Perched at an elevation of 14000ft on a hilltop overlooking the Thimphu Valley is a Buddhist monastery called Phajoding Monastery. Phajoding Monastery was founded in 13th century by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo, the Tibetan monks who spread the Drukpa Kagyu teachings of Buddhism in Bhutan and known as the ‘current of compassion’. Located at a 5km distance from the Motithang Youth Centre, Phajoding Monastery is one of the most scared destinations for the mediation in Bhutan. The uphill trek towards this scared meditation ground has hyped the interest of many travelers making Phajoding Monastery a favored destination by the adventurer traveling towards the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu.
Once known for being the most regal and luxuriant monastery in Bhutan, Phajoding Monastery is now listed by the World Monuments Fund as one of five endangered cultural monuments that need most help in the world. Being neglected for too long, time has worked against Phajoding Monastery stripping it off from its former glory yet the visitor can be see traces of the regal days in the form of mural and thangkas which were once the pride of Phajoding Monastery. Phajoding Monastery is known to have a number of temples, meditation houses and monk quarters within its boundaries, all displaying the fine Bhutanese architectural style. Most of the buildings that can be seen within the complex today date backs to the mid-18th century, and were constructed by Shakya Rinchen, the ninth Je Khengpo, who is considered to be the reincarnation of Rechungpa, the head disciple of Milarepa. Phajoding Monastery houses a total of ten lhakhangs. The main temple of Phajoding Monastery is the Khangzang Lhakhang which is adorned by the statue of golden Buddha and bodhisattva images. Image of Shakya Rinchen can also be seen inside the lhakhang. Presently Phajoding Monastery has become the home for many underprivileged boys but due to low funding the monastery keeps facing the financial problem now and then. The trail leading towards Phajoding Monastery take the tourist towards a surreal journey through the lush forested area. The three hours hike is full of astounding scenery of lofty mountain range with an occasional sighting of wild animals before reaching the monastery tourist can see a quaint lake which is believed to be scared. The awe-inspiring trekking route of Phajoding Monastery has attracted many travelers. From astounding trekking routes to friendly monks the decades old Phajoding Monastery of Thimphu is sure worth a visit.
Inflate your lungs with the fresh mountain air after an uphill trek while subliming yourself in the serenity of the idyllic ambiance can be a surreal experience. Emitting the aura of tranquility with a lingering essence of ancient era, Phajoding Monastery with its regal past is an essential monastery of Thimphu which is sure to woo the heart of its visitors.
Travelers can relish the serenity of Phajoding Monastery throughout the year since Thimphu is blessed with temperate weather and unlike other monasteries the door’s of Phajoding Monastery is open for outsider 24hrs.