Singapore Bhutan Direct Flight Starts

Getting Here and Around, News + Stories

Expanding Bhutan’s air connectivity to 5 countries, a direct air link between Singapore and Bhutan was established after national airline Druk Air flew its inaugural flight to the island state, on Tuesday.

Her Royal Highness Princess Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck was on board as chief guest, leading a delegation, compromising of DHI, Druk Air, and government representatives, among others.

Bamboo Craft on the Decline

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Kangpara gewog in Trashigang is seeing a decline in its traditional bamboo-craft (tsazo) practice, with craftsmen finding better economic opportunities elsewhere or in other line of work. Villages of Madewa, Pasaphu, Pedung practise bamboo-craft, and weave products like bangchung, pen case, tsezem (cane backpack), hand bag, belo (cane hat) and pey palang (incense case).

But this tradition has been on the decline since last year. “My father would transport the bamboo products to Thimphu twice a year but, since last year, he stopped,” a bamboo craftsman in Pedung, Kinzang Tshering, said. “The income is meagre.”

Lingzhi Dzong in Bad State

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Lingzhi Yugyal Dzong, once majestic, lies in a state of ruins today. Its roofs have been blown away and the walls crumbled to the ground. It was damaged by the earthquake in September last year leaving it uninhabitable. The monk body and the Dungkhag office had to be shifted.

Our reporter, Eshori Gurung, who recently visited the place, says that about 35 monks and the Lam Neten (head Abbot) are currently living in the traditional medicinal centre located in Misoey. Meanwhile, the Nangtens or the sacred relics of the Dzong have been shifted to a ward in the Basic Health Unit (BHU). The Lam Neten, Chencho, said since the Nangtens and their temporary residence is located in different places, it is difficult for them.

“It was said that last year, the renovation would start this year but, now we were told that there is no budget, no contractors and even the people are not willing to take initiative,” said the Lam Neten.

Currently the Nangtens are being taken care of by two monks, who come to the BHU every morning and evening to light butter lamps and offer prayers. Another worry that they have is that they might have to shift very soon. This, according to them, is that more than 30 people will be arriving from Thimphu to collect medicinal herbs in Lingzhi.

Meanwhile a team of Japanese engineers led by a Bhutanese engineer have been sent to Lingzhi to assess the extent of damage

Once, a magnificent Dzong, the Lingzhi Dzong was built by the Third Desi Chogyal Minjur Tempa in 1668. The Dzong built to commemorate victory over Tibetan invasion stood majestically until the earthquake in September last year.

Original story by BBS