Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bhutan trip day 18 – 22 Sep 2013 – Visiting Lhakhangs in Bumthang - Part 2

Beautiful scenery from Mebar Tsho to Bumthang Airport
On the way to Tamshing Lhakhang, we passed by the Bumthang Airport. It’s a simple long runway, but view surrounding it was marvelous :)

View of Bumthang Airport :)
Tamshing Lhakhang was located across the river from Kurjey Lhakhang, founded in year 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, the reincarnation of Guru Padmasambhava. It was the most important Nyingmapa temple in Bhutan.
Tamshing Lhakhang in Bumthang, Bhutan
In this Lhakhang, there were very old religious paintings (one thousand Buddha and 21 Tara – female form of Bodhisatva) around the inner walls of the temple, which was restored at the end of 19th century. Inside, there was square chain about size of 1m x 2m (I called it ‘chain cloth’) put on top of one table. Bhutanese believed that when you carried this chain cloth behind your back and turned the inner side of temple around for three times, your sin would be cleared. All of us carried the chain cloth and made one round. Two or three children carried it together, sharing the burden as the chains were quite heavy for all of us. Interesting no? Btw we did that not because we really believed that by doing that we could clear our sin, but just for the sake of having fun. If it really could clear our sin, this temple must be very crowded and people would queue just to carry the chain three times every single day hehehe…

Devi and I went up to second floor. The temple inside was locked and not opened. We just walked one round outside the room. She kept warning me to be careful with my head as the ceiling was quite low. It was built based on the Pema Lingpa’s body height, which was quite short. I realized that many places and doors in Bhutan were built with low height. I didn’t know how many times I had accidentally knocked my head against the doors there uuhh….. :P

Konchog Sum Lhakhang in Bumthang, Bhutan
Konchog Sum Lhakhang was built in 6th century, renovated in 1995, and burnt down on 24th February 2010. Luckily most of the sacred belonging was safe, including the main statue of Vaicorana. The inner part of the building was kept with some renovation done to maintain the outlook, while they were reconstructing and renovating the outer part. It was still under construction by the time we visited. It was said that the Lhakhang contained a large bell, when rung, the sound could be heard all the way to Lhasa, Tibet. However, during 17th century, the Tibetan army tried to steal it but since it was too heavy, they dropped it and made a big crack. We saw it inside the Lhakhang but not sure if that was the same bell mentioned. 

Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery in Bumthang, Bhutan
Last but not least, we visited Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery.  It was located just above the Chamkar town. It was founded by Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche in 1984, recognized as a reincarnation of Tibetan Lama in 9th century. It was huge!!! Quiet too. I think we came when monks were having their classes. Few of us walked around the area. It’s said that there were almost 400 monks currently studying and staying there. This monastery has become part to preserve the Tibetan culture where monks learning about many things such as: reading, chanting prayers, drawing Mandala, learning how to use musical instruments, poetry, and many more. From there we could see the view of Chamkar town. Beautiful!!
Beautiful Chamkar town from afar...
So, we finally finished visiting the Lhakhangs and Mebar Tsho. We all went back home, changed our clothes, took some rest, before we headed to Nila’s house. He and his wife invited us for dinner in their house since they knew it was my last night staying in Bumthang. We had a full-course of Bhutanese style dinner there – read the Bhutanese style dinner experience here – and before going back home, this sweet couple gifted me a bottle of pickle dorle chili, two bottles of handmade strawberry jam, and a packet of taengma or gaaza seep (cereal kind of food made of maize). Thank you for your kind hospitality Nila and Devi!!! I appreciated it very much!

Before going back to Suneet’s house, Kedar invited us to visit his home too (located just next to Suneet’s house).  Although we had lots of Druk already in Nila’s house, they still offered us a drink at their home. We accepted a glass of Raven red wine gratefully. Thank you!

At Kedar home sweet home :)
His wife also did the weaving of Kira during her free time. She, Muna’s sis, and Yeshey (also stayed next to them), each of them had the traditional equipment to weave the kira. All of them must be a very detailed and patient person, unlike me kekeke…. It was quite late already so we only visited for a while. Before we left, we took photos together. Thank you Kedar for everything!!!

Although it was only a short two-day trip, I’d seen and experienced thing that I thought it didn’t exist much in Bhutan, which was a loving Bhutanese family - spouse living together with their children - and at the same time, valuing their togetherness as families and treasuring the importance of friendships.

After spending time with them for two days, it had opened my eyes that after all, there were still many out there who were having happy family life. It might not be perfect and not necessary to be perfect; however they were happy to live together, value each partner’s loyalty and hard work, wish and do their best for their families. I could feel their loves and warmth and saw how lovely they were to each other. My friend, Kedar, was even still praising his wife beautiful and capable in front of me, and he treasured his both sons very much.

Particularly children were having a great time. They spent most of their free time playing with neighbors’ children. They were staying together with families during breakfast, lunch, tea time, and dinner time. They sat down with their parents together watching TV at night. 

I was wondering about nowadays children in Singapore. They occupied their time mostly at their own room playing computer games, other electronic devices, such as: Ipad, Xbox, Play Station, etc., watching cartoon on TV almost whole day, and so on.

Hm... How wonderful if all Bhutanese, or even all human being would be like them. Hope more of us would treasure the value of loyalty and happiness within the family and to trust the partner that we choose in our lives to be honest and faithful.

Bye bye Bumthang!!! See you again one day......
Next morning, we had to leave Bumthang. Suneet sent me and Lachee to bus station as early as 6am. Our bus left at 6.30am. It was drizzling, as if the sky was crying as I left this memorable place hehehe.... And you know what? We saw Changa and Chuddu coming to town. Both of them seemed to recognize us :) Happy to meet them again. As if they were sending us off too.. hehehe... We had a great time in Bumthang!! Thank you everyone for everything!!! :)


Sogyel Tobgyel said...

you should send me the pcis of kenchosum lhakhang..madamji..:)

Overcome said...

Sure Sogyel. Inbox me your email address please :)

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