The Jambay Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan and it was founded by Songtsen Gampo, a Tibetan King in the 7th century A.D. The king was reputed to have built 108 temples known as Thadhul – Yangdhul (temples on and across the border) in a day to subdue the demoness who was residing in the Himalayas. The Jambay Lhakhang is located in the Bumthang valley in central Bhutan on the way to the Kurje Lhakhang. It’s a ten minutes drive to the temple from Chamkhar town.
Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche visited the site several times and deemed it exceptionally sacred. Chakhar Gyalpo, the king of the Iron Castle of Bumthang renovated the temple in the 8th century AD.
The first king of Bhutan, Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck constructed the Dus Kyi Khorlo (Kala Chakra – Wheel of Time) inside the temple to commemorate his victory over his rivals Phuntsho Dorji of Punakha and Alu Dorji of Thimphu after the battle of Changlingmithang in 1885. Later, Ashi Wangmo, the younger sister of the second king of Bhutan, built the Chorten lhakhang.
The main relics include the future Buddha, Jowo Jampa (Maitreya) from whose name the present name of the temple is derived. The lhakhang also houses more than one hundred statues of the gods of Kalachakra built by the first king, in 1887.