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Phajoding Monastery, Thimphu Overview

Located at 3 hours uphill trek from Thimphu, Phajoding Monastery is one of the most peaceful sites in Bhutan. Currently, it is a residence for around 30 monks, all of whom are very friendly to talk to. Built in 13th century, the architecture of this monastery is simple, yet attractive. It is best visited for the spectacular view of Thimphu which it provides.

In earlier times, Phajoding Monastery was one of the richest and most beautiful monasteries in the world. Even now, when after many more monasteries have been built in the country, the elegance and splendour of Phajoding Monastery have not faded a bit. Known as the "current of compassion", it is one of the most sacred sites in the country.

Phajoding Monastery
Phajoding Monastery in the Winters (Source)

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History of the Phajoding Monastery

Phajoding monastery was founded in the 13th Century by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo. Phajo Drugom Zhigpo was the founder of Drukpa Kagyu teachings of Buddhism in Bhutan. He meditated here for almost a month in the 13th century, and hence it is one of the most sacred meditation sites in the country.
Phajoding Monastery
The site at Phajoding Monastery where Phajo Drugom Zhigpo Meditated (Source)

Things to See at the Phajoding Monastery

Drub Chhu is the holy water which flows from a cliff, and its intake is believed to cure speech complications. According to legends, Phajo Drugom Zhigpo used his walking stick to predict whether his teachings will propagate in Bhutan or not. The direction in which the stick pointed predicted that the teachings will be prevalent in the country. Following this, water started flowing down the cliff, and since that day, it has been flowing down every day.
Phajoding Monastery
Sacred Land at the Phajoding Monastery (Source)

Khangzang Lhakang, one of the temples in the monastery, houses Bodhisattva images, which are a marvel to watch.

Phajoding Monastery, Khangzang Lhakhang
The Khangzang Lhakhang at the Phajoding Monastery (Source)

A monastic school, called Jampa Lhakhang, is another important Lhakhang inside the monastery. Here, budding monks are taught Buddhist practices and lessons. Currently, about 80 resident monks are living here.
Phajoding Monastery, Monastic School
The Monastic School at the Phajoding Monastery (Source)

Hike to Phajoding Monastery

Duration of the Hike: 3 hours from Thimphu

The hike to Phajoding Monastery is full of fun and adventure. It is certainly one of the easiest hikes in the country and can be done by anyone, from amateurs to professionals. The five-kilometre long hike starts from the Youth centre in Motithang and usually takes three hours to complete. The trail is curvy and rocky, and it is advisable to avoid it in the rainy season since it becomes slippery at that time.

Phajoding Monastery
View from the Phajoding Monastery (Source)

The beautiful sight of blue pine forests is really attractive and provides a perfect scenic view. The view from the top of the monastery is just blissful and sublime and it makes all the efforts worthwhile.

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