Chencho Dema | Punakha

More than 1,000 people visit Chubu Tshachu (hot spring) in Toedwang, Punakha every year. Demand for additional quarters and restrooms has increased.

The route to tshachu, which is over 30km from Khuruthang town, winds through pine forests. It is at about one and a half hour drive from Khuruthang.

The manager of the tshachu, Tshewang Nidup, has constructed six quarters on around 7.8 acres of land. One can also choose to put up in tents for Nu 250.

A room costs between Nu 300 and Nu 230 depending on the size of the room.

Gas for cooking and a stove can be rented for a fee of Nu 250 per day from the manager.

There are seven restrooms. Tshewang Nidup plans to construct more toilets in the coming years.

The dzongkhag administration has constructed three guesthouses.

Without Gasa Tshachu, the number of visitors has increased at Chubu.

Mid-September marks the start of the visiting season and by mid-March the tshachu is deserted. The tshachu hosts visitors mainly from November to late February.

The tshachu is off limits to visitors during the summer because of landslides, leeches, and flies.

The tshachhu was previously managed by the locals on a rotational basis, but in 2022 the dzongkhag took over the management and leased it to Tshewang Nidup for 10-years.

Tshewang Nidup pays the dzongkhag administration Nu 100,000 per season.

There are two hot water ponds: dzing wogma (lower pond) and dzing gongma (upper) that are known for their healing and curative properties for ailments like body aches, sinuses, ulcer, gastritis, and, even piles.

Most of the visitors stay at the tshachu for a minimum of seven days.

Tshewang Nidup said, “About 70 percent of the visitors are from Haa and Paro.”

Gyem, 60, from Wangdue, is a regular. “I come here once a year for a week to soak in the tshachu with my friends. I was suffering from constipation. The area has developed a lot but still needs further improvement.”

A visitor from Mongar had severe back pain. After a week’s soak in the tsachu, the problem disappeared. “The management should ensure reliable electricity supply.”

Sonam, 37, from Paro, is visiting the tshachu for the first time. “Accommodation and other facilities could be improved.”

Tshewang Nidup had applied for a Nu 8 million loan from cottage and small industries (CSI) for the construction of additional structures. He is waiting for the remaining Nu 4 million to be released to further develop the structures. He intends to upgrade the ponds and build an effective drainage system.

Gyeltshen, planning officer with the dzongkhag administration said, “We are considering numerous future plans to promote Chubu Tshachu and developing a comprehensive management plan.”