The Trashigang Dzong conservation project is expected to complete by June this year.
The conservation of the 359-year-old dzong was initiated in February 2014 after the dzong’s eastern side (facing the road to Rangjung) and the western side (facing toward Mongar) suffered major cracks from the earthquakes that occurred in 2009 and 2011.
Project Manager Tshering Namgyal said that the conservation project has not caused major changes to the traditional architecture and the exterior of the dzong will remain the same.
“However, the project has added three new structures to the dzong to reduce risks of fire hazards,” he said.
The dratshang (hostel for monks), tshokhang (dining hall), and the kitchen for the dratshang has been constructed outside the dzong to relocate the monks for safety.
Additionally, unlike the past, the renovated dzong would have toilets inside the dzong.
The dzong is also equipped with a fire hydrant and alarm system plus smoke and heat detectors.
“The eastern side of the dzong required major reconstruction from the base up since it suffered serious cracks on its wall while the western side required little reconstruction since it suffered no major damage to its walls and the foundation,” added the project manager.
The traditional features inside the dzong such as paintings, sculpture and cornice are being elaborated.
Currently, around 120 Bhutanese workers and a few non-Bhutanese workers are implementing the project at the site.
Meanwhile, the project manager said that volunteers and people from the 15 gewogs in the dzongkhag also contributed labor for the ongoing works.
Since the renovation work began in mid-2014, the Trashigang dzongkhag administration has been functioning from the renovated extension rooms of Trashigang middle secondary school.
The Department of Culture’s Division for Conservation of Heritage Site has initiated the project worth Nu 260.9mn.
Trashigang Dzong was built in 1659 by the Third Desi, Chogyal Minjur Tempa at the unison of Sharchog Khorlo Tsip Gye (eastern regions of Bhutan). It was last renovated in the 1970s.
Jigme Wangchen from Trashigang