Almost a decade since the gewog lhakhang in Kilkhorthang, Tsirang was constructed, the lhakhang is rarely utilised.

During the recent descending day of Lord Buddha on October 31, instead of visiting the gewog lhakhang, villagers visited the dratshang or the Threma lhakhang in Dampu to make offerings. The gewog lhakhang remained locked.

The lhakhang constructed in the lower part of Sa-Tsangma chiwog was supposed to be strategically located between three chiwogs of Dekiling, Sa-Tsangma and Nezergang. But it ended up being in between a forest and not accessed by the community.

One of the villagers Kinley Tenzin who is also the Sa-Tsangma tshogpa said that although the gewog has a lhakhang, people have not been able to make use of it during religious functions. It is the location of the lhakhang that deters people from visiting it, he said.

The nearest house from the lhakhang is about a kilometer away while the rest are further away. “The lhakhang built for the community is away from the settlement, at an isolated location,” he said. “It needs to be relocated for people to use it all time.”

The tshogpa also said that a place in his chiwog has been identified strategic for the relocation of the lhakhang.

The lhakhang lam Dawa Tashi joined early this year. Since his arrival, no religious functions or rituals have been conducted inside the lhakhang so far. For few months, the lhakhang was under renovation as part of the walls was falling apart and the timber decaying.

Although a contract was issued for minor renovation works, it was found that major renovation was necessary as most of its timber were found to have decayed. “At the moment the inside of the lhakhang is messy, I’ve secured most of the relics in my residence,” he said.

Lam Dawa Tashi said the lhakhang is in such a location that he fears living alone in the premises. Moreover, the road connectivity is bad, which worsens during monsoon. Two streams surround it and the location of the Lhakhang itself is an erosion prone area.

The lhakhang was first built in 2009 and it has remained locked most of the time.

Nirmala Pokhrel   | Tsirang