Druk Wangyel

Truly amazing!

The heavens descended on Dochula yesterday. Boddhisattvas and gods, enchanting goddesses and spirits, guardian deities and demons, and Milarepa himself, meditating and levitating in the freezing cold, appeared before the thousands of pilgrims who had gathered to witness the inaugural Druk Wangyel Tsechu.

The tsechu was inspired, guided and supported by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck to honour the armed forces for their bravery and selfless services in protecting the peace, security and sovereignty of our nation.

Photo credit: “Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival” by Dasho Karma Ura, the festival director who composed and choreographed the dances.

Forest fire

Lopa village

Saved ... phew!

The people of Lopa village in Haa, Samar Gewog, did not sleep last night. They stayed up to guard their village – a cluster of mostly old farmhouses at the edge of a pine forest – from wild fires that was spreading through the woodland above their village.

The fire had started yesterday afternoon. And the Haa Dzongdag had quickly mobilized forestry officials, civil servants and community volunteers to fight the blaze. But the fire, which was fanned by strong winds, would not be contained. And by nightfall, the dzongdag wisely called off the fire fighting efforts as boulders, set loose from the rocky outcrop above the village, came hurling down the hillside.

But by the crack of dawn today, dzongkhag officials and volunteers were already battling the fires. This time they were joined by almost a hundred RBA soldiers. And this time they were successful. They bought the fire under control.

Had it not been for the quick response of the dzongkhag and forestry officials, and the help of the army, the fire would have razed Lopa and spread through the neighbouring village of Nobgang to the dense pine forests above Puduna. And the fire would still be raging.

Featured in the banner are the remains of the recent snow that put out a big forest fire in Katsho, and helped contain another one today.