Lhuentse Dzong

Ancestral House of Wangchuck

Author: TG Contributor
Date: 2020-08-04

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Lhuentse Dzong is a Buddhist monastery in Lhuentse District in eastern Bhutan. The Dzong was initially known as Kurtoe in the then-isolated Lhuentse District. It is the ancestral House of Wangchuck. While its geographic coordinates are in eastern Bhutan, its cultural roots are central Bhutanese. This was because before road traffic connected it to Mongar, the approach was through a trade route crossing Rodang Pass.

The road from Mongar to Lheuntse Dzong is a 3 hours drive over a distance of 77 kilometres and 63 kilometres from its junction at Gangola. The approach to this Dzong is over a flag-stone-paved path over the steep cliffs.

The Dzong is located in the Kuri Chhu valley, which is part of the Lhuntse district. The Kuri Chhu is the major river that has formed the scenic valley with high peaks and steep hills. Kuri Chhu is a tributary of the Manas River system, which is the largest river of Bhutan and a major tributary of the Brahmaputra River that drains most of Eastern Bhutan.

Lhuentse Dzong

Lhuentse Dzong

Most of Lhuntse district is part of the environmentally protected areas of Bhutan. The landscape is spectacular with stark cliffs towering above river gorges and dense coniferous forests. The region is famous for its weavers and their distinctive textiles are generally considered to be the best in the country. Kurtoep women are especially adept at weaving a textile called Kishuthara.

Eastern Bhutanese culture is distinctive in its high alcohol consumption in relation to other parts of Bhutan. Ara, the traditional alcohol of Bhutan, is most often home made from rice or maize, either fermented or distilled. It may only be legally produced and consumed privately.

The dzong contains five temples, three of which are in the central tower and are dedicated to Padmasambhava. The dzong also contains a Gonkhang, which is dedicated to Mahakala, and a temple dedicated to Amitayus, the Buddha of Infinite Life.


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