Lungsung Lhakhang (The Prophecy Temple)


Lungsung Lhakhang is located at Lungsukha village which is a 30-45-minute drive from the Lhakhang Karpo under Eusu Gewog in Haa District. It is located at an altitude of 2521-4076 metres above the sea level and has an area of 66.459 sq. kilometers. It lies not only between the two sacred mountains of Meri Puensum, Lord Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig) and Manjushree (Buddha of Wisdom and Knowledge) but also between the two sacred temples of Shelkardrag and Tagchu Gonpa in Lungsukha village.


The date of the construction of the Lhakhang is unclear and there are no written records available. However, according to Druk Karpo written by Lama Nado, the great Buddhist master Guru Padmasambhava visited Lhasa in Tibet during the 8th century A.D and later visited Haa in Bhutan and constructed the Lhakhang. He subdued the snake that gave obstacle to the human settlement near Lhakhang Nagpo, in a village initially called Yib-ri (གཡིབ་རི) and later known to be Kip-ri (སྐྱིདཔ་རི).  The village is called Yib-ri (གཡིབ་རི) which literally means ‘hide’ or Kip-ri (སྐྱིདཔ་རི) which refers to ‘peace and harmony.’

This is because the villagers while traveling had to hide from a huge snake that was supposed to be the local deity of the present-day Shelkardrag Lhakhang. Thus, Guru Padmasambhava after realizing the potential danger and threat to human settlement, subdued the huge snake at the place called Bu-dang-kha, meaning ‘place of subduing the snake’.  It was thereafter that the people of that community enjoyed peace and harmony. It is said that after subduing the snake, Guru Padmasambhava visited Lungsukha village where the present temple is located. From the present-day Lungsung Lhakhang, Guru Padmasambhava prophesized that the three mountains are the Rig-sum-Gonpo, Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig), Manjushree (Buddha of wisdom), and Vajrapani (Chana Dorji). This is how the temple came to be known as Lungsung Lhakhang, meaning a temple where there was a prophecy.

According to the informant, the temple underwent a major renovation and converted into two-storied structure during the period of Druk Desi Chogley Yeshey Ngedup (1851-1917), under the patronage of lam Tshongpon Tashi Tshewang who belonged to a lineage of Aum Bida (present owner of Lhakhang). It was also consecrated by the Chogley Yeshey Ngedup. The main relics inside a Lhakhang are Sangay (historical Buddha) but after the renovation, a Guru Rinpoche statue has become the main relic as it was installed by the Druk Desi Chogley Yeshey Ngedup and a statue of Chogley Yeshey Ngedup is on the right side of the altar.

The mural paintings inside the Lhakhang includes Zhabdrung Phuensum Tshogpa, the eight manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava, Dorji Chang (Vajradhara), Vajra Kila (Phurpai Lhatsho), Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara), Neten Chudru (16 arhats), Gyendru Choknyi (Six ornaments and two supreme ones), Tshepamay Lhatsho (Amitayus), and the 25th Je Khenpo Sherab Gyeltshen (1772-1848). There are also volumes of the Kanjur (teachings of Buddha). The date of the paintings is unknown but believed to be not before the mid-19th century because of the availability of the painting of the 25th Je Khenpo.

Architectural Work

According to oral sources, a one-storied temple construction date and time is unclear but built using the traditional woodwork, stones, and mud. Later a two-storied temple was built by Tshampa Ugyen Tshering (Uncle of Tshongpen Tashi Tshewang who belongs to the lineage of Aum Bida without distorting the original architecture. An intricately carved door welcomes visitors to the Lhakhang. The lower floor of the Lhakhang is used for the community and the upper floor is used as the shrine where people seek refuge and blessings. Four engraved central wooden beams (pillars) support the ceiling inside the temple and it has wooden floors used for conducting rituals and prayers.

Furthermore, Lungsung Lhakhang is surrounded by four chortens made of mud and stone within the area of an acre of land.

Social and cultural activities

The social and cultural activities undertaken at the temple were sponsored under the patronage of Aum Bida and her family. Like other Lhakhangs across the country, various rituals are conducted by the lhakhang to protect from the evil spirits, and bring good luck to the community throughout the year during the auspicious day as mentioned below;

  • On the 2nd month of the Bhutanese calendar:  Tshechu, Sampa Lhuendrup ritual for one day and an annual ritual (Lochoe) for three days
  • On the 4th of the Bhutanese calendar, Neten Chudru (16 arhats), and Gyonpo rituals
  • Each month rituals at the waxing period of the moon (Yar ngo) and at the wanning period of the moon (Mar ngo).



Kuenga Palden, 13 December, 2021

Tshewang Rinzin, 13 December 2021



Thinley Gyeltshen, Associate Lecturer

College of Language and Culture Studies



Dorji, D. S. (2017). Druki dhesi theri rub rimjongi zad nam dhab thar ched dhen gaypai dho shel (འབྲུག་གི་སྡེ་སྲི་ཁྲི་རབས་རིམ་བྱོན་གྱི་མཛད་རྣམ་དེབ་ཐེར་དཔྱོད་ལྡན་དགྱེས་པའི་དོ་ཤལ།). The Center for Bhutan Studies & GNH.

Rinchen, J. G. (2004). Lhodruk Choejung. Thimphu KMT.