Tshering Namgyal | Kurtoe

Residents of Dakmaling chiwog in Tsamang gewog are happy about the construction of a community lhakhang and are contributing labour and other essentials for free.

The residents have lived without a temple for decades.

The government allotted more than Nu 1 million for the community lhakhang, and eight villagers are constructing the temple on a community contract basis.

Villagers are contributing voluntary services and also offering free meals to the workers.

The new temple, constructed on the hillock above their village, is almost complete externally. Villagers hope to complete it in a few months. However, there is no budget for relics like statues, wall paintings, and external painting.

Villagers said people from the village, both living away from the villages and villagers, will contribute.

A village elder who coordinates the construction work, Tshewangla, said he has heard civil servants and others from the village have already started collecting the money.

The 75-year-old man said it was difficult for the village residents to conduct funeral rites and other religious activities without a temple. “We had no place to circumambulate or make daily offerings during auspicious days to earn merit until now and we are content to have one after a long wait.”

Former Drangmaling tshogpa, Rinzin Lhamo, said local leaders raised the proposal to construct a temple several times and they are happy they got the budget this time.

Mongar dzongkhag culture officer Rinzin Peldup said Drangmaling residents faced problems without a lhakhang, as the other lhakhangs in the gewog are far away.