The fable goes that with commerce and prosperity came greed and dishonesty. The peoples’ faith shifted from the virtues of caring and piety to vain, individual benefit. As the community suffered, so did the land; torrential downpours followed dry years and caused landslides. Man continued to not learn from his doings and Nature sent a plague of scorpions.
Infested, the village wasted away and the people lay sick. A benevolent lama decided to take on the years of neglect and misdeeds upon himself. Word is that he sat down to meditate and cleanse the land. In doing so, he gave himself up to the divine nature and left his body. A rainbow appeared over the valley and the scorpions disappeared. The story and lama were lost over time.
An earthquake and subsequent digging by the Indian Army in the 1970s uncovered the mummy with its skin, teeth and hair intact. In the words of a local, “These Dogras (army regiment) were excavating after a landslide and a gemchi (plough) hit something soft under the rock. They saw what appeared to be a human skull. They carefully extracted the body of a mummified monk. The skin, hair, eyebrows were all there… he was frozen in another time. His meditative pose of thought and his right hand suggest that he was rolling beads and chanting mantras.”
From folklore and the foggy memories of the elderly, he was identified as Tulku Sangaa Tenzin (translation: His Holiness the Enlightened Tenzin). The village has taken care of him since. In 2006, the state government of Himachal Pradesh took an interest and started construction of the shrine that now houses it. A traditional-styled temple with modern construction methods is being built and word is that soon a gompa (monastery) will be attached to it.