Wangdue Phodrang Dzong - Rising From the Ashes

It has been around four years since the reconstruction works of the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong began after the fortress was completely razed in a catastrophic fire.

The Wangduephodrang Dzong Reconstruction Project. (Source: http://www.wangduedzong.gov.bt/)

 

Background

On 24 June 2012, a tragic fire led to the loss of one of the most important and historic heritage sites in Bhutan, the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong.  Under the guidance of His Majesty the King and His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, fortunately all the precious nangtens were salvaged.

His Holiness the Je Khenpo performed purification and other religious ceremonies for the rescued nangtens, and they are currently housed in the Tadzongang Drasha, where the Dzongkhag Rabdey are currently residing.

The Wangduephodrang Dzong Reconstruction Project

It has been around four years since the reconstruction works of the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong began after the fortress was completely razed in the catastrophic fire and the tentative date of completion is scheduled to be in December 2021.

With about one third of the structures in the first courtyard completed after the installation of the Gyeltshen last year, the management said that the remaining structures in the first courtyard, except the main entrance will be completed by the end of June this year. This is excluding the internal finishing, paintings, electrification and the installation of nangtens which will ensue once the external structures are completed.

Wangdue Dzong reconstruction works reaches 51 percent completion

As of December 2017, Nu 436 million has been spent on the reconstruction works out of the allocated 1 billion budget and about 51 percent of the works have been completed until date.

With the construction works in full swing, there are 130 masons and 70 helpers working in the Dzong site and 70 carpenters and 30 helpers working in the Samthang timber fabrication workshop.

The site, at this time of the year also provides an opportunity for students to earn pocket money during their winter break. Currently there are around seventy students hired on a temporary basis, all of whose parents are also working at the site.

The three storey Kuenrey structure has been fully completed, with nangtens installed after proper consecration. The Project Engineer from the Division for Conservation of Heritage Sites under the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Dorji said that the management is trying their best to complete the Utse structure by the end of March this year.

The Utse structure will be equipped with seismic resilience technology

The Utse structure, as explained by the Project Engineer, will be equipped with seismic resilience technology by the way of base isolation from the foundation. Base isolation is a technique developed to prevent or minimise damage to buildings during an earthquake.

The super structure and the foundation is built away from one another, with the super structure resting on flexible bearings known as base isolators so as to reduce the impact of the earthquake by limiting movements or not moving at all during the shake.

“The reason we are exploring very advanced method of seismic resilience of base isolation in this structure is because the Utse is the tallest structure of the Dzong. Since our country is in the earthquake prone zone, Utse will be at more risk should any such natural calamity strike the region. The base isolation technique is also the first of its kind in the country,” said Dorji.

What differentiates the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong from other Dzongs in Bhutan

Unlike the other Dzongs in the country, Wangdue Phodrang Dzong will be also the first one to have a passage built underground called the service tunnel to carry utility lines such as electricity, water supply pipes, sewer lines, and telephone and internet lines.

The service tunnel will also serve as an entry and exit during emergencies and the tunnel will have a width in which two people can walk at a time.

Dorji said that the individuals and groups coming forward for voluntary works at the site has been very positive and the numbers are increasing every year. So far around 4,400 individuals have contributed 5,400 man-days of work and about 150 tokhas have been sponsored by interested individuals and groups.

 

By Sonam Yangdon (This article has been edited for the New Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared in The Bhutanese.

 

 

 

 


Related Posts

Pray to Conceive at the Chimi Lhakhang

For couples who longed to have children, miracles were said to have happened after they have received fertility...

Nov 08, 2017 08:44

Dochula Tschechu – Truly Captivating!

What makes the Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival unique is that while the mask dances performed elsewhere in Bhutan are...

Nov 24, 2017 05:19

The Black-Necked Crane Festival

The arrival of the black-neck cranes signals the coming of winter and plays an integral role in the daily lives of the...

Nov 01, 2017 13:54

Thimphu Tschechu 2017 - A Visual Feast

Tschechu, meaning ‘tenth day’ also corresponds to the birthday of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava). This festival is a...

Oct 06, 2017 18:29

Journey to the Fascinating Royal Highland Festival in Laya

Chimi Wangmo, based in Thimphu, traversed through beautiful landscapes to witness the fascinating Royal Highland...

Dec 07, 2017 09:18

Yangtse Targets Tourists in 12th Plan

Trashiyangtse, which means the ‘Fortress of Auspicious Fortune’ is known for the many sacred pilgrim sites (nye)...

Jan 25, 2018 11:17

Latest

News

Bhutan’s Satellite Deployed From ISS Along With Limited Edition Stamps Launched To Laud Event

Live-streamed on YouTube, representatives from various countries and institutes gathered at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in...

Aug 11, 2018 16:08

Daily Professional Fee Proposed For Tour Guides To Boost Tourism In Bhutan

Such an initiative is also thought to help boost the image of the profession in Bhutan and retain senior tour guides.

Aug 10, 2018 12:09

Features

In Commemoration Of World Elephant Day, Bhutan Records 678 Elephants, Up From 513 In 2011

There are 678 elephants in Bhutan, according to the second edition of the National Elephant Survey Report.

Aug 15, 2018 12:54

Discover Raju’s Passion For Making The Traditional Bhutanese Bow And Arrow

The class VI drop-out earns at least Nu 8,000 a month by making bows and arrows.

Aug 08, 2018 16:09

Sports

The Myriad Of Sporting Facilities Constructed In Bhutan To Promote Healthy Living

The government in its 11th FYP report stated that it undertook the development of various infrastructure and institutions to promote sports...

Jul 29, 2018 08:33

Adolescent Girls In Bhutan Learn About Health And Sanitation Through Weeklong District Cricket Championship

The national nutrition survey 2015 conducted by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF Bhutan found anaemia in adolescent girls to be a critical...

Jul 21, 2018 16:29

Business

Start-up Centre In Bhutan Held Session To Provide Advice On Doing Business For Entrepreneurs

Guidance was provided during the first session on starting a business held at the newly established start-up centre at Changzamtog, Thimphu.

Aug 14, 2018 12:06

SDF To Develop E-Commerce Platform And Support Start-Ups In The South Asian Region

The SDF has already achieved and disbursed US$ 47mn for 12 cross-border projects.

Jul 24, 2018 09:03

Travel

About 91 % Of International Visitors Intend To Revisit Bhutan And 85 % Want To Recommend Nation Of Happiness To Others

The majority (80.4 %) of the international visitors expressed that the culture and traditional charm attracted them to Bhutan.

Aug 13, 2018 12:11

DrukAir To Fly Between Bhutan And Singapore Via Guwahati Starting Sept 1

The new flight will connect Paro to Singapore via Guwahati.

Aug 09, 2018 10:37

Lifestyle

Bhutanese Film 'Honeygiver Among The Dogs' To Make Singapore Debut At Buddhist Film Festival

"Honeygiver Among The Dogs" will be the first film by a Bhutanese director to be screened at the annual Buddhist film festival in Singapore.

Aug 16, 2018 11:16

Gokab – The First Dance Studio To Be Registered In Bhutan For Dancing Enthusiasts

Gokab, a youth group comprising of mostly dance enthusiasts, has seen a healthy growth of membership numbers since its inception in 2015.

Aug 12, 2018 15:44

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!