Kuenga Rabten Palace is a two storied simple palace situated just above the highway of Trongsa town, is the birth place of Late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. His Majesty spent most of his early childhood days here in this Thurepang Palace. The other palace of interest is the Eundu Choling Palace which was the winter residence of the 1st King Ugyen Wangchuck.
King Jigme Wangchuck built Kuenga Rabten Palace in 1929, when he was 24 years old. The Kuenga Rabten Palace then served as the winter residence to the second King and his senior Queen Ashi Phuntsho Choden. The Palace was built under the guidance of Dasho Jamyang, the lord of Chume valley in Bumthang and Ashi Phuntsho Choden’s father.
Kuenga Rabten Palace
Due to this heritage, the Kuenga Rabten Palace is surrounded by stone walls that have spy-holes, which were used by the royal guards. A gallery runs around the courtyard on three sides, and the tall main building is located on the fourth side as two protruding aisles.
The ground and first floors were used as a granary and a military garrison, respectively, when King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and his Queen were staying at the palace. However, the ground floor is now empty and the first floor has classrooms for the monks. On the second floor, there are three adjacent rooms. The main entrance leads into the central room, known as the Sangye Lhakhang, which is the main temple.
In the Sangye lhakhang there are images of Shakyamuni Buddha and the Twenty-one Aspects of Tara, and silver as well as a gold plated chorten (mchod rten), or stupas, which were gifts from the Nepalese King as gift to King Jigme Wangchuck during his visit to Nepal.The paintings inside the palace are very delicate and have religious motifs. The paintings of the 35 Buddhas of Compassion and a Zangdopelri, Guru Rinpoche’s paradise are worth noting.