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Dremetse Lhakhang


Drametse Lhakhang or Monastery is one of the principal spiritual centres of Peling Tradition. It is located in Drametse, Mongar. Drametse was blessed by the birth of three successive incarnation of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal – Zhabdrung Jigme Drakpa, Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu and Zhabdrung Jigme Chogyal. The temple is located at around 19 Kms from the highway of Mongar and Tashigang. Drametse literally means “peak without enemy” which is a state of freedom from the webs of conception attainable Dzogchen teaching and practices of Peling Terchoe revealed by great Master Terton Pema Lingpa. The monastery was founded in 1511 by Ani Chhoeten Zangmo, the yogni and also the granddaughter of Terton Pema Lingpa. The monasteries comprise of main chapel with the statue of Guru Rinpoche in the center, Kudung stupa of Ani Chhoeten Zangmo and Statue of Pema Lingpa. In the middle floor, the chapel is dedicated to protector deity Palden Lhamo and Tandrin, the Hayagriva. And on the top floor, the chapel houses Goenkhang Chenmo with statue of three local deities Pekar, Drametse and Tsong Tsoma and Tsheringma Lhakhang. The main important relic of the Drametse Monastery is the physical remains of the Ani Chhoeten Zangmo, Kapala of Dakini with the self arisen syllables Om Ah Hung. It is said that the Kapala was brought to Bhutan from Samye Monastery, Tibet after it was rediscovered by Terton Pema Lingpa during one of his visit to Lhasa.
Kapala was believed to be hidden at present Samye monastery by the Guru Rimpoche and his religious consort Khandro Yeshi Tshogyal after completion of construction of Samye Monastery in 769AD. It was kept in Treasure box of Tamshing Lhuendrup Choeling until Ani Chhoeten Zangmo attained the age of sixteen. She received the sacred object as a share of inheritance. She fled Bumthang to Drametse to escape a proposal of marriage from the son of feudal lord known as Choskhor Deb Kunthub. The monastery also houses rare collection of manuscripts, the Thangka, important murals and religious sculptures. The monastery is known for its origin of the Drametse Nga Cham, one of the famous and popular mask dances in Bhutan. The mask dance was listed in Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage by UNESCO in 2005.

The major event of the monastery is the three days annual Kangso Chhenmo, the festival of Vajra Dances and rituals. It is held on 10 th Bhutanese months. The festival is annually attended by the people of various gewogs and districts and tourists. The attraction of the festival is the sacred treasure Vajra dance reveled by the Terton Pema Lingpa, Pema Lingpa Thongdol, Drametse Nga Chum, and other ten types of important mask dances. The monastery was severly damaged by the earthquake on 21 September 2009. The earthquake caused a scale of profound damage to cultural heritage unprecedented in Bhutan. The stability of main temple and building around are severely affected by the earthquake.The current abbot of Drametse Monastery is His Eminence Sungtruel Rinpoche, the 11 reincarnation of Pema Lingpa. At present more than 80 monks reside and are educated in the monastery.

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