Buchu Temple

This small Gelugpa monastery dates from the 7th century, when it was built at the command of King Songtsen Gampo as one of the demoness-subduing temples; it pins the demoness’ right elbow. Inside are a number of holy relics, including a footprint of Guru Rinpoche and a lado (a 'life supporting' stone) in a glass case. It's home to five monks.

The main hall was under renovation at the time of research, and the most important relics had been moved to two smaller chapels off the main courtyard.

The monastery is recognisable by its striking golden roof. The entrance to the main chapel is flanked by murals of several protector gods, including the Kongpo local deity Kongtsun Demo (in the far right on horseback, next to the wheel of life). The main hall has a rare statue of the standing form of Guru Rinpoche and also a large Jampa (Maitreya).

The inner sanctum houses statues of Chenresig (Avalokiteshvara), with Songtsen Gampo in the left corner. Behind them is the trinity of Guru Rinpoche, the Indian translator Shantarakshita and King Trisong Detsen. Here also is the stone footprint of Guru Rinpoche, one of only three in all of the Kongpo region.

It's said that the monastery's outer walls survived destruction during the Cultural Revolution (as so many did not) so save time for a walk round the short kora that follows the perimeter. The monastery is about 1km before the turn-off for Lamaling Temple, 20km south of Bayi.

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