As part of managing cultural landscapes, a beautification project is being undertaken at the Dechenphu Lhakhang in Thimphu soon.

Division for conservation of heritage sites’ Chief Architect, Nagtsho Dorji said Her Majesty the Gyalyum Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck guides and directs the development around Dechenphu Lhakhang to set an example on managing the spaces around important heritage sites.

Nagtsho Dorji said that besides realigning of the footpath, the construction of a new butter lamp house, ponds and boundary walls are underway. She said that parking would also be relocated along with the remaking of the entrance. There will be an overall landscaping around the Dechenphu Lhakhang complex.

Chief Forest Officer, Gyeltshen Dukpa said that the main purpose for the development of new trail was to ease congestion during auspicious occasions on the way to Dechenphu Lhakhang. “One trail could be used as an entrance and another as an exit. Steps at the existing trail will be removed and made into a gentle slope. The trail will also be friendly for wheelchair users and elderly people.”

Site Supervisor, Tashi K said, that ground work has already begun. “Ponds will be extended and made in a natural way without altering the natural aesthetic of the ponds,” he said.

Nagtsho Dorji said that many people visit important religious site like Dechenphu frequently for spiritual reasons.

“It is important that such a site is managed to bring a sense of happiness and calmness, which further inspires every visitor to work towards improving our surroundings and respecting the cultural landscapes of Bhutan,” she said.

Gyeltshen Dukpa said that in addition to the armed forces, agriculture ministry, home ministry, Thimphu Dzongkhag and Dratshang Lhentshog are also involved in the landscaping of the lhakhang’s surrounding.

Nagtsho Dorji said that the initiative is to make spaces around heritage sites beautiful and traditional. “In a sense, we work with elements and plants that are indigenous to Bhutan to enable every Bhutanese to recognise the importance of managing the unique cultural landscapes of Bhutan.”

She said that these are for everyone to enjoy and contribute in protecting and promoting them for future generations.

The landscaping work at Dechenphu, which started last year is expected to complete by June next year.

Rinchen Zangmo