Kyebu Lungtsen Lhakhang.


The Kyebu Lungtsen lhakhang is eight minutes away from the Zhemgang Dzong towards Trongsa. It is a two-storey temple built by eight households of Dungbi village in 2004, and it is located above Dungbi village, next to the highway. There are many prayer flags around the temple.


Kyebu Lungtsen lhakhang is located in Dungbi village. According to oral sources, the Dungbi community has been following Bon Choe (non-Buddhist belief) since time immemorial. They sacrificed animals to offer to the local deity Kyebu Lungtsen, their kyelha (the deity of birth).

Prior to 2004, the village did not have a temple, so people performed rituals in their own homes. Meme Pawo La, a local healer (medium) used to perform all the rituals in the village. The community worships and offers rituals to the local deity to have peace and prosperity in the village, and also in times of calamity and problem. However, Lhajay Tshering, 61 years old, says that he didn’t reap any benefit despite his dedicated offerings to Kyebu Lungtsen.

The caretaker Lhajay Tshering said that the idea of building a small temple in his locality was mainly to stop practicing Bon Choe. He said that in Bumthang, people worship the same deity without sacrificing animals, so he propagated the idea of not killing animal in his community. The community also decided to build a small temple dedicated to Kyebu Lungtsen. The eight households of Dungbi village contributed the fund and built the lhakhang in 2004. They installed Kyebu Lungtsen as the main relic of the temple, hence the name, and any child born in the village are brought to the temple for blessing.

The oral source says that Thuksey Rinpoche (1951-2010, the 10th reincarnation of Terton Pema Lingpa’s son, Thuksey Dawa) consecrated the temple after its completion in 2004, and the community also stopped practicing Bon Choe. Now the community performs rituals to Kyebu Lungtsen without sacrificing animals. In 2016, the 70th Je Khenpo Truku Jigme Choeda blessed the temple during the Monlam Chhenmo in Zhemgang dzongkhag.

Unfortunately, the temple was partially burnt in April 2017.

Architecture and Artwork

The two-storey temple is located on a hilltop above the Zhemgang highway. The temple looks like a simple Bhutanese house without a courtyard or prayer wheels. There is a kitchen to the back of the temple. The ground floor is used as a storage and the main altar is on the upper floor. Besides the statue of Kyebu Lungtsen, the other relics in the temple are the statues of Guru Rinpoche, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (1594-1651) and the present Buddha Sakyamuni. There are also volumes of religious texts. There is a wall printing of the eight lucky signs.

Social and Cultural Functions

The temple does not organize big rituals or other social functions, only the offerings to Kyebu Lungsten is made on the 15th day of the 7th month of the Bhutanese calendar every year. The rituals are performed mostly by gomchens (lay-practitioners), and sometimes the villagers invite the monks of the Zhemgang Rabdey when they need to perform rituals for a long period of time.

Besides the offerings to the local deity and funeral rites, religious activities are also conducted on certain auspicious days.


Lhajay Tshering, 61, caretaker


Pema Youden, Asst. Lecturer, College of Language and Culture Studies, Taktse, Trongsa, Royal University of Bhutan, 2017

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