Neten Dorji | Khaling

With the challenge of finding caretakers for lhakhangs, communities in Khaling, Trashigang surrendered two lhakhangs to the central monastic body.

Villagers said that due to the lack of young lay monks in the communities, they are finding it challenging to take care of lhakhangs.

A resident, Ugyen Phuntsho, said: “ So that  the lhakhangs have knowledgeable and permanent caretakers, we decided to surrender the lhakhangs to the central monastic body.”

According to villagers, organising religious events and rituals for the dead has become challenging over the years due to lack of lay monks in the village.

“Finding monks to conduct a cleansing ceremony has become a challenge. It is expensive to get choeps from Udzorong and Brekha,” Tshewang Gyeltshen, a villager, said.

In the past, each household in the community used to contribute Nu 200 in a year to caretakers. People of Khaling used to take turns to look after the two lhakhang.

Khaling Gup Sonam Dorji said that upon consultation with the people of Khaling, “we decided to hand over the lhakhang to Zhung Dratshang.”

The caretaker who has been looking after Khaling Gonpa for the last 12 years is old and wants to retire.

Local leaders said that the gewogs have already prioritised the renovation and maintenance of lhakhang before it is surrendered.


Khaling Gonpa is considered one of the most important temples in eastern Bhutan. It is believed that the temple was built by Je Kuenga Gyektshen popularly known as Gyalse Ganapati.

The small temple was later renovated and enlarged at the behest  of Trashigang Dzongpon Thrinley Tobgay during the reign of second king Jigme Wangchuck.

The temple houses sacred objects like the founder’s boots, seal, utensils, scrolls of Guru Rinpoche, Chenrigzing and Yoepame, believed to have been crafted by the Trisong Duetshen in the 7th century.