Chencho Dema

Gasa – The long-awaited Gasa Tshachu (hot spring) opened to the public after two years of reconstruction on October 14.

All seven ponds and the four buildings near them were washed away when a swollen Mochhu flooded and changed its path on August 26, 2021.

The tshachu then remained closed to the public to date.

There are eight ponds constructed with different structures compared to before.

There are two C-shaped structures, with four ponds each, under one roof facing each other. One pond could accommodate around 25 people.

The showers and toilets are built near these structures.

There are separate ponds for men and women

Gasa Tshachu Manager Tandin Dorji said that previously, one pond was located beneath each structure, which occasionally resulted in crowding.

Prior to the redevelopment of the tshachu, two temporary wooden bathtubs were installed and were mostly used by the locals. Each tub could fit around 10 people.

The Gasa dzongkhag administration began mitigation work at the tshachu area in November 2021.

Senior Dzongrab Dorji Gyeltshen said the restoration work expenditure for the tshachu was initially estimated at Nu 27 million (M) but during the restoration, there was a small flood outbreak which escalated the cost to around Nu 33.5M. The final figures are expected to be around Nu 35M.

He said that the tshachu was safer now with 80 percent of the river protection along the Mochhu bank complete.

The official requested the populace to note that although the tshachu has been made available to the public, all of the rooms have already been occupied because of the upcoming Royal Highland Festival.

“Getting an accommodation would be an issue when the people come here to soak in the tshachu,” he said.

The overall area of the Gasa tshachu and the guesthouse occupies 24 acres.

Gasa Tshachu generates revenue by renting out guesthouses to visitors, and the room costs are Nu 200, Nu 600, and Nu 2,000 per night.

There are currently eight guesthouses, some of which are two-storeyed, located more than a kilometre from the tshachu.

The eight guesthouses can accommodate roughly 800 persons.

Between November 2018 and February 2019, the tshachu earned around Nu 2.5M by renting the rooms.

There are four shops on the tshachu compound run by locals.

The tshachu ponds were washed away on May 26, 2009, when Mochhu flooded. Reconstruction cost Nu 40 million which was completed in 2013.

Gasa Tshachu is one of the most popular hot springs in the country, attracting large numbers of both tourists and locals alike.

Among other things, the hot spring is thought to treat digestion problems, joint pain, and skin diseases.