Kanji Temple
General description
  Kanji Pictures

Local tradition attributes the Kanji temple to the great translator Rinchen Zangpo (Rin-chen-bzang-po; 958 - 1055). In fact, the temple of the Tsuglagkhang (gTsug-lag-khang) in Kanji is approximately 700 years old and more or less contemporary with the three-storeyed Temple in Wanla. The Kanji Temple presumably dates from the period when Kanji was part of a local kingdom ruled from Wanla. The Kanji Tsuglagkhang lies at the foot of the cliff on which the historic core of the village stands. It was reported that the temple had once had an upper roof, removed some 40 years before, when the roof timbers were reused in the building of the new village gompa. This upper roof was a solely protective device, only 3-4ft/1m high, with a south entrance and a short central pillar.

The temple is owned by Skyapa House (more recently known as Kagarpa), one of the three principal houses in the historic core of the village. Kunchok Tinlas, the youngest of three brothers, and a former monk, is now responsible for the maintenance of the building. Although the temple must have been cared for over the centuries for it to have survived at all, during the last century it was neglected when the caretaker family fell on hard times.

The temple is still in use and maintained regularly. However, the outward drift of the east wall and the weight pressure on the roof have caused damages affecting the wall paintings inside the building. The instability of the walls caused cracks, and water seeping through the roof soiled and partly destroyed the paintings. In 1999 the Achi Association chose the Kanji Tsug-lag-kang as its first monument conservation project because of the temple’s fragile state of preservation and the quality of its interior decoration.

Text: www.achiassociation.org/Kanji













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