Trashigang Dzong Renovation to be Completed By June 2018

The Department of Culture’s Division for the Conservation of Heritage Sites has initiated the Trashigang Dzong conservation project worth Nu 260.9mn.

The Trashigang Dzong renovation to completed by June 2018. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trashigang_Dzong)

 

By Jigme Wangchen | Business Bhutan

 

The conservation of the 359-year-old Trashigang Dzong was initiated in February 2014 after its eastern side (facing the road to Rangjung) and the western side (facing Mongar) suffered major cracks from the earthquakes that occurred in 2009 and 2011.

The Department of Culture’s Division for the Conservation of Heritage Sites has initiated the Trashigang Dzong conservation project worth Nu 260.9mn.

The project is expected to be completed by June this year. It was last renovated in the 1970s

The Trashigang Dzong was built in 1659 by the Third Desi, Chogyal Minjur Tempa at the unison of Sharchog Khorlo Tsip Gye (eastern regions of Bhutan).

Source: www.wmf.org

 

It is situated on a hill towering majestically over the surrounding valleys. The Dzong also houses the district government as well as a community of practising monks.

No major changes made to the traditional architecture and exterior of the dzong

Since the renovation work began in mid-2014, the Trashigang dzongkhag administration has been functioning from the renovated extension rooms of the Trashigang Middle Secondary school.

The Project Manager, Tshering Namgyal said that the conservation project has not caused major changes to the traditional architecture and the exterior of the dzong will remain the same.

“However, the project has added three new structures to the dzong to reduce risks of fire hazards,” he said.

Changes made to the Trashigang Dzong

The dratshang (hostel for monks), tshokhang (dining hall) and the kitchen for the dratshang has been constructed outside the dzong to relocate the monks for safety.

Additionally, unlike the past, the renovated dzong would have toilets inside the dzong.

The dzong is also equipped with a fire hydrant and alarm system plus smoke and heat detectors.

“The eastern side of the dzong required major reconstruction from the base up since it suffered serious cracks on its wall while the western side required little reconstruction since it suffered no major damage to its walls and the foundation,” added the project manager.

The traditional features inside the dzong such as paintings, sculptures and cornices are being elaborated.

People who helped to rebuild the Trashigang Dzong

Currently, around 120 Bhutanese workers and a few non-Bhutanese workers are implementing the project at the site.

Meanwhile, the project manager said that volunteers and people from the 15 gewogs in the dzongkhag also contributed labour for the ongoing works.

According to the Prince Claus Fund, the Trashigang Dzong is an example of a living cultural heritage. Preserving the physical structures is important not only because of its unique architectural beauty but also because these institutions sustain the community and keep religious practices alive.

The Dzong acts as a point of reference for the local community. As the governor of Trashigang Dzong, Mr. Sherab said aptly, “ If the Dzong is safe and secure, the community feels the same.”

 

This article first appeared in Business Bhutan and has been edited for the new Bhutan Times.

 


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