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Ara Regional House Headquarters
(a ra khang tshan)

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Although one of the smallest regional houses (khang tshan), this is arguably the most popular regional housewith pilgrims and worshippers. Its temple contains two small chapels. The larger chapel (where the temple entrance is located) contains the main altar, and on the wall to the left of the main altar (as one is facing it), a protector deity altar. To the right as one enters the temple, a smaller chapel is dedicated to the “Ara Druptop” (a ra grub thob), a saint associated with this regional house who is said to have attained enlightenment in one lifetime. He is depicted on the main altar in this smaller chapel. There is a monk who sits in this room and gives pilgrims a blessing with a large black stone. The pilgrims bow before him, and he places the stone on their back with a thud. That rock is said to figure in a story in which the saint displayed his magical powers. It is believed to have curative powers, being especially effective in healing back pain.

Many of the statues in this regional house temple are old, but are not original to this temple, having been brought here by the monastery administration because of the popularity of this temple with pilgrims.

None of the monks who work in this temple belong to the regional house. They have been posted here by the monastery central administration in their attempt to reestablish this regional house as a pilgrimage site. The monks who work here get paid a fee for their labors.