His Holiness hands over the cheque to the chairman of the National Organising Committee

Dratshang to raise funds to construct lhakhang in Rajgir, India

His Holiness the Je Khenpo granted Nu 1 million as seed money to construct a Bhutanese lhakhang and a guesthouse in Rajgir, Bihar in India, coinciding with the Lord Buddha’s Mahaparinirvana at the Tashichhodzong in Thimphu yesterday.

The cheque was handed over to the former Supreme Court Chief Justice, who is the chairman of the National Organising Committee of Bhutan to commemorate the golden jubilee celebrations of establishment of formal diplomatic ties between India and Bhutan, lyonpo Sonam Tobgye.

A draft drawing of the lhakhang and the guesthouse planned for construction at Rajgir

A draft drawing of the lhakhang and the guesthouse planned for construction at Rajgir

In a simple fund raising ceremony, three businessmen based in Thimphu, Pasang Dorji, Omtey Penjor and Namgay also committed to donate Nu 3.2M. Chabchap Karma Gyeltshen and Khamtrul also contributed Nu 0.5M each to the seed money. It is estimated that the construction would cost about Nu 300M.

Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye said that the government of India in 2010 provided a two-acre land near the hot spring in Rajgir to construct a lhakhang and guesthouse for Bhutanese pilgrims. The Zhung Dratshang has initiated to mobilise the seed fund for the construction.

He said that the salang or groundbreaking ceremony would be conducted on November 11 by His Holiness the Je Khenpo as one of the major events of golden jubilee celebrations. There are also plans to conduct moenlam chhenmo at Rijgir.

The National Housing Development Corporation Ltd, which prepared the tentative design of the lhakhang and the guesthouse submitted the drawing to His Holiness yesterday.

His Holiness said that Rajgir is the place where the Buddha taught the transcendent perfection of wisdom at the Vulture Peak, sixteen years after his enlightenment.

Rajgir is about 80km drive from Bodhgaya.

Rinzin Wangchuk

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