Sorted according to geographical location, the six eastern Dzongkhags of Bhutan include Mongar, Lhuentse, Trashigang, Trashiyangtse, Samdrupjongkhar and Pemagatshel.
The six Eastern districts have topography that ranges from 200 (lowest point of Samdrupjongkhar) to 5,580 (highest point of Lhuentse) meters above sea level in elevation. The common landforms are mountainous terrains with less to no plains.
Majority of people in these regions speak Tshangla language which is commonly called Sharchopkha (the language of the East). Its origin is of Sino-Tibetan language and is closely linked with the Classical Tibetan.
Farmers in the East grow variety of crops including rice while maize still is the dominant harvest. Maize is used to make Kharang (grained maize) and Tengma or Sip (beaten corn) which are used for family consumption as well as sold for money. Maize is also used to brew local alcohol which is a common treat in the rural villages.
Majority of the natives are farmers; dependent on crops and livestock for the livelihood. The people of the East are generally known for their hospitality and kind, humble and meek nature. Weaving is a tradition uniquely indigenous to the women of the East.
Trashigang Dzongkhag: A Profile
Trashigang is one of the six eastern districts. It is located 551 km away from the capital city with its altitude elevation ranging from 600 meters to 4500 meters above sea level. The climate is mainly temperate with coniferous and deciduous vegetation..
Trashigang Dzong; the Fortress of the Auspicious Hill is located atop a steep cliff. It was built by one of the Regents (third Druk Desi) of Bhutan in 1659 in order to bring the eastern region under the Drukpa rule.
Legend has it that the Tibetan troops retreated after seeing the Dzong majestically perched upon the tall hill. They were said to have remarked that the fortress was not built on the ground but in the sky. Today, like elsewhere in the country, the Dzong serves as the headquarters to Dzongkhag Administration and Rabdhay (monk body). The district capital, Trashigang town is just located above the Dzong. Other major towns in Trashigang are Wamrong, Kanglung and Ranjung.
Merak and Sakteng are two separate communities located at 3,500 meters and 2,800 meters above sea level respectively. People residing in Merak and Sakteng communities speak Brokpakha). The villages are decorated with alpine shrubs and rhododendrons are a common sight. The two communities are known for their unique culture and tradition and is an attraction to the rest of the country. People lead semi nomadic lives and mostly dependent on their livestock (yak and cow) for their livelihood. The distinctive dress code also adds to their uniqueness.
Radhi which is located approximately 30 km away from the town, is known for its rice production. It is popularly known as ‘the rice basket of the East’. The Gewog is known for cultivating different varieties of rice. Besides rice cultivation, though weavers are not a rare sight in the East, Radhi is known for its Buray products (clothes made from raw silk). Buray is indigenous to Radhi Gewog and women are found weaving when it is not time to engage in agricultural works. The textiles are mostly sold to tourists and local people and seldom kept for their own use.
Institutions: Trashigang Dzongkhag also has Sherubtse College as its educational hub. The college is located in Kanglung and is one of the oldest and largest educational institutions in Bhutan. The college was initially established as a public school in 1968 by the Third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Religious institution: Rangjung Woesel Choeling Monastery is situated at Rangjung under Radhi Gewog. It was established by Dungsey Garab Rinpoche in 1989. On top of that, Kanglung Shedra is located on the highway; neighboring Sherubtse College. It was established by Khenchhen Karma Rangdol; the incumbent Lam Neten of Trashigang Rabdhay.
Younphula Airport : The airport is located at an elevation of 2,743 meters above sea level in Kanglung Gewog. It is one of the three domestic airports in the country and was inaugurated in 2012. The airport was originally constructed by the Indian Army in the 1960s as a military airfield. It is labeled as one of the most challenging airports in the world.
Festivals: Trashigang Tshechu: It is a three-day ceremony held in the tenth month of the Bhutanese calendar every year. During the festival, apart from the mask dances and traditional dances, Thongdrols (large tapestries) of Guru Tshengyed (eight manifestations of Guru Rinpochhe) and Neten Chudrug (sixteen arhats) are also unfurled for the public.
Lingkhar Block – kanglung, Trashigang 42001, Bhutan
Tel.: +975 17 11 67 66