Thangthong Dewachen Nunnery, also known as Zilukha nunnery, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bhutan. Located on a hill above the capital city of Thimphu, the nunnery offers a peaceful retreat for visitors seeking to explore Bhutanese Buddhism and witness the daily lives of nuns.
The nunnery was founded in 1976 by the 16th reincarnation of Thangthong Gyalpo, a legendary figure in Bhutanese history known for building numerous iron chain bridges throughout the country. The nunnery follows the Drukpa Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and is home to around 60 nuns who have taken vows of celibacy, poverty, and service.
The main prayer hall of the nunnery houses a beautiful statue of Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion, and a large prayer wheel that visitors can spin for good luck. The walls of the prayer hall are adorned with colorful murals depicting scenes from the life of Buddha and other important figures in Bhutanese Buddhism. Visitors are welcome to sit and observe the nuns as they chant and perform their daily prayers.
Aside from the prayer hall, the nunnery features a traditional Bhutanese-style kitchen where the nuns cook their meals, a meditation room, and a small museum dedicated to the life and works of Thangthong Gyalpo. Visitors can also take a leisurely walk around the nunnery grounds, which offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valley below.
One of the unique experiences that visitors can have at the nunnery is participating in a meditation session led by one of the nuns. This offers a rare opportunity to learn more about the Buddhist practice and get a glimpse into the daily lives of the nuns.
Overall, a visit to Thangthong Dewachen Nunnery is a must-do for anyone interested in exploring the spiritual and cultural heritage of Bhutan. The nunnery offers a peaceful and serene atmosphere, making it an ideal place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and connect with Bhutanese Buddhism in a meaningful way.
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