Kurjey Lhakhang

Kurjey Lhakhang is an important temple complex in Central Bhutan where Guru Rinpoche left a body print after his meditation in a cave. In 1962, the first temple was built and dedicated to Guru Rimpoche. In fact, the temple is named after his body print: Kur (body) jey (print) Lhakhang (temple).

The temple complex is impressive with a huge front yard. Each of the temple has multi-levels. Of course the most important one is the Guru Lhakhang where the holiest place is. The entrance to the temple is one level above ground where there is a large incense burner. In Bhutan, cypress trees are abundant and considered valuable natural resources. People burn branches and leaves of cypress trees as incense.

The structure of the temples is as spectacular as the fortresses with huge white washed walls and delicate wood carving and hand paintings. The second temple was built by the first king when he was still the Governor of Trongsa in 1900. The third temple was built by the queen of the third king. This temple complex the final resting place of the first, second and third king which explains the significance of the temple complex in Bhutan.

By the entrance of the lower level Lhakhang, there is a crawling stone passage. Bhutanese believe that crawling through the passage will leave the sin behind. It is very small and narrow and you really have to crawl in all four to get through. I was told that you have to do it three consecutive times.

Then the holiest main hall is at the top level. There is a wall filled with a thousand of small statues of Guru Rinpoche neatly lined up in rows, and the big statue of Guru Rinpoche is in the middle. No photos are allowed in the temple. After you pay your respect, the monks will pour some holly water on your palms. The water is cool and refreshing.

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