Significance of the Stupa of two lovebirds across Lungtenzampa- the Bridge of Prophecy
According to the caretaker, many believe that couple who wishes to have children gets their wishes fulfilled if they pray at this sacred site of Lam Phajo and Khandum Sonam Peldon.
Before the Thimphu Welcome Gate, Lungtenzampa Bridge was considered the main entrance of Thimphu city. The bridge is traditionally recognized as the ‘Bridge of Prophecy’ in Bhutan. The name of the bridge ‘lungten’ signifies prophecy and ‘zampa’ means 'bridge', is of historical importance to Bhutan. The name of this bridge is credited to the story of Lam Phojo Drukgom Zhigpo and Khandum Sonam Peldon.
Phajo Drukgom Zhikpo came to Bhutan in the first half of the 13th century and established the first Drukpa Kagyu sect, which was founded by Drogon Tsangpa Gyarey (Yeshey Dorji) at Ralung, Tibet in 1180. Lama Phajo and Khandum Sonam Peldon were prophesized to meet each other in the Wang Valley (present-day Wang Sisina, Thimphu).
When Lam Phajo arrived in the valley of Wang, he saw a group of girls on the other side of the Wang Chhu (river) and the lama started to sing (lu) to recognize his consort. A young and beautiful girl stood up and answered to the lama’s lu. They acknowledged each other, but as there was no bridge over the river they couldn’t meet and went on exchanging their lu alongside the river. Finally, they met each other at a bridge at present-day Lungtenzampa where a large motor bridge has been constructed.
Today just beneath the concrete motor road bridge, there are two stupas one near the highway which is built and blessed by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo himself. It is believed that if one circumambulates around this stupa 100 times in a day, it will help erase the suffering of one sentient being and will be born in the paradise of heaven. The other stupa which is on the other side of the river near taxi parking is built by Khandro Sonam Pelden. If one circumambulates around this stupa 100 times in one day it will erase all your defilements and next life it's believed that we will be born in the realm of heavenly paradise.
One can see the wonderful and numerous impressions of Phajo Drugom Zhigpo the glorious master and protector and his consort Khandro Sonam Pelden while playing on a rock in fulfillment of former aspiration and prophecies.
Lama Phajo and Khandum Sonam Peldon had seven sons and four of them further strengthened and propagated the Drukpa Kagyu institutions in Bhutan, after Lam Phajo.
Not many people are aware but there are several Scared ‘Nyes’ beneath the bridge and alongside the river banks. On holy days, pilgrims who know the significance of the place are often found at the site making offerings. According to the caretaker, many believe that couple who wishes to have children gets their wishes fulfilled if they pray at this sacred site of Lam Phajo and Khandum Sonam Peldon.
The 23-year-old bridge does not meet the standard of a modern-day bridge. The ‘Bridge of Prophecy,’ is now riddled with numerous cracks. In addition, the road passing the bridge is in a bad state and causes inconveniences to both the motorists and pedestrians during heavy downpour season. These aforementioned reasons have prompted the municipal to give key importance to rebuilding the bridge during the next Five-Year Plan. The new bridge will be a double-decker road bridge that will accommodate more vehicles.