Located on the lush green meadows along the bank of the river Chamkar is Kurjey Lhakhang of Bumthang Valley. It is approximately a distance of 5km from Jakar town and consists of 108 miniature chortens known as Duduel or Jangchub Chortens, and hence with its astounding features and relics, Kurjey Lhakhang has lured many visitors and explorers.
As per the traditional legend, kurjey Lhakhang was constructed during the 8th century by Sindhu Raja, the king of the iron castle of Bumthang. He fell into the hands of incurable illness and hence one of his loyal attendants invited the tantric Guru Padmasambhava to help cure the king. Along with that Guru, Padmasambhava brought Buddhism to Bhutan and cleanly cured Sindhu Raja with his powers. Guru Rinpoche even sorted out that the King’s illness was caused by the powerful local deity Shelging Karpo. After finding the source of the illness, he chased the evil deities into a cave and powerfully subdued them by meditating inside there for three months. Finally, when Guru had subdued the evil forces, he left his body imprint ‘kur’ (body) ‘jey’ (imprint) inside the cave, and thus the Lhakhang derives its name as Kurjey Lhakhang that holds the vivid imprint of Guru’s figure.
Beside the Monastery, you will come across a tall cypress tree that is initially said to have sprouted from the walking stick of Guru Rinpoche, which he planted to rightfully seal the agreement with Shelging Karpo making him the protective deity of Buddhism.
The mystical atmosphere of Kurjey Lhakhang has captured the heart of many travelers, where they can still feel the saintly presence of Guru Padmasambhava in the cave where he left his imprint. From the astounding legend of the protector deity to the majestic traditional architecture and sculpture of Guru Padmasambhava’s legend, kurjey Lhakhang never ceases to amaze visitors throughout the year.