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Kyichu Lhakhang Temple

Sacred Jewel of Bhutan

Kyichu Lhakhang Temple is a prominent Buddhist Temple located north of Paro, in western Bhutan. As it has a Jowo (Buddha) as the leading statue, many locals call this temple Jowo Lhakhang.

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Credit: @lualuali

Kyichu Lhakhang Temple's compound consists of two temples. The renowned Tibetan emperor Songtsen Gampo commissioned the building of the first temple in the 7th century. Hence, a lot of Bhutanese regard this temple as one of the oldest and most sacred temples in the country. Legend has it that there used to be a giant monster who was blocking the spread of Buddhism in the Himalays. Songtsen Gampo built many temples like this to defeat the said giant monster.

In 1968, the third king’s wife, Ashi Kessang Wangchuck , constructed a second temple in the same style as the first.

One of the most popular and significant activities to do in this temple is to spin its many prayer wheels.

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Credit: @tinne_loh

What’s inside Kyichu Lhakhang Temple?

Right in the main hall of Kyichu Lhakhang Temple, there is the original seventh-century statue of Jowo Sakyamuni. You'll see an unbelievably-deep groove on the floor made by monks and visitors who have kneeled in front of the statue over the centuries!

In the second temple, you'll find a 5-metre-high statue of Guru Rinpoche and another of Kurukulla, grasping a bow and arrow made of flowers. There is also a stupa (chorten) that contains the ashes of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He was a venerated Nyingma Buddhist master and teacher of the queen mother. Years ago, he was also cremated in the vicinity.

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Credit: David Broad - Wikimedia

How to go to Kyichu Lhakhang Temple

From the centre of Paro, drive north for about 10-15 minutes to Lango Geog county and you will reach Kyichu Lhakhang Temple.

Kyichu Lhakhang Temple Fact or Fiction?

Many believe that the two orange threes in the temple’s yard bear fruit throughout the year!


If you're keen on such cultural landmarks in other destinations, check out the 7th century Jokhang Temple in Tibet. The Jokhang is in all Lhasa City Tours itineraries and Tibet Cultural Tours