The whole nine storeys

The Lhakhang ‘Sangay Mingyur Ling, Sekhar Gu–Thog’, will be constructed in the mold of the legendary tower, ‘nine-storey son’s house’ in Tibet which Marpa Lotsawa (11th century Buddhist saint) ordered Jetsun Milarepa to build for his son in Lhodrak district of southern Tibet.

The location of the Lhakhang is at Rigzin Ling, eight kms below Sorchen on Phuentsholing Thimphu national highway No. 1, 50 meters below the confluence of farm road leading to Wangdi Gatshel primary school under Phuentsholing Dungkhag, Chukha Dzongkhag.

The actual site is located about 700 meters southeast of the road confluence and is called ‘Sangay Mingyur Ling Goenpa.’

A team from the Department of Geology and Mines (DGM) together with the Head of Geological Survey of Bhutan (GSB), Senior Engineering Geologist, Senior Geologist and Survey Engineer conducted a feasibility study on whether the construction can be done on the particular site.

All of the observations and field data gathering was mainly based on the present situation of the rock type, slope and precipitation regarding its stability. The first insight observation by the team of geologists thus was to look for the presence of any active slope instabilities in the newly built structures.

The whole procedure of the DGM is based on visual observations and measurements at site of the outcrop. The field assessment evaluation is supported by data analysis using various techniques used by the earlier workers.

A map of the construction of the site has been prepared for use and reference while constructing the precious ‘Sangay Mingyur Ling, Sekhar Gu–Thog’.

The Director General (DG), Department of Culture, Dorjee Tshering mentioned that the Lhakhang’s foundation will start soon.

He said the Lhakhang is built to pay respects to the struggles that Milarepa went through in order to receive teachings of Marpa. “The monastery is quite a landmark because it is the first of its kind in the kingdom.”

The construction for the Sekhar Gu-Thog will be initiated by three monks (two brothers and a cousin) who are from Eastern Bhutan but educated from a Kagyu monastery in Hongkong. There will be one or two local technical people involved in the construction as the major plan will be drawn up by the qualified architects and engineers.

The lhakhang will be built with the help of the estimated 12mn Hongkong dollars donor-fund. So far 0.3mn has been spent on road construction and site developments.

Lam Yeshi Wangchuk, said they would need additional funds as the construction is very expensive.

“We are going to start the construction with the amount we have, but we’re still looking forward to more donors,” said Lam Yeshi.

It will take more than a year as the Lhakhang is nine-storeyed but from outside the Lhakhang will also look like its ten-storeyed.

Milarepa is considered as one of the early founder of Drukpa Kagyu, so the Lhakhang is being constructed as symbol of Drukpa Kagyu and Buddhism.

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  1. As the true Buddhist practitioners, Bhutanese must try to live according to the internal dharma(nangi chos) and in fact Buddha taught only the internal dharma. Nowadays, Buddhists have an overly strong focus on the external dharma and internal dharma is in danger of becoming extinct.

  2. why is it that religious people in our country only want to build temples or light butter lamps? why not build a orphanage or a home for the aged, or a homeless shelter……………………………

  3. Pro democracy

    Its good to know that 9storeyed lhakhang is coming up. It will be one of the wonders of Bhutan after the construction. I personally would wish to visit it to offer prayer.
    But considering the people living without a proper meal in far east, i personally think it is not worth. The money, if spend to build infrastructures, homes, create employment for the poor than i would probably salute the man behind this mission. Its not that he is not doing good for the people.
    well, the lay man like me and you would go to the Lhankhang, pray, perform rituals…. Even the poorest might come there and do the same. How’s this situation?? If the money for this lhakhang is used for the above mentioned one for the poor in the remote villages, than i think the prayers are answered.
    I personally believe in real things and practical religion. Religion that has room for poor, now what i mean by this is that the poor are not left behind. Abraham Lincoln once said.. “If i do good, i feel good. If i do bad, i feel bad. and thats my religion.. 
    Even now, i think the people behind this project should put their money behind poor who are really suffering and even Lord Buddha would love to see this..
    No offence to anyone.. Its just my thoughts..

  4. i think this is sheer spiritual materialism,,, tibetan budddhism in himalayan regions is practised as nothing more but as religion although it is a philosophy of life and living,,,Our region already has all too numerous sacred sites and temples which are very ancient and needs no more as it would be one too many,,, why not provide mantainence and renovation to old ones,, in this decade there seems to be overwhelming amount of so called physical dharma constructions and activities which costs public as the people are approached to make donations which we bhutanese do not deny as we are a shame based society,,, besides who would have the guts to say that i cannot make any offerings to dharmic activities,,,
    regarding butter lamp offering, while it has symbolic and cultural significance the number of butter lamps offered is debatable,,, himalayan buddhist has a tradition of offering 100 or 1000 butter lamps which we believe more the better,, this practice was worthwhile when science and electricity wasnt there as this would mean illumination for hundreds of monks who studied,,,,,,,,

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