Khamsum Yulley Temple

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten is located on a hill top with a beautiful view of Punakha valley. The temple is a beauty and an example of rich traditions and architecture of our country. This chorten, however, is unique and is one of the only kinds in the country. On the command of the Queen Mother it was built for warding off the negative forces and bringing peace and harmony for all the living beings.

Suspension Bridge

Drive around half an hour towards the base of the hike and park the bus or car on the bank of the river mochu, and walk across a suspension bridge. The year of the bridge built is not known.The bridge is used by the locals and tourist as a means of passage. After crossing the bridge walk through the rice paddies. It is very scenic walking through the rice fields.

Rice Fields on the way to the Temple

At the foot of the hill the paddies end and the real trail begins. Here there’s a big prayer wheel in its little shelter. Where an older person comes to turn the wheel and chants.  Then climbing up the hill is refreshing as trail surrounds pine trees, nice views up and down the valley, but however, weather is clear and hot. At the top tourists can see a lovely Boddhi tree, well-tended gardens, two large prayer wheels in their special shelter, and the gorgeous little temple. Where caretaker greets guest and offers refreshment.

Most Buddhist temples, you walk in the front, there’s open space where people sit to pray or meditate or study, and a big shrine in the back with a serene Sakyamuni Buddha. Here, walking in the north door, you are immediately face-to-multiple-faces with the multiplex wrath of Vajrakilaya, the most wrathful of protective deities. This is a huge sculpture, 15 or 20 feet high, filling the whole room and encased in glass.

The temple of three storied and in each it has different vajrayana teachings. The Phurba teachings, Kagay teachings and the Gongdue teachings. All the statues are in wrathful forms and the wall paintings as well. Most of the paintings and statues you will find in Yab-Yum form. Finally, at the third stairway, and emerge on the temple’s roof! The view is fantastic. And here, at last, is a modestly-sized, classically-posed, golden Sakyamuni Buddha, facing southward toward the sun, peaceful and welcoming. Having survived all the transformational challenges of the wrathful deities, one can truly feel the peace.  The panoramic view of the Punakha valley and the Himalayan mountains are beautiful.

Punakha Valley view from the top of temple

 

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