Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue

The three-day Gangtey tshechu will conclude today without the usual throng of spectators or the hawkers with their merchandise outside Gangtey Monastery.

The tshechu began on September 29 and was held inside the Gangtey Monastery.

Last year, the gewog collected more than Nu 300,000 from vendors and hawkers.

According to Gangtey Gup Gyeltshen, the shop owners would at least spend four days in Gangtey during tshechu season.

He added that by August and September, potatoes from the valley would be sold in market and the farmers were ready for the festive season. “Clothes, edibles and other shops would open during tshechu.”

This year, the tshechu was closed to the public.

The valley hasn’t seen any tourist.

According to a homestay owner, Tandin Wangchuk, he could make 50 percent of his income during Gangtey tshechu and the black-necked crane (BNC) festival. Last year, he made around Nu 100,000.

There are around 20 homestays in Gangtey. Another 12 are in Phobji valley.

Gup Gyeltshen said that the income from the shop owners was used for cleaning activities in the gewog and for the tshechu. “The tshechu was held without any issues this year. We had the budget from last year. It will be a little difficult next year.”

The BNC festival also witnesses massive guests every year. Held annually on November 11, homestay owners make a major chunk of their income during the festival.

“The guests would sometimes stay for two nights and would come in groups of six or seven,” Tandin Wangchuk said.

A foreign tourist is charged Nu 800 per night, excluding meals.

Last year, more than 800 guests visited the BNC festival. Annually, the gewog earns more than Nu 400,000 from international guests. A tourist is charged Nu 500 for his/her visit to the festival.

Gup Gyeltshen said that this budget was used to cater to the guests with better services, for cleaning purposes and for the festival.