Nima | Gelephu

Sarpang dzongkhag is planning to develop sacred Guru Nye in Retey village of Jigmecholing to a local tourist destination with a proper tour services involving the members from the local community.

Officials visited the sacred site for an assessment early this month and gathered information from village elders.

The dzongkhag is planning to form a group to take care of the sacred site and train them in camping service for those visiting the Ney.

Economic development officer, Dorji, said the dzongkhag is planning to develop the local tourist product with the help of relevant stakeholder. “The operation would be done by the community.  The group would be provided training for basic services, “ he said.

He added that the sacred Ney was not explored fully despite having huge potential for local tourism and pilgrimage.

Hidden in the foothills of Black Mountain, many people do not know about Durshingphu although it is considered a baeyul, a land of hidden treasures.

Guru ney in Retey

Known as the Mongoen Drak Pemai Baeyul, Guru Rinpoche is believed to have blessed the sacred site by meditating in it for five months in the eighth century on his way to Bumthang to settle the score between Sindhu Raja and Nauche.

Located two hours walk away from Retey, the sacred site can be visited from Nabji Korphu in Trongsa too.

Many miraculous relics and religious symbols could be found in the site, on the rocks and walls of caves Guru Rinpoche meditated.

The centre of the sacred site is a cave, considered to be Guru Rinpoche’s main meditation place. It also has a place where people could sneak in through a small opening inside the cave to collect soils to make tsa tsa, a miniature stupa.

Surrounding the caves are the imprints of different wild animals such as tigers, elephants, and a snake subdued by Guru Rinpoche.

Other relics include Guru’s footprint, a three-edged ritual effigy, stoves carved out of rocks, Drubchu ( holy water ) and a secret opening inside the cave known as khandroi sanglam.

There is also a place where Guru Rinpoche is believed to have locked up all the precious stones and local residents said the key to open the hidden treasures is imprinted on a rock with several cross symbols.

Jigmecholing gup, Kumar Gurung, said there are only few sacred sites in the southern dzongkhags and it is important to promote it.

He said developing the site would also help to boost the local economy and the community.

A villager in Retey, Sangay Tenzin, said the sacred site is inaccessible during summer seasons. “It’s difficult to reach the place because the Durshing Chhu stream swells in summer. “Improving the accessibility with the help of dzongkhag would help us reach the Ney for daily offering.”

He said they believe only people who accrued merits and have huge devotion to the Precious Master reaches the sacred site. “People who visit the sacred Nye are considered blessed.”

Sangay Tenzin also said those who visited the sacred site would live long and won’t face untimely death. “Those who die will have better rebirth.”

Meanwhile, the Retey is more than six hours drive away from Jigmecholing gewog centre. People could also walk from Chudzom or Doban.