Neten Dorji | Trashiyangtse

The cremation ground at Trashiyangtse may be considered one of the most sacred in the country, but it lacks facility and is overwhelmed when three or more bodies are brought for cremation.

Locals say that basic facilities like water and kitchens are not enough to keep up with the sacredness of the cremation ground. Residents say there is not enough space.

“When more than three bodies are brought to the cremation ground, it is not possible for everyone to arrange everything for the final rites,” said Pema Dechen. “Knowing the sacredness, people from other dzongkhags also bring here for the final rites. Sometimes, we see more than three bodies at the cremation ground.”

Another resident, Wangdi,55, said that the footpath leading to the river is narrow and risky during monsoon. “Cremation ground is a place where people from all walks of life will have to go.  The dzongkhag or gewog administration must look into the needs of the people,” said Wangdi.

Dorji, 55, said that water is not enough for basic use like cleaning and drinking.

Bumdeling gup, Mani Dorji said that people from the eight gewogs prefer to bring the deceased to dzongkhag cremation where monks conduct extensive rituals.

“When there are more than three bodies, people have to arrange their own shelter to carry out the rites.”

Yangtse gup Goenpo said that the main problem is the safety of the people while ashes are taken to the river. “Footpaths are slippery and there are risks of people falling into the river.”

The issue was discussed during the recent Trashiyangtse Tshogdu and the Tshogdu directed the dzongkhag to carry out improvement works.