Umling Lhakhang


Umling Lhakhang is about 20 minutes’ walk from the Bardo gewog center, on the way towards Donag Yoezer Dargayling Monastery

It is approximately 170km drive from Zhemgang district and from the temple one gets a splendid view of lower Khomshar village.


The name Umling Lhakhang is derived from the name of the village (Umling). The history of the temple could be traced to late Tsipa Dorji, an astrologer, who was the grandfather of Khenpo Thubten Dorji, the founder of Donag Yoezer Dargayling monastery. The astrologer made a promise to build a temple, but he died before he could fulfill his wishes.

Later, a Delok (one who travels beyond realm) came from Mongar, with a message from Tsipa Dorji to his family to build a temple. Hence, Tsipa Dorji’s family members constructed the temple in the year 1970 to fulfill his wishes.

Since the temple is located in the middle of Khomshar community, it is easily accessible by people to perform necessary rituals. The community takes care of the temple after the major renovation, which was completed in the year 2000.

Architecture and Artwork

The two storied temple is built in the traditional Bhutanese architectural design. The main shrine is on the upper floor and it contains the main relics and other religious scriptures. The ground floor is used as a granary and it is also used for preparing religious events.

The main relics in the temple are statues of Guru Rinpoche, the historical Buddha and Khandro Yeshey Tshogyel, Guru’s consort; the texts Kanjur (The words of Buddha); Tenjur (The commentaries); and Bum (The Prajnaparamita Sutra in 100 000 lines). The murals include Guru Rinpoche, the deities of Vajrakila (Phurpa) on the left side of Guru, and on the right side of Guru are the local deities of the Khomshar village: Senphu Lhatsen Karpo, Molha Samdangphupa (female deity) and Pholha Kumapongpa (male deity)

Adjacent to the present temple, a one storied Dechen Zhingdrup hall (Amitabha’s prayer hall) was built in the year 2009 and can accommodate more than 500 people. The hall was built with funding from the Gewog Development Grant (GDG). One of the three self-arisen chortens could be seen majestically standing on the left side of the temple, which is considered bar (middle) among the three chortens.  The third Chorten can be seen nearby Namling lhakhang and the last chorten could be seen nearby Donag Yoezer Dargayling monastery. The details about the three chortens are recorded in a text called Guide to Tingkharai Ney. At present, the manuscript is in the Donag Yoezer Dargayling monastery.

Social and Cultural Functions

Before the construction of Donag Yoezer Dargayling Monastery, the community used the temple to conduct a seven-day annual Dechen Zhingdrup (Buddha Amitabha’s prayer), and three days of Vajrakila Drupchen (Great Accomplishment Practice). Now, these rituals are performed at the Donag Yoezer Dargayling monastery led by Khenpo Thubten Dorji, the founder of the monastery.

Nowadays, the annual four-day Tsechu is one of the main events performed in the temple. It is conducted from the 15th to the 18th day of the 10th month of the Bhutanese calendar.  The community considers this a very auspicious occasion and even the civil servants living in different places, and the local community all congregate to celebrate this auspicious event. The Tshechu consists of rituals and prayers and is sponsored by the community and does not have any mask dance.

Death rituals of the community are also performed here.

Besides the recitation of Kanjur and Tenjur, the monthly rituals are also conducted on the   8th, 10th, 15th and 25th of the Bhutanese month.

A Kangso ritual is also conducted on rotation between the two temples: Umling and Namling. If Umling lhakhang conducts a Kangso on the 8th day of the Bhutanese month, then on the 15th or 30th day of the Bhutanese month, Namling lhakhang would initiate the ritual.  Apart from the Kangso, a community ritual (Mangi Rimdo) is also organized on rotation among Umling, Namling, Wadang and Samdhag Lhakhang.


Khenpo Thubtan Dorji, 47, founder of Donag Yoezer Dargayling monastery

Khenpo Leki Tandin, 39, Principal of Donag Yoezer Dargayling monastery

Sangay Khandu, 77, Umzey, Khomshar village (also caretaker)

Angay Samten Dolma, 97, Mother of Khenpo Thubtan Dorji

Sangay Phuntshok, 31, Asst. Lecturer, College of Language and Culture Studies, Taktse, Trongsa.


Jigme Tashi, Asst. Lecturer, College of Language and Culture Studies, Taktse, Trongsa, Royal University of Bhutan.

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