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    Kyichu Monastery

    The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, originally built in the 7th century by the Tibetan Emperor Songtsen Gampo, the 32nd King of the Yarlung dynasty, who ruled Tibet for much of the first millennium. The temple is considered to be one of the 108 border taming temples he built. In the 8th century, the temple was visited by Guru Padmasambhava and it is believed he concealed many spiritual treasures here. The lhakhang was built to subdue a demoness (Sin Mo) and all of the 108 temples were said to have been built on the same day to subjugate her and ensure the propagation of Buddhism. It is located north of Paro about five minute’s drive from town. The story of the foundation of these temples by the Tibetan King is so well known to the Bhutanese that, according to historian Karma Phuntsho, Bhutan’s history effectively begins with this event. Kyichu Lhakhang is believed to have been a smaller structure when the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo erected this sacred building in the year 659, but a number of Buddhist saints and gurus added to the site until it became the spectacular temple it is today. Kyichu Lhakhang is situated between Tenchen Choeling nunnery, Taktsang and Sangchoekhor.