Neten Dorji

Khaling—The Jadrung Lhakhang in Khaling Gewog urgently needs repairs. The walls have cracked because of past earthquakes, and the wooden parts like planks and pillars are broken. To keep people safe, visitors aren’t allowed inside the temple for now.

Located about three kilimotres from Khaling town, the two-storey lhakhang caters to about  50 households in the chiwog. The lhakhang is more than 400 years old. It was a private lhakhang before it was handed over to  the Zhung Dratshang.

The temple is considered among the most important in Khaling.

A resident,Tempa Tshering, said that if the government doesn’t support the lhakhang renovation, people would not be able to do it on their own. “The lhakhang will fall apart. A proposal to renovate it has been submitted several times.”

According to villagers, minor renovations were carried out, but the structure remains vulnerable.


“The renovation was once carried out 10 years ago. The walls developed cracks due to the earthquakes some years ago,” said a resident Tenzin Dorji.  “When we perform our rituals every year, we fear it might crumble.”

Another villager, Tukten Tashi, said that even the caretaker of the lhakhang fears going inside the lhakhang to offer daily prayers.

“If the government could support us with the reconstruction, we would be grateful. We would also like to contribute in our little ways to help maintain the lhakhang,” he said.

An elderly villager said they raised the issue to the gewog and dzongkhag administration several times but nothing has happened until now. “Dzongkhag officials have inspected the lhakhang but nothing has come out.”

Tashi, a villager, said that they perform rituals outside, but the monsoon season makes it impossible. “The earthquakes in the past have contributed to Lhakhang’s dilapidated condition now. It has caused serious inconveniences to us in the village.”

The lhakhang houses important relics, which include the statue of Zhabdrung and other important relics. It is also believed that the place is where the local deities Meme Dangling and Aum Jomo rest when they go up and down during winter and summer.

Khaling Gup Sonam Dorji said that gewog administration is aware of the issue and they expect the lhakhang to be renovated through people’s contribution and government’s fund.

The gup said he proposed to the Trashigang dzongkhag administration and the Department of Culture (DoC) to renovate the lhakhang as soon as possible.

He said officials from the dzongkhag administration inspected and approved a proposed budget of Nu 9 million to renovate the temple. “However, Nu 9 million would not complete the renovation work. We need around Nu 20 million,” Sonam Dorji said.