Yakgang Lhakhang

Eastern Bhutan

A short drive southwest of town is this little-visited but interesting lhakhang, founded in the 16th century by the son of Pema Lingpa. As you enter the main hall, notice how the original entrance on the far wall was blocked up after the arrival of the road (in the interests of security), leaving a mixture of old and new murals. The handwritten texts in the corner were brought from Tibet.

The lama here holds a position that is handed down from father to son. Upon request he will often open the lhakhang in the house next door, where the main relics are displayed. Look for the wood blocks, a drangyen (lute), and puppets of local protectors Gelong Daksen and Penchen Tsam. The ancient cham (ritual dance) masks were crafted by Pema Lingpa's son and are used in the annual tsechu on the 10th day of the fifth month, when the most valuable relics are displayed. To get here, drive past the Mongar bus station and the Court of Justice with its traditional architecture to the Sherub Reldri private secondary school.

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