The Shabdrung, bronze with remains of gilding; 17th century; H: 52 cm.; loan from a private collection.
This unusually large bronze statue of the unifier of the state on the lotus throne wears a hat that is typical for the Drukpa Kagyupa school and the clothes of a monk. The base is decorated with lotus flowers and mythological animals. His right hand shows the symbolic sign for touching the earth, and in his left holds a vase with the elixir of long life.
The mortal remains of the Shabdrung are kept in a temple in Punakha Dzong. Only three people have access to this room: the King, the head-abbot, and the monk who looks after the body.