… to be completed by June 2018

Heritage: The Trashigang Dzong conservation project will be completed by next year if work progress continues at the current pace.

Conservation work on the 357-year-old dzong began in February 2014 and is scheduled to end by February next year. Conservation works were initiated after the dzong’s eastern shakor facing the road to Rangjung and the western shakor facing Mongar suffered cracks.

“As of now we have completed construction of the drasha (hostel for monks), tshokhang (dining hall) and kitchen for the dratshang,” Trashigang Dzong conservation project manager Tshering Namgay said.

All three structures are new constructions, which were added to the conservation project to relocate the monks outside the dzong and reduce the risk of fire hazards.

The 16-room drasha built using locally available resources in traditional architecture is big enough to accommodate 53 monks. The three-storey tshokhang, next to the drasha, has a store in its ground floor with a separate dining and prayer halls on the second and third floors respectively. The two-storey kitchen, with a cook’s residence on the ground floor and a kitchen for the dratshang is also completed.

With these new constructions completed, renovation of the main dzong structure has been ongoing for a few months. Seventy-five percent of the works on the four-storey eastern shakor has been achieved. The eastern shakor required major reconstruction from the base up since it suffered multiple cracks on its walls. This segment of the dzong, which was used as the dzongkhag court office and dormitory for the monks, was dismantled from the base and reconstructed from scratch.

A fire hydrant tank and pump house is also being constructed at the dzong’s entrance. All components of the project are expected to be completed by June 2017.

Renovation work on the western shakor have also begun with its dismantling. But no major reconstruction work is required since the western shakor suffered no major damage to its walls and the foundation. The project will only be replacing rotten and weakened wooden structures and repairing minor cracks.

“The works on western shakor should not take longer than nine months to complete. It will be completed by March 2018,” Tshering Namgay said.

The project will cost Nu 227.5 million in total.

The third Desi Chogyal Minjur Tempa built Trashigang dzong in 1659 at the unision of Sharcho Khorlo Tsipgye. The dzong, which was named as Trashigang by HH Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdrel Yeshey Dorji, was last renovated in the 1970s.

Tempa Wangdi