Visit: His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen spent three days in Sakteng, arriving from Merak on the evening of May 27.

Their Majesties trekked from Merak to Sakteng over the ancient route connecting the two famous villages, over the dreaded Nyakchungla pass, 4,200 metres above sea level.

Having also spent three days in Merak, Their Majesties were seen off by the people who lined up along the trail leading away from their village. As Their Majesties began the strenuous uphill walk to the pass, the villagers sang soulful alo, the song of farewell to loved ones.

Their Majesties were received with tremendous joy in Sakteng, with song and dance, despite the torrential rain.

His Majesty met the people of Sakteng at the ceremonial ground, and spent the entire day among them.

Addressing the people, His Majesty shared concerns about the younger generation leaving villages like Merak and Sakteng, which could lead to the possibility of the very valuable and unique cultural heritage disappearing. The solution to this would be to improve the lives of the people in these villages and to ensure that continuing to live here would still be an attractive prospect, His Majesty said.

His Majesty asked the people to share their concerns, and said that their biggest Kidu, relating to khimsa and tsamdro would be given priority.

His Majesty also reminded the people that they have the responsibility of not only protecting their rich heritage, but also the sovereignty and security of the country.

His Majesty granted tokha and lucky draw soelras.

Students and the public presented a cultural programme for Their Majesties, which included the famous Yak Cham and Ache Lhamo Cham.

Their Majesties visited the Yulju Lhakhang and offered prayers. The people of Sakteng offered Ku Sung Thugten Mendrel to Their Majesties at the Lhakhang. Their Majesties then visited homes in Borangtse village of Sakteng. The people enjoyed movies screened at the gewog hall in the evening.

The people gathered once again at the ceremonial ground to offer buelwa in honour of Their Majesties’ visit to Sakteng.

His Majesty thanked the people for their offering, and returned the animals to the community. The people enjoyed the beautiful day with song and dance, together with their King and Queen.

His Majesty visited Sakteng Lower Secondary School, and granted Audiences to the students and teachers. Their Majesties visited lhakhangs, and the homes of the people of Sakteng in the evening.

Their Majesties are accompanied by His Royal Highness Gyaltshab Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. His Majesty’s Kidu Mobile Medical Unit treated 478 people in Merak and 571 people in Sakteng. The Unit set up camps in both villages, and offered various check-ups and performed surgeries.