Just outside Amankora Paro is one of the oldest and most important temples dating back to the 7th Century, the Sacred Kyichu Lhakhang. On the temple grounds of the sacred and incredible Kyichu Lhaklang, is a unique round building where the Butterlamps are made and lit.
Lighting 108 Butterlamps is an experience of a lifetime. The Butterlamp or karme represents the dispelling of the darkness of ignorance. The lighting ceremony is an offering of light to the deities and is one of the most common means of increasing one’s merit. It also helps focus the mind and aid meditation. A tranquil location for this ritual, especially on the day of the First Snowfall in Bhutan, a National Holiday.
It is believed that ignorance creates darkness on a physical and mental level. Hence by offering Butterlamp as the place lightens up it will let you move from darkness to light and ignorance to wisdom on a mental and physical level. This is done in a very spiritual manner, the person who offers the lamps whispers or murmurs a prayer after the lamps are lit.
Butterlamps are utilized in many monasteries throughout the Himalayas. The lamps traditionally burn clarified yak butter, but now often use vegetable oil or vanaspati ghee.
According to the Root Tantra of Chakrasamvara, “If you wish for sublime realization, offer hundreds of lights”. The monks in the monastery manage the actual lamps, taking extreme care to avoid starting one of the devastating fires which have damaged many monasteries over the years.
Kyichu Lhakhang location is in the north of Paro town. It is one of the ancient, quiet and beautiful temples in Bhutan, it is considered to be the sacred Jewel of Bhutan.
As one walks toward Kyichu Lhakhang, the environment is quiet and serene. An ancient monastery is a place that you will find elderly pilgrims often walking around the temple as they spin the prayers wheels, always walking in a clockwise pattern.
The Kyichu Lhakang conceals the statue of Jowo Jamba originally from the 7th century. The icon is one of the greatest treasure of the valley. There is also another statue of Chenrezig outside the shrine that has 1000 arms and 11 heads. The wooden floor has grooves worn by the generations of prostrators and the main entrance door is coated with gold. Kyichu Lhakhang holds ancient relics and the floor of the main temple constructed with wood decorated with turquoise and other precious stones and gems.
On the outside of the temple, there are two orange trees that bear fruits throughout the year. There are also monk houses, prayer wheels, Lenza script on tiny prayer wheels.
Kyichu Lhakhang is a place of art and culture that is very important to historians, art connoisseurs and visitors all around the globe. The oldest monastery is an incredible place for a visit.
We were blessed by a snowy afternoon for our Butterlamp lighting, adding to the serene surreal experience in a chilly round structure, the first architecture of this style we had encountered in Bhutan.
Leaving the Temple compound in a gentle snowfall, we passed a single monk making his way into the peaceful grounds for his afternoon prayers. Perhaps an appropriate departure to our extraordinary exploratory Amankora Journey.
On each arrival at an Amankora Bhutan resort, you are provided with a list of optional excursions, an intimate method of learning about the history and culture of Bhutan and its people.