Thadjong Mangi Lhakhang or Phumedkai Lhakhang


Thadjong Mangi lhakhang which translates to Thadjong Communal temple is located in Thadjong village at an elevation of 1650m above sea level. It is approximately one hour walk from Nimzhong village. There is no road to the village, the mule track that leads to the temple goes through a sparse forest. The temple is located at the end of the village near a cliff that overlooks the valley. There are two traditional Bhutanese houses a few meters away from the temple.  A communal kitchen is built to the back of the temple. Thadjong village is a sparsely populated village with only seven households.


According to oral sources, the temple was built 36 years ago in the Bhutanese Bird Year, which corresponds to 1981. The temple is also known as Phumedkai lhakhang, which means temple beside the mountain.  The oral source said that the Lami Goenpa’s Lama Pepung Khyentse from Bumthang visited Thadjong village to preside over a ritual (Tshog Bum) and found that the village did not have a temple to conduct rituals and other social functions. Thus, he is believed to have instructed the people to build a temple, and four years later the villagers constructed the temple at Thadjong village. The temple was renovated in 2006 with funding from the government.

Architecture and Artwork

The temple is a one-storey traditional Bhutanese style temple. The base of the temple is slightly raised higher from the ground, and the stone wall is plastered with cement. A golden pinnacle adorns the top of the roof, and CGI sheets are used for roofing. A large Mani Dungkhor (prayer -wheel) is in the corridor at the entrance of the temple. The temple has a traditional ornate window and the main altar faces the window.

The altar has a large statue of Lord Buddha in the center, and Chana Dorji (Vajrapani) and Guru Rinpoche at the sides. The temple follows Kagyu and Nyingma schools of Buddhism.

There are paintings of Guru Tshengay (the 8 manifestations of Padmasambhava), Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara), and Oepamey (Amitabha). On the right side of the altar is a painting of Kunkhyen Longchenpa, the great Nyingmapa master (1308-1363), and on the left is a painting of Kagyu Lineage: Marpa, Milarepa, Gampopa and Zhabdrung is placed in the centre. On the left wall there is a painting of the sacred deity Palden Lhamo (Shri Devi/Mahakali), Droljang (Green Tara), Buddha, and Chana Dorji (Vajrapani). A painting of the Thuenpa Puen Zhi (four friends) adorns a corner of the temple.

Karma Tempa, a painter from Wamling village is said to have painted the wall murals.

Social and Cultural Functions

The temple plays an important role in the village community. The villagers assemble at the temple to conduct rituals and other social functions. The caretaker is selected on rotation among the village households. Lay practitioners from the village of Thadjong and monks from Nimshong perform the rituals in the temple.

In the 1st month of the Bhutanese calendar, a Nungney (fasting and prayers) was performed, but now it is discontinued.

A Teldra feast offering is performed on the 10th day of the 5th month of the Bhutanese calendar.

A Zhitro (Sadhana of Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deities) is performed on Drukpa Tshezhi (the first sermon of Lord Buddha) on the 4th day of the 6th month of the Bhutanese calendar.


Ap Sangay, Thadjong


Jigme Wangdi, Asst. Lecturer, College of Language Culture Studies, Taktse, Trongsa, Royal University of Bhutan, 2017.

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