Chhundu Lhakhang

Buddhist Temple in Around the Haa Valley

Eleven kilometres north of Haa is this recently rebuilt local temple, one of several shrines dedicated to the valley's protective deity. Blue-faced App Chhundu and his red-faced cousin Jowya glower from either side of the main altar.

Troublesome Chhundu was banished to Haa by the Zhabdrung after an altercation with Gyenyen, Thimphu's protector. He also had a quarrel with Jichu Drakye of Paro, resulting in Paro's guardian stealing all of Haa's water – and that's why there is no rice grown in Haa. Ceremonies dedicated to Chhundu are still carried out in nearby Yangthang, highlighting how deep Bhutan's roots are with its pre-Buddhist animist past.

The chapel is a five-minute walk down a concrete path below Chenpa (Lechuna) village, 3km north of Yangthang, just past the Yakchu Zam bridge. Call the caretaker if the temple is closed.