Lhakpa Quendren

The Wellness Medicinal Park in Samtenling gewog, Sarpang wears a deserted look most of the days.

Spanning over five acres in Chhoekhorling village, the park is home to 39 varieties of medicinal plants, including the Aru Baru plant.

The park located about five kilometers from Gelephu town features essential amenities, including eight canopies equipped with water taps, walking trails, toilets, and streetlights.

The medicinal gardens showcase a diverse collection of plants renowned for their therapeutic properties, surrounded by ancient trees and vibrant flowers.

His Holiness the Je Khenpo, in October, handed over the land registration certificate of the Medicinal Park to the Gelephu thromde. This land had been offered to His Holiness by an elderly couple from Trongsa.

The park is home to 39 varieties of medicinal plants

The park is not widely known even among the locals and the poor condition of the Chhoekhorling farm road contributes to the park’s lack of popularity.

Ugyen Dorji, the caretaker of the park, says that the presence of elephants in the area deters visitors from coming to the park. “Elephants might be the reason the park sees fewer visitors.”

“The canopies were full on the recent blessed rainy day, with over 30 people visiting the park. Some continue to come during the weekends,” he said, adding that more visitors are expected, especially on special public holidays.

A resident of Zomlingthang, Phub Dorji said that although he is aware of the park, he has not visited yet. Despite being within walking distance, he said that the dusty road in winter hinders access to the park.

Another resident from Dechenpelri said that the park would benefit the community if the farm road is improved, and more awareness is created. “The absence of a signboard at the junction makes it even more challenging to locate the park,” he said.

To help visitors learn and identify medicinal plants, people express the need for informative displays for each plant.

The government invested Nu 16 million in developing the park’s infrastructure. The park is secured with a thick metal railing over a cemented foundation wall.

The park faces challenges, including the frequent damage of water pipes by elephants, hindering plant watering, and the entry of goats and their kids through the railing.