Sitting high on a hill overlooking the town of Chamkar is the Chamkar Dzong. The building, massive in construction, is a kind of beacon one can see across the valley. The building was placed on that site when a white (Cham) bird (kar) settled on the hill. The builders, searching for a site for the Dzong, chose that site after seeing this auspicious omen.
Our group spent time hiking around the valley, visiting Kurjey Lhakang Temple and two other temples dedicated to Padmasambhava. We walked across a suspension bridge that led to the temple grounds. The Queen mother was meditating at the temple and we could not spend time in the shrine room dedicated to Padmasambhava…we did, however, go through the cave in the temple that Padmasambhava meditated in…that was a tight fit for most of us!
The sky in Chamkar is much like New Mexico….crystal clear blue skies, white billowy clouds stretching across the sky….a truly magical spot in Bhutan. If you wonder where Shangri-la is, I’m pretty sure it’s near this wonderful town.
The wonderful thing about the day today is that we got to visit a couple of shrine rooms that few people ever get to see. The inner sanctum at Kurjey, and the shrine rooms at the other temples were all opened to us. Unfortunately we could not take pictures of those places; however, the energy in those spaces is powerful (if you accept such an idea). Some of us were in awe of the moments we spent in these temples.
The other thing we have seen more of on this trip are monks chanting in the temples…we have been lucky enough to have the chance to sit and listen to the chants. Those moments are so full of stillness (if you get my meaning).
Our day tomorrow sends us off to the Phobojika Valley. This valley is a nature preserve that is the home of the black-necked crane. Hopefully, we will see one or two of the birds. Our hike takes us around the valley floor and through the nature preserve filled with all kinds of animals including the elusive Bengal tiger. We are NOT searching for that particular animal!
Posting photos has been very limited. Maybe tomorrow I can catch up on the photo posts!