Panthang Lhakhang/ Panthang Mangi Lhakhang


Panthang village lies to the south east of Zhemgang town. It is located along the newly built national highway, has 42 households, one primary school, one grade II Basic Health Unit and a Renewable Natural Resource Center. The village did not have electricity and motorable road before 2011.

The Panthang Mangi lhakhang is located a few meters above Panbang-Gomphu highway and is about two hours drive from Zhemgang town. It is situated at the end of a low lying plain next to the river and is surrounded by agricultural fields to the south, few traditional one-storey houses to the east, and a small orange orchard to the north. A small room for offering butter lamps is built on the side of the temple.


Before the construction of the Panthang Mangi lhakhang, there was no place of worship for the community. So, the people of Panthang village built this lhakhang for their community in 2002 to provide a space to organize religious, social, and other cultural functions. According to oral source, plans for the construction were coordinated by the former village headman (gup), Jigme Tenzin, who served as a gup from 1993 to 1998. The temple was built with approval from the government of Bhutan.

The temple belongs to the Nyingma Peling tradition.

Architecture and Artwork

The temple is a modern structure with the foundation, drains and plinths made of cement. The temple is built of stones and cement with ceilings and windows made of wood. A small corridor on the side of the lhakhang has two prayers wheels, and it also serves as the entrance to the lhakhang.

The temple is roofed over with Corrugated Galvanized Iron (CGI) sheets, and the center of the roof is further elevated with a golden pinnacle (serthog) on the top. Stonewalls surround the lhakhang, and there is a small open space to the side of the lhakhang where people gather and this space is also used to perform the annual Tshechu. Flood Protection Drain runs from the side of the temple to the village down below and the construction of the drain was funded by Bhutan United Nation Capital Development Fund.

The main room inside the lhakhang is moderate in size and the high ceilings beams are elaborately carved and painted. Ceremonial masks used for the celebration of the annual Tshechu festival are hung on the beams of the ceiling. The floor inside is half cemented and half wood. The main altar is made out of wood and contains many statues. The main statue is Guru Rinpoche and his two consorts among other smaller statues.  The wall paintings include Guru Tshengye (eight manifestations of Padmasambhava), Tshelha Namsum (the three Bodhisattvas of longevity) and the Zhabdrung. There are also paintings of the Kings of four directions at the entrance of the temple.

Social and Cultural Functions

  • An annual Tshechu is conducted on the 9th, 10th and 11th day of the 12th Bhutanese month.
  • A Drupchen was conducted once and the community was hoping to have a Drupchen once every three years in the future. Unfortunately, the community was unable to continue the Drupchen due to financial constraints.
  • Lhabab duechen (descending day of Lord Buddha) ritual is conducted on the 22nd of the 9th month of the Bhutanese calendar,
  • Drukpa Tshezhi (turning of the wheel of Dharma) ritual is organized on the 4th day of the 6th month of the Bhutanese calendar. However, these functions are dependent upon the availability of finance and time, and sometimes, the community does not conduct these rituals because of these constraints.
  • The Yarngo and Marngo rituals are also performed on the 10th and 25th day of every Bhutanese month.

Most of the minor rituals are conducted by lay-practitioners (gomchens), and the Tshechus and other important events are conducted by monks from Gangtey Gonpa Monastery in Phobjikha, Wangdue Phodrang, as the temple is under the purview of the Gangtey Tulku.


Jigme Tenzin, Former Gup (1993 – 1998)


Jigme Wangdi, Assistant Lecturer, College of Language and Culture Studies, Taktse, Trongsa, Royal University of Bhutan, 2018.

(Click on the Thumbnails to view the Photo Gallery)