Samtenling Lhakhang

On a forested hillock on the old footpath to Tharpaling lay the ruins of the Upper Samtenling called Ngatshang which burned down in 1983. 15 minutes from the ruins, there is a small temple, in lower Samtenling, commemorating the place where Kunkhyen (Omniscient) Longchenpa camped for the first time and where the protective deity Za (Rahula) decided to serve him and helped him to build the temple.

Founded by the Nyingma master Kunkhyen (“Omniscient”) Lonchenpa (1308-1363) and the residence of his son Dawa Dragpa.
It is still owned by his descendants but was gutted by a fire on the 16th Day of the 11th Month of Water Pig Year (1983) in Bhutanese calendar. It is said a physically disabled helper to the Samtenchoeling Lama used to live nearby. His house got damaged in a minor earthquake and he shifted his home to a temporary shed near the southeast entrance to the complex. It is said that at around 7:30 am on the day of the fire the helper started the fire in his shed to dry his boots and went out.
However, the fire spread through the shed into the entire complex. When people from the neighboring villages reached the site it was too late. There was no water available nearby. However, some of the sacred statues of Kuenkhen Longchen Rabjabmpa and Terton Pema Lingpa along with numerous royal commands concerning the Gonpa could be saved.
The lhakhang was reconstructed on a modest scale by the owners. A Nyingma monastic school named Changchubling shedra was established in 1985, and Eight chortens symbolizing the events of the life of the Buddha were consecrated in 2001.

Architectural style / school and related art works:
The lower Samtenling temple has paintings attributed to Kunkhyen Longchenpa.

Social cultural function
A private temple, it has great historical and religious value.
Before the fire destroyed the Gonpa, there used to be a bi-annual Samling Mani festival with Pema Lingpa’s dances, alternatively with that of Buli Mani in the neighboring Buli Lhakhang.
An annual prayer ritual called choepa is organized on the 10th day of the 4th month of the Bhutanese calendar.

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