Temple Construction at Pema Kod:
Creating a sacred monument, Guru Padmasambhava's palace,
"Zandogpalri" in the heart of his hidden land.

Where: Pema Kod (Hidden Land) is regarded as one of the most sacred places in the world, radiating Guru Rinpoche's blessings, where any accumulation of merit is said to be multiplied many times over. This holy land is described by Ian Baker in his book, The Heart of the World. The new temple is being built in the southern part of the hidden land, located in the extreme northeast region of India, in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, a region untouched by the outside world. 

The temple and its founder: Togden Kunzang Longdrol Rinpoche, Tulku Orgyen Phuntsok's previous incarnation, was one of the most venerated yogis in Southern Tibet. He spent his entire life wandering from retreat land to retreat land. As political turmoil broke out in Tibet, he fled to this part of the hidden land where he spent the remainder of his life.  Due to his presence and a growing number of students, this part of the sacred hidden land evolved into a retreat land. Togden Rinpoche built this temple on the land "Deden Tashi Choling," in which he not only preserved the sacred objects and relics from Tibet but, most importantly, the Dudjom lineage itself. In time, this temple became the second most important lay-oriented, or "Ngakpa," gathering place in the Pema Kod region. 

The project director: At a young age Tulku Orgyen Phuntsok was recognized by H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche as the reincarnation of Togden Rinpoche. Tulku spent his early years in retreat and studied all aspects of Buddhism at his temple in Pema Kod. At the age of 15, he began his studies in southern India at Namdroling Monastery, the largest monastery of the Nyingma lineage, rebuilt in India by H.H. Penor Rinpoche, the Supreme Head of the Nyingma tradition. Tulku Orgyen completed the nine-year Khenpo degree and taught Buddhist philosophy during his final three years at Namdroling Monastery. Since 1999, Tulku Orgyen has been with the Vairotsana Foundation, and currently, he is the spiritual director of the Santa Barbara Center of Vairotsana Foundation and is head of the Pema Kod Project.

The special design of the new temple: During his lifetime, it was Togden Rinpoche's aspiration to build a three-story temple in the style of Guru Rinpoche's Pureland Palace, Zangdok Palri. Due to Togden Rinpoche's advanced age, limited funds and natural resources, all he could accomplish was the creation of the one story temple, and the Three Kaya statues--Amitabha, Chenrezig, and Padmasambhava--that were to be placed in each of the three stories of the temple to be built by his students in the future. For the benefit of all beings, for the preservation of the spiritual legacy of this sacred land, and particularly for the fulfillment of Togden Rinpoche's aspiration, it is Tulku Orgyen's wish to undertake the tremendous task of constructing the three-story sanctuary that Togden Rinpoche envisioned.


Difficulties and added costs owing to the temple's remote location: In this remote land, they do not have the benefit of easy transportation or construction machinery as it's understood in the west.  Everything has been transported on people's backs and built by their own hands.  The distance from town to the temple adds considerably to both the cost of building materials and the difficulty in transporting them to the construction site.  Shilapata, where they must go to purchase construction materials, is three days' journey on a rugged, primitive road from the nearest town, Tuting, which is itself a full day's walk from the temple site.  Because porters must be employed in their transportation, the cost of transporting the needed materials from Shilapata to the temple site, alone, can cost upwards of three times the price of the materials themselves.

Text Box: In spite of all of the difficulties, much work on the temple has already been completed.

First floor pillars and beams have been completed.

In order to continue making progress we request your help: To continue the ongoing construction of the three storey temple structure and its interior ornamentation; for the purchase the various materials as listed below, and for the restoration of the sacred statues and stupas, which will be installed and preserved inside the new temple.

The basic materials:  

1. Hundreds of loads of iron rods have been carried in to the temple site with more still to come. The iron rods will create all the pillar work, beams, and other structural supports for the new temple.
2. Every day people have been bringing building materials to the site on their backs. Now, hundreds of bags of cement, sand, and gravel have all been transported and are ready for use. The ongoing intensive labor aspect of this process makes the project very costly.
 3. Wood for the three-story temple is being collected in various sizes and shapes. The lumber is being carried from many different locations in the forest to the temple site.

Other materials needed for the completion of the temple:

1. Metal window screens, in various decorative designs for 12 windows, and glass for windows, bookshelves, and the altars of the temple, including the cost of their transport from Silipati.

2. All necessary tools and hardware, from construction and digging implements to the small hardware such as nails, screws, and so forth.   Paints of various colors, including some that require complex mixtures to attain traditional colors, and other miscellaneous painting implements.

3. Sertog, the golden top for the roof: The Sertog is the topmost traditional ornament for the temple.  Ridag Choskhor: Two deer and one Dharma wheel to be placed atop the forward-most portion of the temple roof.  All of this temple ornamentation will be forged and painted in Nepal and will be transported.

4.  On all the interior walls of the three storey the temple there will be traditional art work and decoration with the paintings of the deities relating to the three kayas. Also, several new statues for the second and third floors will need to be purchased.

Workers required to complete the interior construction of the temple:


1. Carpenters to build the main altar in which the six statues and two stupas will be housed,  plus two other altars for the second and third floors, respectively, as well as two decorative traditional bookshelves for the sacred texts (over four hundred volumes). The bookshelves and altars will be enclosed in glass to secure and protect the sacred objects.  

2. Carpenters to construct and install the overlay for all the traditional designs on pillars and beams as well as miscellaneous furnishings for the temple's interior, from the traditional tier for the mandala in the center of the temple to the thrones and puja tables.


1. Painting the whole three-storey temple's exterior, which includes windows, doors, ceiling, and roof designs all the way around on each of the floors. 

2. Painting interior of the temple, walls, pillars, beams, altars, and bookshelves, all in the traditional style. 

Text Box: Restoration: Six holy statues and two stupas need to be restored.
1.	Statuary experts from Bhutan to repair all the statues, especially their detailed ornamentation.
2.	Construction of the thrones and back rests for the sacred statues.
3.	Refurbishing of the stupas, replacement/restoration of degraded ornamentation.
4.	The detailed painting of the six statues and their back rests in their original style.

If you could contribute to any of the above mentioned items, it would be a great help.

For further information, please visit out Website at www.pemakodproject.org.