The Lalung monastery now has two remaining temples: The Nam Nam Jubgin and The Lalung Sherkhang (Golden Temple), both built approximately in the same period / somewhere in the tenth century. Lalung Monastery offers a book on sale (The Founding Inscription of The gserkhang of Lalung by Kurt Tropper), that has some academically derived information on the monastery’s antiquity. According to Tropper, the Founding Inscription at Lalung is likely to have been between 1025 AD and 1250 AD. Therefore, I would assume the original monastery could have been built around or even a little before that.
The Nam Nam Jubgin temple is a simple single-storeyed mud-and-clay structure. It has a door, upon passing which you come upon a tiny room that is dark to one’s eyes. I closed the door and stood for a while, allowing my breathing to regulate (and therefore keeping any darkness related fears at bay). Within a couple of minutes, I could see a tall statue of a deity on a raised platform towering above me. It was like a God from centuries ago… Which is what this is, I said to myself. Then I noticed another statue right next to it but sideways (towards my left), so I shifted a little and then inched ahead and there it was – another deity towering above me. I guess there is still some caution, maybe even some fear in me since, I am not nonchalantly walking into the darkness beyond, but I am now walking ahead and guess what the darkness is gone and on the other side of the first deity (right behind it) is a third deity, again towering over me. I guessed, now, that there was a fourth and so it was as I shifted along inching forward, keeping left (going clockwise basically).
Why am I shifting and inching along? It’s a very small space, that’s why. Am sure I can walk slowly but apart from the space I am also moving slowly out of respect for the Gods of a time gone by but who are still very much revered locally and as Gods do, they are still standing guard over the people.
I am reluctant to leave the temple but I also feel like leaving the temple to see the other structure next to it.
This other structure seem living quarters of the monks. It’s in a condition that needs attention but you can still see the thought, purpose and strategic location – the temple and the quarters are on the hill overlooking the village and the Lingti Valley.