Taktshang Zangtopelri

Pha Dampa (an Indian saint) in pursuit of the dharma came to Bhutan in the second ‘Rabjung’. He visited various holy places in the country and practiced the doctrines of Buddha. At Paro, he paid his visit to Taktshang and rested there in meditation at the same place where Guru meditated. Traces of holy water and his footprint are still found on a small rock inside the ‘Drupkhang’ (place of meditation). Nearby the Drupkhang protruded a huge heart-shaped rock on which he envisioned a consecration of a monastery.

Later, Ngawang Jigme Norbu, the 4th reincarnation of the mind of Zhabdrung (Thuktrul Zshiba), called upon Lhaba, the then Paro Poenlop, bestowed him with plenty of gifts and pledged him to the task of the consecration of the envisioned monastery. As per the pledge, the Poenlop, with the collective efforts from people of Paro valley, built the monastery in 1853 which came to be known as ‘Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang’ meaning heavenly. It stood as a monument of Guru holding sacred treasures. The glorious presence of the Lhakhang made people think of another paradise (abode of Guru) on earth and became a place of reverence for people, even living far and wide. 

Soon after, the Lhakhang caught fire in 1858, in the year of the Water Snake and was renovated at a later date and does not look as big and real as the former monastery now. Few meters below the monastery stood the ‘Marchi Drupkhang’ which holds the sacred scripts of Guru concealed there by Pha Dampa and his follower, Khandu Bumgi Tshomo Marchi Lap Ki Dolma (yogi). The Drubkhang circumambulating the traces of the footprint and the ‘Drupchu’ (holy water) was burnt down when the Lhakhang caught fire.