Thinley Namgay

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the reconstruction of Lingzhi Dzong is on schedule to complete by June 2023.

Workers are gearing up to finish reconstruction of the three-storey utse (central tower), which will be completed in June.

Lingzhi drungpa and project manager, Mani Sangye, said that 90 percent of the utse was completed. “I’m sure that the project will complete on time.”

Dismantling the old utse began on August 20, 2019, and the foundation for the new utse was laid on April 12 last year.

Thirty-five percent of the ongoing Lingzhi Dzong Conservation Project (LDCP) has been completed so far.

Lingzhi Dzong is located at about 4,300 metres (m) above sea level.  Also known as the Lingzhi Yugyal Dzong, the third Druk Desi Chogyal Minjur Tenpa built the dzong to commemorate the victory over a Tibetan invasion in 1668.

The dzong used to house both the drungkhag administration and monastic body until it was damaged in an earthquake in September 2011.  Before that, the dzong was first destroyed in an earthquake in 1867, rebuilt in the 1950s, and partly renovated in 2005.

Due to the lack of a motorable road, project materials and essential food items are transported by yaks and horses from the nearest road.  For instance, it takes five days to bring materials from Shana, Paro. 

LDCP has 164 workers consisting of 15 carpenters, 25 masons, an electrician, and 123 helpers.  Construction campsites are located at Tshebgang, Zhodhu, Lingzhi, Soe and Shana.

“Number of working hours gets reduced during bad weather,” Mani Sangye said.

Timber for the construction is transported from Zhodhu to Lingzhi crossing Yarli (4,942m above sea level), which takes a minimum of two days by the workers.  Yaks and horses are being used to transport timber to expedite the collection of materials.

LDCP worth Nu 400 million is a Government of India project.  However, only 13.29 percent (Nu 53.17M) of the total budget has been utilised so far.