The dzongkhag administration calls on the need for a tendrelthang to host such events

Culture: As festive mood embraced Trashigang, more than 1,500 people gathered every day to witness the four day annual Tshechu that ended yesterday.

Going by the figures, the crowd has increased after the Tshechu location shifted to Trashigang Middle Secondary School’s football ground last year following the commencement of major renovation works for the dzong.

A major factor attributing to the increase, according to Trashigang dzongdag, Lungten Dorji, could be because the dzong’s courtyard could accommodate only about 1,000 people.

“People also like enjoying the Tshechu in open air,” he said. “The turn out has improved in the last two years.”

The number of people increased to as much as 2,000 during the Thongdrel days and when important chams like Bakcham and Guru Tsengye were performed. Last year, about about 1500 visited the Tshechu everyday.

Even the number of tourists who visited the Tshechu was more than last year, dzongkhag officials and hoteliers said.

However, a significant portion of the football ground is undergoing restoration works after some portion of its retaining wall collapsed after a heavy and continuous down pour last August. The pavilion was also dismantled.

With the Tshechu ground space constrained, many visitors had to watch the mask dances and cultural programs through the fences above the football ground.

Lungten Dorji said such a situation calls for a tendrelthang in Trashigang where important events can be conducted properly.

“With the dzong undergoing renovations, we don’t have a proper ground. Important activities like Tshechu and Moenlam Chenmo all have to be conducted at the school ground,” he said.

Lungten Dorji said the ground can be developed into a Tendrelthang but budget constraints have shelved any progress.

Without a tendrelthang, the budget of organizing the Tshechu has augmented in the past two years. It was higher this time because a temporary structure had to be constructed because the pavilion was dismantled.

“If we look at the expenses incurred for Tshechus inside dzongs or a tendrelthang, it is lesser than at the grounds,” Culture Officer Thinley Dorji said. “For Trashigang, we had to set the ground to keep the dust away and extra expenses involved for all the preparations was made from the limited Tshechu budget.”

Trashigang Tsechu began on November 20 where the rare and sacred Bakcham was also performed. Two Thongdrels of Neten Chudru and Guru Tsengye were also unfurled.

By Tshering Wangdi, Trashigang