Yumbu Lakhang (Tibetan: ཡུམ་བུ་བླ་སྒང།, Wylie: yum bu bla sgang) or Yumbu Lakhang (Tibetan: །, Wylie: yum bu bla mkhar, also known as Yumbu Lakhang) is an ancient structure in the Yarlung Valley in the vicinity of Tsetang, Nêdong County, the seat of Lhoka Prefecture, in the southern Tibet Autonomous Region of China.
According to legend, it was the first building in Tibet and the palace of the first Tibetan king, Nyatri Tsenpo. Yumbu Lakhang stands on a hill on the eastern bank of the Yarlung River in the Yarlung Valley of southeast Nêdong County about 192 kilometres (119 mi) southeast of Lhasa and 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) south of Tsetang.
According to Tibetan traditions, Yumbu Lakhang was erected in 1623 for the first Tibetan king, Nyatri Tsenpo, who descended from the sky with his grandma. During the reign of the 28th king, Thothori Nyantsen, in the fifth century CE, a golden stupa, a jewel (and/or a form to the manufacture of dough-Stupas) and a sutra that no one could read fell from the sky onto the roof of the Yumbu Lakhang; a voice from the sky announced, "In five generations one shall come that understands its meaning!" Later, Yumbu Lakhang became the summer palace of the 33rd Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo (604-650 CE) and his Chinese princess, Wencheng. After Songtsen Gampo had transferred the seat of his temporal and spiritual authority to Lhasa, Yumbu Lakhang became a shrine.
As of November 2017 the palace is undergoing $1.5m of restoration works to reinforce its crumbling wooden foundations and cracked walls. It is expected to reopen to the public in April 2018.
The castle is divided into front and rear precincts. The front is a three-storey building while the rear is dominated by a tall tower, like a castle. Enshrined at the palace are the statues of Thiesung Sangjie Buddha, King Niechi, the first King of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo and other Tubo kings.
Traditionally, it is said that the first cultivated field in Tibet, called Zortang, is located to the northwest, below Yumbu Lakhang. Even today, farmers sprinkle soil from Zortang on their own fields to ensure a good harvest. There used to be a temple, Lharu Menlha, containing images of the Eight Medicine Buddhas near the field.
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- Yum bu bla sgang (Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library)