Chitokha Goenpa, Nisho Gewog, Wangdiphodrang

ChitoPhuntshokRabtenling was established by Dubthop Thangthong Gyalpo in the year 1434. Chitokha lhakhang, under Nyishog gewog, Wangduephodrang Dzongkhag was founded by the 2ndGangtey Trulku Tenzin Legpey Dendup about 600 years ago. The Lhakhang is winter residence of Gangtey Trulku which was built during the First King's regime and has renovated later. The general architectural design of the Lhakhang is very simple and is built incorporating traditional Bhutanese architecture. The materials used are all locally available except of the CGI and glass windows, which were added in recent times. The portion of external wall in mud mortar and internal wall are in its original fabric, which is fine example of the building. The flooring material in ground floor and main entrance remain in its original fabric displaying the example of how the floorings were done in olden days. The gomma rabsey and payap also are in original fabric, demonstrating simplicity and originality of design in olden times. The main Lhakhang in the first floor has the paintings of Zhithro Zhiwa and Throw, Sangey Yoedpadme and present Buddha, and the Jangchub Tungsha. The paintings here are painted on canvas by two different artists. The paintings of Zhithro were done by a Tibetan Painter and the paintings of Buddhas on the East wall were done by a Bhutanese painter named Lhadrip Tagchu. The paintings are around 60 years old and are in good condition. The Lhakhang with its prominent location stands above the houses of Chitokha village. As it is the winter residence of the Gangtey truelku, the Lhakhang complex houses more than thirty monks presently and has plan of increasing the number of monks in the future. The Lhakhang presently is benefitting not only the Chitokha village but four other choiwogs under Nyishog gewog. The five chiwogs have 220 households and has population of just over 1700 people. Apart from Nyishog gewog the Lhakhang is also used as the offering place and gathering place for religious festivals by people from Kazhi and Gangtey gewogs. The monks in the Lhakhang conduct bumter, kanjur and tenjur annually for goodwill for all the sentient beings in the universe. Previously in every three years, the community of Nyishog gewog use to conduct Chitokha tshechu, where people from Wangdue Phodrang Dzongkhag and other neighboring Dzongkhags used to celebrate the festivity of this enormous gathering and offering. The Chitokha Lhakhang was the place, not only for the religious and spiritual purposes, but also served as the place for social gathering which reinforced community vitality, thus bringing cohesive ambience over the people of Nyishog gewog and other neighboring gewogs. Now with the lhakhang in the present dilapidated state, the community is not able to host any big festivals like tshechu and small religious offerings are also rarely done.