Rinpung Dzong

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For Rinpung in other contexts, see Rinpungpa and Rinbung County.
Rinpung Dzong
Rinpung Dzong
Rinpung Dzong, Paro. photo by: Keith Mason
Rinpung Dzong is located in Bhutan
Rinpung Dzong
Rinpung Dzong
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Location within Bhutan
Coordinates: 27°25′36″N 89°25′23.89″E / 27.42667°N 89.4233028°E / 27.42667; 89.4233028
Monastery information
Location Paro, Paro District, Bhutan
Founded by Drung Drung Gyal
Founded 15th century
Date renovated 1644 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal
Type Himalayan Buddhist
Sect Drukpa Kagyu
Lineage Southern Drukpa
Architecture Bhutanese Dzong
Festivals Tsechu , in 2nd lunar month
Also known as Paro Dzong

Rinpung Dzong is a large Drukpa Kagyu Buddhist monastery and fortress in Paro District in Bhutan. It houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag.

History[edit]

In the 15th century local people offered the crag of Hungrel at Paro to Lama Drung Drung Gyal, a descendant of Pajo Drugom Zhigpo. Drung Drung Gyal built a small temple there and later a five storied Dzong or fortress which was known as Hungrel Dzong.[1]

In the 17th century, his descendants, the lords of Hungrel, offered this fortress to the Drukpa hierarch Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, in recognition of his religious and temporal authority. In 1644 the Shabdrung dismantled the existing Dzong and laid the foundations of a new Dzong.[2] In 1646 the Dzong was reconsecrated and established as the administrative and monastic centre of the western region and it became known as Rinpung Dzong.[3]

Some scenes in the 1993 film Little Buddha were filmed in this Dzong.[citation needed]

Shrines and Chapels[edit]

Rinpung Dzong at Paro with cantilever bridge.
Photo by: Chris Fynn, 2007

Inside Rinpung Dzong are fourteen shrines and chapels:

  1. Kungarwa
  2. Dukhang - or monks assembly hall
  3. Tseden Chöten (sandlwood stupa) shrine
  4. Protector's shrine
  5. Temple of the Guru's Eight Manifistations (གུ་རུ་མཚན་རྒྱད་ལྷ་ཁང)
  6. Chapel of the head Lama
  7. Chapel of Amitayus
  8. The Clear Crystal Shrine
  9. Chapel of the Eleven-faced Avalokiteshvara
  10. Apartments of the Abbot
  11. Chapel of Akshobya Buddha
  12. Temple of the Treasure Revealer
  13. Apartments of the King (Gyalpo'i Zimchung)
  14. Temple of the Bursar

Outside the main Dzong there is the Deyangkha Lhakhang.

On the hill above Rinpung Dzong is a seven storied the watchtower fortress or Ta Dzong built in 1649. In 1968 this was established as the home of the National Museum of Bhutan.

Just below Rinpung Dzong is a traditional covered cantilever bridge.

Festivals[edit]

Left: Dance of the Black Hats with Drums. Right: Paro Tsechu festival of dances

A great annual festival or tsechu is held at Rinpung Dzong from the eleventh to the fifteenth day of the second month of the traditional Bhutanese lunar calendar (usually in March or April of the Gregorian calendar). On this occasion, holy images are taken in a procession. This is followed by a series of traditional mask dances conveying religious stories which are performed by monks for several days. Before the break of dawn on the morning of the fifteenth day, a great sacred Tongdrol banner depicting the Eight Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava)is displayed for the public in the early morning hours, to keep to the tradition of not allowing sunlight to fall on it.[4][5][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lopon Kunzang Thinley (2008) p.4
  2. ^ Dasho Sangay Dorji (2008) p.166
  3. ^ Lopon Kunzang Thinley (2008) p.5
  4. ^ Ardussi, John A. (1999). "Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye and the Founding of Taktsang Lhakhang" (pdf). Journal of Bhutan Studies (Thimphu: Centre for Bhutan Studies) 1 (1): 28. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  5. ^ "The Paro Tsechu". Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  6. ^ "The Paro Tsechu – the Thondrol of Guru Rincpoche". Retrieved 2010-03-07. 

Sources[edit]

  • Dorji, Sangay (Dasho); Kinga, Sonam (translator) (2008). The Biography of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal: Pal Drukpa Rinpoche. Thimphu, Bhutan: KMT Publications. ISBN 99936-22-40-0. 
  • Thinley, Lopon Kunzang; KMT Research Group (2008). Seeds of Faith: A Comprehensive Guide to the Sacred Places of Bhutan. Volume 1. Thimphu: KMT Publications. ISBN 99936-22-41-9. 

External links[edit]