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Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck
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The biography of late Gyalyum
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The biography of late Gyalyum
Book, writtenbook in memory of Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck
Queen
Her late Majesty
Gayum Phuntsho Choden 1911-2003
Born of a lineage that goes far back into the origins of Bhutan's spiritual and royal history, Her Majesty Ashi Phuntsho Choden's royal ancestry lies in the sacred prophesies that foretold the advent of dynamic saints and rulers that continue today.
Ashi Phuntsho Choden was a descendant of the Tamzhing Choeje nobility. Known as the Myo family, the lineage saw an unbroken succession of extraordinary personalities who shaped Bhutanese history over the centuries.

Notable among them was Rigzin Pem Lingpa, born to Sumthrang Choeje Dhendrup Zangpo in 1450. This great Terton, who fulfilled Guru Rinpoche's prophecy and revealed sacred treasures that protected and strengthened Bhutan's Buddhist heritage, established the Tamzhing Lhundup Choling in Bumthang.

Ashi Phuntsho Choden was born in 1911 at Wangdue Choling Palace to Chumed Zhalgno Dasho Jamyang of the Tamzhing Choeje family and Ashi Decho, daughter of Ashi Yeshey Choden who was the sister of Druk Gyalpo Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck.
Her Majesty Ashi Phuntsho Choden, affectionately known to the Bhutanese people as Gayum Angay, passed away peacefully on the morning of August 24 at her retreat residence in Dechenchholing. She was 92 years old.
Her late Majesty Gayum Phuntsho Choden's life
Queen
Her Majesty the Queen Mother Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck

Written by Lopon Yonten Phuntsho, the 370-page book, is in memory of Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck

Launch: Coinciding with His Majesty’s birth anniversary, Her Majesty the Queen Mother Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck launched the biography of late Gyalyum, Her Majesty Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck, in Thimphu yesterday.

Compiled and written in Dzongkha by Lopon Yonten Phuntsho, who works at His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo secretariat, the 370-page book is published in memory of the late Gyalyum, and is dedicated to the second wedding anniversary of Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen, Jetsun Pema Wangchuck, to His Majesty the King.

Lopon Yonten Phuntsho’s book, which was published with support from His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, contains rare pictures from the royal collection.In 12 chapters, the book covers late Gyalyum’s ancestry to early childhood and her spiritual contributions to the country during her life.

Gyalyum was the Queen Mother of His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

Her Majesty Ashi Phuntsho Choden passed away on August 24, 2003 at her retreat residence in Dechenchholing.She was 92 years old.

Ashi Phuntsho Choden was a descendant of the Tamzhing Choeje nobility.Known as the Myo family, the lineage saw an unbroken succession of extraordinary personalities, who shaped Bhutanese history over the centuries.

Ashi Phuntsho Choden was born in 1911 at Wangdue Choling Palace to Chumed Zhalgno Dasho Jamyang of the Tamzhing Choeje family and Ashi Decho, daughter of Ashi Yeshey Choden, who was the sister of Druk Gyalpo Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck.

At the age of 15, Ashi Phuntsho Choden was enthroned as the Queen of the second Druk Gyalpo Jigme Wangchuck.In 1928, at the age of 18, she gave birth to the third Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

From an early age, Ashi Phuntsho Choden received a traditional education, including lessons on Buddhism.She received teachings, empowerment, and reading transmissions in the Drukpa Kargyu, Karma Kargyu, Dujom, Peling, and Nyingthig traditions from renowned Buddhist lamas.

Ashi Phunstho Choden built a legacy of religious institutions, established spiritual learning centres, and preserved the rich imagery that formed a core of Bhutan’s religious history.

Ashi Phuntsho Choden was the first devotee to renovate the Kurje lhakhang in Bumthang, along with the wall-size images of the Guru Tshengyed.At Prakhar Nagtshang in Chumed, she built the Kudung chorten of Thugsey Dawa Gyaltshen, and an image of Jo Jampa.

Ashi Phuntsho Choden established great monuments like the National Memorial Chorten in Thimphu, which she built in memory of her son, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

Ashi Phuntsho Choden also provided support to Buddhist heritage outside Bhutan.She built the Namgyal Choling lhakhang in Darjeeling, and the Dongag Choling lhakhang in Phagpa Shingkum in Nepal.

Contributed by Rinzin Wangchuk, Kuensel, Bhutan's National Newspaper, 2014
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