Gyalwa Phakpa Lha

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Gyalwa Phakpa Lha (19th-1906?) was an itinerant yogi who visited and practiced in different parts of Pemakö.


No information is right now available on who the teachers Gyalwa Phakpa Lha received teachings from.


Being invited to Pemakö by Dorje Drakpa

In the second part of the 19th century, many highly realized masters—such as Gyalwa Phakpa Lha, Tertön Dudjom Drakngak Lingpa, and many others— were invited by Dorje Drakpa to Lower Pemakö. There, they were sponsored to build temples and trails to all of the sacred sites of this then not well-known part of Pemakö.

According to Lama Rigdzin Phuntsok[1], “Likewise, in the footsteps of those masters, devoted practitioners and ordinary people alike gradually moved to the region, settling with deep roots and prospering. This is how the settlements in the southern region of Pemakö, or “Immortal Inner-Most Secret Place of the Hidden Land”, came into existence as they are now, during the golden age of King Kanam Depa’s administration.”

Building a temple and a stupa near Tuting

One of the great masters that Dorje Darkpa sponsored to visit Lower Pemakö was Gyalwa Phakpa Lha, whom Dorje Darkpa has served during his stay in Upper Pemakö. When circumstances were right, Dorje Darkpa assisted Gyalwa Phakpa Lha to come to Lower Pemakö. Prophecies had foretold that in Lower Pemakö, near the town of Tuting—next to the river bank of Brahmaputra now known as Jachung Dem, “The flat plain of Garuda” [2]—, if a temple was built in that spot, its blessing would radiate in all directions and to all beings in the world and would be especially significant to the hidden land as a whole. To fulfill this prophecy, Gyalwa Phakpa Lha built the first temple and a stupa on this very spot. For many years after its completion, the temple and stupa were the sites of monthly and annual practices. Today, the temple’s ruins are still visible on the vast plain.

Final Years

Gyalwa Phakpa Lha passed away on the road on his return to Tibet.[3]


Tulku Palden, the younger brother of Dudjom Rinpoche, was recognized as an incarnation of Gyalwa Phakpa Lha.


  1. Joyful Feast for the Minds of the Fortunate Ones, A Collection of Compositions by Lama Rigdzin P'huntsok.
  2. Ja means bird. Chung means Kyun like Garuda.
  3. As he reincarnated as Tulku Palden, the younger brother of Dudjom Rinpoche (born in 1904), he must have passed away around the years 1904-1906.