Thinley Namgay

The second edition of the “Black Mountain Festival and Cycling Challenge” is all set to kick off in Trongsa on September 27, with around 30 cyclists, including two foreigners, already registered for the competition.

Organised by Trongsa dzongkhag administration, the cycling challenge will see participants starting the race in Trongsa, riding along the scenic Trongsa-Wangdue national highway until Chazam in Sephu, Wangdue, and then returning to Trongsa, completing a challenging 100km course.

Cyclists can look forward to the breathtaking sights along the Trongsa-Wangdue highway, featuring diverse vegetation, landscapes, hills, waterfalls, rivers, and a variety of birds and animals.

With high hopes of more participants this year, the registration deadline for the race is set for September 25. In the previous year, the event saw the participation of 78 cyclists, including 10 women.

The Black Mountain Festival itself promises to be a showcase of the vibrant culture and livelihoods of residents from five gewogs of Trongsa. Visitors can expect to explore arts and crafts, food items, farm produce, authentic cultural artifacts, lifestyle exhibits, and the rich flora of the dzongkhag.

Tshewang Rinzin, Trongsa’s  Human Resource Officer, assured that preparations for the festival are well underway, with festival stalls remaining open for three days. Additionally, a cultural show by artists from Thimphu will grace the festival’s evenings.

This event serves as a platform for local farmers to sell their products and boosts the sales of local shopkeepers. Visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in diverse cultures and lifestyles on display. Notably, the traditional attire, cooking styles, and household items of Wangling, Jangbi, and Phumzur become focal points of interest for festival goers.

The festival also aims to promote tourism in Trongsa, which boasts important religious sites, the stunning Black Mountain range, diverse flora and fauna, a variety of birds, and numerous local dialects that reflect distinct lifestyles.

Trongsa is home to the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, a sanctuary for diverse species, including endangered mammals and birds, adding to the region’s allure for nature enthusiasts.