Phurpa Lhamo | Punakha

Nangsel Goenpa Lhakhang in Goenshari, Punakha is in a sorry state of repair—roofless and crumbling.

It is interesting to note that the reconstruction of the centuries-old lhakhang began in 2009. The project was completed in 2015.

Before the relics were moved back to the reconstructed lhakhang, a survey found that the lhakhang was poorly built.

The statues and sacred relics of the lhakhang are being stored in an old school structure.

Goenshari Gup Yeshi Dorji said that the lhakhang’s pillars were rotten and the structure was smaller than the thongdrel available in the lhakhang. The roof was leaking and the drainage system was poor.

Three years later, in 2019, the dzongkhag approved Nu 4 million (M) for the renovation of the lhakhang.

“Now, people of Goenshari are volunteering to dismantle and rebuild the lhakhang,” said Yeshi Dorji.

The dzongkhag culture officer, Sangay Om, said that 4M was approved for the 2020-2021 financial year for the project.

“Rebuilding the lhakhang will be a priority,” she said.

Built by Drupthob Barawa Gyeltshen, the lhakhang is an important structure for two chiwogs in Goenshari. “Around 200 people from Kabisa and Goenshari gewogs attend the annual rimdro conducted in the lhakhang,” said Gomchen, villager in Goenshari.

Today, what is interesting is that the dzongkhag and gewog officials are not able to provide details on the work of rebuilding the lhakhang.

There simply is no record, many here say. The matter smells fishy.