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For today’s blog, we bring you Zhemgang Dzongkhag!  Zhemgang is one day’s drive from the capital city of Thimphu. Zhemgang also features the famous Royal Manas National Park, the oldest national park in Bhutan and is a “conservation showpiece of the Kingdom”! 

zhemgang

“It is amazing the change in terrain a few hours can make. We have seen alpine, forests, and subtropical all within a short trip. One thing everywhere we have been has in common are the mountains.” - Delaine Keenum

With most of the region’s warm and humid climatic conditions, Zhemgang has incredible biodiversity with lush forests which are home to 22 endangered species including the Golden LangurGangetic Dolphins and the Asian One-horned Rhinceros!

The inhabitants of Zhemgang are famous for their rich culture, particularly their folk songs and dances. They are also famed for their skill at crafting various goods out of bamboo such as Bangchungs (matted bamboo bowls), Palangs (alcohol containers), Balaks (hats), mats and boxes. They are also adept potters and their earthenware products were highly prized throughout the country in the past.

Though Buddhism has been growing in popularity in the dzongkhag,  every region of the district still continues its animist traditions and Bon priests known as Bonpo are considered respected religious leaders. There are also a number of famous Buddhist temples in the region such as Buli Lhakhang and Tharpa Choeling Lhakhang.

Our BCF teachers, Loretta Sartin McClure in 2011 and Delaine Keenum in 2012, taught at Zhemgang LSS which is located in Wamdakpa. At present this school has 625 students with 20 teachers. It is a pilot school for a program offering integration of special needs children into mainstream education. Grades range from pre-primary to grade 8. To get a teacher’s perspective on the Zhemgang Dzongkhag, check out Delaine’s blog to learn more!

To read more more on the Zhemgang Dzongkhag, check out the Tourism Council of Bhutan!

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