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The first king of Bhutan, His Majesty Gonsar Ugyen Wangchuck built the Lamai Goempa Dzong in 1887 in Bumthang, when he was 25 years old. Lamai Goempa Dzong was built as a replacement for Pelri Goempa because it was damaged by earthquake. However, Lamai Goenpa Dzong is believe as Pelri Goenpa to Bumthaps, which was established by Pelri Truelku Chokdhen Gyenpo.

The surrounding of Pelri Goempa had an abundance of rhododendrons; thus, Pelri Gompa was known as Lampha Goempa. Lampha means the name for rhododendron leaf in Bumthap language. 

Lamai Goempa Dzong was inherited by Ashi Dechen Peldon and Ashi Dechen Yangzom, daughters of the first King and his first wife Ashi Rinchen (daughter of Trongsa Penlop Pema Tenzin). The Dzong is now the head quarter and offices of the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research (UWICER) in the country.