Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

Drametse lhakhang in Mongar is restored to its original grandeur.

The lhakhang underwent a major renovation in 2014 after the 2009 earthquake, where the epicenter was at the adjoining Narang gewog damaged the seat of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The lhakhang was constructed more than 400 years ago.

Three of the four walls of the utse the earthquake destroyed were restored from the foundation to its former glory.

According to project engineer, Thinley Wangchuk, the initially plan was to replace the wooden part but it was found the walls of three sides suffered major cracks and it had to be reconstructed from the ground.

He said restoration work was carried out in three packages, where the first package was restoring the Utse (central tower)  including the changing of wooden planks and walls. The Shedra administration presided by his eminence Sungtruel Rinpoche carried out the work departmentally along with the debri (wall painting) works.

The second package consisted of  constructing a conference hall, classroom and kitchen and third package of constructing a hostel block for 180 monks and toilet. The conference hall comprises three units of choekhang (meeting hall), guest room and a library.

The project also includes site development, electrification, installing fire safety measures, furniture and computers.

Project officials are working on landscaping and beautification for the consecration planned to be held  next year.

The government funded the project that cost around Nu 171 million.

Being one of the most notable spiritual centres of Peling tradition in the east, the Drametse Buddhist College will incorporate sculpture, painting, English Literature and IT courses besides the regular subjects.

Drametse, which literally means ‘peak without enemy’ and the lhakhang, an origin of Drametse ngacham (dance of drums of Drametse) was founded in 1511 by Ani Chhoeten Zangmo, the granddaughter of Terton Pema Lingpa. It was renovated later in early 1990s.

Drametse was blessed by the birth of three successive incarnations of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal: Zhabdrung Jigme Drakpa, Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu  and Zhabdrung Jigme Chogyal.

The lhakhang houses important relics which include Kudung (the physical remains) of Ani Chhoeten Zangmo, kapala of dakini with the self –arisen syllables OM AH HUNG, namzha of Ani Chhoeten Zangmo, Zhabdrung Jigme Drakpa and Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu, and the sacred termas.