Coinciding with the Descending Day of Lord Buddha (Lhabab Duechen), Dorji Lopen Kinley of the Zhung Dratshang consecrated the Lhabab choeten at Tshenkharla Central School in Trashiyangtse yesterday.

Members of the recently formed Tshenkharla Alumni Association constructed the 51ft tall and 23sqft wide choeten. About Nu 6.7 million (M) was incurred to build the choeten.

Coordinator Gyem Dorji said that the choeten was constructed as a tribute to the school and also to commemorate the Birth of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey, the birth year of Guru Rinpoche and to mark 400 years of the arrival of Zhabdrung.

“It is a one of a kind choeten in the country because of its unique structure in terms of the colour and sculptures made on it,” said Gyem Dorji.

He said that a total of 138 alumni donated money ranging from Nu 8,000 to Nu 0.6M. “Since the plan was formulated and executed in a short period of time, we didn’t have much time to gather all the alumni,” he said. “Today there are more than 10,000 alumni of the school but unfortunately we couldn’t gather all this time.”

The event was also an opportunity for the alumni gathered to recall their school days. “I was meeting some of my classmates after 39 years. None of us except for a few could recognise each other although we studied in the same school,” said Gyem Dorji, class of 1978.

“I was the first batch to complete class V from here. It’s nostalgic coming back here. Many things have changed over the years but at the same time it feels the same.”

Tshenkharla CS was established in 1978 as Rangthangwoong primary school. The school derived its name from the two overlapping stones in the shape of traditional grinding stones that can still be seen in the school compound.

The school was later upgraded to a lower secondary school in 1995. In 1997, the school was renamed Tshenkharla attaching importance and significance to historical Tsenkhar dzong. The ruins of the dzong can be seen about five minutes walk from the school.

It was upgraded to a middle secondary school in 2002 and then into a central school in 2015.

Meanwhile, after the consecration of the choeten, the Dorji Lopen granted tse-wang (longevity blessing) to more than thousands that had gathered for the event.

Younten Tshedup |  Trashiyangtse