From entering in the Goenkhangs of any sacred Lhakhang women are full restricted in the Bhutan, in fact men are not allowed in the Tharpaling Lhakhang in Chumey, Bhumtang.
A slope overlooking the Chumey Valley is perched to Pilgrims to the sacred monastery, Koenyer (caretaker) Dechen Dorji, 75 meet the at the outside of the Lhakhang and he briefly descried about the restriction why people cannot allowed to enter the Lhakhang.
He said, “The main relic of the lhakhang is the remains of Lama Yonten Jamtsho who established this Lhakhang.”
“There are deaths in the koenyer’s family if the lhakhang is defiled,” he said. Koenery fears people will defile the Lhakhang so that the visitors are restricted to enter it.
“The koenyer consulted a great lama who said the lhakhang was defiled and that wiped out almost all the people living there.” In past some bad women citing as some example, he also said that the Tharpaling Lama died except o Koenyer serving the people.
He added that from that time, the all remains Lama was not allowed to visitors to shown and protected it from being defiled. “The remains of the body were shifted into a small choeten,” he said.
The koenyer also explained that Ap Jowo appointed by the Lama to take care of his after death. “People who attend birth and death rituals before coming to the lhakhang could cause the defilement,” he said. “Three of my children died after the lhakhang got defiled.”
The Lhakhang is known as the Tharpaling Purgi Lhakhang according to Koenyer. “Pur means body and it is because the body of the lama is the main relic in the lhakhang. Lama Yonten Jamtsho’s body is known to have miniaturised after he died.”
The Lhakhang’s construction is very exclusive. The full building is just four storey tower with a single small window. The Lhakhang inside o0ffers the Koenyer by faced a torch.
He said that the building built in the nights by the Khandums and the in days built the Lingapa he also said the Lhakhang built upon the order of Lama Yonten Jamtsho to Pema Lingpa.
Pema Lingpa, Guru Rinpoche and Khandums are some religious site around the Lhakhang which are mostly comprise of Footprints on rocks. On the way from Bhim Village to the Lhakhang many more religious are situated.
From Bhim village to the Lhakhang just hours walk way. To reach the place visitors should walk through the green vegetation and walk uphill.
Due to a strong earthquake bears a crack on the Lhakhang it is believed that it destroyed the Jakar Dzong.
“This is because some remains of the lama’s body were put in them,” he said. “Pema Lingpa built these choetens after the lama passed away.” The Lhakhang have two more Jangchub Choetens are known as the Purgi Choetens.
The ground floor is a lake as said the people and gradually the place is dried up and leaving some rocks. His Kitchen, attendances’ living rooms and lama’s bedroom are consisting in the remains floor.
Some houses’ ruins are noticeable around the Lhakhang and, may be these all the house of the Lama’s workers.
Only the koenyer lives there now and all local of Tharpaling shifted to another places.
For 160 years the Lama Yonten Jamtsho lives in there according to the Koenyer. After come from Tibet completing his education he was spending his rest of life.
Outside the Lhakhang visitors leave butter lamps and incense sticks and money offering prayers.