Friday, August 20, 2010

My village- Tangsibji, Trongsa.

The most magnificent and beautiful peaceful country “The Kingdom of Bhutan” lies between two giant countries, India in south and China in the north. Though land locked she has reasons to be proud for she is made up of many beautiful villages. The villages are mostly untouched by the invasion of pollution and disasters. Bubbling streams, evergreen forest, sweetened air and harmonious people are the general composition of the hamlets, together framing panoramic views for any visitors that instills into them the sense of fondness and memory abiding. For this reasons I shall touch upon my village called “Tangsibji”.
Tangsibji village is located in Trongsa District about 21 Kms short of Trongsa Dzong if coming from Thimphu towards Trongsa. It is one of the finest and splendidly located villages in the district if compared appropriately with the villages of other Districts in Bhutan; it may edge out other best villages in the country for there are many reasons that will unfold as I elaborate further .
The village has two main portions. The upper portions which yield crops like maize, potatoes and wheat is spread along the Thimphu-Trongsa highway. The lower portion which yields mainly rice is spread upward adjoining Mangdi Chu and Nika Chu. A panoramic view of the village can be seen from the village called Taktsi located at the other side of the Mangdi Chu. It has an area of about eighty one square kilometers and comprises of about hundred twenty households with a population of about one thousand two hundred. The villagers speak Mangdipa dialect and both men and women are generally tall and well built. This community believes in speaking less and working hard. If any one chance to visit any of the houses in the neighborhood, you will find them well stocked with adequate ration. But hard cash will be scarce since they are yet to be exposed to lucrative business. A daily chore of farming is their look out and they always remain busy in that. 
(Tsheringma rock)
The Tsheringma Drupchu, which one will surely come across en-route Trongsa-Thimphu highway flows right through the village. Because of the blessed holy water it is believed that the good turnover of crop yield and melodious voice of this community owes much reverence. At the source of the Tsheringma Drupchu which is located just at hundred meters from the road head stands the Tsheringma Rock which is believed to be the abode of the local deity- Serchung Genzi. The communities of Tangsibji often gather to offer their prayers and celebration to the abode. People are generally happy go lucky type. When Guru Rimpoche visited Bumthang he is supposed to have made his journey from Nabji-Korphu to Bumthang through this village in the eighth century. His body prints and two sacred places where he had subdued two demons in the form of large snakes can still be seen there today.
The Tangsibji Lhakhang adds a unique touch and anchor to the religion and culture, binding them stronger even to this day. The lhakhang is located at the base of the village, which is unusual. A great Lama had prophesized the location of the lhakhang so that the village reaps happiness and evades the ill luck of overseeing the Mangdi Chu and Nika Chu confluence directly from the village. In the Lhakhang a Forty Eight inch statue of Jao is the main statue. It is believed that this statue has even envisioned the power of speech. When there was an onslaught of plague in the form of small pox disease which threatened to wipe out the whole community, the Jao took it on to himself and spared the villagers. Stories were passed down to this generation that on taking the dreaded disease on himself, the face and body of the statue were full of the smallpox marks. But regained to its actual composure soon after the plague was over. It is said that even today when crop yield is going to be bad, small pox marks become visible on the statue. Oral history passed down from generations reveal that this Jao statue was gifted by the third Desi Chugyel Minjur Tenpa as recognition for the loyalty and dedication rendered in times of need. There are two more lhakhangs. One named Dubji Lhakhang and the other Ugyenling Lhakhang. The main statue in Dubji Lkahang is “Chugchi Shey”which has a height of two storeys. It belongs to Meonling sect of Ngingmapa teachings. The other houses a statue of Guru Rimpoche seated on the same seat where Guru Rimpoche was supposed to have meditated during his journey to Bumthang.
Forty Eight inch statue of Jao is the main statue in Tangsibji Lhakhang
The name of the village Tangsibji derived from the word “Tang” meaning small lake and “Ji” meaning flat in their local dialect is indeed an appropriately suited name. Ancestors dating back to the fifth century, looking for an ideal location had come upon a beautiful small lake surrounded by flat land and after settlement derived its very name -Tangsibji village.
Tangsibji village had always been one of the most fortunate to receive many developmental activities programmed by the Royal Government of Bhutan. The Thimphu Trongsa Highway road that runs through the village. The fifty kilowatts mini Hydel, a Japanese aided project which was commissioned in 1986 solely for the village was an out of turn blessing. It was an envy for the neighboring villages which still waits to realize the dream of electricity comfort. However the news of actual power grid to be completed by 2009 has lessened the envy of other villages to a great extent. The four-kilometer extension road from the highway to the heart of the village made by the villagers themselves and contribution from the government employee, private employee and businessmen alike of the Tangsibji village made the villagers a heavenly paradise. The village is blessed with government infrastructures like two schools (One Junior and one Community). One agriculture extension office, one animal husbandry extension office, one BHU and one wild life office of the Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Park. The fact that by 2010 the Mangdi Chu Project is going to start is great news for Tangsibjibs and the start of Nika Chu hydro project in its own village is a feather in a cap. The villagers are gradually being encouraged in the process of enhancing their economy by starting small projects like Tangsibji Milk Association, Mushroom Association which are doing very well. However, interms of development activities, it had its own share of misfortune. The Mangdi Chu project which was once surveyed in this village during the early 70s and the high school project during the year 2006 were missed out. The Government is not to be blamed for that but when it came to such a big dicision the people of this village attimes faltered and the regret is irreparable. But good news is that Nika Chu hydro project is going to be back in business in our village soon.
His Holiness the Je Khenpo’s initiative to construct a lhakhang in the village had been fruitful and the beautiful lhakhang now stands just near the highway locally called Tashiling Lhakhang. The main statue of the lhakhang is Chenrizig Chatong chentong with the height of two storeys. The lhakhang is going to be soon staffed with one Lam Neten and about twenty Gelongs which will be a religious, spiritual and cultural binding factor for the villagers of Tangsibji.
With my above narration I hope I have been able to throw some light on this beautiful village called Tangsibji. This village armed with such immense potentials like scenic beauty, religious sites, and varieties of crops, ever fresh streams and rivulets and inhabited by warm, cheerful, lovely people can also be included as one of the tourist hotspots. But whether it becomes one or not, this village will continue to exist and flourish as one of the happiest villages of Drukyul blessed and empowered by the holy water of the Tsheringma Drupchu they drink every day.

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