Gangtey Gonpa

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Gangtey, Bhutan

Gangtey Gonpa Reviews

Vikram Vikram
312 reviews
It's not just the birthplace of Buddhism, but the journey of the cranes continues to be nature's big mystery Dec 03, 2016
Make no mistake, this is the monastery that people, Buddhists, near and far throng to given its significance to the Bhutanese. This is where the Vajrayana tradition was established in Bhutan by Guru Rim Poche in the early 17th century. The temple to this day, hence holds a lot of significance and wields power across the rest of the country.

The Guru, during his visits to Bhutan in the 8th and 9th centuries, had hidden many sacred treasures (called terma) (images and scriptures), to avoid their desecration or destruction during troubled times, at various places in Bhutan to be retrieved in later years by treasure finders, to propagate the teachings of Buddha. These were retrieved at various periods over time by Pema Lingpa.

Pema Lingpa came on a visit to the Phobjikha Valley as a saint to teach Buddhist precepts to the people and also to bless them. During this visit, after looking at the impressive mountains that surrounded the valley he had foretold that one of his descendants would build a monaster; which came true when his grandson built it in 1613.

The monastery, aptly placed atop a hill is secluded from the everyday life of the Gangtey Phobjikha valley. It houses saints and interns within the complex.

But one of nature's unsolved mystery happens every time the black necked cranes end their hibernation in this valley, ready to fly back to China. As they leave, they circle the temple 3 times before moving on. Local tradition dictates that they carry the souls of the dead with them to heaven, where these souls will be blessed.

I thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed my visit here - it's an extremely sacred place, not crowded (given a lot of folks who visit this country for 4-5 days spend time in the Thimphu-Punakha region) and definitely a must for the Buddhist or the Buddhist history lover.
The monastery built in the early 1…
Entrance to the complex
paintings of various incarnations …
Bell by the door
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Zagnut66 says:
Great set of photos, Vikram.
Posted on: Feb 25, 2017
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photo by: halilee