Monmo Tokto Lhakhang


Monmo Tokto Lhakhang features more of Tibetan architectural design. It is a two-story Lhakhang built on a hill. The ground floor is just used as a store and the upper floor consists of a simple altar. The Lhakhang is very old and being affected by earthquakes, rain, and wind. Khandro Dorje Pham initiated construction of new Lhakhang just below the old Lhakhang. Below the temple, there is a huge rock from which an unknown treasure revealer was believed to have extracted a pair of conches (dungkar). One of the sacred conches is said to have flown to Kurtoe Dungkhar while the other is still preserved in an old mansion of Jang Ponpo.

The turnoff to Monmo Tokto Lhakhang is 15 km east of Zhemgang on the Zhemgang–Tingtibi highway, with a further 11 km along a feeder road from Dakpai. For ages, Jang Ponpo owned the temple and is still being taken care of by his descendants.

Khandro Dorje Pham takes care of the nuns and Lhakhang which is built below Monmo Tokto Lhakhang. There are eight nuns, they perform prayers and offerings at the Lhakhang.


Monmo Tashi Kheudon, daughter of Hami Rao, King of Khoma located in Kurtoed valley, Lhuentse, Bhutan was one of the five consorts of Guru Rinpoche. She was instructed to go to the Mon area of southern Bumthang in Kikhar by Guru Rinpoche while he was meditating in Jampe Lhakhang, Bumthang. After having received teachings and learning meditation skills from Guru Rinpoche, she traveled to Kheng following the directions of Guru Rinpoche. She meditated for several months in a small cave resembling a stack of Buddhist texts in Kheng Kikhar. It is believed that the temple, located not far from Monmo’s holy cave, is based on a huge mass of sacred rock was built in honor of Monmo Tashi Kheudon as indicated by its name. The house of the Jang Ponpo is located a short distance away from the temple. Irrespective of written record, local accounts date this temple to the period of Jampe Lhakhang (byams pa or temple of Maitreye, located in Bumthang, Bhutan.)

Architecture and Artwork

The Lhakhang built in honor of Monmo Tashi Kheudon being old, the condition of the lhakhang is not good due to rain, wind, and earthquakes. It doesn’t have a proper balcony, the paintings on the wall are faded, there are no statues, and it just consists of the statue of the local deity called Samten Gyelp. Keeping the importance of the Lhakhang, Khandro Dorji Pham has built a new Lhakhang which is located just 10 yards below. The relics of the Monmo Tokto Lhakhang are shifted to the Lhakhang built by Khandro Dorje.

The main statue in the Lhakhang is Guru Nangsi Zilnoen in the middle, to right there is a statue of Tara and Zhabdrung, to the left, there is a statue of Thangtong Gyelpo and Dorje Pham. And on the wall, there are paintings of twenty one Tara.
One of the main relics in Monmo Tokto Lhakhang was a dark statue known as Sam-ye Ku, which was supposed to have flown miraculously to the temple’s site on its own from Lhasa. It was such a portentous bronze statue endowed with the mystical power to foretell ill-fated events such as sickness and death of the entire village. If someone were to fall sick, the statue would lie down on its back, and reverting to its normal position signified recovery of the sick, unfortunately, the statue was stolen from the temple.

Social and Cultural Functions

Although the temple is privately owned, it is used as a place of religious activity for the community.

Dorji, L. (2013). Historical Anecdotes of Kheng Nobilities (pg. 49). Journal of Bhutan Studies. CBS: Thimphu


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