Yosel Choling Lhakhang or Throma Lhakhang


Yosel Choling Lhakhang, also known as Throma Lhakhang, sits at the end of the valley in the part of Panbang town known as Sonamthang. The recently built lhakhang is located 2.05 KM away from Panbang town as the crow flies.

The temple, which is part of the nunnery, is few meters off the Panbang-Nganglam highway, and it is located east of the town. Panbang town is 153 KM away from Thimphu, and the town is in southern Bhutan, few kilometers away from the Bhutan India border in Zhemgang district. The temple is a one-storey building with a separate toilet in the east and a nuns’ hostel in the west.


The nunnery was founded by Lama Tashi Choten, and the lhakhang was built under his supervision. According to oral sources, Lama Tashi Choten was from Goshing village in Zhemgang, and his root teacher was Garab Rinpoche. Lam Tashi Choten passed away in 2016 one year after the lhakhang was finished.

The construction of the lhakhang, funded by the contributions from the people, started in 2013 and was completed in 2015. The nunnery was initially founded in Goshing village, but due to lack of space, it was later moved to Sonamthang village. A villager named Sonam Tobgay whose house is a few meters below the lhakhang donated 1.30 acres of land for the establishment of the nunnery at its present location.

The lhakhang was built as part of the nunnery. Currently, there are 19 nuns studying ritual practices who come from villages in the lower part of Zhemgang district. The lhakhang and the residential hostel nearby were built recently. The nunnery follows the Throma practice recently popularized by Dungsey Garab Rinpoche, under the Nyingma tradition. Currently, there are no teachers at the nunnery; the institute is looked after by a volunteer head nun.

Architecture and Artwork

The lhakhang does not contain any wall paintings, and it is a modern structure built of bricks, metal bars and cement. The three windows of the lhakhang facing north have metal grills, and the main altar is on a makeshift table. Minor works inside the lhakhang are being carried out continuously as it is a work in progress.

There are five bronze statues of Throma (female deity), Buddha, Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara), Guru Rinpoche /Padmasambava, and Jampelyang (Manjusri) on the cemented altar. There are 21 bronze Taras in wooden shelves and a 100,000 verse religious manuscripts in a steel shelf next to it.

There is a modest hostel beside the temple made of stones, wood and cement. The hostel contains six rooms shared by the nuns, a kitchen and a separate toilet.  The structures of the nunnery are being continually developed as and when they get donations from the villagers and visitors.

Social and Cultural Functions

The nuns perform rituals for the people of the nearby villages, and they also perform few other rituals at the lhakhang. A Ganachakra sadhana (tshogkor) and Amitabha (Oepamey) practice is conducted on the 1st and 2nd month of the Bhutanese calendar.   The nunnery was established as a teaching-learning institute for the nuns, but due to the lack of teachers and funding, other rituals cannot be performed at the temple at present.


Lopen Dorji Lhamo, Head Nun (Uzin)

Pema Chenzom, nun


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


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