Kuje Lhakhang

Kuje Lhakhang

Across the fields from Jampey Lhakhang, the Kuje Lhakhang complex irresistibly attracts the eye.
Bumthang, in the 8th century, was ruled by King Sinda Raja who was at war with a king from the south. This rival killed Sinda’s son and, in his extreme grief, the king forgot to worship his personal deity who took revenge by snatching the king’s life force, causing him to fall mortally ill. Guru Rinpoche, because of his miraculous powers, was called to Bumthang to help the king recover. He went to Kuje where the deity was residing and tricked it with as magical device. The king recovered and Bumthang embraced Buddhism. In the rock where Guru Rinpoche meditated was left the imprint of his body, which is what Kuje means.

The complex is now enclosed by a fence of small stone chortens, making it extremely sacred. Facing the temples, the first on the right is the oldest and contains the rock with Guru Rinpoche’s imprint. The building dates from 1652. The second temple was built by king Ugyen Wangchuck in 1900 when he was still the Trongsa Penlop. The third temple is built in traditional style in 1990, and blends wonderfully with the older buildings. Patronised by the Ashi Kesang, the Grand Queen Mother, it is a superb example of the high standard of current workmanship in Bhutan.

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