Bayling Lhakhang


The temple is located in Bayling village, about 23 kilometers south of the main town of Trongsa towards Zhemgang. The site is a further 4 kilometers from the main highway, and can be reached by foot. Bayling Lhakhang was named after the location where it has been erected.


No written record regarding the origin of Bayling Lhakhang has yet been located. However, we do have oral history which has been told by Lopen Dorji Wangdi, Dorjila and Am Napen, who reportedly have good knowledge about the temple’s history. According to them, villagers in the area all had their own temples for worship, while Bayling had none. Lopen Lawa, who was a lay-practitioner (Gomchen) in Bayling, and local villagers were convinced that they needed their own temple for worship. Lopen Lawa therefore reported their wishes to the younger Queen of the 2nd King, Ashi Pema Dechen, who was then living in Samdrup Choeling.
Then the treasurer of the Queen, Gembo, and Lopen Lawa began the construction project in 1953. Lopen Lawa was pleased and continued to support the temple project when he saw the prosperous symbol of a bird coming out of a big stone and flying away while the workers were breaking the stone into pieces. He told the workers that they had done a good deed by letting free one being from hell.
The villagers worked on the construction project diligently, and it was completed in one year. However, the wall paintings and decorations inside the temple were done later on. A Drup, or ceremony of completion, was organized for one day in 1954 and became a yearly tradition for a few years, until it was extended to three days, its current length.
The statues that can still be seen in the temple were all donated by Queen Ashi Pema Dechen.

Architecture and Art Work

The temple is currently under reconstruction, and is almost finished. The architecture of the reconstruction remains in the traditional Bhutanese architectural style with lots of woodwork and stones. It has one story, and the main statues are the Buddha, Guru Rinpoche, Chenrezi (Avaloketishavara) and Chana Dorji (Vajrapani).
The wall paintings represent the Thirty-five Buddhas of Confession, the eleven-faced deity (Avalokiteshvara) and three protectors: Chenrezi (Avalokiteshavara), Jampelyang (Manjusri) and Chana Dorji (Vajrapani). There are 15 prayer wheels on the right side of the temple and four large prayer-wheels (dungkhor) at the back side of the temple, which were sponsored by the devoted villagers.
Social and Cultural Functions
Earlier, there was only one event called Haola Choedpa on the 15th day of the 10th month, sponsored by the wealthy Nagdo family. The Haola Choedpa was a festival from the Kheng region, where the Nagdo family originated.
On the 15th day of the 10th month, the Haola Choedpa was historically sponsored by the Nagdo family, but is no longer held now, as it lacks sponsorship.

  • Nevertheless, today there are still many events held at the temple every year, enumerated below:
    From the 15th to 17thof the 1st month of the Bhutanese calendar, Nyungne (Fasting and Prayer), Shingdrup (Accomplishment of Devine Place)and Tsokrup (Accumulation of Virtues) rituals are alternatively organized by villagers.
  • On the 10th day of the 2nd month, Nyipai Choedpa is sponsored by villagers in a turn-wise manner.
  • On the 10th day of the 3rd month, Zhabdrung Kuchoe (Zhabdrung Rinpoche’s parinirvana)is sponsored by villagers in turns.
  • On the 15th day of the 4th month, Saga Dawa (Lord Buddha’s Mahaparanirvana) is sponsored by the family of Lopen Lawa every year.
  • On the 4th day of the 6th month, the Rigzin Duepa ritual of the Nyingma tradition is sponsored by villagers in turns.
  • Either on the 10th or 15th day of the 7th month, the Summer Ritual aimed at ensuring a good crop is sponsored by all the villagers.
  • Either on the 8th or the 10th day of the 8th month, a Tsepakme (Long-life Prayer) ritual is sponsored by Gomchen Phurpa’s family.
  • On the 22nd day of the 9th month, the Lhabab Duchen (Descending Day of Lord Buddha) is sponsored by Lopen Lawa’s family in recognition of his death anniversary.
  • On a specified date of the 11th month (chosen according to appropriate opportunity), the Drup celebration is sponsored for three days by all the villagers.

To date, the temple is taken care of by the family of LopenLawa, though it belongs to the local community.


Lopen Dorji Wangdi, village elder, Bayling village, 2014
Dorjila, former Caretaker of Bayling Lhakhang, Bayling village, 2014
Am Napen, village elder, Bayling village, 2014

Researcher and Photographer 

Tenzin Dorji, Lecturer, Institute of Language and Culture Studies, 2014

(Click on the Thumbnails to view the Photo Gallery)