The inaugural monarch of Bhutan, His Majesty Gonsar Ugyen Wangchuck, constructed the Lamai Goempa Dzong in 1887 in Bumthang when he was 25 years old. This majestic fortress was erected as a replacement for Pelri Goempa, which had suffered damage from an earthquake. Interestingly, the locals in Bumthang consider Lamai Goempa Dzong to be synonymous with Pelri Goempa, originally founded by Pelri Truelku Chokdhen Gyenpo.
The vicinity surrounding Pelri Goempa was richly adorned with an abundance of rhododendron flowers, and consequently, Pelri Gompa came to be known as Lampha Goempa. The term “Lampha” signifies the name for rhododendron leaf in the Bumthap language.
Lamai Goempa Dzong was subsequently inherited by Ashi Dechen Peldon and Ashi Dechen Yangzom, the daughters of the first King and his first wife, Ashi Rinchen (who was the daughter of Trongsa Penlop Pema Tenzin). Presently, the Dzong serves as the headquarters and offices of the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research (UWICER) in the country.