DeSuung Takshel starts improving the trail and build infrastructure 

Dechen Dolkar 

Visitors to the Tiger’s nest or the Taktsang monastery, a popular tourist site in the country, will see major changes as the country prepares to welcome tourists from September this year.

DeSuung Takshel, a collaboration between the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) and DeSuung, has begun improving infrastructure and services along the Taktsang trail to provide better experiences to visitors to the 7th century monastery.

The trail along the two-hour long trek to the monastery had come under criticism from visitors for the smell from horse dung and the unkept trail and lack of toilets. There are three drinking water stations with each station fitted with three taps. The taps are dry.

DeSuung Takshel will not only fix such issues, but also plans to make a trip to the monastery an unforgettable experience. According to a TCB official, improvement works under the project include enhancing and maintaining the trails, renovation of infrastructure such as restrooms, gazebos, and bridges along the trail. Alternative routes will be explored and developed if required.

The difference is already visible at the base of Taktsang where about 300 de-suups already made the area spotless by clearing and cleaning the area. For the enhancement of the Taktsang trail, a total of 443 de-suups are engaged.

The TCB official said that the Department of Culture in consultation with the dzongkhag administration and TCB has developed a management plan for Taktsang and associated heritage including a master plan at the Taktsang base. He said that the enhancement will focus on Taktsang trail and associated facilities on waste management awareness and cleaning campaigns, improving horse marshaling area and of trail sections, maintenance of restrooms and drinking water stations and demolishing semi-permanent infrastructure. The semi-permanent basement area of Taktsang is also being dismantled.

TCB and DeSuung Takshel will similarly take up other popular trek routes and heritage sites and engage more De-suups.

In the master plan is the construction of new infrastructures such as ticket and information counter, VIP lounge, administration office, restrooms, storage space, horse marshaling area and car parking enough to accomodate 150 cars. “The objective is to deliver a holistic and quality service to the visitors,” said the official.  

The total budget for the Taktsang project is estimated at Nu 0.814M and will be completed by the first week of September.