Zangdo Pelri Lhakhang is a site of great religious significance in Bhutan. Also known as the ‘Paradise of Guru Rinpoche’, it sits right in the heart of the Phuentsholing town, just close to the Bhutan Gate and Immigration Office, offering peace and solace to the distressed hearts. Built in the 1900s by Dasho Aku Tongmi, the musician and composer of Bhutan’s National Anthem, the temple is a three-storied complex with splendid exteriors fringed with a beautiful garden where visitors can relax and soak in the spiritual vibes.
The interiors of the temple are equally marvellous with walls and ceilings adorned with colourful frescoes and murals. One of the tallest lhakhangs in the country, it also houses some magnificent statues of the Buddhist deities and gods. On the ground floor is the four-metres tall statue of Guru Rinpoche flanked by his eight manifestations, which makes for a magnetic spectacle. Statues of the Eight Bodhisattvas, Avalokitesvara and Buddha Amitabha on the floors above too, delight and surprise visitors.
A focal point in the Phuentsholing city, Zangdo Pelri is always abuzz with the activity of both locals and tourists, who can often be seen doing the kora, rotating the prayer wheels and offering butter lamps. There are many eating joints in the vicinity where travellers can relish traditional Bhutanese food.