Wamling Trong Lhakhang / Lhakhangbi


Wamling Trong lhakhang, locally known as Lhakhangbi, is a private temple. It is located at an elevation of 1401m above sea level, nestled in the middle of Wamling village. It is approximately a 6 hour drive to reach Wamling from the main Zhemgang town. A feeder road that breaks off the Zhemgang-Shingkhar highway connects Wamling village. The temple is a 5-minute walk from the feeder road.


Trong temple also known as Lhakhangbi (in Kheng language bi means plain) is located on a flat land in the heart of Wamling village. According to oral sources, it was built by an artisan Lepo from Wamling village with the help of the villagers in 1953. Earlier, Wamling village did not conduct any rituals, nor any festivals. On Lepo’s request Thinley Wangdi, a mask dance teacher from Jampa Lhakhang, Bumthang, came and introduced the same festival at Wamling Trong temple. The oral sources said that Lepo had crafted all the masks and Thinley Wangdi had taught mask dances to the villagers of Wamling. Thus, the mask dance festival was introduced in Wamling village and the festival continues to this day. The temple was renovated in 2004.

Architecture and Artwork

The temple is a two-storey square Bhutanese house with a small courtyard. The temple is enclosed by a meter and a half high stone wall. The ground floor is used as a store and the main altar is on the first floor. The caretaker’s family live in the room adjacent to the temple. Inside the temple wall stands a beautiful Chorten Dangrim (a prayer-wall with a chorten).

In the main altar, there are statues of Chenrezig (Avalokitesvara, Buddha of compassion) in the middle, Jampelyang (Manjushri, bodhisattva of wisdom and knowledge) on the right, and Chagna Dorji (Vajrapani, bodhisattva of power) on the left. They are called Rigsum Gonpo, the three Dharma protectors.  These three statues are said to have been gifted by the second king Jigme Wangchuck, but given the foundation date, it might be by the Third King.

In addition to the old paintings, beautiful murals of Zhabdrung Phunsum Tshogpa (series of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel’s previous incarnations), Kunzang Lhatshog (assembly of the deities of Samantabhadra), Sangye Oepamey (Buddha Amitabha), and Thunpa Puenzhi (symbolic representation of four loyal friends) are painted on the walls inside the temple. Different wooden masks are also hung on the sides of the temple.

Social and Cultural Functions

The Mishi lama Geleg and gomchens (lay practitioners) perform the rituals and festivals at the temple:

  • From the 8th-11th day of the 1st month of the Bhutanese calendar, a Nyungney (fasting and prayers) is organized.
  • On the 15th day of the 4th month of the Bhutanese calendar, Bum Dagtshar (complete recitation of the 100,000 verses of the Perfect Wisdom text) is conducted.
  • On the 15th day of the 6th month of the Bhutanese calendar, a Choekor (going round the village carrying the holy texts) is organized.
  • On the 15th day of the 9th month of the Bhutanese calendar, Sungmai Kangso (ceremony for the guardian deity) is performed.
  • From the 15th-20thday of the 10th month of the Bhutanese calendar, an annual festival Tshechu is performed.


Tenzin Dema, 38, caretaker, Wamling Trong lhakhang

Dorji, 80, retired RBA and a mask dancer of Trong lhakhang


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

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