Himalayan Art Resources

Bhutan: Thimphu Chang Gankha Lhakhang (A. Maki Archive)

Thimphu Chang Gankha Lhakhang | Ariana Maki Main Page | A. Maki Outline Page

Thimphu Chang Gankha Lhakhang (site name: Chang Gankha; location: Thimphu district). Chang Gankha Lhakhang is closely associated with the lineage descended from the 12th century Drukpa Kagyu practitioner Phajo Drugom Zhigpo (pha jo 'brug sgom zhig po, 1184-1251), who made great advances in establishing the Drukpa Kagyu Buddhist tradition in what is now western Bhutan. Toward the end of his life, Phajo divided the monasteries and sites he had amassed equally amongst his four sons. His son Nyima was assigned control over the area of Thimphu, where he built the earliest form of Chang Gankha Lhakhang. Inside the temple, the main image is of thousand-armed Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara), and the wall paintings show a number of historical religious figures, including Nyima. According to the late scholar Pema Tshewang, the guardian deity of the area is Genyen Domtsangpa. Today, the temple is associated with young children, and many locals will go make offerings for the well-being of their kids; however, women are not allowed inside the main shrine proper. For more information, see "Guide to Chang Gankha Monastery" by Lam Pema Tsewang, Journal of Bhutan Studies, Winter 2001, p.57-63.

Ariana Maki 3-2012