Facilities: Those visiting the Duenmang tshachu (hot spring) under Nangkor gewog in Zhemgang need not risk falling boulders on the way there anymore.

This is because the path that crosses under a cliff on the way is being roofed with wire mesh.Duenmang tshachu is located on the right bank of the Mangdechhu at the base of a steep hill called Kamjong. It was widely known as the Kheng tshachu due to its location in the centre of the Kheng region.

A guesthouse, a neykhang (residence of local deity), bathroom, water taps, a new footpath within the Tshachu area covered by a canopy and secured with railing are also being constructed. Six new ponds have also been created besides improving the existing ponds.

The Zhemgang forest division’s chief forest officer Ugyen Tenzin said the foot trail from the road head at Praling till the Tshachu has been improved with steel railings and the path from the bridge till the Tshachu has been roofed with wire mesh.

He said they are also constructing a cold water supply system to all the Tshachu ponds for new toilet facilities. “Flora and fauna at the area is also being documented,” he said.

Ugyen Tenzin said the tshachu was in dire need of renovation as there was leakage in most of the ponds. “The waste was also an issue since it was increasing,” he said.

Waste bins have also been constructed in Praling and the tshachu areas.

But the previous amenities could not cater adequately to the increasing number of national and international visitors at the tshachu. Camping sites and the previous guesthouse could not accommodate the increasing number of visitors.

Ugyen Tenzin said visitors may find visiting the tshachu inconvenient for the next few months as construction work is ongoing. However, he said that the contractor has assured that the ground floor of the guesthouse will be ready for visitors in a month’s time.

Work progress is on track despite the challenge of getting materials to the site.

With funding of Nu 10.9 million (M) from the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation , Zhemgang forest division is implementing the renovation and extension work with close consultation with the dzongkhag.

The tshachu is located on government reserve forest land which is under the jurisdiction of the Zhemgang forest division under Nankhor gewog.

Dorji Dema, 61, from Trongsa who visited the tshachu in 2014 said it was quite difficult for her to even find a place to pitch a tent. “It is also risky to live in tents in the area since monkeys roll stones down the cliff,” she said.

The new guesthouse will have 10 rooms and each room can accommodate 10 persons. They said people could also stay in the attic.

Gothpo, 76, who was visiting the tshachu, said the Kheng Dunmang tshachu is a renowned hot spring hotspot with “great healing power”.

It is believed that the tshachu was initially located in a village called Kamjong. In order to prevent visitors, people started dumping waste and even dead bodies of animals into the tshachu and later it is believed to have moved to its present location.

Tshachu’s name slowly changed to Duenmang Tshachu as the route leading to Duenmang village passes through the hotspring.

Nima Wangdi | Duenmang