Drametse Lhakhang

Dance on the drums of Drametse Lhakgang

Author: TG Contributor
Date: 2020-08-04

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Drametse Lhakhang is one of the largest and most important Nyingmapa monasteries in eastern Bhutan. The monastery contains many ancient manuscripts. This is one of the most notable religious sites and was built by Ani Cheten Zangmo, the grand-daughter of the renowned Terton Pema Lingpa to spread Nyingmapa teachings in the east. It's one of the most popular monasteries in the region.

People from Drametse and also nearby districts visit it mainly during the annual festival. The Drametse Ngacham or the “Dance of the Drums of Drametse,” was born in this lhakhang in the 16th century. Today, it is a popular dance performed at all major festivals. This dance was proclaimed as a ‘Masterpiece of the World Intangible Heritage’ by UNESCO in 2005.

Drametse Lhakhang

Drametse Lhakhang

It is a sixteenth-century monastery, straddling a steep and narrow mountain ridge in the verdant slopes of the eastern Himalayas. It houses a community of 80 monks at present. This Nyingma Buddhist site predates the seventeenth-century consolidation of Bhutan into a single kingdom. The complex consists of a three-story temple in the center of a courtyard surrounded by residential quarters, offices, and classrooms on the periphery.

The thick walls of the buildings, made out of stone laid in clay mortar, are coated with characteristic white and red-pigmented lime - wash. In the interior of the lhakhang, carved, painted wood columns support painted beams and the building’s unique “flying” roof, a low-pitch roof that extends far beyond the edge of the walls without being attached to them.

It takes about 1.5 hours drive from Mongar – Trashigang highway to reach here. Though the road is narrow and strewn with pebbles, its every bend on uphill ascend provides good view of valleys and distant mountains. You can get views of Udzorong village of Trashigang Dzongkhag.


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