Safety: All manner of prayer flags surrounding Mebartsho in Bumthang were removed yesterday.

Dzongkhag administration had issued a notice on December 4 to remove them to improve safety for visitors.

A tourist and a guide drowned in the lake recently.

According to the dzongkhag administration, the removal of prayer flags was initiated to keep the view of the lake clear for the visitors. Bumthang Dzongdag Phub Tshering said that prayer flags crisscrossing around the lake obstructed the view of the lake, forcing visitors to climb down the risky spots for clearer view of the famous lake.

“The prayer flags were removed yesterday because it was astrologically a good day to remove them,” said a dzongkhag official. “We removed the prayer flags after dratshang offered serkem and soelkha in the morning.”

Entry point leading down to the left bank of the lake, where majority of the accidents have happened in the past, has been sealed temporarily and hut above the trail leading to the lake where a tshampa (hermit) live pulled down.

The tshampa became unpopular after appearing in the viral video of two Indian tourists swimming in the lake. In the clip, the tshampa can be seen witnessing the tourists swimming in the lake.

A notice board cautioning the visitors to refrain from stringing or erecting prayer flags by the lake will be put up.

The dzongkhag administration has plans to further reinforce safety around the lake together with Tourism Council of Bhutan and home ministry.

Tempa Wangdi, Bumthang