Renovation of Gangteng Goenpa

By the turn of the century the almost 400 year old Gangteng Goenpa had become seriously dilapidated due to the ravages of time, with the deterioration particularly marked in the wooden pillars and beams and in some sections of the stone masonry. Consequently, in 2000 the ninth Gangteng Truelku Rinpoche Kunzang Rigdzin Pema Namgyal initiated the formidable task of major renovation of the Goenpa. Undeterred by the myriad problems and difficulties imposed by the renovation, Rinpoche went to great lengths to procure the best construction materials available for the work which was to be carried out. On this account, when the work was completed in 2008 the Goenpa could be seen to have been restored to a grandeur greater than ever before. The consecration ceremony for the fully renovated Monastery was observed to coincide with Bhutan's three most important occasions in recent times: celebration of 100 years of Monarchy, coronation of the fifth king, and introduction of the democratic parliamentary system of government. The preliminary proceedings were conducted by the Drubchen of Guru Thukdrub Lama Norbu Gyatsho and Phurpa Pudri and ran for ten days and nights from September 29, 2008. The actual consecration ceremony followed on the auspicious 11th day of the 8th month of the earth-rat year, or the 10th of October, 2008. The ceremony was presided over by the three incarnations of the Peling lineage, and graced by His Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan, His Majesty the King, members of the Royal Family, the Prime Minister, other dignitaries, and devotees from far and near. Then, from the next day onwards, the annual Tshechu and mask dances were performed, and these were followed by an exhibition of traditional arts and crafts for a period of seven days, during which monks and devout lay community gathered as one family to celebrate the joyous occasion of the consecration of the Gangteng Sang-ngag Choling Goenpa.