) complete with auspicious phrases such as wishing for more Kechara members, more retreats and of course, swift return of Rinpoche to KFR. Huat Ah!!! Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
2 weeks ago
Penang Dharma bro and sis Lou Hei, a vegetarian Yee Sang ( a prosperity toss) complete with auspicious phrases such as wishing for more Kechara members, more retreats and of course, swift return of Rinpoche to KFR. Huat Ah!!! Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
恭喜,恭喜,恭喜发财啊!(Gong Xi, Gong Xi, Gong Xi Fa Cai) from us all, Kechara Penang Study Group. 21/1/2023 Saturday CNY eve DS puja by Jacinta
2 weeks ago
恭喜,恭喜,恭喜发财啊!(Gong Xi, Gong Xi, Gong Xi Fa Cai) from us all, Kechara Penang Study Group. 21/1/2023 Saturday CNY eve DS puja by Jacinta
All ready for Lunar New Year 2023 Dorje Shugden puja ~ inviting Ong, Huat & Heng, blessing our beloved ones and all sentient beings. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta. 21/1/2023 Saturday
2 weeks ago
All ready for Lunar New Year 2023 Dorje Shugden puja ~ inviting Ong, Huat & Heng, blessing our beloved ones and all sentient beings. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta. 21/1/2023 Saturday
After year end puja, we proceeded with a small gathering. The food was outstanding, especially the vege curry and sa hor fun! We were even enchanted by the smells of it. We also had apple pie, tong sui and many more. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
3 weeks ago
After year end puja, we proceeded with a small gathering. The food was outstanding, especially the vege curry and sa hor fun! We were even enchanted by the smells of it. We also had apple pie, tong sui and many more. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Last puja for the Year 2022 and ushering a New and Blessed Year 2023. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta 31/12/2022
3 weeks ago
Last puja for the Year 2022 and ushering a New and Blessed Year 2023. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta 31/12/2022
Ta-da! Can you spot the differences? Come and collect more merits while cleaning & polishing at the temple. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
2 months ago
Ta-da! Can you spot the differences? Come and collect more merits while cleaning & polishing at the temple. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Restoring the shine after rubbing! Chin Shuen and Hue are polishing the serkym set & offering bowls here. 'Many Hands Make Light Work' Day @ Kechara Penang Chapel by Jacinta.
2 months ago
Restoring the shine after rubbing! Chin Shuen and Hue are polishing the serkym set & offering bowls here. 'Many Hands Make Light Work' Day @ Kechara Penang Chapel by Jacinta.
Last Monday, 28th Nov 2022 was 'Many Hands Make Light Work' Day. Kechara Penang members gathered together to clean the altar, polish offerings bowls and etc. Sweeping, cleaning and arranging offerings are very important in Buddhism. In fact, it's the first of the preparatory practices as taught in Lamrim. While we clean, it's good to chant mantras or listening to it, such as reciting 'Dulpung Drima Pung' when we are sweeping. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
2 months ago
Last Monday, 28th Nov 2022 was 'Many Hands Make Light Work' Day. Kechara Penang members gathered together to clean the altar, polish offerings bowls and etc. Sweeping, cleaning and arranging offerings are very important in Buddhism. In fact, it's the first of the preparatory practices as taught in Lamrim. While we clean, it's good to chant mantras or listening to it, such as reciting 'Dulpung Drima Pung' when we are sweeping. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Renew your antivirus quickly an call
2 months ago
Renew your antivirus quickly an call
KEP 13/11/2022-caroline
3 months ago
KEP 13/11/2022-caroline
Look here, Smile! 1, 2, 3.... chik chak. Thank you everyone. That's our picture for the Dorje Shugden puja and see you all next Saturday @ 3pm. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta.
3 months ago
Look here, Smile! 1, 2, 3.... chik chak. Thank you everyone. That's our picture for the Dorje Shugden puja and see you all next Saturday @ 3pm. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta.
Week after week, Penang members come together to do the Dorje Shugden puja - without fail. Come to get your blessings and obstacles cleared by joining us at Penang Chapel, every Saturday, 3 pm at Jalan Seang Tek, Penang.
3 months ago
Week after week, Penang members come together to do the Dorje Shugden puja - without fail. Come to get your blessings and obstacles cleared by joining us at Penang Chapel, every Saturday, 3 pm at Jalan Seang Tek, Penang.
Sumptuously decorated food offerings to Rinpoche and Buddhas, thanks to Siew Hong and KS Tang during Penang weekly DS puja on 22/10/2022 ~ by Jacinta.
3 months ago
Sumptuously decorated food offerings to Rinpoche and Buddhas, thanks to Siew Hong and KS Tang during Penang weekly DS puja on 22/10/2022 ~ by Jacinta.
Is this where Rinpoche received the thangkha of Dream Manjushri?
6 months ago
Is this where Rinpoche received the thangkha of Dream Manjushri?
Is this the ruins of Zimkhang Gongma established by Panchen Sonam Drakpa. -Choong
6 months ago
Is this the ruins of Zimkhang Gongma established by Panchen Sonam Drakpa. -Choong
We hold our DS puja weekly without fail. We welcome you to join us. Penang DS puja @ 3pm~ by Jacinta
6 months ago
We hold our DS puja weekly without fail. We welcome you to join us. Penang DS puja @ 3pm~ by Jacinta
DS PUJA @ Penang. A close up of the offerings. What a feast! #Throwback 23/7/2022.
6 months ago
DS PUJA @ Penang. A close up of the offerings. What a feast! #Throwback 23/7/2022.
#Throwback 23/7/2022. Our weekly DS puja attendees. All of us were getting ready to invite Buddhas to come forth, joining and blessing us during DS puja. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
6 months ago
#Throwback 23/7/2022. Our weekly DS puja attendees. All of us were getting ready to invite Buddhas to come forth, joining and blessing us during DS puja. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
#Throwback23/7/2022 Welcoming Buddha Shakyamuni, Gyenze, Shize & Namgyalma to Penang chapel. Abundance offerings, including sensory offerings were nicely set up and offered up to Buddha surfing our weekly DS puja @ 3pm, Jalan Seang Tek, Penang ~by Jacinta
6 months ago
#Throwback23/7/2022 Welcoming Buddha Shakyamuni, Gyenze, Shize & Namgyalma to Penang chapel. Abundance offerings, including sensory offerings were nicely set up and offered up to Buddha surfing our weekly DS puja @ 3pm, Jalan Seang Tek, Penang ~by Jacinta
Kechara Earth Project 17 July 2022
7 months ago
Kechara Earth Project 17 July 2022
Kechara Earth Project 12 June 2022
8 months ago
Kechara Earth Project 12 June 2022
#Throwback. Visitation of Ven. Zawa Tulku Rinpoche and Ven. Geshe Jangchup Gyaltsen to Kechara Penang Chapel on 17/5/2022. We did a short prayers together. Really happy for the short visit. Kechara Penang Study Group~ by Jacinta
8 months ago
#Throwback. Visitation of Ven. Zawa Tulku Rinpoche and Ven. Geshe Jangchup Gyaltsen to Kechara Penang Chapel on 17/5/2022. We did a short prayers together. Really happy for the short visit. Kechara Penang Study Group~ by Jacinta
Photo from JC
8 months ago
Photo from JC
Trying to WE-fie. Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
9 months ago
Trying to WE-fie. Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
Trying to "WE-fie". Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
9 months ago
Trying to "WE-fie". Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
Celebrated Wesak Day 2022 in Penang, with a group of fun, committed, helpful and also devoted friends & family. Kechara Penang Study Group 15/5/2022 ~by Jacinta
9 months ago
Celebrated Wesak Day 2022 in Penang, with a group of fun, committed, helpful and also devoted friends & family. Kechara Penang Study Group 15/5/2022 ~by Jacinta
Vesak Day 2022 - Bird liberation. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
9 months ago
Vesak Day 2022 - Bird liberation. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
All attendees are paying homage to Rinpoche and Buddhas before the start of our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. Outwardly, it seems that Dorje Shugden helps practitioners overcoming their obstacles and problems but ultimately Dorje Shugden’s supreme purpose is to help practitioners on their path to Enlightenment. Do join in our weekly DS puja, every Saturday @3 pm at Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. ~by Jacinta
9 months ago
All attendees are paying homage to Rinpoche and Buddhas before the start of our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. Outwardly, it seems that Dorje Shugden helps practitioners overcoming their obstacles and problems but ultimately Dorje Shugden’s supreme purpose is to help practitioners on their path to Enlightenment. Do join in our weekly DS puja, every Saturday @3 pm at Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. ~by Jacinta
All of us are practicing on how to properly use dorje(Vajra), bell and damaru ~ Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
9 months ago
All of us are practicing on how to properly use dorje(Vajra), bell and damaru ~ Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
After inviting Dorje Shugden Wangze, Pastor Seng Piow teaches us how to use ritual objects and the full set of prayer accompanying it. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
9 months ago
After inviting Dorje Shugden Wangze, Pastor Seng Piow teaches us how to use ritual objects and the full set of prayer accompanying it. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
With great happiness, merits and excitement that Penang Group have invited Buddha Wangzey to Penang chapel, complete with full rituals and prayer. 30th April 2022 Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
9 months ago
With great happiness, merits and excitement that Penang Group have invited Buddha Wangzey to Penang chapel, complete with full rituals and prayer. 30th April 2022 Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
Come and get your blessing from Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden in Penang @ Jalan Seang Tek ~ by Jacinta.
9 months ago
Come and get your blessing from Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden in Penang @ Jalan Seang Tek ~ by Jacinta.
Special thanks to one of our dedicated Penang group members, Choong for superb tormas. Swift Return Puja @ every Saturday, 3pm. Do contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
9 months ago
Special thanks to one of our dedicated Penang group members, Choong for superb tormas. Swift Return Puja @ every Saturday, 3pm. Do contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
Thanks to William for being the Umze for Swift Return Puja at Penang Centre. ~ by Jacinta
9 months ago
Thanks to William for being the Umze for Swift Return Puja at Penang Centre. ~ by Jacinta
The members of Kechara Penang Study Group are offering serkym to Dorje Shugden and His entourage. There's puja every Saturday @ 3 pm at Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek. All are welcome. ~by Jacinta
9 months ago
The members of Kechara Penang Study Group are offering serkym to Dorje Shugden and His entourage. There's puja every Saturday @ 3 pm at Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek. All are welcome. ~by Jacinta
We are in the third week of Ramadan this year, and kind volunteers have never failed to feed people in need since Tengku Zatashah started this meaningful #zerofoodwastage initiative in 2016. The aim is to benefit the underprivileged with nice surplus food collected from Ramadan buffets. Every night during the month of Ramadan, volunteers collect surplus cooked food from hotels and distribute it to charity homes and low-income families. THANK YOU, Tengku, dedicated volunteers and hotel partners, for making this Ramadan special for the underprivileged. #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment - KSK @ Vivian
9 months ago
We are in the third week of Ramadan this year, and kind volunteers have never failed to feed people in need since Tengku Zatashah started this meaningful #zerofoodwastage initiative in 2016. The aim is to benefit the underprivileged with nice surplus food collected from Ramadan buffets. Every night during the month of Ramadan, volunteers collect surplus cooked food from hotels and distribute it to charity homes and low-income families. THANK YOU, Tengku, dedicated volunteers and hotel partners, for making this Ramadan special for the underprivileged. #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment - KSK @ Vivian
We were chanting Migsetma mantra at the time this picture was taken. Thanks to all our Penang members who are very committed to attend Swift Return puja weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group, every Saturday @ 3pm. ~by Jacinta
10 months ago
We were chanting Migsetma mantra at the time this picture was taken. Thanks to all our Penang members who are very committed to attend Swift Return puja weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group, every Saturday @ 3pm. ~by Jacinta
William, who is our leader/ Umze is cleaning the pantry and Gordon offered up 4 carton of packet drinks today. We cannot thank you enough for all kind hearted who sponsored various offerings weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
10 months ago
William, who is our leader/ Umze is cleaning the pantry and Gordon offered up 4 carton of packet drinks today. We cannot thank you enough for all kind hearted who sponsored various offerings weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
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Dorje Shugden
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