Lungten Gonpa Dungkhor Lhakhang


Dungkor lhakhang is a privately owned temple at Lungten Gonpa, Trong gewog, Zhemgang district. It is a one-storey, square shaped building in a traditional Bhutanese style. The four sides of the exterior walls are embedded with small prayer wheels. It is situated at a distance of 2-hour drive from Zhemgang, on the way to Gelephu. The temple is called Dungkor lhakhang (temple of the prayer-wheel) because of the center piece being a prayer-wheel.


Jamtshola built the Dungkor lhakhang in 1990. According to Jamtshola, his wife was sick and showed no signs of improvement despite many different treatments. She decided to seek help from Edhi Rinpoche, Jamphel Kelzang, (a Tibetan rinpoche from Kham), with the hope of getting better. The rinpoche advised her and Jamtshola to build a temple. Jamtshola’s paternal uncle Lama Yeshi, a revered lama, also advised the same. Thus, Jamtshola constructed the temple with a Dungkor (large prayer-wheel) to improve his wife’s health. The temple was completed within a year with a budget of approximately Nu. 600,000.

Intitially, the dungkor (prayer wheel) was inside the lhakhang, but later the dungkor was moved to the front entrance to create space inside the lhakhang for annual rituals.

According to Jamtshola, his wife observed something unusual on the right side face of Oepamey (Buddha Amitabha) on Zhabdrung Kuchoe (the death anniversary of the Zhabdrung), on the 10th day of the 3rd month of the Bhutanese calendar. She rubbed the face with a soft cloth and found seven tiny white relics called ‘phel gdung, which are remains of a holy being. Out of the seven relics, the family gave away six relics to their relatives, and kept one in a sealed amulet in the altar on Lama Yeshi’s advice. Visitors can still view this amulet in the altar.

Architecture and Artwork

Dungkor lhakhang is a one-storey building in traditional architectural style. Originally, the large prayer-wheel was in the main hall (now it is in the front entrance) and beautiful paintings cover the inside walls. The paintings include Oepamey (Buddha Amitabha), Guru Tshengay (eight manifestations of Guru Rinpoche), the lineage of Zhabdrung Rinpoche, and Tshe Lha Nam Sum (deities of longevity) on the right side. On the left side, there are paintings of Tempa Tsho Khor (Buddhas of the past, present and future), Chukchizhay (11-faced Avalokiteshvara), Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara), and Kagyu Lagyu (the lineage of Kagyu lamas).

Recently, Jamtshola installed statues of the Buddha in the middle, Chenrezig (Avalokitesvara) on the right, and Guru Rinpoche on the left.

Social and Cultural Functions

The owner organizes a Zhingdrub ritual presided over by the Tang Rinpoche, Choney Rangdrol (originally from Kham, Tibet). The Zhingdrub ritual is performed every year on the 5th, 15th or the 20th day of the 1st Bhutanese month, depending on the Rinpoche’s schedule.

Yar Ngo is conducted on the 10th day of the Bhutanese month and Mar Ngo on the 25th day of the Bhutanese month.

Monks from nearby temples and gomchens (lay practitioners) perform the rituals on auspicious days. On other days, the owner takes care of the daily offerings.


Jamtshola, 72, owner, Lungten Gonpa


Sherub Tenzin, Assistant Lecturer, College of Language and Culture Studies, Taktse, Trongsa, Royal University of Bhutan, 2017.

(Click on the Thumbnails to view the Photo Gallery)