The consecration of a Bhutanese Drukpa Kagyu temple in Nepal

Authors

  • Jelle J.P. Wouters Royal Thimphu College

Keywords:

Nepal, Bhutan, Swayambhu, ‘phags pa shing kun, Gorkha, relations, consecration, earthquake

Abstract

A historical event occurred over three sunny days in November 2022, namely the consecration by senior Bhutanese officials at Kathmandu valley’s most sacred Buddhist site, Swayambhu, of a temple rebuilt after a once-in-a-hundred-year earthquake. The first part of this article provides a brief history of a Bhutanese Drukpa Kagyu temple at Swayambhu. Although the legend of Bhutan’s acquisition of this temple may be familiar to some readers, this article digs deeper into the popular oral account and shares some lesser-known material relating to the temple’s loss by Bhutan in the 19th century, a fire in 1907 which led to the change in its physical
form, and its subsequent recovery by Bhutan in the late 1970’s. The second part of this article shares documentary photos of the 2022 consecration led by the current Dorje Lopon, Sonam Gyamtsho, supported by the incarnation of Kusho Tsechu Rinpoche, Jigme Choying Norbu. Zhung Dratshang monks were assisted by monks from Sangye Choling, the largest Bhutanese gompa in Nepal.

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Published

15-12-2023